Today, Wednesday October 27
Do You Know What You Believe?
Jude 1:3-4 “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The name Jude (Judah) means "praise," and he was anxious to praise God and rejoice in the salvation God gives in Jesus Christ. Jude says here that he was planning on writing on some facet of our salvation. It could have been on redemption, on the person of Christ, on sanctification, or any number of themes, but he didn't write on any of those themes because he, "found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” The thought here is that the Holy Spirit detoured Jude from writing on some theme of the faith in order that he might sound a warning concerning the impending apostasy.
The apostasy is a departure from the faith, that is, from the apostles' doctrine. Apostasy was just a little cloud the size of a man's hand in Jude's day, but now it is a storm of hurricane force that fills the land. As Jude writes about the apostasy that was coming on the earth, we can see that many of the things he mentions are already taking place in the world in our day. My friend, the apostasy is not something we are looking forward to; the apostasy is here. It is all about us today.
“The faith" refers to that body of doctrine that was given by God through the Apostles to the church. The word doctrine is found at least sixteen times in the Pastoral Epistles alone. Paul admonished both Timothy and Titus to make sure the believers were being taught "sound doctrine," which means "healthy doctrine," doctrine that promotes the spiritual health of the local church. While individual teachers and preachers may disagree on the fine points of theology, there is a basic body of truth to which all true Christians are committed.
This body of truth was delivered (Jude 3) to the saints. The word means "to be entrusted with." The church collectively, and each Christian personally, has a stewardship to fulfill. "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak" (1 Thessalonians 2:4). God committed the truth to Paul (1 Timothy 1:11), and he shared it with others, such as Timothy (1 Timothy 6:20). He exhorted Timothy to entrust the Word to other faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2). You and I would not have the Word today were it not for faithful believers down through the ages who guarded this precious deposit and invested it in others.
To stand up against the false teachers, the “apostates”, we must know what we believe about the Bible by knowing what is in the Bible! Our faith is not a “blind faith”, it is truth based on reality! The reality of God and His Son Jesus Christ! It is so sad that the false teachers today, going door to door to find and deceive new converts, know more about the Bible than most genuine believers do in our churches today!
May the Lord give us the grace and discipline to read and study our Bibles more diligently and consistently.