Read Jude 1-25
Core Views…Thinking Biblically
Doctrine divides…love unites. I have heard that statement many times over the years. The implication is that we set aside all of our differences…perhaps we don’t even strive towards theological precision…in favor of a group hug.
OK, I will admit that I have put a negative spin on the statement. But the truth is that we should not see this as an “either/or” statement. By choosing to love others, you do not have to forfeit an accurate handling of the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). By deciding to define what the Bible clearly teaches, you do not have to throw love out the window (1 Corinthians 13).
Jude only wrote one book of the Bible…just 25 verses. His original intent for those few lines was to write positive, upbeat words about the great salvation that he and his readers held in common (v. 3a). Instead, the Spirit of God used pressing circumstances to cause him to change the thrust of the short letter. Because of the pervasive influence of false teaching, he felt obligated to challenge his readers to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (v. 3b) Let’s make three observations about that statement:
- “The faith” was a clear body of truth. He was not asking them to embrace something that was as evasive as the wet bar of soap dropped on the floor of the shower. We are not talking about peripheral issues where consensus is virtually impossible. This “faith” was clear. As we embark on a study of the core views, we will be looking at knowable, essential, foundational truths.
- “The faith” had been entrusted. Those biblical truths had not only been revealed but they had also been entrusted to the saints for safekeeping. God wants you to guard the deposit of biblical truth in your heart. He expects you to prevent its corruption.
- “The faith” was worth fighting for. That doesn’t mean battles with weapons or heated arguments where people belittle one another. It does require, however, that we stand for truth in a world that is embracing myths. It necessitates a clear and yet loving and gentle response to those who adhere to the world’s lies.
Over these next few days, we will take a closer look at some of the core views that are central to our faith.