Defense of Faith

Like a burden too heavy to bear, I have felt the disgrace of the dishonor done to Jesus' Name, His Kingdom, and His Character. The tragedy is that this dishonor happens among Christians. We use what pertains to Him in vain, selfish, and disrespectful ways.

The weight of it is crushing. It is shameful. By the casual, careless tossing about of ideas in the name of Christianity we can drive people away from Jesus.

Jude 1:3 talks about standing for true faith in Jesus.

"Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His holy people." 

How should I "Defend the faith?" What will keep me in truth? Do I represent Christ in all my ways?

Verse 20 says,

"But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love."

Build each other up in this faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Await the mercy of Jesus.

Luke 7 has several examples of faith. In the Roman officer whose highly-valued slave was near death we see a rare depth of faith. He asked Jesus to heal his slave but did not want to trouble Him with huge demands. He knew about authority and believed that if Jesus only spoke the word the healing would follow. Jesus, in amazement, exclaims, "I haven't seen faith like this in all of Israel!" The slave was healed. That is unreserved and undemanding faith!

It is not a foolish claim. It is not a selfish agenda. It is not a breaking away from the authority of God's Word. It is simple yet profound faith.

The other story is in verses 44-50, regarding the woman who came to the Pharisee's house to anoint Jesus' feet.

"Then He [Jesus] turned to the woman and said to Simon, 'Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 

"'You didn't greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 

"'I tell you, her sins - and they are many - have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.' Then Jesus said to the woman, 'Your sins are forgiven.' 

"Then the men at the table said among themselves, 'Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?' And Jesus said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'" 

Jesus accepted the woman's offering. Hers is the faith He blessed. Jesus did not even thank or commend the Pharisee for his invitation and hospitality, but He praised the woman who poured all she had onto His feet. And He forgave her of her many sins.

It is a plain fact that I cannot naturally think and respond as Jesus does. His ways are so foreign to human nature that is requires something much greater, something heavenly, to convey His truths to my heart. That is why I am humbly grateful for the Holy Spirit, the Guide and Comforter that Jesus has sent to live inside of me and teach me His ways.

Jesus is worthy of my complete devotion and my whole life. Do I surrender my all to Him in absolute faith? Is my life a pure defense of the true faith that God is looking for?

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