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Courage to Content

Words of Faith Final

Courage to Content
Words of Faith 7-9-24
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2024
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Jude 1
[3] Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. [4] For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Jude truly wanted to write about a more pleasant topic-- celebrating the joy and wonder of salvation shared by believers. But circumstances forced him to write about a more profound concern on his heart. As the brother of Jesus and the humble servant of the Lord, Jude realized this was an emergency.
Jude got to the point: I urge you to contend for the faith. Then, he proceeded to tell his readers why he was so concerned. Godless men had secretly slipped in among them. They had joined the assemblies of believers, pretending to belong with them when, in fact, they were enemies. They came with a "libertine" approach that changed the grace of God into a license for immorality and denied the sovereign lordship of Jesus.
Jude's words were written to believers who shared faith and salvation. His words warn the believers to beware of those who deceive unsuspecting Christians in very destructive ways. These people would destroy the foundation of faith on which the Church is built.
"The faith" that God had once for all entrusted to the saints is the body of truths taught by the apostles. The term "the faith" is used in other parts of Scripture to refer to the basic recognized beliefs of Christians. The call of Jude was for believers to contend, literally "agonize earnestly," with all diligence in defense of those truths that ungodly men were trying to destroy. In effect, Jude said, "Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess" (Heb. 4:14).
The reality is that the intrusion of deceivers is a concern in every age including our own. Although we are to express love in all situations, there are outsiders who would poison the Church and whose teaching should be rejected. Some peddle a "cheap grace" and change the grace of our God into a license for immorality. There are deceivers who put on the cloak of the Christian faith when, in fact, they are "godless men."
It is easy in this day and time to assume that we must accept any teaching that calls itself Christian. But when "grace" is used as a license, surely the cross is offended. Our calling is to contend for the true faith. We are called to agonize earnestly even in the face of teaching that may be popular and accepted. We must have the courage to contend.

Father God, give me wisdom and discernment to separate truth from falsehood and to recognize readily those who have come to undermine the faith. Help me to have the courage to contend and the grace to genuinely forgive. Help me to agonize earnestly for those truths that matter. By Your strength and by Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2024
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2024 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.