Summary: God has given us a distinct program by which we can build our spiritual muscles.
March 23, 2003
Text: Jude 20-23
Title: Staying Pumped
I know I have really been challenging you folks lately. I have challenged you to step out in the Spirit. I have asked you to forget about religion and move forward in your relationship through the spirit. I have told you we need to produce fruit. I know that I am not telling you anything new. These are things that you have known for a long time. You just need to be reminded of them. I’m not trying to beat you down, but to build you up. How many of you need to be built up? We need a pat on the back once in a while, don’t we? What we really need is, not just knowing what we need, but to knowing how to get there.
Tonight I am going to challenge you in a different way. We are going to look at a passage that tells us how we can be edified and the role we play in doing it.
First of all it is grace that has brought us safe thus far. But faith is the key that unlocked eternal life for us. And this most holy faith that we have is in the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Eternal life is not something we just receive and then go on our merry way as though nothing happened. It requires commitment. Jude gives us a program for spiritual edification and security. I’m not telling you these things in order to be like the Pharisees; that I would heap a bunch of rules and regulations on you and not lift a hand to help you. But I can guarantee that if you follow this program of faith building that you will be edified and you will be changed. Now this program follows the section where Jude was talking about false teachers. So our goal is to get to the point where we can resist false teaching and also spread the gospel.
I. Build yourself up in the most holy faith.
What is "the most holy faith?"
The Gospel message. The revelation of God handed down through the scriptures.
1. studying the word. Meditate on the word day and night. What happens (Joshua 1:8) Then you will be prosperous and successful. Acts 2:42 tells us it’s not just personal study, "They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching" Sometimes we need more than just reading the bible and trying to understand what it means. Maybe you need to be under the authority of a pastor who can help you understand. If you have questions, ask! Look what Hebrews says about study.
Hebrews 5:11-14, "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk and not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." study helps you grow. Operating in the gifts of the Spirit will build us up in the most holy faith. I Corinthians 12:7, "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." If you are part of the church - and you are - then operating in the gifts of the Spirit is not only for the benefit of others, but you benefit also. (for the common good) Total acceptance of the whole Christian faith, the whole body of beliefs we have come to accept, will build you up. Romans 6:17, "But thanks be to God that , though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted."
II. Pray in the Holy Spirit. "For anyone who speaks in a tongue does to speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit." Does praying in the Spirit always mean praying in tongues? It involves praying in the will of the Father. Paul wrote, "I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind." (I Cor. 14:15) Both involve praying under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, but Paul clearly is making a distinction between praying in a known language and praying in tongues. Now there are times when we do not know how to pray. Romans 8:26-27, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will." When we don’t know how to pray we can pray with other tongues and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He takes our prayer, though we don’t understand what we are praying for, and He presents it to God exactly the way it should be presented. I have often teasingly told young guys I work with in construction, "Don’t do what I say. Do what I mean." The Holy Spirit works that way for us.