Monday, October 19, 2009

Hold to the traditions

II Thess. 2:13-17: “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”

We as a people have not valued traditions like our parents and grand parents did. For those generations it was important to hold on to the special things that were passed down from generation to generation. However, today we do not look on the traditions of the past as something that should be even considered as anything of value. Our view of traditions and customs is that of being something old fashion and out of date. We tend to see the idea of the past as something to rebel against. We see that rebelling from tradition in every aspect of our lives, including our churches. Our faith today is running away from anything that resembles our father’s faith. I see no problems with the new and freshness of the modern church as long as it does not dilute the message of the gospel. However, when we change the traditions of the past just to change the traditions of the past we miss the blessings that the older generations had.

Paul was writing to tell the Thessalonians that they should stand fast and hold to the traditions that were taught to them. Paul knew the value of sound teachings from a solid and passionate people. The only way for the Thessalonians to pass on the correct and pure truths of the gospel and the customs that were the bedrock of the faith was to pass on the traditions of the faith and not rebel against them.

Traditions are good; they remind us of God’s movement in the past. Like monuments that the children of Israel erected when God blessed them. These monuments stood as a reminder to the children of Israel of the awesome power of God. Traditions of the past are there to remind us of the power of God in the lives of those who came before us. When we stop looking at the past, how can we have hope for the future? Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to hold to the traditions in order to gain encouragement when trials arise.

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