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Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
The Faith Delivered unto the Saints (Part 14)
". . . the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3
May God bless you all!
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:
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ,
that ye should earnestly contend for
the faith which was once delivered unto
called. Mercy unto you, 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.
Abraham's Kind of Faith
This is the last of this series concerning the "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The goal? To, therefore, put you in remembrance!
Consider these three sections of Scripture that describe Abraham's faith:
Romans 4:9, 12-13, 16:
this blessedness then upon the circumcision
, or upon the
uncircumcised also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. . . . And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which
uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should
be the heir of the world,
not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but
through the righteousness of faith. . . . Therefore
of faith, that
it might be
grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Galatians 3:7-9, 14:
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham,
, In thee shall all
nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. . . . That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Hebrews 11:8, 17:
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place
which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. . . . By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten
Consider the world he lived in:
Few, if any, in his time believed in one God, and if there were any, He had no name to call on.
So many gods and idols in Canaan and Syria where he grew up.
No law from God from which to study or obey; only customs and morals.
Flood stories may have already started to be forgotten or corrupted.
Surrounding peoples were already entering into various forms of debauchery.
Child sacrifice was already practiced.
Slavery was prevalent with the village attacks and conquering occurring.
Multiple wives and slave concubines were common.
Potentially, no one else was there who could help encourage or confirm God's calling. He was literally alone - something we don't have to bear today with so many believers.
Along comes a voice that he may have never heard and tells him that He is God, and that he needs to get up, leave everything, and travel to a land he has never seen or know where it is and won't until God shows it to him. Abram, married to his half-sister, gathers his livestock, his servants, Sara, and his father, Terah, and marches west. Possibly no one to verify that he really heard God, or if to him this was a "new" God, that He even existed.
Faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteouness.
Abraham had to trust and wait for long periods of time.
Abraham believed even before he entered into God's covenant.
Abraham believed the promised of God through the righteousness of faith (not law or covenant practices).
We are able to partake of the same blessing as we also act as Abraham and walk in faith.
Those of us who walk by faith are children of Abraham.
We are a result of Abraham's faith and, as Gentiles, were included in those original promises that God gave Abraham.
The blessings of Abraham are imputed upon us through our faith in Jesus Christ.
Abraham obeyed God without knowing where or why - walking by faith and not by sight.
Abraham did something I doubt that we will ever be asked to do - sacrifice his only son of promise. He exhibited loyalty and trust as described in last month's articles.
Our Faith Walk Today
The world is closing in on Jews and Christians today, and it is only going to get worse. Here in the United States, we still have our freedoms (for now) and can still worship freely in churches of our choice. We can still share the gospel with others. Many believers throughout the world do not live so. Beheadings, beatings, slavery, sexual abuse, (sold as sex slaves), jobs lost, unable to buy or sell, homes burned down, on the run, torture, indoctrination of young children, and much more. World-wide persecution is ramping up. Here, various political leaders want to tax churches, limit what they say and teach (claiming hate speech), invoke sanctions and limitation regarding what we can believe (we are all homophobes and racists in their minds). Stop us from participating in the election process and censoring our words and opinions on social media because they don't agree with us, and because they hate God.
Some have even been beaten and killed in the United States today for their faith.
Are you a modern Abraham today? Can you . . .
Walk alone when no one else follows and stay true to God?
Wait on the Lord until He says go and not try to race ahead of Him or do things your way?
Give up some precious things/relationships/jobs because He asked you to?
Go to a far country you have never seen and can't speak the language if He asks you to?
Stop participating in activities that are compromising and damaging to your faith?
Can you obey His precepts (the Commands of Christ) even if you don't understand them (obey first and understand later)?
Are you willing to die for Him? Can you be a living sacrifice for Him?
Can you be a
for Him? (bondservant)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think
more highly than he ought to think; but
to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who,
being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even death of the cross."
Can you be a modern day Abraham?
Here are some key points buried in the verses listed above regarding Abram/Abraham's faith.