Summary: Press ahead, persevere and persist in His grace.
FIGHTING FOR TRUTH
Text: Jude 17-25
What is truth? We hear that question ringing from pages of Holy Scripture.
One source tell us that the word truth is found 237 times in the King James
version of the Holy Bible. Pilate asked this question of Jesus in the Gospel of
John chapter 18 and verse 38.
For us truth is that evasive, intangible, yet necessary quality that separates
men from beasts. Truth is the opposite of all that is deemed false.
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Now there are those
that deny the existence of Jesus The Christ. They also deny any allegiance
to truth. Those who do that are wrong, incorrect, and misguided.
In John 17:17 Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father: "Sanctify them through
thy truth: thy word is truth." Now God’s Word has been made available to
human kind through and by oral dissemination, written texts, and empirically
as one looks at the heavens. The heavens declare the Lord’s handiwork
(Ps. 19:1) and His handiwork declares truth.
Our text addresses specifically the truths of salvation and faith; two vital
links to sinful man’s restoration to his Holy God and Creator.
As believers Jude said that it is incumbent to contend for the faith. Faith
in that body of truth dispensed to us from Jesus Christ, the Word of God,
and the Holy Spirit of God. God’s truth, rightly presented, will overcome
all darkness of demonic deceit. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus abides within
the saints. Greater is He that is within us than he that is within the world.
In Jude’s day salvation that great future hope of Jesus’ return was being
undermined by those who did not share such hope. Faith was being
eroded by those who denied that it was given to the Church once for all.
Those nay-sayers thought that Christian freedom meant license to do
whatever they wanted to do (false doctrine of antinomianism).
If this sermon had a theme it would be;
"Press ahead, persevere and persist in His grace."
In Jude verses 1-19 he explained why we should struggle
or contend or fight to preserve the doctrine that we have.
He indicated: our faith tells of our full salvation both now and
in the future. It is complete. All that we need is available.
Our faith will be challenged by the opposition of false teachers.
Those scoffers, dreamers, and godless will be active.
Jude 20-25 describes the how. How to contend: look inward,
look outward, look upward.
Looking inwardly we find we must take care of ourselves--taking
care that we are properly centered on God and His Gospel
(Please see this contributor’s sermon The Gospel of Jesus Christ
at www.sermoncentral.com ).
We can inculcate and come to value some vital things as we look
inwardly. Four are specifically beneficial: The Word, prayer, love,
From the outset there has been a recognizable and defensible gospel.
Galatians 1:9,11--As we said before, so say I now again, If any
[man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received,
let him be accursed. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel
which was preached of me is not after man.
In Christ’s Church there must be constant individual and corporate growth.
The Word of God enables one to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
It is advantageous for our praying to be in the Spirit. Counterfeit leaders
do not have the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Spirit keeps us steady in
faith and hope.
Jude desired that believers keep themselves in God’s love-that
umbrella of protection from the assaults of enemies. God’s love
compels us (2 Cor. 5:14). It constrains us to grasp how wide and long
and deep is the love of Christ (Eph. 3:18). We are to remain in Christ’s
love as He remains in the Heavenly Father’s love (John 15:10-11).
God’s love is fixed and is promised in His Covenant. We must not
incur His anger by positioning ourselves outside of it.
"Faith looks back to a Crucified Savior.
Love looks up to a Crowned Savior.
Hope looks on to a Coming Savior."
The saints’ hope is to be placed in the merciful God. A story is
Years after the death of President Calvin Coolidge, this story came to light. In the early days of his presidency, Coolidge awoke one morning in his hotel room to find a cat burglar going through his pockets. Coolidge spoke up, asking the burglar not to take his watch chain because it contained an engraved charm he wanted to keep. Coolidge then engaged the thief in quiet conversation and discovered he was a college student who had no money to pay his hotel bill or buy a ticket back to campus. Coolidge counted $32 out of his wallet -- which he had also persuaded the dazed young man to give back! -- declared it to be a loan, and advised the young man to leave the way he had come so as to avoid the Secret Service! (Yes, the loan was paid back.)