Today’s passage describes God’s requirement for elders and pastors in the church. Every believer, however, should aspire to the qualities mentioned, because they exemplify the spiritual maturity Christ desires for all of us. While everything listed is praiseworthy, the last item—“holding fast the faithful word”—is the foundation for all the rest (1 Timothy 1:9).
To hold fast means “to adhere, cling, or be devoted.” The phrase implies not only believing God’s Word to be true but also doing what it says by applying scriptural truths to every area of life. Peter described such devotion this way: “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
A consistent intake of Scripture is essential for our spiritual growth, and it enables us to distinguish between truth and error. The Bible is called “the faithful word” because it’s reliable and true. The Word of God is the means by which those who hold fast to it can “exhort in sound doctrine and … refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).
If we aren’t grounded in Scripture, we’ll unknowingly accept philosophies and teachings that will lead us astray. But when biblical truth has saturated our mind and heart, we’ll sense a red flag pop up in our spirit whenever we encounter an erroneous concept.
God’s Word is the compass for our life—not something we read only occasionally. It’s nutrition for our spiritual growth, a guide for life, protection from sin and error, and a means of knowing God better.