Contend for the Faith: What I Noticed When I Study Jude

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There is so substantially packed into the tiny book of Jude. The way Jude turns a phrase is stunning and pretty much poetic. But simply because of the topic matter, it is undoubtedly not pleasant. Jude references lots of events from biblical literature and even some events from literature outdoors of the biblical canon, all to warn his audience that God will judge the ungodly. This is a topic contemporary Christians likely have to have to take into account a tiny additional normally.

Contend for the Faith

Jude told his audience that his objective for writing this book was to appeal to them to “contend earnestly for the faith that was after delivered to the saints.” That is an critical phrase and a single we need to all take seriously, but it is also a phrase we need to let the text define. What does it imply to “contend earnestly for the faith”? We need to study Jude’s letter to recognize.

According to Jude, contending for the faith appears to imply “building yourselves up in your most holy faith” in order to “keep yourselves in the appreciate of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” In other words, contending for the faith signifies, very first and foremost, remaining faithful to Jesus and creating up other Christians so they stay faithful.

Jude is afraid his audience will fall prey to the wicked false teachers who “have crept in unnoticed” and show up at the church’s “love feasts” and feast with them “without worry.” For Jude, contending for the faith appears to be a battle that is significantly less about offense and additional defense. He desires his audience to be conscious of these false teachers and be on guard against their schemes.

Yet another aspect of contending for the faith is to “have mercy” on these who are obtaining doubts or are struggling with sin. Even though substantially of Jude’s letter focuses on wicked people today who will face the judgment of God, the vast majority of people today with whom we come into make contact with are not wicked people today. They are not false teachers who have to have to be sharply rebuked. Most people today we meet in our lives are these on whom we basically have to have to “have mercy.”

Contending for the faith is not about getting a watchdog or about beating people today more than the head. It is about maintaining oneself committed to Jesus and obtaining mercy on other folks.

Perverting Grace

The only time Jude utilizes the word “grace” in the whole letter is when he writes about the false teachers “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality.” The false teachers about whom Jude was warning certainly deemed themselves followers of Jesus and recipients of God’s grace, but their life-style was a single of selfish indulgence and ungodly speech. Jude pulls no punches when he says these people today will face God’s judgment.

Jude desires his audience to recognize these false teachers who market this variety of behavior are perverting the present of God and will face serious judgment and condemnation. Jude reminds them of people today and events like:

  • Korah’s rebellion
  • Balaam
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Disobedient angels

All of these, in a single way or one more, squandered the gifts of God, pursued their personal desires, and had been destroyed.

I really feel this topic is extremely relevant for contemporary Christians. There appears to be a multitude of false teachers these days “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality.” They look to teach that what God desires most is for people today to be delighted, following their personal dreams. In undertaking so, they excuse behavior like drunkenness, sexual immorality, marital unfaithfulness, and additional.

We need to heed the warnings of this tiny book and not be drawn away by this variety of false teaching.

Possessing the Holy Spirit

Yet another region that I feel demands to be drawn out of the text of Jude is his emphasis on the Holy Spirit. He describes the false teachers as people today who are “devoid of the Spirit.” I feel in some cases we fail to recognize that it is not possible to reside a Christian life without the need of the Spirit of God dwelling in us. The apostle Paul wrote,

“Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the physique is dead simply because of sin, the Spirit is life simply because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans eight:9b-11).

Christians are supposed to be like a new version of humanity, a Spirit-empowered version of humanity. It is like we have the old hardware (our bodies), but we have received upgraded application (the Spirit) in anticipation of the final hardware upgrade (our new bodies in the Resurrection). As we reside our lives, we need to stroll according to the Spirit of God who lives inside us and empowers us. The Christian life is a Spirit-empowered life, but these who reside according to the flesh are, “devoid of the Spirit.”

Also, notice that Jude tells his audience to be “praying in the Holy Spirit.” Christians are supposed to intentionally rely on the energy of the Holy Spirit when we pray. Immediately after all, Paul also wrote (in Romans eight) that the Spirit assists us when we pray. The Holy Spirit is prepared to participate with Christians in prayer, but apparently, we need to be intentional about relying on his assistance, assistance, and energy whilst we pray.

I am not speaking about speaking in tongues or selecting up deadly snakes and I do not feel that is what Jude has in thoughts either. This variety of Spirit-empowered life is marked by the fruit Paul describes in Galatians five, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-manage.” These are the indicators that a human getting is walking and praying in the Spirit. Let’s concentrate on getting Spirit-empowered people today who are contending earnestly for the faith.

I appreciate you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

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