“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” Jude 1:3 NIV
So after three posts we have at last reached the third verse of Jude. If we keep this up what took two weeks in Wednesday night Bible study is going to lengthen out to 25 posts! If you missed the intro to this study you can find it here:
Jude tells us that what he really wants to write about is “the salvation we share”. He wants to talk about the “soteria” which is known by the saints of God-that is the- “deliverance, preservation, safety and salvation of the saints” BlB Lexicon
Now that would have made a very pleasant book to read. But Jude can’t write that. The Holy Spirit constrains him so that instead he has to urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Can I ask the obvious question? Why do I have to contend for the faith? After all the Bible teaches me that God is the “author and the finisher of my faith”(Heb.) and that as “He began a good work in me He will be faithful to complete it.” (Phil.). So isn’t it really God’s job to fight for my faith? Can’t I just relax and let Jesus fight my battles?
The answer is YES! and NO!
That is yes you need to relax and let Jesus fight your battles. You need to let Him finish His work in you and you need to allow Him to finish the faith He authored in your life….BUT He can never do that unless you contend for the faith. We confuse contending for the faith with striving to be righteous or holy. Righteousness and holiness are things only God can produce in us. Contending for the faith doesn’t involve beating sin or changing behavior or any of the things we might originally think. Contending for the faith involves changing our focus from our own interests to the interests of Christ. Contending for the faith involves taking our eyes off of the problems and putting them on the problem solver. Contending for the faith involves putting our full reliance in the One who can produce righteousness and holiness in us. Contending for the faith involves blotting out every voice that is contrary to His so that He alone can lead us.
There is definitely more to say on this tomorrow! I would love to hear your thoughts!
God wants to know that we believe all things are possible through Him before it is sight. So we must contend for the faith. If we don’t then how can God help us? He wants to know, do we trust Him enough to really believe in our heart, that He can heal, deliver, provide, comfort, forgive, and love us no matter what. Your heart tells the history of your faith for God knows your heart. Lord, I know by contending for my faith it will become sight. Thank you, Pastor J for I have such a vision of so many contending for their faith and all the rejoicing in heaven because of it. Hallelujah!!! A-men!!!
Oh what a glorious vision Deb! Millions upon millions of saints contending for the faith that has been entrusted to them!
I remember hearing “contending for the faith” in several sermons in my early days as a Christian, and it always felt like “boxing for the faith.” I got riled up. My first year as a pastor I was so aggressive to contend. Reminds me of King David writing, “Act O Lord for men break your law!” I was pumped up, but verses later he writes, “Tears fill my eyes at men who will not obey your law.” Very sobering. I look forward to your thoughts!
The way to contend for the faith doesn’t really get explained until the end of the book. So it will be a bit before I get to that; But Sometimes I think we get a little ahead of ourselves in contending thinking we contend for the faith like Tyson contended in the ring. Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts as we go along.
What can I say? I LOVE your messages–I love when a pastor clarifies and encourages. A lot of Christians make the walk harder than it needs to be, or should be–what we need to practice, is leaning into Jesus, walking in and celebrating His loving Grace. Amen? God bless you and the fam this weekend, Pastor J!! love, sis (“Preach-It”) Caddo
Thanks Sis! Leaning on Jesus is the key. So many make it all about striving in their own strength…far less effective and far more stressful.
Contending for the faith should be the natural outcome of all the Lord has done for us, but it does require us to keep our vision of the lost going to a Christless eternity, and our focus firmly fixed on Jesus and following His direction with no distractions.
Amen Angela. This world is set to distract mode and we so easily fall victim to its wiles if we do not guard what has been entrusted to us!
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