Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Blueprint For Renewal

Last Sunday Pastor Mike talked about the first half of the book of Jude and a blueprint for renewal.

Jude 1-16

[a]Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of [b]James,
To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the [c]saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand[d]marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that[e]the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, [f]subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after [g]strange flesh, are exhibited as an [h]example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile [i]angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are [j]destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay [k]they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the men who are [l]hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, [m]doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own [n]shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the [o]black darkness has been reserved forever.
14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with [p]many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; [q]they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

The Source of Renewal
Right off the bat in verse 1 we are reminded of our identity in Christ. We are called, loved and kept by God. It is important to note that all of these are passive, meaning that these things happened to us, we did nothing to attain this identity. God called us. God loved us. God kept us. Our identity is based on what God has done for us alone. We cannot earn our place or His favor. It is given to us.

Gospel renewal starts with Jesus.

The Call to Renewal
Grace meets us right where we are, and it changes us. When Jesus renews us, He changes our hearts. His grace meeting us where we are is not license to do whatever we want, it gives us the grace to live the way He designed us to live. (Titus 2:11-12)

We are called to contend for the faith. Contend means to exert great effort. God's grace gives us the ability to extend the effort to say no to the flesh and the world and yes to God's ways. When we darken our hearts in some way, we cannot see God clearly and can easily fall into sin. When we deny the authority of Jesus, this will happen. He is the example of how we are to live and to contend.

The Danger of Not Renewing
God does not play around with sin. Jude gives 9 pictures of judgement from the Old Testament and Jewish history to remind us of this. If we are not renewed, then we will face eternal judgement and darkness.

If we do not continue in faith with Christ, then we are not saved. 

Contending for the faith is both external and internal. Internal contending is Jude's main focus, because if we are not contending in our hearts, our external efforts mean nothing. We are simply coasting.

Great Intentions
Agonizing Forward
Tossed back and forth
Deepening Convictions
Unconcerned about sin
Putting Sin to death
Faithful to externals
Internally Striving
No leadership in home
Leadership in home

Are you coasting or contending? How can we contend together?

No comments:

Post a Comment