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The Faith Delivered unto the Saints (Part 7)

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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)
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.
So far we have looked at several topics related to the faith once delivered to the saints. They are:
#1: Why do we so quickly turn from the gospel and create heresies?
#2: Common gospel and called to be saints
#3: Our faith is under constant attack
#4: The just shall live by faith
#5 The mystery of our faith
#6: Judaizers, Gnostics, 2 Peter 1:15-21, Jesus Only, Mormons, legalists, venial and mortal sins
This article will explore another topic regarding this faith, and that is:
#7 Growing faith to faith
Jude's exhortation reminds me of Paul's statements regarding faith, specifically the following:
Romans 1:17:
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written.
The just shall live by faith
" (bold added).
Galatians 3:11:
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God,
it is
evident: for,
The just shall live by faith
" (bold added).
Hebrews 10:38:
"Now
the just shall live by faith
: but if
any man
draw back,
my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (bold added).
These are actually quotes from an Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk.
Habakkuk 2:4:
"Behold, his soul
which
is lifted up is not upright in him:
but the
just shall live by his faith
" (bold added).
God is speaking to Habakkuk, and He is 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 will 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?"
This article will concentrate on one of the three verses that Paul wrote, Romans 1:17. I will be breaking down the Greek a little to provide you with the background of the words so that the meaning will be clearer and the impact will be more valuable.
First the verse as we know it:
Romans 1:17:
"For therein
G1722-G846
is the righteousness
G1343
of God
G2316
revealed
G601
from faith
G4102
to faith:
G4102
as it is written.
G1125
The just
G1342
shall live
G2198
by faith.
G4102
Finally, for certain words, I will provide the parts of Greek speech: (Stay with me - I won't get too technical . . .)
Romans 1:17:
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from
faith
[genitive singular feminine]
to
faith
[accusative singular feminine]
: as it is
written. The
just
[nominative singular masculine]
shall live
[3rd person
singular indicative future middle]
by
faith
[genitive singular feminine]
."
Finally, I will interpret those bolded words above in an expanded form for a more literal meaning of the verse:
Romans 1:17:
"For therein the righteous of God is being revealed from faith (that I
own) to faith (that I seek): as it is written. But the one who is just by the faithfulness that he owns shall continue to live as long as he exists."
How did I get that expanded verse from the well-known KJV Romans 1:17? Let's look at some of the Greek parts of speech for a moment:
Noun Types:
Singular:
Plural:
Gender in Greek:
Feminine:
A single person, place, or thing unless describing a known group
type. A baseball team in some cases is a collective noun and could be referred to as singular.
Two or more persons, places, or things when not known as a collective
noun (like a baseball team).
female, ladies, women and girls, also often used for something
Masculine:
male, men, boys
Neuter:
objects, neither male nor female
Cases in Greek:
Genitive:
possessive
Nominative:
noun-adjective describing the subject
Accusative:
direct object
Moods in Greek:
Indicative:
used to present an assertion as a non-contingent (or unqualified)
Voices in Greek:
Active Voice:
The subject causes the action
Passive Voice:
I move the car.
The subject experiences the consequences of the action
The car was moved.
Middle Voice:
The subject is part of or all of the action. In other words, the
subject is both the cause and the focus, the agent and experiencer of a verbal action. I moved (myself).
I moved (myself).
Persons in Greek:
1st person:
The person speaking
2nd person:
The person being spoken to
3rd person:
The person being spoken of or about
Tense in Greek:
Past:
As in English, that which happened in the past
Present:
That which is happening now - sometimes refers to a continuous
Future:
That which has not happened but will happen
What does it all mean?
In Romans 1:17, the first use of the word faith is genitive, singular, and feminine. Simply put, genitive (I possess it), singular (only one of us is involved), and feminine (it is an owned object). This first faith is something I currently possess. I own the faith that God has given to me.
The second faith in Romans 1:17 is accusative, singular, and feminine. Singular and feminine have not changed so we'll pass those for the moment. Accusative is a direct object that (in this case) I wish to obtain. When Paul says "from faith to faith" he is telling us that God is revealing in us and to us as we move from the faith we currently possess to the greater faith that we are aiming for.
So what is Faith?
The Bible provides incredible eyewitness accounts 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 or 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 take "sight."
We all have a measure of faith, some more than others. Some have walked with God a lot longer than others. What Paul is encouraging us to do can be summed up accordingly:
Start with the faith that God has given you right now.
Focus on the faith you do not have as yet - that prize of the high calling.
Now, by living by faith, move from the faith you have to greater and greater faith as you walk with Christ and He matures you.
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!
Romans 1:17:
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to
Now I will add the Strong's numbers in case you wish to look up any of these words:
faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith."
owned
statement
action
"
What does it mean to "walk by sight?" Being a little ridiculous, a "sight walker" might say things like: "I've never seen Paris - so I don't believe it exists. All those moon trips are faked by Hollywood - I've never been there. Show me the proof that (name your cause) and then I will believe." We actually take so many things by faith (electricity, medications, various news reports, promises people make us, etc.), and yet, when it comes to spiritual faith, we balk and question its reality - thereby becoming a "walk-by-sight" person. If I don't see it, I won't believe it! (Thank you Thomas for giving us a good example.)