Hold Fast the Word

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

“Hold fast the word” – this statement (or similar) is found several times in the New Testament. Why are we to hold fast the word of God? We can answer that question by examining the passages that contain this admonition.

Hold Fast the Word Because…

It is the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

  • Hold it fast because we are saved by the gospel (v. 2; cf. Romans 1:16)
  • Conditional – “by which you are saved, if you hold fast the word“; we can lose our salvation
  • The foundation of the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (v. 3-4) – without His death and resurrection, we would have no hope (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:17)
  • Hold fast the word so that you can be saved

It Gives Us Life (Philippians 2:16)

  • The word translated “holding fast” here suggests more than just retaining the word for oneself – “holding forth” (KJV); presenting the word to others
  • Like the Philippians, we live in a “crooked and perverse generation” (v. 15)
  • Continue to hold fast the word and teach it to others – it leads to eternal life (John 6:68; 2 Timothy 1:10)
  • Hold fast the word so that you (and others) can obtain eternal life

It is Inspired (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)

  • In this context, “that which is good” is the Spirit-inspired word of God (v. 19-20; cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; John 16:13)
  • We must “examine” what is taught to determine if it is “good” or “evil” – necessary because of the threat of false teachers (1 John 4:1; 2 Peter 2:1)
  • Accept the message of the apostles and other inspired men because it is from God (1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
  • Hold fast the word because it is from God

It Contains Divinely-Given Traditions (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

  • Traditions have a negative connotation among many in the religious world
  • We must guard against human tradition (Matthew 15:1-9) – but some traditions have been handed down from God
  • Divinely-given traditions must be kept (Matthew 28:20) – the apostles taught these by word and letter; these instructions are preserved for us today in the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • Hold fast the word because it contains the traditions that God wants His people to observe

It Contains Our Standard (2 Timothy 1:13)

  • The pattern/standard we must follow is found in the words preached by the Lord’s apostles
  • We are not to be “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14) – stand upon the firm foundation of Christ and His apostles and prophets (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:20)
  • This foundation constitutes an unchanging standard (Psalm 119:89)
  • Hold fast the word in order to stand firm in the face of all the changes and challenges in the world around us

It is Faithful (Titus 1:9)

  • One of the qualifications of elders is to hold fast the word – why? … it is faithful (trustworthy)
  • The word produces faith (Romans 10:17) – but not a “leap of faith”; a reasonable faith (Hebrews 11:1)
  • God has proven that His revealed word is reliable – miracles (Hebrews 2:3-4), fulfilled prophecy (John 2:19-22), perfect harmony (John 10:35)
  • Hold fast the word because it is trustworthy


  • Through the word of God, we can know what His will is for us
  • By following the word of God, we can be saved and look forward to eternal life
  • Therefore, let us continue to “hold fast the word

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