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The Faith Delivered unto the Saints (Part 11)

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". . . the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3
May God bless you all!
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Jude, perhaps frustrated that so many believers of the Way now being called Christians by the world, would be enticed and deceived to fall back into both the ways of the world and old failed religious practices, has penned a short, and to the point, letter. Look whom he addresses:
Maranatha Emanuel!
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ,
you
that ye should earnestly contend for
the faith which was once delivered unto
the saints.
called. Mercy unto you, and
and
peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort
- Jude 1:1-3 (bold added)
So far we have looked at several topics related to the faith once delivered to the saints.
I hope to continue to share principles, truths, tidbits concerning the "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The goal? To, therefore, put you in remembrance!
This article will explore another topic regarding this faith, and that is that of "
victory
that overcomes the world
."
First, let's look at the one and only place where this phrase appears but with all the verses around it for proper context:
1 John 5:1-5:
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even
our faith. Who is he that overcometh the
world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
John is discussing the love of the believers for one another with evidence predicated on the fact that we love God (for He saved us), and, therefore, we must also love the brethren. I wish it were always true. Let's dive into this section of Scripture by repeating it but expanding the meaning of certain words. My emphasis won't be on the love we ought to have for one another but, instead, on having an overcoming faith - the same faith (and only faith) that was once delivered to the saints (all believers).
First a few key definitions:
Overcome(th):
is the Greek word
nikao
(Strong's G3528) and it means to subdue,
to conquer, to prevail, get the victory. I note that the shortened form of the word is spelled in English letters "
nike
" (Look familiar? An appropriate name for a
sportswear company, don't you think?). All of the
overcomeths
in this passage are
the word
nikao
.
Love(th):
is
Agape
(Strong's G26) (
Agapao
, Strong's G25) and, of course, is the
self-sacrificing love that originates from God.
Keep:
is the Greek word
tereo
(Strong's G5083) and means to hold, value, keep,
observe, keep eyes on, guard, protect, watch, hold fast, and ultimately obey. God knows that we are not perfect and that we sin. I note that He didn't choose the Greek word
hypakouo
for obey or some other Greek words that are closer to obey
as we understand it in English. He chose this one.
Commandment:
the Greek word is
entole
(Strong's G1785) and means an
injunction, a prescription, a precept, doctrine, or teaching; those statements from Christ that are imperatives (to be listened to and carried out in our lives).
Not Grievous:
(
ou-barus
, Strong's G3756 and G926) means simply weighty,
burdensome, heavy, too much to bear. Jesus says that His commands are not a burden to follow; indeed, they give us liberty over sin!
Now let's go a little deeper into this passage:
1 John 5:1-5:
Whosoever [
that would be, in this case, all who believe
] believeth that Jesus is
the Christ is born of God [
He is called the first born - not as in actual birth, but
in birth order, as in the one to inherit the throne: Romans 8:29
]: and every one
that should be all of us who are believers
] that loveth [
self-sacrificing love
] him
that begat [
the parent - God
] loveth him also that is begotten of him [
the kids,
all who are believers in Christ
]. By this we know [
Strong's G1097: ginosko -
absolute knowledge
] that we love [
agape
] the children of God [
believers
], when
agape
we love [
] God, and keep [
guard, value, observe
] his commandments
doctrine
]: and his commandments
[
precepts and teachings
] are not grievous [
not a burden or heavy
]. For
whatsoever is born of God [
again, this is the Church - the believers
] overcometh
[
gets the victory over
] the world: and this is the victory [
victory, subdue,
precepts and teachings
[
]. For this is the love [
agape
] of God, that we keep
guard, observe, watch
[
] his commandments [
conquest over
] that overcometh [
victory, subdue, conquest over
] the world,
even
our faith [
Strong's G4102: pistis - faith
]. Who is he that overcometh the
world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Now let's do a deep dive into this section of Scripture - working backwards:
1.
Who is he that overcomes the world?
He that has victory over the world,
world pressures, world temptations, world's hate, etc. can only be the one who is equipped to do so with spiritual tools and power that only comes from Christ.
2.
When can we overcome the world?
Whenever we submit to God and resist
the devil (James 4:7). Believers have the tools, power, and authority to conquer their sins, temptations, trials, and tests; but only through Christ's power. The world's children cannot overcome; because they are of the world and promote what we must fight against in our lives. We submit to God and then resist the devil or temptation. We do this by His power, not ours.
3.
What gives us the victory?
Even our faith; the faith once delivered to the
saints; the faith we have that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, lived a perfect life, died for our sins in our place, and was raised from the dead in total victory over sin and death.
4.
How do we know we are walking in faith?
I submit two evidences that we are
walking by faith in this world, and, therefore, have the tools, power, and authority to overcome the world.
1)
We keep His commandments. That is, we listen, cherish, follow, guard, and otherwise try to obey His teachings. What kind of disciple is it that listens and then forgets the master? If you were a lineman, and you have just gone through eight weeks of training on how to safely repair broken live wires and lines with lots of killing voltages, would you, then, ignore those teachings and safety rules once out in the field? I think not - unless you have a death wish. You observe them, obey them, or else ignore them to your peril.
2)
We love the brethren as well as we love God. I am not talking mushy, huggy, sloppy, gushy love, but self-sacrificing love; the kind of love that lays down our lives for the brethren as Christ did for us. We bear each other's burdens, pray for, and fellowship with each other. We do not forsake the gathering together with each other. We are pleased to see and enjoy one another's company.
Faith that overcomes the world (and a sinful lifestyle) is the kind of faith that loves God, loves and fellowships with the believers, and studies the Word of God so that you can know God, know His character, know His desires for you, know His plans for you, and, as our commanding General, provide the daily battle plans we all need. (By the way, the best way to get battle plans for the day is at the start of the day in prayer and study, not at the end!)
[
References
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation. (Original work published 1890)
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Strong, J.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.