Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Are we really called to "defend" truth?

I find it interesting that people teach that we are to defend truth... or defend The Truth. Did you know there is not one verse that states that or teaches that?
Here is a short list of who and what we are to defend:
  • The Gospel (I know that the Gospel is truth... and I will get back to this)
  • The Weak
  • The afflicted among the people.
  • The cause of the weak and fatherless.
Now, there is much more and I challenge one to do a study on "defending".
Still not one verse that states to defend the truth... and some base their whole ministry on this idea.
Now.. we are to defend the Gospel... and the Gospel is truth. Now that is as close as one can get to this idea. Yet, the Gospel is this... for there is only One Gospel that was in Christ and taught by Christ and handed down to the Apostles... Jesus tells us this Gospel in Matthew 24:14
"...gospel of the kingdom..." it is not just about the death burial and resurrection though that is a major part of it... it is and was always and will always be about God's Kingdom.
Some teach that it is yet to come... but here in Matthew and elsewhere Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and no other Gospel.
How sad that some seek to defend Truth... For if they realized that Jesus is The Truth and God's Word does not return void to Him, they would see that Truth defends itself! It does not need man to defend it... or rather let me state it this way... Jesus does not need man to defend Him! He is our defender.
Now there is a verse that is used as a hammer to batter other brother and sisters in Christ with. And the sad thing is it is one of the most powerful verses in the bible... in it is a warning and an eternal truth that those who teach man must defend Truth miss...
Jude 1: 3-5
"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. "
Now the focus is on "I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."
Many read this without a thought that "contend" means to defend... rather it means to strive for... A quick look at the verses that use contend will show this true.
Now, in boxing a contender is not the champion who holds the title... it is the one who is striving toward the goal to win the title. What some have done with this verse is turn the contender into the defender and that is wrong.
We are to earnestly contend for the faith. We are to strive and seek after it. Paul used the idea of running the race... that we are to persevere and endure whatever comes at us and to strive toward the goal which is Jesus and His great salvation.
I see that this basic misunderstanding has caused much division out there. In our futile attempt to defend Truth, we miss that Jesus being truth and by His truth defends us as we trust Him at His word. To take that from Jesus is stating that we really do not trust Jesus defence of us or Himself and that we can do it better than Jesus can. It is arrogance to thing we can defend Truth better than God Himself...
We are to stand on the truth... as Moses was instructed "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock." (Exodus 33:21) we also are to stand on the Rock which is Jesus Christ and not depend on our own works to defend that Rock... that Rock is our defense!
It is by Grace we can even stand... Romans 5:1-2
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."
As we stand in His grace by faith we are earnestly contending for the faith.
We may debate and instruct as to God's word... we may rebuke and be rebuked by God's word and fall into conviction of the Holy Spirit... yet this is not defending... if one turns it into that it is no longer in love as it is then confrontation in the sense that one person is greater than the other. We are to esteem others greater than ourselves... and in love contend for the faith and while we do that encourage others to contend with us.
Now if someone is tries to state I am against truth... you really need to re-read this post again... I think that if I place my trust in Jesus who is Truth incarnate... that I place a high value on truth.
Be Blessed,

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