Recovering the Faith Once Delivered Unto the Saints.
Jude 1 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified
by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and
love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common
salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly
contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
What was "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints"?
John 17:John 17:3
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
sent. (8) For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received
them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst
Literally "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints", were the words Jesus spoke
during his earthly ministry, declaring the good news of the Kingdom of God.
1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that
we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, and eternal life.
Jesus Christ gave both the words and the understanding of those words to his disciples some of
whom were also called apostles. They in turn were to commit this same understanding to others.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to
faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Paul's letter to the Ephesian assemblies, shows us who some of these faithful men were.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the
faithful in Christ Jesus:
On his way to Jerusalem Paul called some of the Elders of Ephesus to Miletus to speak to
them and warn them about what the future held for them.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,
not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw
away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I
ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
How did Paul know this would happen? Jude gives us a clue, when writing about the same
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was
needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men (grievous wolves) crept in
unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of
our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul knew that even those who had at one time been faithful in Christ Jesus and fully
instructed and confirmed in the truth of the words of Christ, would fall away, because it was as
Jude said: "before of old ordained", that means it was "prophesied that this would take place".
This is why Paul said things like the following.
To the Galatian assembly:
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto
another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel
Paul did not marvel because they were actually removed from the original gospel, this was
foretold to happen, rather he marveled that it was taking place so "soon". For again this was
foretold, hence prophesied to take place in the Old Testament scriptures, even before Christ
came, and is what Paul ceased not to warn everyone about day and night with tears. In writing
to the Corinthians Paul mentions this again and reveals it's purpose.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among
you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are
approved may be made manifest among you.
Do you get that? Paul said: For there MUST also be heresies among you, that they which are
approved may be made manifest among you.
And how would that approval be made manifest or evident to God?
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
dividing the word of truth (The teachings of Jesus Christ and the scriptures).
The saints, also called the elect are those who have a love of the truth and seek to rightly
divide or understand the truth of what Jesus taught and the scriptures teach. However unlike us
today who are often searching to understand the scriptures, those of the first century were
handed the truth on a silver platter, first by Jesus and then his apostles and disciples. In
receiving his teachings and the full understanding of them, they were then made stewards of the
mysteries of God, which is a perfect understanding of the scriptures. Luke attests to this fact in
writing his gospel. It should be noted that Luke was one of the faithful men to whom the truth
was committed by those who had personally seen and heard Jesus Christ, he himself had never
actually seen or heard Jesus first hand. Luke and Mark are second hand accounts, where as
Matthew and John are first hand accounts.
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things
which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the
beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect
understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Then they were in turn to teach faithful men who were able to teach others. Unfortunately it
was prophesied that the saints would totally loose the understanding of these mysteries or truths,
and recover them towards the end of the age, before the Lord returned.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which
we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than
that ye have received, let him be accursed.
It was prophesied that the faith which was once delivered unto the saints to steward, would be
corrupted and lost for many years. But that in the end of days before the Lord's return the
saints would recover the original understanding of the teachings of Christ and walk in them.
Before one can contend for the faith which was once and for all time delivered unto the saints
to steward, one has to first recover the original understanding of that faith. For it is not so
much that the words themselves are lost to us, but the understanding of those words.
Yet Paul also prophesied or foretold it was these so called faithful men would turn away from
the original understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and pervert them in order to draw
away disciples after themselves.