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.
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
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.
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."