3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
In this passage Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, is suggesting that there is a core of Gospel truth which is to be considered as permanent, inviolate and worth our efforts to defend in the face of New Thought.
In a group discussion with several men the other night, certain were heard to be saying that just as soon as they thought they had firmly understood some concept of scripture, the Holy Spirit would bring along new light and a new application. Others warned that this might lead to a defeatist attitude wherein we might lament, "Who can ever really understand the Word of God?"
But we have been told elsewhere that we will be rewarded with revelation if we seek Him diligently with our entire heart. I must believe that a certain core of doctrine remains firmly and reliably in place. Such a suggestion flies in the face of post-modernist thought which challenges all absolutes and suggests that rules or doctrines divide and promote a certain exclusiveness or "clique-ishness". The so-called Emerging Church Movement cries out against such rules.
Listen to what Paul had to say to Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:
16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
One of the men piped up, "OK, so in twenty-five words or less, what is this common salvation?" Tough question. Here are a few suggestions:
2 Corinthians 5:
21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1 John 2:
28And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
Note: An interesting chart appears at the following site: