But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,Jude 1:20(NASB)
In the midst of the world's open rebellion against God, there is also gross apostasy taking place in the Church. This defection from the truth of God's Word has crept in quietly and subtly, like a destructive cancer that hungrily feeds on the sugary lies of false teachers. Such men and women are lying preachers, false prophets, and deceitful workers who are pretending to be messengers of God and apostles of Christ - and no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
We are not to be taken in by their deceptive claims and apostate teachings, but are encouraged to remember the simple truth of God's Word, foretold to us by Christ's true apostles in the Word of God. They warned that in the last days there would be scoffers in our own midst who would follow after their own ungodly desires, even denying the One Who bought them. Paul describes them as: "Detestable, disobedient, and worthless."
We are not to be taken in by their ungodly departure from the whole counsel of God, nor are we to pay heed to their substitute 'feel-good, man-centred, counterfeit, legalistic, social gospel' with its materialistic focus and devastating departure from the truth.
Rather, we are urged to resist the devil's enticements and reject the godless way of Cain, the greedy error of Baalam, and the rebellious attitude of Korah. We are to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, where the Cross of Christ is central and we depend entirely upon our Heavenly Father in all things. We do this by walking in spirit and truth, living godly in Christ Jesus, and praying at all times in the power of the Holy Ghost.
In a God-hating, Christ-rejecting world, we are exhorted to build ourselves up through the committed study of the Word of God and obedience to Christ's commands to His Church as laid out in the Bible. We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, and to rightly divide the God-breathed, Word of truth which is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. We are to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to guide them towards sound doctrine, for the time has come when men are departing from the faith and will not put up with wholesome teaching at all.
But we are also commanded to "pray in the spirit," which means that we are to lay aside our fleshly nature and be led and guided by the Lord, in accordance with the will of God. We are to pray in spirit and truth, and not to pray in accordance with our own selfish desires or by making our own foolish and prideful 'declarations' which are so dishonouring to the Lord. We are to recognise the impotency of repetitive prayers that are reiterated carelessly and mechanically, in preference to the tender promptings of the Holy Spirit in the heart, and His gentle guidance through the Word of Truth.
Let us, therefore, encourage one another and seek to build each other up in our most holy faith, praying in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we wait for the any day appearance of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ Who has given us eternal life, by grace through faith in Him.
Heavenly Father, in a world that is spiralling out of control and a Church that is becoming increasingly apostate, I pray that You would keep me from straying from the path of righteousness. Guide me into all truth by the power of Your Holy Spirit, as I study the Word of God and seek to do only those things that are pleasing in Your sight. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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