Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you about the salvation we all share together. But I felt the need to write to you about something else: I want to encourage you to fight hard for the faith that God gave his holy people. God gave this faith once, and it is good for all time. Jude 3 ERV
Is there anything in this world that is good for all time? Of course not everything about the physical world we live in has a lifespan and expiration date us included. This passage from Jude is a great reminder that the faith that was given by God is a good for all time faith. The faith He gave us is the faith that we have in His Son. There is no other faith.
I find interesting that today we hear people speak of the particular faith community they belong to. If God gave us faith once that is good for all time then how is it possible for us to belong to different faith communities and yet say we all have the same faith? This doesn’t really make sense and people outside “the faith” see it as incredibly confusing when they consider the faith.
The concept of separate, yet united faith communities would be a foreign concept to the original disciples of Jesus. There was only one faith and that was the faith that Apostle’s teaching brought to the world. This concept should be just as foreign for us today.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Ephesians 2:14-16 (ESV)
People of the faith that was given once and is good for all time must seek to bring down the walls of separation that “faith communities” create. If the blood of Christ can take down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles, it can take down the dividing walls of faith communities.
I use the term faith communities because that is now the politically correct term for denominational separation. We cannot all claim the one name of Christ and remain separated. We cannot be one people and remain separated, it is foolishness in the sight of the world when we claim to be one, yet remain separated. To continue in separation is to be hypocritical. This is one of the biggest and most justifiable criticisms of Christianity.
Hypocrisy is not acceptable to our Lord and savior. He criticized the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. So much of His ministry was spent on teaching the teachers of Israel. Yet, the teachers wouldn’t learn from The Teacher. They denied His teaching and sent him to the cross. We need to do much better than they did, For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 (ESV)
We cannot claim to be on different paths to the same destination. There is only one way to come to the Father and that is through the Son. Jesus said; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.
We must be obedient to His teachings and the teachings of His Apostles and strive for true unity.
It’s time to tear down the walls of separation and begin to build one another up Christ. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4,5)
Let’s return to the spiritual house that is based on the living stone, Jesus.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman