(Modified Dec 15, 2017)
Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints
Mt 5:14-16 we are light to be seen, and to honor the true Light source
–light to be seen publicly
–draws attention for friend and foe
The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) reminds us of the battle within Israel amongst the Jewish people over the worship of God in the Temple. This was about 160 years before Jesus was born. The LORD helped the Maccabees win the victory to re-establish the worship of God according to the truth as understood under the Law and the Prophets. And the LORD was with them in the victory! But the Maccabees, too, were but men like us, and before long, the decline reached to the point of no return. There remained a remnant that sought true freedom, not only from the Roman powers which the Maccabees invited into Israel, but freedom to worship God with all their hearts, soul, mind, and strength, and to see Israel redeemed from all her unrighteousness.
A greater than the Maccabees has come, and He is also greater than the Temple. Jesus came into Israel, and into the world which He made, in order to re-dedicate the true worship of the one true God, and to establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of any who would believe. It required His death and resurrection and ascension to make this reality in those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit. Yet the same battle rages today within the Church, the Body of Messiah, as in the days of the Maccabees.
Jesus confessed before Pilate that He was indeed a king — the King of a kingdom not of this world. And Jesus said that for this He came into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Pilate did not believe in absolute truth. (Jn 18:36-38) As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we are to be faithful witnesses of our King — both in speaking of Him and in our life for Him.
This year we continue to experience an assault on essential truths of the faith which we have received through the Scriptures. Our Father in Heaven is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth, and the enemy is seeking to deceive believers – the elect – if it were possible.
I want to look at a few of the issues that we must earnestly contend for in faithfulness to the New Covenant and the revelation of Jesus Christ:
Ex 20:6; Mt 10:37-39; 22:36-40 the Deity of Jesus: we must love Him with all our heart; He is LORD
Rom 10:13-14; Mt 10:28-33 Evangelism: we must confess His holy and blessed name to others that they may be saved
Mt 16:15-17; 1Jn 2:20-26,28 Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God
1Jn 4:1-6; Jn 5:18-20; Lk 3:38; Mt 1:1 ; Jn 5:22-27 Jesus Christ came in the flesh: He is the Son of God; He is the Son of Man: He is the Judge (God is the Judge)
Acts 1:9-11; Lk 9:26 The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again in the body
Jn 14:6; 1Jn 5: 4-5,9-13 Jesus is the only way to God the Father
Heb 6:2; Rev 20:10-15; Mt 25:41-46; Mk 9:42-48; Dan 12:1-2; Is 66:22-24 Everlasting judgment and condemnation for those who will not to believe
To love God is to honor and obey Him as our Father. To love others is to keep the commandments of God. For us to worship God the Father in spirit and truth, and to love others as we love ourselves, we must uphold these truths of the faith once delivered unto the saints. The Lord’s Supper is a constant reminder of the shed blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins until He comes again.