Jude 3,4:  Fight for the Faith

August 29, 2017

 

My title for this book is “The acts of the apostates.” An apostate is not someone who has never known the truth but someone who knew it and rejected it. One who is not a true believer! He may have even been involved in various religious activities. But because he never truly knew Christ, he was lured away by the enticing voices of false religious systems. Those are the one’s who have “crept in unnoticed” about whom Jude is writing!

 

Jude 3,4: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Jude 3: Fight for, defend vigorously your Christian faith!

 

Verse 3a: “Beloved” in Greek is agape, unconditional, sacrificial love that God is, and what He infuses in His children.

 

1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

 

This divine love is infused into every Christian, so that it is their own, and becomes in them the source of a divine life. Agape is not based on good feelings that might result from a physical attraction or a familial bond. Agape chooses as an act of self-sacrifice to serve the recipient. You love someone when you tell them the truth.

 

Verse 3b: “Diligent” refers to eagerness, earnestness,  willingness or zeal. It denotes quick movement or haste accompanying the eagerness.

 

Verse 3c: “Common salvation,” in Greek is koinos which means “that which is open to all.” Jude is describing the salvation that genuine believers everywhere share.  “Salvation” in Greek is soteria, it describes rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction, peril. In context soteria is deliverance from the slavery to and the consequence of sin and to restoration to a state of safety, health, well being and preservation.

 

Verse 3d: “I found it necessary,” the Greek word for “necessity or necessary” is anagke, and it literally means “to compress.” It refers to an overwhelming feeling of necessity, constraint or compulsion. Because of the attack on the believers to whom he is writing, Jude senses a compelling obligation, pressed upon him by the Holy Spirit to correct the doctrinal errors to which they were being exposed.

 

“Jude had originally intended writing a letter containing a positive presentation of the doctrines of the Christian faith. The Holy Spirit laid upon his heart the necessity of writing in defense of the faith.”

–Wuest

 

Verse 3e: “Exhorting you,” in Greek, parakaleó, from “paraclete,” “called alongside to help, to entreat, admonish, comfort, beseech, beg, admonish, encourage, console.”

 

Verse 3f: “Contend earnestly,” The Greek root is agonize, to fight for, to fight strenuously for, to defend vigorously. Jude is calling for an extreme agony in fighting for your faith.

 

“The simple form of the verb agonizomai, which appears as ‘agonize’ in its English form, was commonly used in connection with the Greek stadium to denote a strenuous struggle to overcome an opponent, as in a wrestling match. It was also used more generally of any conflict, contest, debate, or lawsuit. Involved is the thought of the expenditure of all one’s energy in order to prevail.” –Hiebert

 

“The Greek athletes exerted themselves to the point of agony in an effort to win the contest. With such intense effort does Jude say that saints should defend the doctrines of Christianity.” –Wuest

 

Verse 3g: “The faith.” The sum total of what Christians believe. “The faith” here refers not to the ACT of believing but rather to WHAT is believed, the unchangeable message of the Gospel, that body of Christian truth which brings salvation.

 

Galatians 1:23, “But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”

 

Acts 6:7, “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

 

“The faith” refers to that body of doctrine that was given by God through the Apostles to the church.

 

Verse 3h: “Once for all delivered to the saints.”

 

“Once” in Greek is hapax, it refers to something that is accomplished or completed one time, with lasting results and no need of repetition.

 

“Delivered” conveys the basic meaning of giving over to the power of another, to deliver something to keep, use, take care of, or manage. The idea is that God gave the Christian doctrines to the saints as a deposit of truth to be managed and guarded.

“What do these schools have in common? Harvard, Yale, Columbia, William and Mary, Dartmouth, Princeton. ‘Well,’ you say, ‘They're all colleges.’ You're right—all universities. Right, but what do they have in common? You say, ‘Well, they're Ivy League schools.’ Most of them, but what do they have in common? They were all founded and built for the propagation of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Every one of them had a Bible foundation; every one of them was founded for the preaching of the gospel, the training of ministers, and godly Christian laymen, to spread the gospel across America. What a tragedy! The same thing that has happened to these schools has happened to many once-great denominations. And, the same thing that has happened to many once-great denominations has happened—God help us—to many churches. There has been an apostasy. The word apostasy means ‘a falling away from the faith,’ or ’a turning from the faith.’ And, that is what the little Book of Jude is all about. It is a warning of the apostasy—the lapsing from the faith, the turning from the faith—that is going to take place in the last days.” –From the sermon, The Believer's Security Blanket by the late, Adrian Rogers

 

“Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish” (Jude 3, The Message).

 

Verse 4: Certain men have crept in stealthily by the side door!.

 

Verse 4a: “For certain men have crept in unnoticed.” “Some godless teachers have wormed their way in among you” (TLB).

 

These are Satan’s counterfeits infiltrating the church, false teachers pretending to be true believers. They looked like the real thing, but their intentions were to lead God’s people astray.

 

How could false brethren get into true assemblies of the saints? The soldiers had gone to sleep at the post! The spiritual leaders in the churches had grown complacent and careless. This explains why Jude had to “blow the trumpet” to wake them up.

 

2 Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

 

Verse 4b: “Who long ago were marked out for this condemnation.”

 

These false teachers did not surprise God who wrote beforehand about their coming and their condemnation even before they existed. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received, men spoken of in ancient writings as pre-destined to this condemnation

Romans 15:4, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

 

Verse 4c: “Ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Three things are said about these men:

 

1. Ungodly men. The Greek word is, asebeia, impious, wicked, irreverent. Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

 

2. They pervert grace: “Lewdness, licentiousness (KJV), immorality, describing the shameless lifestyles of the one who irreverently flaunts God’s grace.

 

3. They deny Christ. Titus 1:16 NLT, “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live and what they teach. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”

 

1 John 2:22,23, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.  Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

 

The apostates that invade your church are not ugly monsters! They will appear just like regular people, usually well-dressed, well-mannered, good-natured, and they will fit right in. I’ve seen some apostates that were wealthy, ready and willing to give liberally to some church cause. I have seen these apostates who have been to Bible College and Seminary, well-versed and good teachers. Remember, the Bible describes them as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15).

 

“Others are led away by false teachers, because, for a while, they maintain good morals and seem to manifest great devoutness of mind. Of Pelagius, Augustine testifies that he ‘always maintained a character of fair and decent morals,’ and that, until late in life, when he began to teach his fatal errors, ‘his reputation for serious piety had been great in the churches,’ through which he had extensively traveled.” –William S. Plumer, gracegems.org

 

“False teachers can be anyone in a position of spiritual authority or claiming to be. Wolves don't often attack wolves, but they do go after sheep. They bring destructive teachings and lies into the church, often, by telling people what they want to hear. They provide layers of truth mixed with error, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.” –Shane Idleman, Charisma News

 

Most apostates try to remain in the church and will actively seek acceptance among the people of God. Because everything they do undermines the faith and corrupts the Truth. Such people pose a grave danger to the health of the church, even though they usually bend over backward to appear friendly, likable, and pious.

 

And wolves are stealthy. They watch the prey and plan the attack. False prophets are in the church watching and waiting. He is the one who calls secret meetings. He gains the trust of folks and then rises up to attack, taking innocent victims with him. The Bible is clear about how God will deal with these sneaky wolves.

 

Titus 1:16,  “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”

 

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

Romans 16:17,18, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”

 

1 Timothy 6:3-5,  “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”

 

False teachers:

       •Ignore the Scripture or take it out of context.

       •Read into Scripture information that is not there.

       •Pick and choose only the verses that fit their beliefs.

       •Ignore the full counsel of Scripture.

       •Combine verses that have nothing to do with each other.

       •Teach doctrines that are contrary to historical, Biblical Christianity.

       •Always claim special revelation.

       •Distort verses, especially those teaching salvation by grace.

 

The average believer is unprepared to defend the faith. He usually knows what he believes, but often doesn’t know why. Never forget cults are not built on what the Bible teaches,  but on what their leaders say it teaches.

 

1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”

 

One thing is certain, no church or Christian group is immune to the infiltration of false Christians. Paul said to the Ephesian church: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29).

 

2 Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

 

And in the “last days” it will get worse!

 

2 Thessalonians 2:2-4: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (apostasy) comes first….”

 

Paul warns his son in the faith, Timothy about apostasy…

 

1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith…”  

 

1 Timothy 6:10,21, “(Some) strayed from the faith…”

 

2 Timothy 3:8, “(some will) Resist the Truth…”  

 

2 Timothy 4:4 “(Some will) Turn their ears away from the Truth…”

 

“Scripture often exhorts the church to expose false teaching. That kind of confrontation is not popular today. Many churches, in the name of love, want to forget disagreements and avoid being critical at all costs. Nonetheless, there is a biblical mandate to deal with false teaching. The battle lines were drawn in Israel and in the early church, and they must be drawn today too. Like Timothy we must be warned and instructed to understand what is behind false teaching.” –Apostasy, John MacArthur

 

Many churches today are filled with confusion and error. How do we fight this invasion of false teachers and false doctrine?

 

“Today our nation is in serious trouble. She is morally bankrupt from years of denying the God of our Fathers. Her decadence has reached the heights of the heaven, with a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God. It seems as though His protective hand, which this nation has enjoyed for over two hundred years, is being removed and we are more vulnerable than ever before in our long history…” (Pastor Mark Grooms, Lynchburg, VA).

 

1John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

 

Ephesians 6:17, “And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”  

 

God’s church leaders have a unique responsibility when handling Truth. Even Timothy had a problem differentiating between dangerous philosophy and sound doctrine, in 1 Timothy 4:7 Paul warns, “Reject worldly and old wives tales…” And in verse 1, Paul says, “Till I come, give attention to reading, exhortation and doctrine.” And it is not just the pastor-teacher's responsibility to be discerning, it is every believer's duty! Judge everything, test everything, examine everything very carefully.

 

How do you fight apostasy?  What is the remedy?  What is the answer?  The cure, the remedy, the answer is the Lord Jesus Christ!  The Apostle Paul knew that, that's the reason he said,  “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Jesus Christ saves us from sin. He saves us from Hell.  And He saves us from apostasy! Come out of the dying culture of America, and its dying churches!  Come out from them, and come in, all the way in to Jesus.  He will never disappoint you!

 

May God help us, not to be deceived in this last days, The disciples asked, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:3-6). He also said, “For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

 

It is critical, now more than ever, that every believer pray for discernment, to combat apostasy, Jude 3 says, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

 

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV) and The Living Bible (TLB).

 

Marlena and I support this ministry with our Social Security plus donations from a few of our friends. We need more friends! Will you be a friend to us and God’s word For You? Your financial support of this ministry is much appreciated. You may send your support to God’s Word For You, 25413 Alpha Street, Moreno Valley, CA 92557

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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