The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints

The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints

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 3

One of the many challenges to the Church in North America is the conviction that faith is personal and private.  There is a pervasive view that one’s faith is simply a matter of a personal relationship with God.  However, the Biblical view of faith is that while it is personal (one has an individual faith), it is also corporate.  One of the lesser quoted epistles, Jude, encourages his readers that the Church is to defend “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”  (Jude 3).  The Christian faith is created by the working of the Holy Spirit through the Word and Sacraments, but it is also a body of doctrine that clearly confessing the person and work of the triune God.

So the Christian faith is not something that is believed in isolation from others, but also not something that is practiced in isolation from others.  Gathering together with the saints of God is to confess the faith that was once delivered to the saints and to receive the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives.  The Nicene Creed was originally spoken in the plural because this is the faith that we have all received and that we confess together.  The rhythm of corporate worship is God serving us corporately through His gifts as He forgives sins and strengthens faith through the Means of Grace, but then as we respond.  Our responses may be different (since we have differing gifts – different voices, different offerings, different forms of service), but they are offered together as one body and among all the saints.

The Christian faith is also not something which individuals have the freedom to craft according to their own opinions and views.  The faith that we confess has been revealed through the Sacred Scriptures, expounded in the Lutheran Confessions and taught among us throughout the generations.  Our prayer is that God would preserve this faith among us and save us from ourselves and our sinful desires to “have it your way” like the rest of the world.  May God enable us to be faithful stewards of the faith once delivered to the saints in our day!

Prayer - Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty.  Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 

Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan

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