With instantaneous news reporting, the average US citizen is bombarded daily with sensational news headlines. It seems almost every day; there are stories about terrorism, murder, drug abuse, celebrities falling into grievous sins, sickness and death. Rarely is there a feel good story aired on TV or cable. The average citizen senses and sees that there is a downgrading of morals in our society and within the family unit. They are seeing and experiencing the consequences of this degradation. There is also now a stigma attached to being a Christian which is being advanced by the media. The result is more and more born again believers are finding themselves trying to live the Christian life among the unsaved Spirit-less (Anti-Christian) in their families and professions. This should come as no surprise to the Christian. The prophecy of this degradation has been stated in several places in the bible. Are Christians living in the last days? It sure seems like it. The book of Jude looks at this topic. For example:
Jude 1:18 (NASB) that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” Jude 1:19 (NASB) These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
This is the society Christians find themselves in currently. Christians are living among ones who cause divisions, are worldly mined and are devoid of the Spirit. This is all part of God’s plan prior to Christ’s return. Christians are more increasingly living among the Spirit-less. This begs the question of how to live the Christian life God wants us to live among the Spirit-less. How are Christians supposed to act and what should they be doing? Should the Christian be passive or active in his faith? What does this look like? How does one Grace Live among the Spirit-less? Jude gives a few hints in His N.T. book.
Let’s start by looking at the directive of Jude in verse 3. Jude appeals to Christians to contend earnestly for the faith because of the advancement of the activities of the Spirit-less. In verse 4-19, Jude explains the reasons why Christians should content earnestly by describing ungodly activities, sins and the overall downward spiral of society. The Greek word for contend earnestly in verse 3, is the only time this word is used in the N.T. It carries a sense of struggling for something. To struggle for something in a humble, meek and loving way. To struggle for the faith being led and directed by the Spirit within every Christian. To struggle for the faith by expressing our union with Christ. At the end of verse 19, Jude summarizes the reason that godliness is so prevalent in our society. The ungodly are devoid of the Spirit. What they need is to become Spiritually alive. They need the Spirit; they need to be born again. They need regeneration. So I see contending for the faith as expressing Christ to the world by being used as Christ’s instrument. To present the offer of Spiritual life to those devoid of the Spirit. To explain what Christ offers to become Spiritually alive. To explain the Gospel of Grace. Most Christian would agree with this, but fall short on one key aspect. How does one carry this out in a practical Spirit led way? Jude explains (How to Grace Live Among the Spirit-less) in the verses 20-25.
Jude 1:20-25 (NASB)
120 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Grace living among the Spirit-less is showing mercy to the unsaved in conjunction with waiting anxiously for Christ to work in their lives to eternal life. Mercy is showing compassion, kindness and love to those devoid of the Spirit by letting Christ express Himself through the Christian. The believer’s part is to learn how to allow Christ to live through him. This is accomplished by getting to intimately know Christ (not just facts), building oneself up by taking steps of faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and expressing the love of God to unsaved. Christ Jesus does the rest. The result is doubters are saved (indwelt with the Spirit) Amen! This is an active faith, not a passive faith. We shouldn’t fear falling into sin while engaging with unbelievers. Jude says Christ will keep us from stumbling. Grace living among the Spirit-less is showing them mercy.
If you would like to learn more about the Gospel of Grace and the truths described here, come join us at Grace Christian Church, currently meeting at the Freehold VFW, every Sunday at 9:30.
Rob Parlante – Elder / Grace Christian Church