Our Christian Stand
The New Testament has many references on how we are to 'stand' and 'walk'. This teaching will focus on our Stand for God and His Word.
There are two Greek words translated for the English word ‘stand’. One is histemi, which means ‘to stand’, as opposed to ‘falling’. The other is steko, which means to ‘stand fast’ or ‘stand firm’. We will first look at Romans Chapter 14, which uses both of these words:
Romans 14: 4 -- Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
This verse is telling us that we should not be judging our fellow believers. The word 'standeth' is steko. Whether a man stands firm or falls is God's business. The words 'holden up' and 'stand' at the end of the verse are both the word histemi. He shall stand, for God has the power to help him stand. This is certainly good news! God will help us to stand! It's not something we have to do all on our own. What we do have to do is love God, and know His Will for us. We know His Will, of course, by knowing His Word.
On occasion the word histemi was translated into a word other than ‘stand’.
Acts 26: 22 -- Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
Here the word 'continue' is histemi. So we can read it as "I stand unto this day, witnessing both to small and great". This is one of the ways that we stand -- WE SPEAK THE WORD TO OTHERS.
What are some other areas in which we 'stand' (histemi)?
IN GRACE: Romans 5: 2 -- By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (see also I Peter 5: 12)
We stand in grace, which is unmerited favor (not conditional upon works) from God. Because of this we can rejoice.
IN BELIEVING: II Corinthians 1: 24 -- Not for that we have dominion over your faith [believing], but are helpers of your joy: for by faith [believing] ye stand. (see also Romans 11: 20)
Paul told the Corinthians that he was not a master over their believing. He was there to help them be joyful. By their own believing they stood. The same is true for us today. No one believes for us; by our own believing we stand before God.
IN THE GOSPEL (good news): I Corinthians 15: 1 -- Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
We stand on the gospel, on how Christ died for us and achieved our salvation. We stand on the Word.
PERFECT AND COMPLETE: Colossians 4: 12 -- Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
We are to stand as mature and complete (fully furnished) believers, doing the will of God.
AGAINST THE DEVIL: Ephesians 6: 11 - 14 -- Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [methods] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Histemi is translated 'stand' three times in these verses, so we see how important it is to stand and resist the devil. To put on the whole armour of God means to use all the resources of God available to us: believing, the Word, the manifestations of holy spirit, our sonship rights, and more. Our contest is not in the physical realm, but in the spiritual. If we are spiritually prepared, we will prevail, and stand.
The next scripture for histemi we will review is Jude 24. This is another example where it was not translated as 'stand', but as 'present'.
Jude 24 -- Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Here we learn again that God is able to keep us from falling or stumbling. 'Present' is a form of histemi, and it means 'to cause to stand'. God will cause us to stand faultless in His glorious presence.
Next, we will look at some more examples of 'steko', to stand firm:
I Corinthians 16: 13 -- Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit [conduct] you like men, be strong.
We are exhorted to be watchful and stand fast in believing, to be valiant (brave) and strong.
Galatians 5: 1 -- Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage [the law].
We are reminded that Christ made us free. We no longer are bound to do the works of the law (the Old Testament). So stand fast and hold on to that liberty.
Philippians 1: 27 -- Only let your conversation [behavior] be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
This is directed to the household of believers. We are to stand fast together in one spirit, united and working as a team for God.
Philippians 4: 1 -- Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Because this verse begins with 'therefore', it is referring back to the end of chapter 3, where we are told that we are citizens of heaven, and that our mortal bodies will be changed into a glorious immortal body like Christ has now. Therefore, we are exhorted to stand fast in the Lord. Act like Christ is Lord in our life, and we will reap the rewards.
I Thessalonians 3: 8 -- For now [this instant] we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
Paul was telling them that the leaders have fullness of life when the believers stand fast in the Lord. They know that they did their job well.
II Thessalonians 2: 15 -- Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
We are to stand firm on the Word of God. We are to 'hold', with a powerful, masterful grip, the Word that has been delivered to us either spoken or in writing.
And if we do all these things? We will look at one more usage of the word 'histemi'.
Romans 14: 10 -- But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
We should not be judging our brother. After Christ returns, there will be a period when the Christian believers will stand at the 'bema', where our life shall be judged, and we can be rewarded accordingly. Although there may be times that the present world makes it difficult to stand for God, we can look forward to the next world, when we stand at the 'bema'. This is when we will be rewarded for our stand on this earth, and looking forward to it can help us stand firm now.