Snatch Them!

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Friday, August 16, 2013, 6:10 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “The Lord’s Anointed” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. I read Jude 1 (NIV):

    Contend for the Faith

    We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are urged here to contend for the faith that was “once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” “Once for all” denotes that this faith is unchanging. It is not to be altered to fit with our present-day culture. It is not to be updated to make it more appealing and acceptable to the world. The foundations laid for us by Jesus Christ and the apostles are non-negotiable. They are not to be translated into our modern times.

    This faith was entrusted to God’s holy people. We, who have crucified our sinful natures with Christ and have been raised with him to new lives in Christ, have been given this trust. This is a position of obligation where we are expected to behave responsibly and honorably and with great care with regard to this trust (see Encarta Dictionary). We are responsible to live what we say we believe and to share with others what we say we believe, so that they, too, can come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, be delivered out of slavery to sin, and have the hope of eternity with God in heaven.

    So, not only should we not alter the faith entrusted to us to make it culturally relevant, and not only should we be faithful to the trust we have been given, but we are to contend for this faith entrusted to us. This means that we are to fight for our faith and the truth of the gospel against all opposing forces. We do not do this by getting into arguments and debates over theological differences or disputable differences, especially that end in quarrels and hateful speech. That is counterproductive. But, it does mean exposing what is false and proclaiming the truths of the gospel so that others are not deceived and led astray.

    Perversions of Grace

    One of the main reasons we are called upon to contend for (maintain; insist upon; declare) the faith entrusted to us is that there are many who claim to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and/or who claim to be true followers of Christ who are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing. They have not entered the sheep pen by the gate (Jesus Christ), but have come in by another way (Cf. Jn. 10), secretly slipping in among us unnoticed. This doesn’t mean we don’t notice they are there, but that we don’t realize they are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing, because they appear to be genuine. This calls for much discernment. They teach what is false, disguise it as truth (usually contains half-truths), and lead many astray.

    These false teachers or false brothers and sisters spoken of here are ungodly, i.e. they don’t truly know Jesus Christ, although they claim to know him. They pervert (distort; change) the grace of God into a license for immorality. How do they do this? They do this by teaching the grace of God absent of the requirements of repentance and obedience to Christ and to his teachings as scripturally required for eternal life with God in heaven (See Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6; Jn. 10:27-29; 1 Jn.; Gal. 6:8; Jn. 8:51; 14:23; Lu. 13:3). When we change the grace of God into a lie, and we give people the impression that God does not require us to turn away from our sinful lifestyles and/or that he does not require obedience to his teachings, then we give people a free license to continue in sin thinking they will still go to heaven. Scripture is real clear – if we say we have fellowship with God yet we continue to walk in darkness, we are liars, and the truth is not in us.

    These false brethren and false teachers of the gospel spoken of here are followers of humans and what their own minds make up. They are flesh driven. They follow the ways of the world. Books written merely by humans (not divinely inspired), espousing human philosophies for how to build big churches (businesses), have become their bibles in place of or over and above scripture. Greed, selfishness, jealousy, hatred, disobedience, rebellion, and/or immorality have become their hallmarks. They are liars, manipulators, deceivers, people pleasers, self-centered and self-gratifying. They do not feed the sheep, but feed only themselves (Cf. Ezekiel 34). And, their consciences are seared. They make promises they can’t deliver, i.e. they give people a false hope of eternity based upon a lie. They follow mere natural instincts and they do not have the Spirit. This calls for much discernment.

    Remain in God’s Love

    We are warned here in how to recognize these wolves in sheep’s clothing so that we are not led astray by what is false, and so we don’t follow after clever lies disguised as truth. Instead, we are to keep ourselves in God’s love while we wait for our Lord Jesus to return and to take us to be with him forever. In other words, we are to remain in Christ and his words remain (continue; endure; persist; and stay) in us in all practicality and application to our lives, and in this way we are built up (encouraged; nurtured; developed; and matured) in the faith with which we have been entrusted. This means we have to be in the word, , praying in the Spirit, listening to our Lord speak to our hearts, and doing what he teaches us, which includes proclaiming what is true and refuting and exposing what is false; living what is true, and refusing to follow after lies which give a free license for immorality.

    We must show compassion towards those who are being led astray and who are confused as to what they believe, and gently lead them to the truth of the gospel. Others we must pull from the fire. This involves much more aggressive action, i.e. it may involve strong rebuke of those who are willfully living sinful lifestyles and who are willfully giving in to the passions and desires of their flesh, knowing full well that what they are doing is wrong and hurtful. We must first of all make sure we are living rightly, then we must mercifully pull others or direct others away from what is false toward what is true, right and lovely. And, we must guard our own hearts in the process, lest we be tempted ourselves by what is evil. We must hate, not the sinner, but the stain of sin upon our lives, i.e. what sin does to people. When we learn to hate what sin does to our lives, then we will have the compassion necessary to help others be pulled from the fires of hell and to lead them in a straight path.

    Yet, it is not we who are able to do this in and of ourselves. This can only happen through the power, grace, love and mercy of God working his will in and through our lives as we yield control of our lives over to him, humbly submitting to his will and purposes. Amen!

    The Lord’s Anointed / An Original Work / December 16, 2011

    Based off Isaiah 61

    The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
    Anointed to preach the Good News;
    Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
    Proclaim freedom for the captives.
    He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
    Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
    Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
    And tell them about God’s judgments;
    Comfort all who mourn;
    Give crowns of beauty;
    Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.

    They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
    A planting of our Savior, God,
    For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
    They will rebuild God’s holy church.
    God will renew them, and will restore them,
    And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
    You will be ministers of our God, and
    You will rejoice in salvation.
    The Lord loves justice;
    He is faithful to
    Reward those who are seeking Him.

    I delight greatly in the Lord;
    My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
    He has clothed me with His salvation,
    And in a robe of His righteousness.
    He has given me priestly garments to
    Wear, as the bride of Jesus Christ.
    As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
    He causes us to grow in Him.
    He makes righteousness,
    Praise, and thanksgiving
    Spring up before all the nations.

  2. Ms Sue: I like the verse about the garments.

    It reminds me of Ezekiel 16 where the Lord clothes Zion who becomes 'perfect through my comeliness which I had put on thee'.


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