What is the FAITH of Jude 3?

Posted on: December 13th, 2015

In a previous article I wrote about the responsibility of all of us as Christians to defend the “Faith” of Jude 3. But if order to defend it properly we need to understand what this faith is that needs to be defended. Some seem to have the idea that faith is built on nothing but the imagination of man. Thus it is irrational, something one is to believe with no evidence to support it. This is not true. The Faith that Jude tells us to defend is described in Heb.11:1 as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So, faith is built on evidence that can be examined and proven. That is what makes it an objective faith, rather than a subjective faith.
The faith is an objective faith. What is meant by an objective faith, rather than a subjective faith? Objective faith is that which is believed. Subjective faith is the act of believing something and comes from within a person. It is a mental state. Objective faith is that which is to be believed, the object to which faith is directed. While Jesus was alive men saw and heard Him and benefited from His work and teaching. When He returned to heaven, we see and know Him through testimony, truth that is recorded for us to read and study. Thus our faith (subjective faith) is based on believing the testimony (basis of objective faith) delivered to us by those who saw and heard Him. For example, “but these are written (the testimony) that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (objective faith), and that in believing (subjective faith) you may have life in His name” Jn.20:31.

In the context of Jude “the faith” is objective. Faith in the context of Jude 3 is a noun, a specific thing, the thing believed, a definite doctrine. It is a truth existing in an organized form, an organized body of truth. Yes, it is a creed, but it is the creed from God as distinguished from the creeds of men. A creed is defined as “an authoritative formula of religious belief for its adherents, a set of fundamental beliefs, a guiding principle.” There are creeds upon creeds that are so prevalent today. They have been formulated through the years, corrupting God’s divine revelation. They have been written by men with little regard, or love for the truth. God permits those who desire it, to believe a lie and be damned 2.Thes.2:9-12; Gal.1:6-9. So we need to verify the truth. To do so we have to go back to the right source, the inspired word of God. We need to go back to the original word of God, removing the rubbish of the ages. We must always speak God’s word. We must use the objective faith.
The faith is a historical faith. It is not a speculative faith that comes of human wisdom. Man, left to himself, may devise for himself a system of religion, but it will be faulty, with human limitations, one that seeks to deify and glorify man, rather than God Rom.1:20-23; Col.2:8. But Bible faith is a historical faith, founded on the history of a person who actually lived. It rests on proven, infallible truth Lk.1:1-3. The certainty of this truth is based on the testimony of eyewitnesses who gained nothing in the worldly sense. They were persecuted, killed, made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in the world. They were not self-assertive or pretentious. They made no claims for themselves. They attributed everything to God, Christ and the Holy Spirit 2.Pet.1:16-21; 1.Thes.2:13. What they wrote were infallible proofs of what Jesus began to do and teach Acts 1:1. They saw Him for 40 days, and heard Him speak of things pertaining to the kingdom of God. They were competent eyewitnesses (not prone to deception), thus not mistaken in what they saw and heard 1.Jn.1:1-4. Their purpose in writing was to give assurance they were not misleading or deceptive. They wrote in language that was reasonable and rational, not the words of madmen or fools. To do this they had the inspiration of superhuman guidance, i.e., the Holy Spirit, as they recorded superhuman events. Their written testimony contains the signature of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit, guiding them as they wrote 2.Pet.1:20-21.  
The faith is a dogmatic faith. A dogma is “a definite, authoritative tenet, a body of truth, formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed.” The NT is “the faith,” the organized body of truth, existing in words written by inspired men. This dogmatic faith is the truth of God revealed. It is a treasure from God Col.2:3-4. The faith is the treasure, the chest or casket containing it is the word of God, conveyed to us by earthen vessels (fallible men who were inspired 2.Cor.4:7; Rom.10:8; 1:16-17; Gal.3:23. This is why it is so important to guard or defend this faith.   
As Jude wrote about “the faith once for all delivered” he made the point that it was delivered “to the saints.” Even though the faith was delivered from heaven to inspired men, once it was received, those who received it were expected to guard and protect it. This responsibility was not left to the apostles alone, those who first received and wrote it, but for every saint who has been blessed by “the faith.” There were those in the first century who were continually attacking the faith, making shipwreck of it, and leading people astray. It is no different today. The faith is continually attacked by ungodly men who want to add to it, take from it, or change it for their own benefit. Some brethren have gone to sleep, and being in a stupor no longer have the firm convictions of years past. They are allowing theologians to cast a shadow upon the great truths of God’s word. People who question or deny the existence of God, the reality of heaven, the virgin birth and resurrection of Christ. Brethren have been taught to expect this from denominational preachers, but there are preachers among us who speak with “uncertain sounds.” So be careful of who you listen to and what they say. There is only one true faith Eph.4:5, once for all delivered to the saints. It is the only one that will save you.

Tommy Thornhill