Building yourself up In Your Most High Faith
Jude 1:17-23 (NRSV) 17 But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” 19 It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some who are wavering; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.
Jude, identified as the brother of James the Just, probably wrote this epistle around 60 A.D. The purpose of this letter was to encourage believers to stand fast in the faith, not allowing false teachers to undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Do you suppose the writers of the New Testament had the hope that their writing, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, would put an end to falsehoods surrounding the gospel? I would imagine that was certainly their goal.
Yet today false teachers abound, many of them emerging from our seminaries, teaching that the Bible is archaic, casting doubt on many of the writers of the Scriptures, and telling those of us who still hold the Bible as cherished that we are worshipping the Bible rather than the God of the Bible. Really? The Holy Bible is God’s revelation to us of Who He is, and each book carries the theme of redemption.
God has revealed Himself to us through the Scriptures, through His Son, and through nature itself. If we cannot believe the Bible, then it is not a matter of the Bible being wrong or out of touch with today’s culture, it goes strictly to the heart of faith. If we do not have confidence (faith) in the Bible, then how do we maintain our belief and relationship with the God of the Bible? How do we allow Jesus to be our personal Savior and Lord if we separate Him from the Bible? After all, everything we know of Jesus comes from the Bible, and we are told in John 1 that Jesus is the Word made flesh.
If you find yourself under the teaching that says the Bible is not for today, or someone who picks and chooses from the Scripture those words that make him or her comfortable, run. Instead of trying to receive inspiration from one who is devoid of the spirit of God, learn to do as Jude says and build yourself up in your most high faith.
Stay in the Word, and be sure you are reading an authorized translation and not a paraphrase of the Bible. What is the difference? A translation works directly from the Hebrew and Greek and translates into English (or your native tongue) the best words and meaning of God’s Word, and it is a word for word study that gives us the closest meaning to the original text. A paraphrase takes paragraphs or segments of the word and tries to make it more understandable, often in today’s language.
Fill your spirit not just with the Word, but with hymns and songs extolling God and His Son. Let your spirit soar as you listen to or join in to sing those songs that lift up God in praise.
Pray, pray, pray like there is no tomorrow, because brothers and sisters, we do not know how long we have on this earth. But however long we are here, we must align ourselves with the Truth, and that Truth can only be found by learning and adhering to the WHOLE Word of God. May God have mercy on the souls of anyone who tries to turn us away from His Holy Word.
Father God, we love you and worship you in spirit and in truth. May You remove the scales from our eyes and the hardness in our hearts, that we may become one with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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