Hola, Bible fans!
This study is very relevant for us today. I know its been a while since I put a study on here. But I was reading a newsletter I get from a friend of mine and found this. It gives a good explanation of what it mean to contend for the Gospel. We don't argue or debate with people. We just present the TRUTH, and it speaks for itself. "tough on principle soft as butter on people."
Another point he brought out, each generation has to establish and carry on the Word to and for their generation, and pass it on to the next, helping them get it established in theirs. Isn't that what Pastor Corey does in the College Rodeo circuit? Isn't that what we do in Church, and Bible Studies? Isn't that what we do with our kids and grandkids? We preach and teach Jesus helping people get saved, healed, delivered, and set free to the glory of God. Then we help them learn how to live in God's kingdom by His way of doing and being right.
We tell others what God has done, is doing, and will do for us, when we live in His Kingdom. We tell them about a good God that loves them and wants them on top, not beneath. We tell them about Jesus, the savior that will not fail them, that died to save them from sin. We help them by getting them to Church and Bible Study where they can get the Word and learn how to start living rather than merely existing.
Let me know what you think. Enjoy!
See you in Church.
The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints
The faith we looked at in the last Sound Out “was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). “Once” could also be translated “once for all.” It is the Greek word, harpax, and it means a single occurrence to the exclusion of any other similar occurrence. It could be rendered “once and for all” or “once and never again.” The Companion Bible has a note suggesting, “once for all” as do many other Bible versions. This word is most illuminating.
It was once delivered. Jude said it had been done. Here we are 2000 years after the faith was first delivered to the saints, and we are surrounded with hundreds of sects and cults who claim to have a new word of revelation that now completes God's word to mankind. Mohammed offered his Koran. Joseph Smith his Book of Mormon. Sun Moon his Divine Principle. Some even consider every contemporary intellectual trend as a suitable replacement for the Bible.
In his last message to the pastors of the church delivered in Ephesus and recorded in Acts 20, Paul warned them that after his departure "fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them" (vv. 29-30). The wolves who pervert the faith are professing believers. They are pastors and church leaders who have forsaken the faith.
There are some striking things about Jude’s instruction. It says first, that our faith is not something that anybody has made up; it was delivered to us. It is not fabricated, or worked up by a collection of individuals. It is one body of truth that was consistently delivered by authoritative persons, the apostles. It has come to us through them. Furthermore, Jude says that it was once for all delivered. It was only given at one time in the history of the world. It does not need any additions. The sense of these words is “once for all turned over for safekeeping.” The Lord has entrusted us with His Word. It is completed and canonized. We must keep it, uncorrupted and intact, for every generation until He returns. This we do by preaching and teaching all of it to every creature, to the gre atest extent we possibly can.
Now some think that contending for the faith means to use the Bible as a club with which to bludgeon people. Such people feel that they need to be very contentious in contending for the faith. But, this is not what Jude has in mind at all. He is simply talking about the need for proclaiming the truth. Regarding which Charles Spurgeon asserted: "The truth is like a lion. Whoever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose and it will defend itself." This is the way the word of God is. If we begin to proclaim it, it will defend itself.
The church is always one generation short of extinction. If our generation fails to guard the truth and entrust it to our children, then that will be the end! When you think of the saints and martyrs who suffered and died so that we might have God’s truth, it makes you want to stand up and take your place beside them being faithful unto death.
We must contend without being contentious and be confident without being arrogant. We must choose winning ways and winning words in the pursuit of winning hearts for Him. We must be tough as nails on the truth, but soft as butter on people. We can refuse to compromise on the truth, but be flexible in our methods, becoming "all things to all men" that by all means we might save some (I Corinthians 9:22).
Finally, note that the safeguarding of the faith was not merely to specially trained theologians or other professionals, but to “the saints.” Every believer is commanded to “earnestly contend for the faith.” “Saints” is the Greek word hagios used of those set apart by the gift of holy spirit. It refers to all born again believers in our administration. They were the recipients of this special delivery package. It had been hidden away until such time as God revealed it to His apostles and prophets. Verse 3 which details the purpose of the epistle begins with “beloved” and ends with “saints.” It is this special group of beloved saints that Jude challenges to “earnestly contend for the faith.” This group includes both you and me. It is time to get busy!