Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
The Faith Delivered unto the Saints (Part 8)
". . . 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)
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation. (Original work published 1890)
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.
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:
#8 Living by Faith
Jude's exhortation reminds me of Paul's statements regarding faith, specifically the following:
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written,
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:
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, 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?" Who is the just? What does "walk" even mean?
This article will concentrate on the phrase that appears four times in the Scripture.
Let's look first at the words involved in Hebrew:
. . . From H6663;
:- just, lawful, righteous (man)"
. . . A prim root (compare H2331, H2424); to
literally or figuratively; causatively to
:- keep (leave, make), alive, X certainly,
give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (X God) save (alive, life, lives), X surely, be whole" (Strong's H2421).
. . . Feminine of H529; literally
:- faith (-ful, -ly, -ness, [man]), set office, stability, steady, truly, truth, verily"
The Septuagint renders Habakkuk 2:4b: "[B]ut . . . the just shall live by . . . my faith" (Breton, 1999, p. 1107).
The Hebrew transliteration is: "But a righteous man by his faithfulness will he live" (Gilbrant,
A little expanded: "Who breaths out faithfulness, shows forth faithfulness, a righteous man by his faithfulness lives."
Faith and faithfulness are in many cases synonymous with each other and do share the same root word.
What does it all mean?
Conclusion: The just shall live by faithfulness - The righteous shall live a life of faithfulness - The saved will behave faithfully.
Can we tie faith and faithfulness together?
Hebrews 10:23: ". . . [H]old fast the profession of
faith without wavering . . ."
2 Timothy 2:13: "If we believe not,
he abideth faithful, he cannot deny himself."
We often err when we take a favorite passage - life it out of its context - and quote only that verse. It eventually takes on a life and meaning of its own.
2 Timothy warnings to "do" these things - faithfully:
Depart from iniquity
Flee youthful lusts
Call on God
Keep a pure heart
2 Timothy 3:14: "But continue thou . . . ."
2 Timothy 3:17: ". . . man of God may be perfect [mature] . . . ."
2 Timothy 4:7: "I have kept the faith" (Read that: I have been faithful).
. . . I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
Here the psalmist is praising God for His faithfulness. It is forever! It will not fail! Promises made will be fulfilled!
Words like: faithfulness, steadfastness, established, faithful, covenant, sworn by my holiness, strengthen, righteousness and justice and other words make it clear that God is faithful. That same faithfulness is being built into every Christian.
Faith will shape your behavior
- causing faithfulness as a result. It drives your
Faith drives your habit
- it will result in lifestyle changes, in changed thought
patterns, new activites, dropping old activities.
Faith forces faithfulness
- if it is true faith and not just mental "belief."
Let me close with a humorous but poignant story. It points out the faith this solider had (albeit misplaced) that drove his behaviors and habits:
The soldier in boot camp kept looking at every piece of paper he saw: on the ground, on desks, tacked to trees, loose papers in books. It was an obsession. After a few seconds of examination of each sheet, piece, or scrap of paper he would sigh, "That's not it," and toss it down. Whenever asked what he was doing, he simply replied, "I'm looking for a sheet of paper." "What sheet of paper?" "I don't know; I'll know when I see it."
After numerous talks with his superiors, the chaplain, and the psychologist, it was determined that he required a medical discharge. He was not fit for the army and was dangerous to himself and the troops. It was said that on the day of his discharge, as he was processing out, that he exclaimed the moment they handed him his discharge papers, "That's it!" He rolled up the paper, smiled, and walked out. (Unknown)
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.
Wordsearch Bible. [computer software] . Nashville, TN: LifeWay Christian Resources. (Original work published 1990)
The Complete Biblical Library Interlinear Bible.
World Library Press. (2019).
The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English
by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton,
copyright (originally published 1851) 8th printing: 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Complete Biblical Library Interlinear Bible
Psalm 89 is a thesis on God's faithfulness and our faith.