On My Mind...

I, by nature, am not confrontational.  I don’t like having to deal with difficult situations.  I want to smooth things over.  I want everyone to get along.  Yet there are times to be confrontational.  There are times you must step up and do the uncomfortable or unnatural thing.  I find that confrontation is not that difficult when it involves something I care about.  If someone says something about my wife, my kids, or grandkids I can get confrontational in a hurry.  As the people of God, we must recognize that the gospel is worth getting confrontational.  When eternity is on the line, it’s worth being uncomfortable.  The church is worth getting confrontational.  The church is the bride of Christ, he gave his life for the church, when the life and wellbeing of the church is at stake, it’s worth being uncomfortable.  Jude, the bond servant of the Lord Jesus and the brother of James felt an urgent need to write to some struggling believers in a difficult spot to urge them to earnestly contend for the faith.  His ancient message is extremely relevant to our context.  As Paul reminds us, all of Scripture is profitable to us but Jude’s message seems especially profitable at the current moment.  What is evident from his pen is that false teaching and godlessness have dire consequences and thus those of us who love the truth must stand against error and contend for gospel faithfulness.

Love for the truth and love for others are the to be the driving influences in our struggle.  Truth matters and people matter therefore we must contend.  As we seek to guard the truth, we seek the redemption of our fellow man.  Both goals must be kept in mind.  We read in Jude verses 3 and 4, Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  There are two things I want us to note in this.  First, the integrity (the soundness, the genuineness of the gospel) demands we diligently guard the truth entrusted to us.  The precious truth of the gospel is a treasure entrusted to us.  We have a God-ordained responsibility to pass on the message given to us to those who follow.  We are stewards of this message.  Jude intended to write about another matter but “found it necessary” to appeal for his readers to contend for the faith.  “Found it necessary,” is a termed used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16, when he writes, “I am compelled to preach the gospel.”  It speaks of an urging or force that cannot and will not be denied.  We are urged to contend for the faith.  The message of Jesus, the truth handed down by the apostles, the Scripture.  A truth unchanged stretching back to eternity past.  A truth unchanged by the winds of culture and the whims of human innovation.  It is the truth of God revealed, not the truth of man imagined.  It is truth with a capital “T” and worthy of confrontation for the sake of truth.

But let’s not forget the accompanying truth.  It is our love for others that demands we confront errant teachings and immoral behavior for the sake of their souls.  It’s not about winning the argument.  It is about guarding the truth for the truth of God for the saving of souls.  Because we love, we speak the truth.  Love without truth is not love at all.  Truth without love is a perversion of the truth.  Both are necessary.  John reminds us in his prologue that truth and grace find their fulfillment in Christ Jesus.

May God grant us grace to live out the truth of this call daily.  I’ll see you Sunday!