Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
The Faith Delivered unto the Saints (Part 4)
". . . 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)
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to
faith: as it is written.
Jude's exhortation reminds me of Paul's statements regarding faith, specifically the following:
The just shall live by faith
" (bold added).
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God,
The just shall live by faith
" (bold added).
the just shall live by faith:
my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (bold added).
These are actually quotes from an Old Testament prophet: Habakkuk.
"Behold, his soul
is lifted up is not upright in him:
the just shall live by his faith
" (bold added).
God was speaking to Habakkuk, and He was comparing two kinds of people: the person who is proud (lifted up) and the just. As the prophecy goes, the proud will fail, will fall, and ultimately be destroyed (possibly in the afterlife). But the just is one who walks by faith. Faith in what? How does he "walk by faith?" We learn the following from Hebrews:
"Now faith is the
of things hoped for, the
of things not seen" (bold added).
A few definitions:
From a compound of
means sub, below something, under.
abide, establish. Together they form a new word that means a
that is, (figuratively) concretely
, or abstractly
subjectively):- confidence, confident, person, substance (Strong's G5287). Another way to say it: that which I stand upon, that which I have confidence in (derived from Strong's G5287, G5259 & G2476).
(G1651) which means to admonish, convict,
convince, rebuke, reprove (Strong's G1651). With the sigma added to the end of the word(s), it becomes
- evidence, reproof (Strong's G1650).
So together, substance and evidence can be said to provide the ground I stand upon and the evidence of my convictions. Let's say I am a policeman, and I arrive at a crime scene with no witnesses and no criminal present. However, I see a broken window - glass mostly on the inside of the building. I see men's size 12 footprints leading up to the window outside in the dirt - fresh, the space and depth indicate a walking man. There is blood on some of the glass pieces which is found to be type A+. The safe has been broken into - the lock badly damaged, and the door has crowbar damage on the edge. A crowbar lies on the floor nearby. The safe has some insurance papers, no money, and an empty pearl necklace case including the label of a certain jeweler with a description of an 18" pearl necklace. My forensics guy tells me that the depth of the shoeprint in the moist (not wet) soil indicates someone in the 235 to 255 lb range.
I can therefore conclude that I am looking for a male around 245 lb, size 12 feet, with some kind of cut on his body, and type A+ blood. Altogether, the evidence provides the substance of my conclusion. I can mentally see the crime. A big guy, at night, walks over to the window, knowing the family is out. He takes the crowbar and smashes the window, clears away some of the jagged glass cutting himself in the process on the arm or wrist. Since the crowbar has no fingerprints, he must be wearing gloves. Finally, he clears enough glass to shimmy through the window, find the safe, and break the lock with his crowbar. Then he opens the safe and steals at least the pearl necklace and possibly any cash. He drops the crowbar, leaves via the side door which can be locked and pulled shut. He then walks down the driveway and is gone - no additional footprints leaving the scene.
Do I have reasonable conclusions based on the body of evidence I have collected?
So what is Faith?
The Bible provides incredible eye witness account of what Christ did for us. Nevertheless, we have not seen him. Christ left us commands, encouragements, exhortations, doctrine to live by, promises, and wisdom, and still we have not seen Him face to face nor spoken to Him face to face. To understand the concept of walking by faith, we need to have an opposite to compare it to. There are several we can choose from: faith versus unbelief, faith versus my own strength, faith versus actual sight. We will use sight.
We all walk about by sight (even the blind have aids that replace their sight). We sit on chairs that look sound. We drive on roads well marked. We eat food we recognize (most of the time) from a plate. We see our family members and know them. We know their voices, etc. The world we live in is navigated by us every day by sight - what we can see, touch, hear, smell, taste, etc.
To walk by faith is to navigate based on promises given to us without being able to see the results beforehand. I remember that scene of Indiana Jones going after the Holy Grail. At one point he had to step out into nothing over a very deep chasm. His eyes said, "DEATH!" Yet the instructions he was told to follow basically said, "Step out on faith and it will carry you across." He did and found himself on a bridge which blended in so well, it couldn't be seen (
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
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, and tidbits concerning the "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The goal? To, therefore, put you in remembrance.
Lucas, G., Marshall, F. (Executive Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1989).
Jones and the Last Crusade
[Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures &
means to stand,
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation. (Original work published 1890)
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.
If you are a believer in Christ and have accepted the free gift of salvation that is available to us via His accomplished work on the cross, you are then a member of what the Bible calls the "just." The just shall live by faith. The more I dig into the body of evidence (the Bible), the more I am standing firmly on the truths described in it and firmly conclude that God's promises are solid, non-revocable, don't time out, are eternal, and by them I try very hard to walk therein. I live by faith that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.