Contend for your Faith 3
It takes courage to have FAITH or walk in FAITH or even to stir up our FAITH …sometimes we have to dig deep.
— For 2 weeks our text was Jude, last week PsL spoke on the wells where strife exists, walking away from things that steal our faith!
Today we’re ‘Stirring’ up deep deep wells. My message is titles STIRR WITH A DOUBLE RR — MOVING FORWARD.
March is our month to ‘Encourage’ or ‘have courage, contend for our FAITH!’
Today I want to encourage you in your faith and to ‘ stirr it with a double rr.’
Let’s go back to Jude a brother of Jesus.
Who is contending with an element that crept into the church. Whereby some of nicoliatans say Marriage is a man made institution and therefore have other woman on their side, and a lot of other theories that don’t tie up with the gospel that Jesus preached. In order to fly under the radar and use the gospel for their personal gain.
#When you use the gospel or the church for your personal gain or faith it pollutes the church and affects Gods people. We will be held responsible for not doing anything about it! It’s called “ peddling the faith” an old term used to illustrate it well.
—Jude marshaled the truth. Jude reminds us that there is a time and a place for the aggressive protection of the truth from those who would seek to tear it down.
Jude 1:20-21 NKJV “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
How – By having a relationship with God through His Holy Spirit. The best way to communicate with someone you want a relationship with, is to speak their language. In this case it’s the language of the Holy Spirit… we communicate to God through pray and thus effective prayer is done by the Spirit which builds our faith in our relationship with God as well as our spiritual immunity.
and why FAITH – because it pleases God, building His Church based on a Holy creed,
A CREED- Is a confession of faith based on an authority or formula. A system expressible by a definitive statement. The apostles all stood by this creed.
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
I believe in His holy church, the communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sin;
The resurrection of the body:
- CHARACTER— right belief builds character
Romans 5:3-5 NKJV “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
When your creed is corrupted, your conduct will soon follow.when your conduct is corrupted your character will go the same way. Character is the result of conduct — an act that reaps a habit, a habit reaps a character, a character reaps a destiny. So the third phase of moral pollution in the church is that their character becomes increasingly worldly. Jude focuses on false teachers and their similarity to three people in the old testament.
Cain– who killed his brother out of jealousy. Gen 4 of false teachers who were motivated by jealousy like can and so are bound to affect those who listen.
Jude continues with Balaam the prophet who was offered money to prophesy against Israel. Numbers 22 the love of money had taken hold of BALAAM that God had to speak to him through a donkey! BALAAM was a man of avarice as Cain was a man of anger…
KORAH was a man of ambition who was jealous of Moses and wanted to set up his own show. Numbers 16. He completes a rather depressing triad. There are modern parallels to KORAH. New churches can be great but it is clear that some are set up for the wrong reasons. They are set up because a man wants his own show— a modern son KORAH doesn’t accept God given leadership and wants his own way. In the end KORAH was swallowed up in judgement with 250 others who perished because of their defiance of authority that God had invested in Moses.
All three characters were governed by self, =. and all three had caused death to others. They depict the kind of characters that will emerge if the church doesn’t deal with false teachings. Anger, Avarice and ambition.
Jude says building up your faith — HOW — Praying in the Holy Spirit
The Epistle of Jude was addressed to faithful Christians—“to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1).
- They know God and have a full understanding of Jesus
- This is talking to the believer not to an unbeliever, by this point in their spiritual lives are mature Christian’s.
- They are baptized by Holy Spirit, they pray in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues knowing the ways of the spirit.
Who does this book address?
The book of Jude refutes corrupt teachers and encourages godly living, reminding Jesus followers that their lives indicate what they truly believe. Jude confronts corrupt teachers who distort the message about his brother Jesus and lead others astray.
Jude’s brief letter describes men at their worst and God at His best. Believers are already on the victorious side! Those who mock God’s truth and who follow their own desires all while claiming to be Christians, are the most dangerous kind of believers.
Addressing that minority where a certain element of believers that do not glorify Jesus who always try find another way around true Gospel of Jesus.
He says ti those who fight for truth, to…
Jude 1:22-23 NKJV “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
We ought to be so convinced about what Gods truth that when someone veers off the track we become desperate enough for them to pull them out of the fire. To get in the trenches with them if we have to, to pull them out!
It all comes down to FAITH& BELIEF , and whether we convinced that it is worth fighting for?
- to believe is a decision
- Not to believe is a decision and to do neither is also a decision
Both refer to how we perceive something.
‘Faith‘ refers to trusting someone/something from the depth of our hearts. It is not necessarily based on any proof.
‘BELIEF‘, on the other hand, refers to something that we consider to be true.
- What does the Bible say about faith and belief?
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
- Who must we have faith in?
Mark 11:22-24. 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
- Where is the gift of Faith
II Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
4a. Stirr up the gift of Faith
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
- FAITH OVERRIDES FEAR
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
- FAITH MOVES FORWARD
Proverbs 4:18 NKJV**“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
- DEVELOP YOUR FAITH
Romans 10:17 NKJV “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Adapted from Joseph Prince
In the Emmaus story, I asked the Lord why He chose to restrain the eyes of the two disciples such that they couldn’t recognize Him (see Luke 24:13–35). I asked Him, “Wouldn’t it have been better for them to see You with Your nail-pierced hands?” Wouldn’t it have been better if Jesus had walked down the busiest streets of Jerusalem, lifted up His hands, and hollered, “Hey! Everyone, check this out!”
But Jesus knew that doing that would not produce true faith. He revealed to me that it was more important for the disciples to see Him in the Word than to see Him in person.
Wow, those words brought so much hope and encouragement to my heart. If the faith of the disciples was based on them seeing Jesus physically in the flesh, then what hope do we have today? Jesus purposefully restrained their eyes so that they would see Him first in the Scriptures. That places you and me on equal ground and with equal opportunity as the two disciples. Jesus wants us all to see Him in the Word.
God’s Word tells us that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17, NASB). This means that the more you hear Jesus unveiled, expounded upon, and pointed to in the Scriptures, the more faith will be imparted to your heart to believe everything God’s Word says about you. Could it be that the reason many believers are still living in defeat today is that Jesus has not been unveiled in the Scriptures to them?
The gospel is all about Jesus. It’s not about right doing. It’s all about right believing about Jesus that makes a difference in people’s lives. The apostle Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith'” (Rom. 1:16–17).
That’s the gospel that I am not ashamed of. I pray that you will experience your own Emmaus Road journey as you open up the Scriptures and allow His Word to bathe your heart in the warmth of His loving grace and tender mercies. It’s truly all about Jesus!
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH for FAITH, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” NIV For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith. ‘
Stirr up the gift of Faith
- FAITH IS ONE OF THE GIFTS
Knowledge, Wisdom, Discernment of spirits( revelation gifts)
Faith, Miracles, healing,(power gifts) prophecy & diverse tongues-the prophecy in tongues and then the interpretation of tongues (Inspirational or Speaking gifts)
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV
NB! We fear because we don’t trust and we don’t trust because we don’t know.
How do we develop our Faith
Faith is free, it still available. now Faith is the substance of things not seen the evidence of things hoped for. [This scripture is used for trusting God for things but it’s also referring to the fact that we can’t see Jesus today but we will soon and we stand together in faith to see soon the hope of Jesus return.]
But when exercising your faith begin,
Therefore to stimulate your faith with small efforts and as you grow your faith, starting with a thing you can believe for and grow it until your are able to tackle bigger projects… otherwise you disappoint yourself and cry with disbelief that you don’t have faith, but we need to grow our faith by keep reminding our selves — repeating and saying what we believe and what you are actually believing for. No use saying I’m healed if you don’t know why your saying it!
Romans 10:17 NKJV “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
- BE LOYAL TO YOUR FAITH
II Timothy 1:13-14 NKJV “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”
— we stay committed through praying the will of God which is his word.
- Don’t draw back
Hebrews 10:38 NKJV “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.””
LIFE OF A FAITH FILLED BELEIVER SHOULD GET BETTER
Proverbs 4:18 NKJV **“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
Encourage each other in the faith
Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Be a doer of the word- live out the word
James 1:22 NKJV “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Finish strong- don’t throw everything you have invested in faith by not passing it on through your life of a believer…
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
II Timothy 4:6-7 NKJV
Remain strong on the Lord
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless
Jude 1:24-25 NKJV “Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”
God is able to save you and keep you prevent you from stumbling and falling out of faith and keep you blameless.
Father in the name of Jesus, we ask you to help us as we lean into you. We press into the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray so that we can build up our holy faith. It’s faith that pleases you and we therefore put our faith in You and your Word, we desire to be pleasing in your eyes.
You know our needs before we ask therefore in Faith we praise you that you are working things out for us, as we stand steadfast in what we believe in Jesus name.
Romans 10:10 says salvation is unto those who confess with their mouths and believe with their hearts, today.
If you have not taken that step to become a believer because your don’t know how
Make this confession of faith…
Father in the name of Jesus, I believe what You said in ‘Your Word’ that anyone who cries out to the Lord shall be saved from eternal death and have eternal life in You. Therefore I’m calling out to you to save me. I want to serve you. Please Forgive my sins and be the Lord of my heart, in Jesus name. Congratulations your spirit man has been restored and reconciled with Christ and you are now a ‘born again believer in Christ Jesus’ Be blessed 🕊