The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 156 of 185
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Where Phil. 1: 17 says "stand fast in one spirit" the next reference says "stand fast in
the Lord" (Phil. 4: 1). Once again the words are set in a practical context. Two sisters in
Christ are entreated by the Apostle to be of the same mind in the Lord (Phil. 4: 2). It is
therefore very evident that the greatest single condition for this firm stand for the truth is
found in unity. First, in defending and treasuring "the Unity of the Spirit" as we have
seen in Eph. 4:, then in the twofold practical unity of these passages in Phil. 1: and 4:
Unity can be attacked from without, but it can also be ruined from within.
Let us weigh our own motives, our plans, our desires in the balances of the sanctuary.
Do they `become' the gospel of Christ? Do they strengthen or weaken the `oneness' of
mind and spirit that should be characteristic of those who are by grace equal members of
"one" Body, holding "one" faith, looking for "one" hope and acknowledging "one" Lord?
Many a plan that has been evolved by believing men and women, has had at the very
commencement the seeds of its own undoing by reason of failure in these essential
We believe that there is a clarion call to all who rejoice in the truth of the Mystery, to
stand fast in one mind and in one spirit in this blessed endeavour both to further the truth
and to withstand the threatened apostasy, and only as each step conforms to the basic
requirements we have seen, can any such movement prosper with the good success that
comes from the Lord. This we covet above all else, not that in our stewardship we should
be found successful, but found faithful. The rest is with Him.
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith" (I Cor. 16: 13).
pp. 170 - 175
The exhortations `to stand' that are found in Paul's later epistles are incorporated in
the prayer of Epaphras, who prayed on the behalf of the Colossians that they should
`stand perfect and complete in all the will of God' (Col. 4: 12).
In the structure of the epistle to the Colossians, this prayer of Epaphras is in
correspondence with the preaching and warning of the Apostle; the one rounding off the
E | 1: 28 - 2: 1. Preaching to present perfect.
E | 4: 12, 13. Prayer to stand perfect.
The words `present' and `stand' are both derived from the same root paristemi "to
present" which is literally "to stand or cause to stand beside", while the word `stand' in
the prayer of Epaphras is the simpler word histemi.