“While the Gospel is something worth contending for, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this business.” D.A. Carson
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jude’s appeal seems simple enough: “contend for the faith”. This word “contend” carries a weight in its original language. When Jude says “contend” he is stressing the need to defend the faith – contend for the gospel. I have found sometimes that contending is done among unbelievers and believers. And most often, I find that this contending is done in my own heart and mind.
Please don’t misunderstand…. I love the gospel, have accepted the gospel, and…. I need to fight for (contend for) the gospel in my own life.
From Jude’s day until now, true believers have always had to battle for the purity of the salvation gospel.
In this post (and future ones to follow leading up to Easter) I want to do some “contending” for the gospel. I am not contending for gospel vagueness. I want to wrestle with the gospel. Define it, mine it, explore its many facets, grow in beholding it, and be moved to be worshipfully humbled by it!
If the gospel is worthy – then it is “worth it” to wrestle with it, read about it, write about it, and seek to apply it to everyday of our lives.
So, is Jesus a teacher, model, or Redeemer??
There is a growing number of people who consider themselves to be evangelical who would say He is a Teacher and/or He is our Example but He is Not our Redeemer.
And, when an evangelical says….”Jesus is not our Redeemer”, then that person is not…. “evangelical”. To say I am Evangelical and to say – I don’t view Jesus as my Redeemer is an oxymoron.
There are those today who say:
There are those who say that any reference to Jesus’ work on the Cross as Redemptive is…..
- Immoral – Because violence is immoral and the cross was violent.
- Offensive – Because Jesus appeased the wrath of God.
- Offensive – Because God the Father is viewed as violent and angry.
- Immoral and Offensive – Because the cross was cosmic child abuse.
- Contradiction – Because, God is a God of love then how is it that He had His innocent Son crucified.
In an effort to “explain and defend God”, these individuals are actually explaining God away, as if that was even possible.
In these next posts it is my desire to write about the Atonement. In doing so, my goal is not to provide more data to our already overfilled brains! The goal is to bring us to worship of the God, who graciously offered up His innocent Son that we might be forgiven! My goal is not argument. My goal is worship. When we rightly understand the gospel – worship will soon to follow!
So, was Jesus a teacher?
Was He an example?
Yes, to both of these – Jesus was a teacher and example, but He was more than that – He is your REDEEMER!! He redeemed our lives from the pit. His blood was the ransom price to purchase our freedom. He paid for the forgiveness of yours and my sins! He reversed the curse of Genesis 3. He has poured out His love on us and has given us new life that we might now live for Him!
More than a teacher and more than an example – praise Him – He is your Redeemer!