Contending for the Faith

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A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (July 16, 2018)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3)

The author of the Book of Jude tells us that we should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (which includes us). The Greek word used for contend implies that this is a struggle for control with an adversary. That adversary is identified in the Book of Jude as men that have crept in unawares that have by their doctrines turned the grace of God into lasciviousness and thereby deny Jesus Christ. That denial is not in direct words that deny Jesus but in carnal actions that try to take advantage of the grace of God and thereby deny the truth (Jesus).

Let’s take a close look at this important warning and compare it to what we see happening in our present day culture and even in some of our present day churches. The Greek word used for lasciviousness in Jude is aselgeia and it means outrageous conduct, conduct shocking to public decency, wanton violence, lewdness, or sexual immorality. It rejects any kind of restraint (spiritual or governmental) and indulges in lawless insolence. It denies Jesus Christ by its own actions.

The Apostle Peter, when talking about this same subject, described these same adversaries like this: And many shall follow their pernicious (destructive/ruinous) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth (Jesus) shall be evil spoken of (2 Peter 2:2).

Now, let’s deal with the spiritual implications here. The author of Jude says these men, with their man-made doctrines, have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. How do they do that? They do that by teaching doctrines that eliminate any eternal consequences for our behavior. In other words, once you are saved, there are no more eternal consequences for your behavior. Grace is expanded to cover every sin which in essence has removed or severely diminished the fear of God. The problem with this teaching is that it’s not true.

The author of Jude used three examples to make his point against this teaching. He used the Jewish people that were saved out of Egypt and later destroyed by God for their unbelief. He used the rebelling angels that God placed in eternal chains who had left their own habitation or place of safety. He also used the people of Sodom and Gomorrah whom God destroyed because of their sexual sins.

Now, here is the main theological argument against those examples used in Jude. “Those examples are all Old Testament. We are in the New Testament and we are living under grace and not under the law.” Well, the author of Jude did not see it that way. He basically prophesied in verses 17-25 that these same type doctrines that expanded grace to cover all types of behavior of the saints would come upon the present day church also. Jude warned us in the following verses that we could fall also if we thought we could take advantage of this great grace by doing anything and everything our flesh wanted to do:

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 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, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

The Book of Romans says it like this:

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:13-16)

The three main things spoken about in Jude that caused falling were unbelief, leaving our place of safety, and sexual perversions. The way the author of Jude said we were to fight these things were to build ourselves up (strengthen ourselves) by praying in the Holy Ghost, staying in the love of God, and looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to be doing all these things!!!

 

 

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