Contend for the faith!

Scripture reading for November 30th:  Jude

Jude was a half-brother to Jesus Christ and the brother of James.  His short letter mirrors some of the same issues that Peter dealt with in his second letter:  false teachers and apostasy.  His letter speaks to the church of today.

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.  For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.  They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”  (Jude 3-4)

The main issue that Jude felt compelled to address was the infiltration of false teachers into the church.  These men were slipping in and teaching destructive doctrines.  They believed in a cheap grace that taught that believers could keep on living in sin and Jesus would forgive them.  In doing so, they were denying the true work of Jesus Christ to do away with sin and deliver the sinner from its power.  This cheap grace is also in the church today!  It is a false doctrine that divides the church and is devoid of the Holy Spirit.  (vs. 19)

“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”  (Jude 20-22)  The best defense is a good offense of actively doing God’s will!

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