Although it is not a flattering representation of God but this is not the main point anyway; which is actually found in the first verse. Jesus tells the disciples that they should always pray and never give up. There is a powerful and subtle message here, too. It says that God can be influenced by humans if we are so strongly committed that our cause is just and righteous that even the Creator will be moved to act; even if the initial response from on High was silence. That being said, however, I want to focus the reader’s attention to verse 8 where Jesus asks the question, “When the Son of man comes again will He find ‘faith’ on the earth?” That’s a really good question and the follow-up to that statement is found in the book of Jude where much of the answer is found.
Dear friends, although I was eager to write to you about the salvation we [commonly] share, I felt that I had to write and urge you to contend [struggle and fight to keep/preserve] for the ‘faith’ that was once for all entrusted to the saints [for safekeeping until Jesus returns].
I want to leave this point for now to take a look at this ‘faith’ and try to unpack it and see what all of this means. Many, if not all Christians have been taught and agree wholeheartedly that they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ; this is undeniably and certainly true as far as things go. The thing is though, more importantly, we are saved by the faith of Jesus, as found in the following:
Galatians 2: 16
Know that a man [person] is not justified by observing the law [Torah] but by the faith of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3: 9
. . . and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law [Torah], but that which is through the faith of Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by [and through] faith.
Now, what is the connection between the faith of Jesus and righteousness?
Luke 22: 41b-42
Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup [suffering, pain, and death] from me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.
Hebrews 5: 7-9
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears [like great drops of blood] to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission [to the will of the Father]. Although he were a son [the Son], yet He learned obedience [and trust??] from what He suffered, and once made perfect [being perfected], He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him. . .
NOTE: From these passages that have been previously cited it seems that the ‘faith’ of Jesus is an obedient faith resulting in righteousness through submission to God’s will.
So, to wrap this up by returning back to the book of Jude where some of the things listed there are so familiar, as if taken from today’s news headlines, using Jude 3b as a basis and supported by the next part as referenced below:
2 Timothy 3: 1-5, 7b, 8b
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the Last Days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents [and any other authority figure], ungrateful, unholy, without love [love will grow cold], unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control [intemperate], brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous [disloyal, unfaithful], rash [impetuous/impatient], lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying [blocking through hardness] its power. Have nothing to do with them. Men [persons] of depraved minds, who as far as the ‘faith’ [the faith once and for all delivered], are rejected (reprobate).
Jude wraps it up by including more negative characteristics of believers who have departed from the true faith of Christ through disobedience and way of life in these ways:
These men speak abusively (derisively) against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct [or through tradition, history, cultural experience] - these are the very things that destroy them [are stumbling blocks??].
These men are grumblers, faultfinders and they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for [or to] their own advantage.
These are the men who divide you (Cp. Romans 10: 17-18), who follow mere natural instincts (verse 16) and do not have the Spirit.
To sum it all up then, just believing in Jesus is not enough because as James writes in chapter 2 and verse 19b of his epistle: Even the demons believe God and tremble. As a matter of fact there are several examples of demons confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Cp. Matthew 8: 29; Mark 3: 11; 5: 7; Luke 4: 41), but there is no record in the gospels that mentions any of them being converted or were saved through their obedience to His will. The original faith is the one entrusted to those who were first changed by it and passed it down through the centuries, as the Holy Spirit bore witness to these things. It is a life of devotion, commitment, and obedience to whatever God commands, as the Apostle Paul puts it this way:
Galatians 2: 20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live [as in the flesh], but Christ lives in [and through] me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in [and of] the Son of God.
Now, when Jesus returns, will He find [the former and original] “faith” in the earth, or more importantly, will He find His type of ‘faith’ in the Church?
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July 20, 2015