Summary: Faith is built up in our lives as we learn to pray in the Holy Spirit, Keep ourselves in the love of God, learn to wait, reach out with the Gospel to the lost and by having a hatred of evil’s corruptions.
Faith, that’s the way it goes!
Thesis: Faith is built up in our lives as we learn to pray in the Holy Spirit, Keep ourselves in the love of God, learn to wait, reach out with the Gospel to the lost and by having a hatred of evil’s corruptions.
Jude 20-25 NIV
20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 20-25: The Message
But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.
We have been exploring the book of Jude. Jude reminds us how important - urgent it is to contend for the faith and fight against the attacks of evil on us personally, on our family, on our friends, on our local community and on our nation. Last week we learned the following from Jude:
• Contend for the Faith – Fight for it, hold on to the truth in spite of what others do!
• Stay away from Evil – Don’t play with it! It will bite you.
• Learn to recognize what sin looks like and acts like so you can stay away from it.
• Never allow sin to influence your choices in life.
Jude now progresses on in his letter exhorting the Christians to build up their faith. He then lists a series of things we can all do to build up and strengthen our faith.
But before we enter into his list on how to build our faith we need to make sure everyone here knows what faith is. I heard a story of a young Christian who was witnessing to a Buddhist and he was sharing the importance of having faith in God. He quoted the famous verse Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” After quoting this verse he started to gloat thinking, “I got him.” The Buddhist then looked at him puzzled and said, “What does that mean?” He then thought I’m not sure!
T.S. – So before I go any further in Jude I want to make sure that everyone here is clear what faith is.
1. What is Holy Faith?
a. Holman defines FAITH: Trusting commitment of one person to another, particularly of a person to God. Faith is the central concept of Christianity. One may be called a Christian only if one has faith.
i. Holman adds: Our English word “faith” comes from the Latin fides, as developed through the Old French words fei and feid. In Middle English (1150-1475) “faith” replaced a word that eventually evolved into “belief.” “Faith” came to mean “loyalty to a person to whom one is bound by promise or duty.” Faith was fidelity. “Belief” came to be distinguished from faith as an intellectual process having to do with the acceptance of a proposition. The verb form of “faith” dropped out of English usage toward the end of the sixteenth century.
ii. Faith is defined in Hebrews the following way: Hebrews 11:1 “1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
iii. Faith is absolute trust in the Lord God Almighty. Years ago in Bible College I was taught that Faith is trusting without doubt in the Lord. This trust in God is grown, strengthened, matured as we go through life and experience and understand that God is predictable in the way it assists us in our lives.