Persevere in the Faith
Jude 1 (excerpts)
3 “Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you concerning the salvation we share. Instead, I must write to urge you to fight for the faith delivered once and for all to God's holy people. 4 Godless people have slipped in among you. They turn the grace of our God into unrestrained immorality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Judgment was passed against them a long time ago. 7 In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and neighboring towns practiced immoral sexual relations and pursued other sexual urges. By undergoing the punishment of eternal fire, they serve as a warning. 17 But you, dear friends, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, "In the end time scoffers will come living according to their own ungodly desires." 19 These people create divisions. Since they don't have the Spirit, they are worldly. 20 But you, dear friends: build each other up on the foundation of your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep each other in the love of God, wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will give you eternal life.”
These verses confirm the imperative to hold on to and fight for a life of morality and that those who teach otherwise are Godless and worldly. Those who teach that since your sins are forgiven you no longer need worry about keeping God’s commands simply prove they do not have the Holy Spirit and are denying what Jesus taught. In reality the purpose of the gospel and the giving of the Holy Spirit is to promote holiness. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorah (Genesis 19) is just one example of God’s judgment against those who disregard God’s warnings and practice immorality.
The scripture makes clear that our salvation is through Christ alone, not Christ plus good works or a moral life. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (in Christ) —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
However, the scripture also makes clear that if we have truly come to Christ, we will experience a transformation (new creature) through the Holy Spirit and our lives will reflect that.
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:6).Scripture has warned us to watch out for those who would derail us. The warnings are given so we can see them for what they are and remain faithful to Christ. The importance of prayer, scriptural knowledge and a strong Church family for support can not be over emphasized. Though it may seem so at times, you are not alone. Christians throughout the world are standing firm every day as an encouragement to all who follow Christ. Now more than ever, Christians must continue to persevere as we… “keep each other in the love of God, wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will give you eternal life.”
Colby Reeves – member
Evangel Church PCA – evangelchurchpca.org