Welcome to episode 4 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about mercy. The small letter of Jude in the New Testament closes by saying, “and have mercy on those who doubt.” This, in a letter that has strong words for those outside the faith who are attacking the purity of the gospel. If anything is added to, or taken away from the gospel, the gospel morphs into law. Jesus plus nothing equals everything, but Jesus plus anything becomes some form of law.
Jude tells us to contend for the faith – to fight for the purity of the gospel, but we often interpret his words to mean fight for our tribal doctrine – the things that make our group unique from other groups. It’s that mindset that gets us into trouble because when we start doing that, mercy falls off the radar and we lose sight of it, thinking instead that our goal is to win an argument.
It’s in the context of contending for the purity of the gospel that Jude reminds us to have mercy on those who doubt. Have you ever doubted the gospel? We have. Have you ever doubted your own salvation? We have. And when we do, we don’t need harsh reminders of tribal doctrine. We need to hear the gospel all over again and be comforted and built up by that message because that is the only message that produces and restores faith and hope. Let’s talk about it.