From Jude’s letter we read, “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 3-4)
Jude was intending to write to his brothers and sisters in Christ “concerning our common salvation,” to evidently extol to his readers a positive presentation of the doctrines of the Christian faith. It would seem from our text that Jude was going to say one thing to his readers but, as he was led along by the Holy Spirit, he “found it necessary to write. . .exhorting” them toward a different matter.
“The faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” was under attack. And this attack was not coming from without the church but from within. There were ungodly men who were attempting to corrupt the truth of God. They had “crept in unnoticed” and they were wielding their lies in an effort to upset and destabilize the message, the doctrines of the Christian faith.
There are teachings that go to make up the Christian faith, and they are truths that believers in Christ are to “contend earnestly for.”
H. A. Ironside wrote, “The faith means the whole body of revealed truth . . .”
Creepy crawlers had crept into the assembly of believers and they were active in spreading heretical teachings that undermined “the . . . body of revealed truth” that was, and is, entrusted to the church. A “body of revealed truth” that the church is to protect. Note this same urgency of mind that the apostle Paul had regarding the faith when he wrote his final letter to his beloved Timothy:
“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
“That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” (II Timothy 1:13-14)
Why “contend earnestly,” why “hold fast,” why “keep” (lit., “guard”)? Because, as the Holy Spirit points out to every believer (past and present) ungodly men, agents of Satan and his demons, make repeated efforts to attack and destroy the truth of God as delivered to man.
Bringing this forward, I read constantly of those who are undermining the faith. Some are subtle and some are not so subtle. Some seek to interject their corrupt teachings with warm and fuzzy messages, and in the process of their endeavors, when not examined as they should be (cf. I Thessalonians 5:21), their messages fail to convey biblical truth.
One well-known writer, claiming to be Christian, floods the bookshelves with her so-called devotional writings that she says she receives by sitting and waiting for Jesus to tell her what to write. This very claim attacks the sufficiency of Scripture and has dangerous implications regarding “the faith which was once for all delivered.” It serves as just one of many instances of someone who has “crept in” and, unfortunately, goes “unnoticed,” or so her book sales would seem to indicate.
And then there’s the not-so-subtle. They are not shy about actually introducing themselves into a local body of believers and, in some manner or form, “turning the grace of our God into lewdness” or “denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We must not fall asleep at the helm! We must be aware of what the Scriptures teach us to be aware of! We must take seriously the command to “contend earnestly for the faith,” as it is delivered to us in Holy Writ. And as we do this, we are warned to . . . .
. . . . beware of creepy crawlers!
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