Stand Firm—Defend the Faith

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.​ I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.​ 2 May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.​ 3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.–Jude:1-4 (NLT)
​Jude​ opens his letter with great humility. He identifies himself as a slave of Jesus Christ, which is how we should all feel. He further identifies himself as a brother of James. This James is thought to be the half-brother of Jesus which would mkae Jude a half-brother of Jesus as well. They all have the same mother, Mary, but, of course, Jesus has a different Father. His heart is to deliver a message of salvation to the unknown community of people that he is addressing. But, because some false teachers had started teaching that God’s grace allows us to go on sinning as much and as often as we want to, he feels it is much more important to rebuke these teachers and correct their teaching. These teachers had not had a real experience of salvation that changed them from their sinful ways, they were not “new creatures” in Christ Jesus. While forgiveness and grace are certainly there for those of us who fall, it is not meant to allow us to live a sinful lifestyle. This would be in direct conflict with Romans 6:
1​ Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.–Romans 6:1-4​ ​(NLT)
​Those who do these sinful things and teach this false doctrine are making a mockery of God’s grace that He has shown to us. As we are told in Galatians 6:
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.– Gal. 6:7,8 (NLT)
​So we must stand firm in what we know to be the truth. When we accept Jesus, we are no longer slaves to the flesh, we are “New creations” and now we are slaves to Christ Jesus and we walk in the Spirit. Do not be deceived by every “new” philosophy that comes along. Stand on the Rock and teach the Truth, even though it is no longer popular to do the right thing.
Post 10-14-14

Moving Toward Maturity

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.—Hebrews 6:1-3 (NLT)
​Paul​ is again emphasizing that even new Christians should understand that salvation requires repentance, which is more than turning away from sin, it is also turning to something new and that is Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in God. We know that we should be baptized as an outward representation of what we believe in our hearts. It is symbolic of dying to sin and our fleshly desires and being resurrected to a new life in Jesus. We understand that after the resurrection, some will go on to eternal life with Jesus and others to eternal life in hell. What we need now is to understand what Jesus wants us to do until the time of our physical death. He wants us to follow His example and lead a lifestyle that draws others to Christ. He sent His Holy Spirit to lead us “into all truth”. We should be like the Psalmist
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (NLT)
post 07-21-14