4/10 Strength for Today

Earnestly Contend for the Faith

Jude 1:3
“Beloved, 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.”

Jude 1:3 is probably one of the most misunderstood and neglected verses today. The attitude of the average preacher today is that they have no desire to contend for anything, but would rather have a large congregation than defend the faith.

The focus in the verse above is on the faith. God commands us to “…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” There are several key words and phrases in this verse that we must understand in order to properly defend the faith. First, we are to contend for the faith. The faith is the Word of God. I want you to notice that nowhere in this verse does God mention to only contend for the major things and not the minor. I say this because many people want to say that people need to focus on the major things of the Word of God and stop majoring on the minor issues. According to this verse, all of the Scriptures are major to God for they are the faith. You will never be able to show me which part of the Scriptures are minor and should not be defended. All Scripture is worthy of being defended.

Second, notice the phrase, “...which was once delivered unto the saints.” I want you to notice this because the faith never changes. One of the greatest mistakes we make is thinking that both sides need to compromise in order to get along. What we have to understand is that if the faith is compromised in the slightest, it is no longer the faith. When you change the faith, then what we would call the faith is no longer the faith. The faith cannot change, for if it is changed then it is not the faith anymore.

This leads me to the last statement I want you to notice when God says to “…earnestly contend for the faith...” Notice we are to earnestly, or zealously, contend for the faith. We are not to be passive about our defense of the faith, instead God commands us to be zealous or earnest about our defense of the faith.

God uses the word “contend” to show us what we are to be zealous about. God wants us to be zealous about contending for the faith. When you contend for something you will strive for it. When you contend for something, you will debate over it. When you contend for something, you will sharply reprove those whom you are contending against. When you contend for something you will fiercely dispute and even quarrel with someone over the faith. This is what contending means.

Remember the faith is what we are to defend. It is never to be changed or it is not the faith. In our defense of the faith there will be people with whom we will not get along, for that is what happens when you contend for something. But, this contention is worth it because the faith is at stake. Though people may get hurt in this process of contending for the faith, we must remember that God never tells us to stop contending for the faith because someone may get hurt. The faith is worthy of our zealous efforts to defend it.

Are you defending the faith, or are you allowing the faith to be changed by your lack of involvement? Let's be sure that we as Christians zealously or earnestly defend the faith, for if we lose the faith we have lost everything. The faith was given to us by God; let's not let it be destroyed!

No comments: