Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
Hold fast the teachings
2nd Thessalonians 2:15 - Therefore then, brethren, stand (solidly) and hold fast the teachings which ye were
taught, whether by (our spoken) word or by our letter.
If the Thessalonians did not stand fast in the traditions that they had been taught, they would soon be in the
condition of those who loved not the truth, and were deceived by delusion. See 2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12.
We likewise must stand fast in what we have been taught. We cannot be revamping the gospel message in each
generation to suit ourselves (Deuteronomy 4, Proverbs 30, Revelations 22).
The command, "Stand fast," is very emphatic. It enjoins us to stand firm, persist and persevere. Compare 1st
Corinthians 16:13 and Galatians 5:1.
It is a fact that the early church depended partly on oral teaching. But it is a mistake to allege that the gift of
inspired oral teaching has been preserved by the "Church." By the close of Paul's life he wrote to Timothy and said,
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. . . that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all
good works" (2nd Timothy 3:16-17). If the Scriptures alone can make us perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto
ALL good works, we do not need any other traditions.
The Greek words (paradosis, traditio) mean the revelation made by God and delivered to His faithful people through
the mouth of His prophets and Apostles. It does not mean something handed down but something handed over.
This means there is a deposit and a depository. See 2nd Timothy 1:13, 2nd Timothy 2:2, 1st Corinthians 15:13, 1st
Corinthians 11:23. As soon as the Scriptures had come into existence by direct inspiration, all tradition left outside it
must bow to the scripture. Why? Because that which became cannon is from God, other writings whether in New
Testament times or later cannot supersede cannon. Do not go beyond what is written.
Furthermore, there is a grave danger that we may fall into the same condemnation that the Jews received because
they added human traditions to the laws of God. Jesus said, "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men" (Mathew 15:9). Also note Mark 7:9: "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye
may keep your own tradition."
The only apostolic traditions we now have are those in the Scriptures. This was not true of the Thessalonians.
They had oral information, and at the time Paul wrote to them very few of the New Testament books had been
Paul declared that if anyone preached a gospel different from what he preached, he was to be accursed (Galatians
1:8-9). Paul told us that when we read, we may understand his knowledge of the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4).
Let no one be misled or intimidated by people who claim to know more of God's will than the apostles have left for us
in the New Testament. Often we see things practiced by people who follow their traditions that are contrary to what
we read in the Bible. Surely any tradition that contradicts what the New Testament says cannot be a tradition
approved by God.