Thursday, October 19, 2006

Some Basics about Jude

Just by way of introduction, I think it's very fitting that we take a look at this little epistle by a half-brother of Jesus. Jude's readers were living in times that were similar to ours. Although they were persecuted more than we are, they were being infiltrated by libertinism and what may have been early forms of Gnosticism.

It is a book of warning and encouragement. A book of defense and yet offense. And again that is similar to where we find ourselves in history. We must contend for the faith, and be wary of various heresies that have crept into the Church.

But it is the proclamation of the faith that is our offensive weapon. We don't fight against flesh and blood. We fight against principalities and powers. And Biblical Truth is the only weapon that we possess that can neutralize the effects of doctrinal and practical error that was common in Jude's day as well as ours.

We see it in the pragmatism of our day. The Church is being infiltrated by a postmodern culture. As a result, doctrine has taken a back seat to "what works" and "meeting felt needs". Indeed, true doctrine is viewed as "impractical", "divisive" or even "not knowable". To the contrary, as a computer operates on what it is fed, our thoughts must be guided by God's Truth so that we operate as our Lord commands us to. Therefore, we must "be transformed by the renewing of our mind" on the one hand and spread forth God's truth so that others can be encouraged in the truth and correct practice. And to say that doctrine isn't "knowable" is to say that either God has stuttered, mumbled or not given us the tools to know what He has said.

Can doctrine be devisive? Yes! It divides truth from falsehood, holiness from sin, righteousness from unrighteousness and light from darkness. Truth protects us from error but it is also a sword that we wield to defeat the enemy and advance the Kingdom.

So I look forward to the days ahead as we go through Jude.

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