It's commonplace for people to make New Year's resolutions, and it's equally commonplace for people to break them. Personally, I've never put a lot of stock in New Year's resolutions. Call me cynical, but it seems that most of the time, a New Year's resolution is made only to be broken a few days, weeks, or months later. For whatever reason, after we make these resolutions, we don't hold fast to them--we don't stick with them. Perhaps we were never really committed to the resolution we made. Perhaps we needed more encouragement. Perhaps we thought it was too hard and just gave up. Perhaps we succumbed to pressure from others and decided to quit.
Well friends, it's one thing to break a resolution made to one's self, but it is a tragic and fearful thing to break a resolution made to the Lord. There is one resolution to which Christians must relentlessly hold fast, and that is our resolution, our commitment, to obey the gospel of Christ faithfully.
The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were feeling tremendous pressure to break their resolution to follow Christ and His gospel. Throughout this powerful book of scripture, the writer continually encourages and exhorts the Jewish Christians to stick with--to hold fast to--the better way. Let's take a moment to consider three passages in which the writer of Hebrews uses the phrase "hold fast":
Hebrews 3:5,6 - "And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end."
Hebrews 4:14 - "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession."
Hebrews 10:23 - "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
The apostle Paul also stressed the importance of holding fast to the gospel. Listen to I Corinthians 15:1,2 - "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain."
So why should we "hold fast" to our resolution to follow Christ? It should be obvious from just the few passages we have examined. We should hold fast to the gospel of Christ because doing such makes us part of His house. We should hold fast to the gospel of Christ because He is our great and perfect High Priest. We should hold fast to the gospel of Christ because He is faithful in keeping His promises. Finally, we should hold fast to the gospel of Christ because it is by the gospel of Christ that we are saved.
It takes great effort, commitment, and discipline on our part to hold fast to the course that we have begun. Such was the case in the first century, and such is certainly the case today. But the reward will truly be worth it!
Dear listeners, are you holding fast to the gospel? Are you still resolved to live for the Lord?