Term 2 2021
How to Contend for the Faith Jude 20-25 4th July
Read the book of Jude.
So far we have learned that we must contend for the faith. But how? Jude answers that in verse 21. The secret to contending for the faith is ‘keeping yourself in God’s love of God.’
Read John 14.15, 21, 23, 24. How does Jesus say we show our love for him in these verses?
‘Contending for the faith’ is done by keeping Jesus commandments, living under his good word, and submitting ourselves to him as Lord in all our lives.
What are we to remember? (vv17-19)
What are we to commit ourselves to? (vv20-21)
Why is prayer vital? (v20)
Churches have many people who doubt. How are they to be treated? (v22)
How can we have mercy on those who walk away from the faith? How does understanding grace help here?
Verses 24-25 are perhaps the most famous verses in Jude and often used as a benediction to close a church service with a blessing. How though do these words connect with what we have already seen in Jude?
What does God accomplish for us? (v24)
Pray that we might commit to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. May our loves display the graces of faith, hope and love.
Pray that we might know the mercy of God and long for others to know it too. Pray for assurance for those who doubt and conviction to all who still disbelieve.
Pray that we might praise God for Jesus and the way he keeps us from stumbling, and he alone makes us blameless
Faith in a Time of Crisis Jude 1-4 20th June
Read the whole letter of Jude.
- What things strike you?
- What things are unclear?
- What is the main message?
Today we are now only going to focus in on vv1-4.
- Jude was (almost certainly) a brother of Jesus and James (the head of the church in Jerusalem). But that is not how he introduces himself in v1. How does he describe himself there?
- Who does Jude write to? (v1) The description of Christians as those who are ‘called’, ‘loved’ & ‘kept’ is beautiful. How do these terms help us understand our identity as Christians and what really matters in the Christian life?
- In verse 3 Jude says he wanted to write one letter but instead wrote another. What did he want to write? What did he write instead? Why did he do that?
The theme of Jude’s letter comes out of verse 3 ‘contend for the faith’.
- Is this ‘contending’ for the faith talking about evangelism with outsiders OR about making sure the gospel isn’t perverted inside the church with false teaching?
- In verse 3, when was the gospel ‘once for all entrusted to the saints’?
- Jude writes to say the faith must be contended for because it is being challenged by (v4) ‘certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.’ How are these ‘certain men’ described in v4?
- What is ‘the grace of God’?
- What does it mean to change the ‘grace of God into a licence for immorality’? Can you think of some contemporary examples of this?
- Are there things in this life that God says ‘no’ to?
As Australia becomes more and more secular there will be increasing pressure on the Church to give up the Biblical Gospel and especially to modify its teachings about the exclusivity of Christ, his resurrection, his claims of Lordship and biblical morality, marriage, sex and gender identity, end of life debates, to conform with a more palatable agenda. In the US and Canada, in Britain and New Zealand, we have already seen the church cave in to these pressures as key teaching gives way to all kinds of error. It would be foolish to think that the Anglican Church of Australia was immune to these pressures and that we will not also see the biblical faith eroded by the world and end up in a similar place.
The pressures of secularism and the perception that the Church is out of touch with the world will only increase as time goes on. And if we are to be a pure church faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Scriptures inspired by His Spirit then we will need to keep contending for the gospel.
How do verses 1-4 give us comfort? How do they challenge us?
Pray together, maybe picking up the words of verse 2 ‘may mercy peace and love be multiplied to you’
Pray that God will teach us all he wants us to learn from this letter, and that we might use it to contend for the gospel in our own day.