The Reason We Must Contend For the Faith

Jude 1: 4 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.

To my mind, it can’t be plainer than this:
1. Certain men… and women of course…
2. Crept in unnoticed: They came in, by creeping action low on the ground, not loudly; not obviously dissenting with the gospel; but ever so slightly causing a deviation from the ground up, and perpetuating it until the errors have become loud, and many have become deceived and many lost as a result.
3. They are described as ungodly. They are marked out for condemnation.
4.They have turned grace into lewdness; allowing and excusing every kind of sin and corruption as acceptable because of grace.
5.They deny the only God and his Christ, thereby suggesting alternative pathways and many gospels which in the end cannot save anyone.
Against these we must contend for the faith, to pass it on as the legacy of truth that it is, for the salvation of generations. Faith delivered to us; faith defended by us. The defense of faith is knowing the truth, holding to the truth, and speaking and proclaiming the truth. In fact, Jude, in verse 3, describes himself as being “very diligent to write” to them concerning such. Amen! Therefore, study to show yourself approved…

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To Be Beloved And to Contend

Jude 1:3 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.

You are the beloved. You are called Beloved. Feel the love of God wash all over you, His beloved. Rejection is gone. You and I are beloved because of our common salvation: By grace we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. It is a GIFT from God, given because we believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected, and we have confessed it with our mouths and do confess it! And although we have been gifted beyond measure to be united with Christ, we as the beloved, already saved, NEED to contend earnestly for the faith that has been delivered to us. We need to rise up daily to take a hold of it, receive it, renew it, teach it, defend it and to live vigorously by it. Our faith, delivered and defended!

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Jude: Called, Sanctified, Preserved

Jude 1:1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

There are only 25 verses to the book of Jude, making it a short and compelling message. Jude minces no words and one can hear the clarity and urgency in his message. In these two verses of greeting, I notice first of all, that the mature in Christ must transition in their relationship with God from son-ship to include willing servant-hood. Jude describes himself as a bondservant– a willing slave who does his master’s will. Note that Jude was half-brother to Jesus Christ. What a transition to acknowledge Christ’s deity and become a bondservant to Him.. Jude also describes himself as a brother to James. Brotherhood is having a dynamic horizontal relationship with brethren in Christ– one among the beloved. Believers, no matter whether they are leaders, royalty, clergy or brethren must also keep the horizontal relationship of fellowship. Jude also describes what has happened in our relationship with Christ. We are the CALLED. We are the SANCTIFIED. We are the PRESERVED…( and in all this) by the Father, and in Christ. Furthermore, God’s will toward us is MERCY, PEACE and LOVE in ever increasing measure. Be blessed today in knowing who you are in Christ.

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Divine Call

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

This clear and dramatic picture of a Divine Call exists for everyone who believes. If you are saved, you are called to Christ’s purpose. You may not necessarily have this highly dramatic experience but your call has the same pointers, which is one of the purposes for including Isaiah’s experience in the Bible. Here are the points.

POINTS
1. The king (other than Christ) on the throne of your life must die. (Die to self)
2. Behold the beauty and holiness of the Lord.
3. Confess and renounce iniquity ( misalignment with word)
4. Receive the cleansing (let go guilt, shame, condemnation)
5. Commit to the call.
Often we have to go back and search ourselves and realign with Christ and the call, so that as Paul said, 1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

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LIFE-GIVING HOPE

Romans 5:5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

“If you abide in Me…” These are the words of Christ who would send the Holy Spirit to aid and contain our abiding in Him. The Holy Spirit is the source of the three eternal fruits of the Spirit: Faith, Hope and Love. Thus the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13, “these three remain….” These three describe the Abundant Life that Jesus promises in John 10:10. Thus the enemy comes against it by trying to steal, kill and destroy and in essence bring DISAPPOINTMENT, stealing hope. Disappointment equates to a broken heart— a heart which leaks the goodness of God— always in deficit. And Jesus’s mandate in Luke 4:18-19 is to heal the broken heart. One of the ways we can guard our hearts (Prov 4: 20-25), is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, a way by which God fills us with His love and rest. And Paul said to Timothy, “stir up the gift of God in you.” One sure way of stirring up God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is by praying in tongues, thereby healing your heart, and increasing in Faith, Hope and Love, which spills over in Joy, Peace and Righteousness. Blessings!

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Outward Liberation and Advance

ISAIAH 52:11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
Be clean,
You who bear the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Liberated! Now, make life choices toward God and away from Egypt and Assyria. Absolutely no compromise with the flesh and the world. Daily process your walk of faith. No haste. This is a lifetime journey of listening and learning from the Lord, abiding in Him and His Spirit and letting the word abide in you. And as you live united with the Lord, He will always go before you in your day and your purpose, and He will always be your rear guard, protecting, securing you and all that is yours. You may rest in Him as is written: I will never leave you nor forsake you.

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Internal Liberation

ISAIAH 52:9 Break forth into joy, sing together,
You waste places of Jerusalem!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.

Everything begins in the spirit. Your liberation from captivity is first a spiritual thing. You receive that revelation by faith. Then you walk it by faith. The anointing contained in the revelation has broken the yoke of captivity. You take it off. You know His name. You know He has spoken. Your feet are converted. You are beginning the walk on the mountain paths. Of great importance is your daily thanksgiving, praise and worship which flows out of you like a river. A river of songs; psalms, hymns, and other tongues by which you declare what the Lord has done. For Christ has already accomplished it all on Calvary. It is already done. You are saved, liberated. You are being saved; and you shall be saved in and unto eternity. Walk it out with praise and thanksgiving, among the redeemed, until it  manifests to the world around.

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