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What is “the most holy faith” (Jude 20)?

the most holy faith

In Jude 1:17–23, the writer calls believers to remain faithful in their walk with God. He reminds his friends in Christ of the apostles’ predictions—that false teachers, scoffers, and faithless people would come into the church and try to divide and tear them down. Jude urges the church to resist all such efforts: “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith” (verse 20, NLT).

The “most holy faith” is the bedrock of our spiritual life, the belief in the saving work of Jesus Christ accomplished through His death and resurrection. The apostle Paul gives a similar prompting: “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught” (Colossians 2:6–7, NLT).

Jude encourages readers “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 1:3). The most holy faith—the believer’s trust in Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel—is the “very faith” Paul preached but had once “tried to destroy” (Galatians 1:23, NLT). After his conversion, Paul would fight “the good fight” of faith for the rest of his life (2 Timothy 4:7) and urge fellow believers to do the same: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Jude calls it the “most holy” faith because it is singularly set apart from all the rest (Ephesians 4:4–6). The body of doctrine we hold—the faith we cling to—must remain pure and uncorrupted by false teaching and flashy new doctrinal additives (Galatians 1:6–9). For this reason, the author of Hebrews warns, “Do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them” (Hebrews 13:9, NLT). Strange and divisive teachings tear down our faith and lead us away from the path God has planned for us. Peter instructs, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment” (1 Peter 2:2, NLT).

Building ourselves up in the most holy faith involves a daily determination to learn as much as we can about the untainted truth of God’s Word and then obey it and live by it (see James 1:22–25; see also Acts 20:32; Hebrews 5:12; Titus 1:9). God gives us His Word to teach, correct, prepare, and equip us for “every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The earliest believers strengthened themselves in the most holy faith when they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

Jude discloses the key to building ourselves up in the most holy faith, and that is “praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 1:20). God’s Word and prayer is the dynamic duo of spiritual growth (see Acts 6:4). Praying in the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And . . . the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:26–28, NLT). When a Christian yields to the Spirit and is led by the Spirit in prayer, God can direct that person in His will and purposes. As a result, growth in faith is accomplished.

The most holy faith is the foundation of our Christian lives. The apostle Paul explains, “Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:10–11, NLT). Christ Jesus Himself is “the chief cornerstone” of our faith (Ephesians 2:20). Believers must “stand firm in the faith” and hold to their confession of trust in Jesus Christ until the end (1 Corinthians 16:13; Philippians 1:27; Hebrews 3:14; 1 Timothy 6:20–21).

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What is “the most holy faith” (Jude 20)?
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This page last updated: November 22, 2023