Summary: Living Holy In A Godless World
Contending For The Faith
(Living Holy in a Godless World)
Bishop David Ibeleme
Perilous are the times we live in – 2 Tim. 3:1ff; 1 Tim. 4:1-2.
Paul in his writings to Timothy his son indicated that the days they were living in were indeed perilous and laden with godlessness.
He clearly emphasized to him that Christians were involved in warfare whether they were aware of it or not – 1 Tim. 1:18ff.
He spoke about fighting the good fight of faith – 1 Tim. 6:12ff.
These sentiments were also enunciated in his letter to the Philippians where he urged them to literally work out their own salvation – Phil. 2:11ff.
He acknowledged the difficulties they faced living in a godless and hostile world and still encouraged them not to compromise their stand – Phil. 2:15-16.
We certainly live in a similar world today, facing the same challenges which I dare say are even more sophisticated.
This is because of the increase in knowledge prophesied by Daniel – Dn. 12:4.
The question is how can we deal with these pressures and continue to please God amidst such difficulties?
For our answer we turn to the book of Jude, a book written by one of the brothers of our Lord Jesus Christ – Matt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3.
The Setting in the Book of Jude;
The book was written at a time of great apostasy, when many false teachers were infiltrating the church and turning many of the faithful away.
Jude used seemingly harsh language to describe and speak against the false teachers.
He also challenged the believers to do everything in their power not only to weather the storm but also to help others do the same and to even reach out to non Christians.
Christianity was described here as “the faith” hence the admonition to earnestly contend for it – Jude 1:3.
We are definitely living in the same setting today.
What not to do;
1. Trivialize your Christianity – v3.
What we have is very precious.
Though it is common to all, it must never be “commonized”.
Hence it is worth fighting for.
2. Compromise your stand that Jesus is the only way – v4; Jn. 14:6ff.
We live in a world of political correctness.
It is the acceptable norm to view Jesus as one of the ways rather than as the only way to the father.
We must never compromise our stand that He is the (not a) way.
3. Walk in unbelief and doubt – v5; Heb. 11:6.
Physical evidence and circumstance will seek to prevail over us.
We must reject this and stay in faith in and to God.
Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world – 1 Jn. 5:4.
4. Dishonour spiritual things or beings – v8.
Irrespective of the state of spiritual things or beings we must be careful to maintain respect for them.
This is the way to stay conscious of the realm of the spirit.
You cannot cast the devil to hell or abyss – Mk. 5:1-14; Matt. 8:28-34.
5. Judge things in the flesh – v10; 2 Cor. 5:16.
Stay in the spirit.
Don’t be moved by the state of things in the physical or in the flesh.
We walk by faith not by sight – 2 Cor. 5:7.
Staying in the spirit makes you more godly since God judges things in the in the spirit not in the flesh like men do.
6. Not tithe or give offerings faithfully – v11; Gen. 4.
Cain’s problem was not giving an acceptable offering.
An acceptable offering begins with the tithe.
No man who doesn’t tithe can truly please God – Mal. 3:7-10.
By tithing we put God first and demonstrate our faith in His financial system.
7. Love money – v11; Matt.6:24ff; 1 Tim. 6:10, 17.
Balaam’s problem was his love for money.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
Neither are we to submit God’s gifts to money or sell it for it – Acts 8:18-24.
Remember that the love of money is the root of ALL (not some) EVIL.
8. Disrespect authority and do things for vain glory – v11; Num. 16.
One of the easier ways heresy manifests, is in rebellion to godly authority.
No talent or gifting of yours makes you an alternative to the godly authority over your life.
Disrespect for godly authority never leads to progress – Heb. 13:17.
Always be humble under God’s set order – 1 Cor. 12:28; 1 Pet. 5.
9. Murmur or Complain – v16.
Murmuring is a manifestation of lack, weakness and or inability.