Jude – Session 2.4 – The Faith (What is it?)
The reason the faith is under such strong attack is that our adversary, the devil, understands that it is the means by which we resist him!
So far, Jude has been introducing himself and also ensuring people know how much they are loved by God.
Now however, Jude is going to shift gears. He’s about to get very serious. And verse 3 is the key verse of the entire epistle.
This is the key verse of this epistle
Jude sat down and began to write to a group of believers. But who was he writing to? There are two schools of thought on this. Some believe that he was writing to a group of believers in Asia Minor, others think that it may have been written to believers in Israel because of the way Jude assumes his readers have a command of the Old Testament. Either way, we know he was writing to the “Beloved” those loved by God through their relationship with Jesus, and we know Jude sat down, very eagerly he says, and is about to write to them about “the salvation we share”. He could have had any topic in mind, what it was he never states and we probably will never know this side of heaven, but we do know something happened at this point. As he sat down and prepared to write, maybe even started to write something, something happened to him. He was trying to focus on one thing, but then it says he felt compelled.
To be specific, he began to feel a “Divine Compulsion”
(An ang kay’) Compress, pressure, constraint, distress.
The Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 9:16 used this same word:
“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
Have you ever had that feeling where the Holy Spirit puts such a burden on your heart to pray for somebody or do something? That’s what this is talking about.
So here is Jude and he starts to write and then a Red Alert siren goes off in the Spirit. Something is going on in the Body of Christ, the Body is under attack, and Holy Spirit wants it addressed. So the whole course of the letter changes. It now becomes an appeal, a call to arms. The faith is under fire and believers are called to contend for it. But what does that exactly mean? Lets break it down first.
What is he talking about when he uses the term “The Faith”? Is he talking strictly about the gospel?
No, this is a broader term. I think it is critical to understand what the term “The Faith” means. I mean, if we are exhorted and told to earnestly contend for something, I want to know precisely what I am earnestly contending for. I think sometimes people contend over things that have nothing to do with “The Faith” What’s even worse is that they are contentious while they contend, which we’ll talk about later in this verse. So, as I dug into this I found many very solid references in the New Testament that refer to “The Faith” I’ve included them in your handout. (see below) What these verse brought out really clarify why this is so important, and it actually kind of blew me away when I studied these out.
Discoveries about The Faith
-We’re supposed to be obedient to it
-Others can turn people away from it
-Churches have to be established in it
-Some people are weak in it
-To make it through as a Christian you have to stand fast in it
-We’re instructed to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in The Faith
-The long term goal and destiny of the body of Christ is to come into the unity of the Faith
-We must continue in it
-The Spirit warns in the last days that many will give heed to seducing spirits and depart from the faith.
But the one that really blew me away, and I think really shows us how important it is to contend for the faith, for your own faith in “The Faith” and to help others is 1st Peter 5:8-9:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
The reason the faith is under such strong attack is that your adversary, the devil, understands that it is the means by which we resist him!
So, based on some of these verses and our own study, The Faith can be defined as:
“The body of undeniable truths of Christianity as taught in scripture. ”
Before The Bible
Acts 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Before the Bible was put together the way it is now people had to be taught what the indispensable elements of the truth of Christianity were. That’s ‘The Faith’. And so today, now that we have the Bible put together for us when we contend for the faith we are contending for the truths it contains, not the least one being the fact that the Bible itself is the Word of God.
The Apostles Creed
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
11. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
The Faith (KJV)
1. Acts 6:7
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples
multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the
priests were obedient to the faith.
2. Acts 13:8
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation)
withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
3. Acts 16:5
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased
in number daily.
4. Romans 14:1
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful
5. 1 Corinthians 16:13
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
6. 2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own
selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in
you, except ye be reprobates?
7. Ephesians 4:13
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge
of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
stature of the fulness of Christ:
8. 1 Timothy 3:9
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
9. 1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
and doctrines of devils;
10. 1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his
own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
11. 1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some
coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced
themselves through with many sorrows.
12. 2 Timothy 3:8
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist
the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
13. Titus 1:13
This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may
be sound in the faith;
14. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same
afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
FUEL meets Thursday nights at 6:30 in the sanctuary of RockChurch
1081 Upper Spring Bay Road
East Peoria, IL 61611