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 (Manna 74: Standing Firm)
Manna 74 Editorial
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Standing Firm

FF Chong—London, U.K.

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. (1 Cor 15:1–2)

During the time of the apostles, the believers were often fiercely persecuted. While the persecution did not cause the church to crumble entirely, it did give rise to irreversible damage, especially towards the turn of the first century. Satan made use of man—false teachers, to be precise—to undermine the church.

There were two types of false prophets. One type comprised people from outside the community of faith; the other was from within (Acts 20:29–30). Concerning the latter, the deceivers disguised themselves in order to infiltrate the church with their destructive heresies. They went on the offensive, using trickery and deceitful plotting (Eph 4:14), causing the church to be scarred (cf. Gal 1–2; Col 1–2; Rev 2–3) and the believers to be unsettled (Acts 15:24; Gal 1:7). The greatest challenge for the apostolic church became a test of faithfulness to God’s word.

The moral from history is the need to stand firm. It entails being rooted in Christ and in His word. God is more than able to save us to the end—to grant us the salvation of our souls. However, we must do our part: we must continuously yield to the word that we received in the beginning and keep it to the end (1 Cor 15:1–2). Standing firm becomes all the more pertinent as we know that Satan has been thrown down from heaven and is attacking the church of God (Rev 12:12) prior to the second coming of Christ.

Aside from Satan’s attack, secular influences also pose a similar, if not equal, threat to the church. The effect is corrosive and has the potential to corrupt the mind of simplicity we have for Christ Jesus. We therefore need to create a godly environment for ourselves and our children, and preserve ourselves with the word of God and constant prayer.

Imagine how sad it would be for an athlete on course for a hundred-meter victory to stumble at the last hurdle. It is for good reason, then, that Paul says that our faith journey would be in vain if we suddenly turned our backs on God; we would be the most pitiable of people.

We thank the almighty God for touching many members to put their thoughts into writing for the edification of the church. Their articles, which appear in the themed section, exhort believers to hold on to the truth that was given to the church once and for all, and remind them to resist subtle worldly allurements.
Let us pray for the Spirit’s empowerment so that we can hold on to our initial faith to the very end.

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Author: FF Chong
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