Meeting danger within the church

Published 2:44 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

Scripture: Jude 1-25

Aim: To instruct the pupil in the truth that there are those who oppose Christ, the Truth, and the true body of believers, the Church and to give instruction in defeating them.

Golden Text: “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20).

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It is vitally important that the members of the body of Christ, the Church, understand the truth that there is a deadly opposition to Christ and His Church. The Devil, the World and the sinful Flesh within the human life (the old sinful nature in man) are determined that Christ and His Church shall be defeated and relegated to complete failure.

There is a Spiritual warfare continuing from the creation of the angels against Jehovah God’s position and authority as God.

Lucifer, created as an archangel, rebelled against God before the world was ever created (Isaiah 14:16-17). He entered our world through the Garden of Eden with the sin of Adam and Eve. He has since sought to overthrow Jehovah God and His plans for a redeemed, glorified body of people, called the Church. Lucifer is determined to be “god” even though he has suffered many defeats at the hand of Jehovah God. He and all who are confederate with him shall be cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of this age (Revelation 20:7-15).

Jude writes to the Christians of his day with instructions concerning those who oppose God.

I. He stated the state and command to the Church (Jude 1-3). These who are saved through faith in Jesus Christ are “sanctified (set apart) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ” have been called by the Holy Spirit to “mercy,” “peace” and “love” in abundance.

Secondly, they are to take a firm stand to “earnestly contend (diligently fight) for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (called out ones).”

II. He stated the fact and character of the apostates (those who are fighting against God, Christ and Truth, Jude 4-13, 16-19). The fact stated is that they have sneaked into the church by devious means while they are condemned, ungodly, making God’s grace (undeserved favor to men) out to be a thing of wickedness (Lasciviousness), and they deny that Jesus Christ is God (vs. 4).

They are: Unbelievers (vs. 5), some angels who rebelled with Satan (vs. 6), engaged in all sorts of evil (vs. 7), rebellious as Cain (vs. 11), greedy for money as Balaam (vs. 11), opposing God and His people as Core (vs. 11), murmurers, complainers, following their own desires, boasting, elevating persons for advantage, mockers, sensual (following the flesh), and have not the Holy Spirit (vs. 16-19). To understand the position of the believer look at the opposite of each of the above.

III. He stated the way of victory over these apostates (Jude 20-23). Look at these godly traits that should characterize the believers. They should be growing in grace and knowledge of Christ and the Faith (“building up”) and praying in the Holy Spirit (vs. 20). They should be trusting in God and looking for the mercy to be brought when Christ returns (vs. 21). They should be caring for others with great compassion (vs. 22). They must be careful, be afraid that they might fail by becoming like those they are seeking to reach, and they must hate even the clothes that are soiled by the sinful flesh (vs. 23).

IV. He gives the results of faithful Christians (Jude 24-25). God will keep them from falling into sin, and He will present the believer without any faults into the presence of God’s glory.

“To the only wise God our Savior, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (vs. 25).

Believer stand firm in the Christian faith. The victory is yours!