Presentation on theme: " That “men crept in unnoticed” should give us reason to pause. There were some determined to undermine the Truth and the Gospel. That such could."— Presentation transcript:
That “men crept in unnoticed” should give us reason to pause. There were some determined to undermine the Truth and the Gospel. That such could happen, despite warnings by Jesus, Paul and Peter is astounding. How much easier, then, for this to happen today when we live in a time far removed from the First Century Ecclesia. (Mat. 24:24)
Respecting Jude’s call and plea. Striving to execute “the need” to earnestly contend for the faith. We stand steadfast in preserving the purity of the Truth as good shepherds. (2 Tim. 4: 1-4) We should learn “the how” when it comes to protecting and preserving the faith for the generations to come should Christ tarry. (2 Tim. 3: 16,17)
The scriptures are adequate “once delivered unto the saints”. Can be said as “one time for all”. That is, “the faith” delivered “one time for all time”. God revealed all that He would have us to know. Paul proclaimed “the whole counsel of God” for all to hear. (Acts 20:27) Peter said that God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3) If we have “all things” and “whole counsel” what else do we need?
In Jude’s day, some turned the grace of God into lawlessness and immorality. Their manmade doctrines gave them an excuse to sin. History shows they engaged in this without shame. C0nsider lessons from Romans 1. Are there some today who pervert God’s grace? Disregard God’s commands and directives? Justify a lifestyle contrary to scriptural principles? Saying…“God is too loving to condemn us.” God’s wrath and indignation were revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men because they hindered the Truth, making it inoperative. Inwardly they knew better because God had revealed it to them and they were without excuse. Claiming to be wise they became as fools. When they exchanged the Truth of God for a lie, He abandoned them to the power of Sin. Since they did not choose to acknowledge and obey God, he gave them over to a condemned (reprobate) mind. Committing iniquity and improper acts, encouraging others to do the same, warranted God’s wrath, thus they became lost and worthy of death.
Those who “earnestly contend for the faith” will always be mindful of what God’s grace really means. (2 Pet. 1: 1-3) This means to deny ungodliness and worldly temptations. Given power, love and sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7,8) Means to live soberly and righteously in this present age. (Psa. 119: 125-130) Means to strengthen the things that remain (from Rev. 3:2). (Acts 14:22; 1 Cor. 16:13)
RECHABITES Respected and kept the vows their fallible father made to God. Jonadad told his family one time to remember and keep their promises and they obeyed. Obeyed laws to deal with temporal issues. Obeyed for hundreds of years. Would be rewarded. ISRAEL Broke their covenant with their infallible divine leader God commanded many times to refrain from sin and they refused. Refused to obey laws that dealt with eternal issues. Disobeyed for hundreds of years. Would be punished.
Let’s define the term “earnestly”. Greek = epagonizomai ▪ Means to “struggle or feel agony” Associated with strife and combat of a most determined nature. ▪ Example of Jesus…Luke 22:41-44 Our struggle is a continuous effort in this life. Jude and others teach that in the latter days even the TRUTH would be under attack.
The matter is serious, we are at war! The scriptures describe the nature of our warfare. We must take time to arm ourselves. This is not the time to be unprepared. We must be vigorous even to the point of suffering and agony in maintaining the “faith that once was delivered”. (1 Pet. 4:12-19; 1 Pet. 5: 9,10; 1 Pet. 1: 6,7)
Weapons we have (Eph. 6:13-18) Girded with Truth that lies within us. Wearing the breastplate of righteousness. Having our feet shod with gospel of peace. Hold out in front of us, the shield of faith. Our mind protected by the helmet of salvation. Brandishing sword of the Spirit, word of God.
In defense of the Truth… We must have a clear understanding of God’s teachings about righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation…these are all critical for our own salvation, as well as for those straying from the covenants of promise. Remember the exhortation of Jesus found in Luke 6: 41, 42 before speaking.
There are other “weapons” that are for our use as well. The meekness, humility, and gentleness of Christ. (James 3: 13-18) Make sure we first understand the spiritual approach and then display a Christ like attitude. (1 Pet. 4: 8) Refrain from quarreling, apply the Spirit Word with patience and humility. (2 Tim. 2:23-26)
The instruction to “contend earnestly for the faith” is not a license to engage in “contentions” and “outbursts of wrath”. We are however, to contend with all the “weapons” at our disposal. Firstly, with the word of God, applied to self and then to others. Secondly, retain a Christ-like attitude.
It is a fact… There are some that are not following the admonition of the Gospel. There are some who have perverted Christ's teachings to fit their own self interests. This is why we must not allow a dilution of the Gospel to happen these last days. This is why we have been given the “armor” to assist in contending for the faith.