Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14
Paul wrote this letter from his second Roman imprisonment, and he would be soon after the writing be condemned and executed in Rome at the command of Nero. Paul sensed this; therefore this second letter to Timothy is not only the last letter we have from Paul, there is a note of urgency and passion we might expect from a man who knew he would soon be executed.
Paul finds it most important in his last days to encourage Timothy as he has already reminded him to stir up the gift of God and that God has not given a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind.
Now Paul charges Timothy to remain faithful to the truth. We live in a world today that finds it hard to accept truth. The truth is convicting and unmoving. Truth confronts man where he is and forces man to face who he is. Therefore, men tend to reject the truth and choose rather to believe the lies of Satan. Lies are appealing yet deceiving and destructive (just ask Eve). Truth is hard yet liberating and powerful.
So how does a person remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word?
Hold it tight! Verse 13 states, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” Hold fast means that I am so close to something that it is if I am wearing it. It becomes part of who I am. Faithful men hold fast to the God’s Word. We must read it, study it, meditate on it, pray it, teach it and eat it. Jesus said in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Jeremiah 15:16 states, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” Joshua 1:8 reminds us, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Yes, we must hold on to the Word of God as if someone is trying to snatch it from our hands. If not then Ephesians 4:14 warns us that we will be tossed to and fro by false doctrine and teaching and by wicked men and be deceived. Faithful people hold on tight to God’s Word and don’t let go!
We must hold to the form of sound words. Form means pattern and sketch. God’s Word has a pattern that must be adhered to if we are going to hold on to it tightly. I can’t decide for myself what the Bible says or what in the Bible I will decide to follow or not follow. The entire pattern must be followed in context.
Next, we must hold tight to the form or sound words with faith and love. I must trust God’s Word in all situations. Am I willing to put my entire life on the Word of God? Will I love His Word and love others? I must set aside my wants and my desires. I must not be proud or arrogant.
Holy Spirit Control. Verse 14 is a great reminder that at the end of the day I cannot remain faithful to God apart from His power. “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” The faithfulness that God requires from us is a faithfulness that we cannot do on our own. It’s greater than all the resources that I can muster up. The Christian walk is a walk of trusting God for everything. It is a walk of the impossible.
God tells us in Ephesians 5:18 to be not drunk with wine but be filled with the spirit. This is an impossible command. I cannot fill myself with the Spirit of God. God must do that, yet I am commanded to do so. My role is complete surrender and emptying myself of me, so that God can do the impossible—fill me with the Holy Spirit.
Here, we are told that I cannot not possibly remain faithful and committed to God’s Word without the Holy Spirit residing in me. He will provide the strength I need to remain faithful when surrendered to Him. My flesh is weak and seeks comfort and selfishness. I must deny this and listen to the Spirit and His power and will, not mine.
So, if I’m going to remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word I must hold on tight to His Word and empty myself of my selfish ways and allow the Holy Spirit to have free reign in me and then watch God do the work that you and I could never do!