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"THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED UNTO THE SAINTS"
  "…it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints"
(Jude 3)

THIS FAITH HAS BEEN DELIVERED.
Centuries ago, by the process of divine revelation, via the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures-II Peter 1:21, God delivered the "faith once delivered unto the saints." This objective faith is that body of divine truth eternally preserved-Matt. 24:35, in the inerrant words of God-Matt. 4:4. It is that body of heavenly instruction infallibly set forth in the verbally inspired Scriptures-II Tim. 3:16-17.
This divinely delivered faith is an exclusive faith. It is not just any faith. It is "the faith"-I Tim. 4:1, the faith exclusive to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures in the 66 canonical books of the Bible, that when combined together by the Holy Spirit have been aptly termed "the word of truth"-II Tim. 2:15. It is-and has been-the sole faith-Eph. 4:13-of genuine Bible-believing Christians down through the centuries.
This faith is an eternal faith-Ps. 119:89-which can never be altered, deleted or given extra-scriptural additives. This faith is a conserved faith-Ps. 12:6-7, a Christ-centered faith-Acts 24:24, and a common faith-Titus 1:4. It is a faith shared by all who have genuinely received the implanted Word of God-I Pet. 1:23.
This faith is also an established faith-Eph. 2:20, with Jesus Christ being the foundation of this faith-I Cor. 3:11, the full-expression of this faith-Col. 2:9, and the finisher of this faith-Heb. 12:2. For believers, experientially, Christ is the substance of this faith-Acts 20:24, the source of this faith-Gal. 2:20, and the subject of this faith-Eph. 4:13.

THIS FAITH NEEDS TO BE DEFENDED
Believers are exhorted to "earnestly contend" for this faith-Jude 3. This means that God called preachers are not only to be faithful expositors of the word-II Tim. 4:2, they must also be fearless exposers of the world-II Tim. 4:10. This faith must be defended against all erroneous intrusions upon its infallible fabric, regardless whether these intrusions be seditious foes who enter from without-Acts 20:29, or supposed friends from within-Acts 20:30.
This faith must be vigorously defended against the (a) the Christ deniers [apostates]-II John 7-11, the (b) compromisers [new-evangelicals]-II Tim. 4:10, and the (c) the charismatics-I Cor. 12 & 14. In Jude 4-19, the apostates are described as seductive-v. 4, sodomists-v. 7, scornful-v. 10, shameless-v. 12, slanderers-v. 8 & 18, spoilers-v. 12, and sensual-vs. 18-19.
Militant defenders of the faith must also staunchly oppose the surging tide of accommodators today, popularly known as New-Evangelicals [NE's] and Pseudo-Fundamentalists [PF's]. These groups are conformers to the world-Rom. 12:2, whose unscriptural sympathies and/or ties to the apostasy and the ungodly world must be strongly exposed and staunchly resisted. These groups diminish the inerrant Scriptures while claiming at the same time to declare those same infallible Scriptures.
Historic Biblical Fundamentalists must also forcefully contend against the charismatics, a dangerous religious movement that depreciates the faith with its extra-scriptural revelations-Rev. 22:18-19, its ecumenical relations-II Cor. 6:14-18, and its existential resemblances-"vain words" Eph. 5:6, and "words to no profit"-II Tim. 2:14.
Unfortunately, the walls of Scriptural demarcation between professing Fundamentalists and practicing Charismatics are being broken down as many Fundamentalists adopt modified versions of the deceptive charismatic "praise and worship" music emphasis.

THIS FAITH NEEDS TO BE DISSEMINATED
Jude declares that of some unconverted individuals, we must "have compassion", while "others" we must win by saving them "with fear"-Jude 23. This verse synchronizes with the Great Commission mandate that Christ gave to His disciples-Matt. 28:18-20. Historic Biblical Fundamentalists must always keep this mandate as the evangelistic heartthrob of their ministries-Acts 1:8.
The sign posted at the exit door of numerous Bible-believing Baptist churches- "You are entering the mission field"- must not be an empty motto. N. T. local churches must ardently pursue the unconverted population of their local Jerusalem, while also praying for and sending missionaries around the world-Acts 1:8.
The propigation of the gospel must permeate and saturate every auxiliary agency within the local church. Men's groups, women's groups, senior citizens groups, youth groups and even children's groups must all keep the evangelistic fires burning hotly in all their activities and programs-II Cor. 5:14. They must utilize every legitimate means for proclaiming the gospel-I Cor. 9:22. Burdened saints must pray for the massive multitudes, without hope-Matt. 9:36, that "the lord of the harvest" would "send forth laborers into his harvest"-Matt. 9: 38. They must fervently give forth both the published and preached word of the gospel via intensive evangelistic endeavors at home-Acts 5:42 and around the world-Acts 8:4.
The faith "once delivered unto the saints"-Jude 3-needs to be both defended and disseminated. Believing saints have a sword with two sharp edges-Heb. 4:12, both of which need to be constantly utilized to the fullest extent. The Christian's sword-the infallible Word of God-can be compared to a train that runs on two tracks, both tracks of which are absolutely necessary for a train to successfully fulfill its mission.
Defending the faith and disseminating the faith are not conflicting dichotomous actions. They are complementary activities, both of which are necessary components of an individual believer's and a local church's imperative mission. It is the writer's hope that all who read these lines will give themselves unreservedly to both the preservation-Phil. 1:27 and the propagation of the faith-Eph. 3:8-9 that was "once delivered unto the saints." D.J.


Editorial – October-November 2004 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.
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