“EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH!” PART 2

Read Jude 1-4
 
Gospel means “good news.” This is the good news that Jesus Christ, the rejected King, has died on the cross for the sins of the world, that He was raised from the dead for our justification, and that by Him all that believe are justified from all things.
 
• It is the Gospel of God because it originates in His love.
 
Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”
• It is the Gospel of Christ – because it flows from His sacrifice, and because He alone is Object of gospel faith.
 
2 Corinthians 10:14, “For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:”
 
• It is the Gospel of the grace of God – because it saves those whom the law curses.
 
Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
 
It is the Gospel of “the glory” – because it concerns Him who is in the glory, and Who is bringing the many sons to glory.”
 
2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
 
Hebrews 2:10, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
 
• It is the Gospel of our salvation – because it is the “power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” Romans 1:16.

“EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH!”

Jude 1:1-4, verse 3 text.
 
Think about the Winter Olympics and gold medals being awarded right now.
 
The word “contend” is used for athletes as they contend.
 
We are to earnestly contend for the faith (Christianity) and not issues.
 
“Contend” – to struggle, vigorous, intense. Our word AGONY comes from this noun form of word.
 
The Greek athletes exerted themselves to the point of agony to win the contest.
 
With such effort Jude says we should defend the faith. Why?
 
Verse 4 is the answer. Jude warns these Christians for the coming Apostasy:
 
Apostasy is a “falling away” and is the act of professed Christians who deliberately reject revealed truth.
 
As to the Deity of Christ.
Redemption through His atoning and redeeming sacrifice.
 
Apostates depart from the faith, but not from the outward profession of Christianity. This is why Jude tells them to earnestly contend for the faith. Struggle to defend it!
 
What is this “faith” Jude is telling them to struggle for?
 
CONTINUED TOMORROW!

“DUTIES THAT BRING VICTORY” CONCLUSION!

1 Corinthians 16:13.
 
God wants us to be totally dependent upon Him for victory.
 
LAST, WE ARE EXHORTED TO “BE STRONG.”
 
Our strength must be in The Lord, not in the power of our own might.
 
Some Practical Lessons for ’98:
 
FAITHFULLY ATTEND ALL CHURCH SERVICES.
PRAYERFULLY STUDY HIS WORD.
GO SOUL-WINNING EVERY WEEK.
STAND FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.
CLAIM HIS PROMISES.
LIVE HOLY.
PRACTICE LIVING FOR OTHERS.
FAITHFULLY TITHE.
 
If we are going to see victory in this year, we must do it God’s way.

“DUTIES THAT BRING VICTORY!”

(Sorry I missed yesterday, hope this will make up for it).

Please read 1 Corinthians 16, verse 13 text.

Think of the fact that we have our full salvation now. Nothing in this world can deprive us of the blessing of God, because we are, “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…. ” 1 Peter 1:5.

How do we know for certain that we are saved? Only by the promises in The Word of God. We accept those promises by faith.

Since we know by The Word of God that we are saved by faith, then wouldn’t it seem logical that we should obey His commands by the same Word of God?

Here is verse 13, we are exhorted to, “watch, stand, quit you like men, be strong.”

WE ARE EXHORTED TO “WATCH”.

Think of the many blessings we can enjoy because of watchfulness. On the other hand, how many evils keep us from those blessings of God.

When a Christian fails to watch, he is at the mercy of his enemy. We get off guard, fall asleep spiritually, and then fall into the snares of the devil.

WE ARE EXHORTED TO “STAND FAST”.

The idea here is to stand solidly without compromise.

Notice that it follows the command to watch.

Those who watch and see the danger of evil must also stand so that they can resist the devil.

WE ARE EXHORTED TO ACT LIKE MEN.

“Quit you like men.” In other words, God is saying that we must walk in the spirit and not after the flesh. We can never experience victory in the power of the flesh.

CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“THE PREVENTION OF DRIFTING”

We addressed the, PRINCIPLE OF DRIFTING, THE PROCESS OF DRIFTING, and now the most important,
Please read Hebrews 2:1-4.
 A. Recognize the possibility and dangers of drifting.
This is the whole key, and yet this is where most of us fail.
B. Leaders need to have discernment, determination and courage to act. After all, the leader has been placed in a position of confidence and trust by the followers.
They must not only have the right convictions, but also be willing to carry them out.
This may mean taking some drastic action which are both unpopular and unpleasant at times, but it is much like corrective surgery which must be done.
C. Also, there needs of a constant reminder of the original convictions of the organization or church. This is the reason God commanded the children to Israel to teach the Commandments to their children. Deuteronomy 6-8, Psalm 78.
These convictions should be in written form and should be advertised as standards from which the church will not move; either in theory or in practice.
Too often we are guilty of assuming that new people coming in understand these convictions and agree with them.
There needs to be a constant preaching on the Bible convictions and standards as a reinforcement and reminder to those who have been here for many years and a method of teaching to new people coming in.
D. The Church or organization must recruit and hire and promote people who are not merely tolerating but who stand wholeheartedly committed to these convictions.
CONCLUSION: This may not be a complete guarantee against drifting, but will always help to insure our present direction.
It is for this reason that the church must remain true to the Biblical mandates, and the preacher has charge of keeping or some day answer to God for them.
The same principles are true for the individual. What are you going to do to keep from drifting personally and collectively?

“THE PROCESS OF DRIFTING!”

Hebrews 2:1-4.

How and why do organizations undergo the drifting process?

A. As an organization prospers, it attracts people who appreciate its affluence and potential for success.

These people may be talented, they may not fully understand nor are they necessarily committed to the organizations founding convictions.

They may even have grown up by the principles of the organizations or church, but are hesitant to embrace its unique distinctive qualities.

As well-meaning as some of these may be, they gradually look at the original intentions as a hindrance rather than help. What am I saying?

Here is a worker or believer who has infiltrated the group but is not supportive of its original convictions.

B. The Key as to what happens at this point is in the hands of the organizations or churches leadership.

They can either deal with or ignore the drift problem.

Often what happens is that the leaders who have the ability to keep the organization on course and stop any drifting become more concerned about peace and harmony within the organization or church than with the danger of drifting.

C. As a result, the leadership is often willing to tolerate the problem and drift…which will eventually move it far from their original intentions.

TOMORROW, WE CONCLUDE WITH THE “PREVENTION OF DRIFING!”

“THE DANGER OF DRIFTING!”

Hebrews 2:1-4
 
We have taught this message on the danger of backsliding through drifting in the past, but felt compelled to update and post it again in these DRIFTING days.
 
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF DRIFTING
 
A. Every church or organization sooner or later faces the danger of losing its founding focus and of moving away from the distinctive characteristics, priorities and convictions that brought it into existence.
 
B. Some of the factors which help to bring this about are Time, Size and Affluence:
 
The longer an organization is in existence and the larger and more prosperous it becomes, the greater the tendency to shift the organizational emphasis and one’s loyalty from the original convictions to support for and loyalty to the organization itself.
 
Here is what I am saying: This de-emphasis on convictions allows for toleration of attitudes and views, which in previous times would have been unthinkable.
 
C. This shift in emphasis is often unintentional: and because the organizational drift is very gradual, it usually goes undetected until the change is quite obvious.
 
While this is true generally of most organizations it is especially true of the Fundamental Baptist church.
 
Tomorrow, we will look at the PROCESS OF DRIFTING, please don’t miss the next two days.