Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
The Faith Delivered unto the Saints (Part 3)
". . . 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,
- Jude 1:1-3 (bold added)
that ye should earnestly contend for
the faith which was once delivered unto
Our Faith is Under Constant Attack
First, what is our faith? 1 Corinthians summarizes it like this:
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that [(i)] Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And [(ii)] that he was buried, and [(iii)] that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; And [(iv)] that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After [(v)] that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, [(vi)] he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And [(vii)] last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
So what is the basis of the attack?
Not a gift - has to be earned (works - when will you know you worked enough to earn salvation?)
You can lose your salvation (must not be eternal then).
Only 144,000 will get in (what happened to "whosoever will"?)
We must obey the Law (can't be done - that is why Christ had to do it for us).
Why can't I get to Heaven my way? (And that is???)
My good outweighs my bad (Sorry - scales are not used by God - even one sin makes you a sinner.)
The system is not fair! (No, you're right - it is instead Just!)
There are many ways to God and Heaven (Really, the Bible tells us that there is but one name under Heaven by which men may be saved - and that is the name of Jesus Christ).
And so the attacks come . . .
However, we believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again in victory, and was seen by (witnessed by) a bunch of people. We further believe the following:
Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:10-12: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Romans 6:23a: "For the wages of sin
Romans 6:23b: "but the gift of God
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 5:8-9: "But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 5:1-2: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Let's see if I have this right:
1) We are all sinners (you and I) and are far short of God's glory, holiness, and righteousness.
2) We are not even able to seek God without His help, we are so sinful.
3) God has set the wages for a sinner's life as death. We deserve death (both physically and spiritually) because of our willful sins.
4) However, God has a plan to save us. He gives us salvation as a gift paid for with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. The gift includes eternal life and total forgiveness of sins!
5) We also see that this substitutional act is an act of total love on God's part, and that with it we receive total justification (just as if we had not sinned) from Him.
6) So how do we receive this free eternal gift? We call on His name, we believe the truth of what Christ has done for us, and we confess the truth with our voice. Simple - yet difficult because to do so we must believe that He is and that the promise of salvation is true!
7) Once saved, we are not to be ashamed. We are new creatures! We are now justified before God! There will no longer be any condemnation before Him when we stand before His Judgment Seat.
8) Now we have the power to walk after God's Spirit - no longer controlled by the flesh! The law of sin and death for us has been set aside - powerless! So we need to live like it!
9) Paul (and myself) now KNOW (we are persuaded) that nothing can dissolve, break, hinder, separate, destroy, or otherwise diminish the relationship we have with God through Christ - one of love and power.
If you believe these things - happy (excited, merry, blessed, joyful, cheerful, blissful) are you who do these things (live like you believe it)!
I hope to share over the next many months principles, truths, tidbits, concerning the "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The goal? To, therefore, put you in remembrance.
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