Faithlife Sermons

Contending for the Faith by keeping ourselves within our Boundaries

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so we’ve been going through the book of Jude. And if you remember Jude was writing to the believers about “ our common salvation” … Yet the spirit of God led Jude to begin to shift his message.
And in V. 4, we begin to see that Jude felt it necessary to begin to address these men that had crept into the church unnoticed.
These men were dangerous as they ...
Were ungodly
Were turning the grace of God into lewdness
Were denying the Lordship of Jesus
Were marked out for condemnation
And so with the knowledge that these men were in the crept into the church , and seeing the danger behind them and their actions and their teachings… Jude would encourage the believers to do (2) things...
and we talked about what that meant- to fight hard and to agonize like on the wrestling mat for their faith or for the truth.
2. Keep - to keep themselves in specific places
and as we began moving through the letter Jude then takes the time to address the sure judgement to come to these evil men by giving us (3) illustrations from the old testament that the readers would have know, describing the judgement that came to these people as a result of their rebellion
this served as a warning of the judgement to come to the evil men in the church
but also as a warning and exhortation to the readers.
And as we look at these stories , they are meant to stir up the readers to be watchful and to respond
because here are the readers who are Christians , they are children of God, and the thought may be that i really don’t have to worry about anything . i am good , I am spiritually safe. And that thought process of being comfortable could cause them to stop being watchful, it could cause them to respond incorrectly to God.
And so what Jude does here in these stories is he gives us the chosen people of God. And he shows us that even they who were chosen , those Angels who were in God’s presence , could be derailed by fears and pride and other things that entered their lives , and lead them to be judged.
So it was really meant to wake them up from any spiritual sleep that they may have found themselves in and to be watchful.
So last week we looked at the first illustration that Jude gave us.
He told us of the Children of Israel who were delivered out of the land of Egypt , they were freed from bondage. And yet later these same people who started all well , lost their faith. We looked at the story in Num. 13-14 of the 10 spies that came back with a bad report and the 2 spies that came back with a good report.
we saw that the 10 spies had a bad perspective and the only thing that they saw was.
strong men
strong cities
They were fearful because of their situation rather than having faith in God.
and the two men , Joshua and Caleb , who saw the same thing , but they also had faith in God. That the same God that had delivered them from Egypt would be the same God that would conquer the land.
and we talked about how (2) people can start out the same place and they can end up at different places spiritually. And we talked about having endurance or perseverance
We looked at part of contending for the faith, was having and cultivating endurance, in order to continue in the faith
And so today we continue to look at the illustrations that Jude gave us....
Read Jude 6
Here Jude shifts his story from the Children of Israel to a group of Angels.
and he begins to tells us of a group of Angels who who left their place in heaven, they left their proper place, or their home .... in order to be somewhere else.
Peter would use the same illustration to his readers in reference to false teachers in
2 Peter 2:4 NKJV
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
and so it is evident that the readers would be familiar with the story of these Angels and they would have a grasp of what they were talking about.
today there is a difference of opinion as to who Jude and Peter were talking about.
and many believe that these Angels and the story that they are talking about is the story found in..
Genesis 6:1–6 NKJV
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
In the bible when we see “ Sons of God” , it is normally in reference to Angels. And so what many believe is that a group of Angels came down and saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, that they lay with them and had kids, and these kids were giants.
some believe that the reference to “sons of God” is just talking about men and not angels.
Jewish tradition looked at this story and they saw it as Angels coming down from earth and laying with the women.
From what we can see from the next verse (v.7) Jude is connecting these two stories talking about the sexual immorality in Sodom and Gamorrah which is our next illustration.
It sounds like Jude is making reference to the story found in Gen. 6 talking about the Angels who left their place to lay with women.
now either way , the main point of the story is not if these “ sons of God” were men or Angels. But the main point that Jude was making was that these Angels found themselves in the presence of God at one point
they were designed and created to be in the presence of God in heaven, and yet at one point they rebelled against God’s Authority and God’s design for them and they left their rightful place
Isaiah 14:12–15 NKJV
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
Here we see Satan and his fall, and he would take a third of the angels with him.
so the angels were in heaven and at one point they left their rightful place to do their own thing .
and as we look at these story, it is important to see the word “ Keep”
They did not Keep their proper domain
that word “ Keep” - is to continue in a state, to guard, or to keep watch
The angels did not continue in the place that God had designed for them, their proper place. The angels left we are told the boundaries that God had set up for them
See this is where it is important to listen as we will draw out what is within our story.
Jude 6 NLT
And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.
What we can understand is that God placed boundaries for the angels according to His Authority. And it was their role and responsibility to stay within those boundaries, within God’s Authority
but we are told that they “left” or they forsook- the boundaries that God had set up.
What we need to understand is that God is in control of all things, that God made all things with a purpose in mind, including you and me.
and part of God’s creation and his plan for our lives is that he sets up Authority in our lives.
God is ultimately our Authority , or at least he should be the Authority in my life.. the one who has my heart, the one i live for, the one i obey.
and part of God’s plan for our lives is that He sets earthly authorities within our lives.
Romans 13:1 NKJV
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Earthly Authorities
Governing Authorities- police, president, government, etc.
and the purpose of these authorities within our lives are to...
keep us safe
keep us from making mistakes
to teach us
to help us grow spiritually
to help us understand God’s Authority
these people are placed in our lives for our good
Romans 13:4 NKJV
For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
So these people are meant for good in my life, to produce something good in me. And some will have authority to bring punishment within my life if i don;t listen .... like your parents, police, government, teachers.
Yet the key thing to understand is that resisting the authorities in my life is not resisting that person , or that institution .... but it is directly rejecting God and His Authority
Romans 13:2 NKJV
Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
and the reality is that many of us can be like the Angels in our story. We have boundaries that have been established by our parents , by our teachers, by our leaders, by the government , and like the Angels .... we do not want to stay within those boundaries.
we want to go outside of those boundaries, and we will push the envelope to see how far we can go before crossing the line, we dilibretely break those boundaries in order to do what we want.
And what we fail to realize is that those boundaries have actually been set up by God as he has placed those people within my life. And so breaking those boundaries is not just disobeying my parents , or my teachers, or disobeying the law ..... but its actually a direct blow to God’s authority in my life.
And if I’m honest that was me. I don’t know why, but i was born to go against authority. Since I was a small kid, i did not want to listen to anyone. My mom, dad, teachers, police. I didn’t care. I wanted to do want i wanted and nobody was going to tell me different . So i broke every boundary that people tried to put in my life.
and see i thought i was just rebellious against earthly authority, and i had no understanding that i was actually rejecting God’s Authority in my life.
and when i became a christian i had a hard time learning to all of a sudden start respecting people, to start honoring the authority that God had placed in my life.
and as we talk about Authority , we have to ask ourselves ....
Pride is the number 1 reason we resist the authority in my life.
we saw this in Ish. 14 in Satan’s fall, Pride was the reason he fell.
my pride will lead me to think i know everything, it will lead me to think that we know better, it will lead me to think that i don’t have to listen to that person.
Pride is a wrong high picture of self - i assume that i am something that i am not.
and the danger of being prideful is that it’s a long drop to reality
Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
2. Authority is Miss used
another reason we don’t want to submit to authority in our lives is because some people have miss used that authority. maybe we have seen people do things that they shouldn’t have done in a position of authority , and it turns us off to them.
this is what you see in the social justice movement today. People are upset about the things certain police officers did that appeared to have abused their Authority
and so the reaction people have had is to resist not just the individuals , but to resist the entire concept of police. This not right either.
what we have to understand is that people are sinful, and people will abuse power and abuse authority, but we have to understand that the ultimate authority is God. And He has established certain authorities in my life for a purpose, that i am to respect and to honor.
in Num. 12 . we see the story of Moses , Aaron and Miriam
we are told that Miriam and Aaron , Moses’ brother and sister, spoke against Moses because he had married an Ethiopian woman.
they began to question the authority of Moses as the leader of the people because of a descision that he had made.
Numbers 12:2 NKJV
So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it.
so because they did not like a decision that was made by Moses , they are willing to question his authority. Yet God heard it and he called all 3 of them out together and God called out Miriam and Aaron.
Numbers 12:8 NKJV
I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?”
God straight out calls them out from going against the Authority that God had established in their lives.
later we would see Miriam would get Leprosy , which in the bible times was looked upon like sin.
in this case it was a physical representation of the sin that took place.
What should have happened is that they should have ....
Humbled themselves before God.
James 4:10 NKJV
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
see there will be times in life that we will not agree with people and the decisions that they make. It could be a parent, a teacher, a leader, a coach, a boss. But a difference in opinions doesn’t give us the right to reject that authority, even if we are right.
that person has still been placed there by God, and by honoring the person even in a wrong decision , is honoring God.
to humble oneself is to release ourselves . To humble ourselves before God, is to release my ideas, my thoughts, my ego, for the sake of allowing God to rule inside of me.
this is what Miriam and Aaron should have done. Humbled themselves before God , released their own thought, and concerns, and allow God to keep working. But they didn’t , they allowed pride to get the best of them.
2.Learn to Trust God’s Authority
see what should have happened is that Miriam and Aaron should have trusted not Moses, but trusted God who was in control of Moses.
and when we have a hard time trusting or following the Authority in my life, i am to trust God who is the ultimate authority and to allow him to direct the situation , rather than to just reject the authority because i don’t agree with it.
Understand that in order for me to contend for the faith, i am to ....
Submit to God’s Ordained Authority
Follow the Right Authority
This is how i keep myself within God’s boundaries
the story of the Angels given to us by Jude shows us the danger of forsaking the boundaries that God has established. and the result for them as for the evil men in the church was judgement.
The angels we are told were judged with everlasting chains under darkness.
the sin of pride and of rejecting God’s authority will leave us chained in bondage, living a life of darkness.
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