“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” – Jude 1:3 NKJV
In this world filled with doubt, confusion, and opposition, it is necessary for us to stand firm in our convictions and defend the truth of the gospel.
In our anchor verse, Jude encourages us to stand firm and contend for the faith, and in the verse that follows, he tells us why: there are people who creep in and try to corrupt the message of the gospel (Jude 1:4). You have the truth, and if it would reach men and save them (Romans 1:16), it must get to them as the same specific message, uncorrupted.
When the gospel or faith is referred to in the epistles, you see the definitive article, ‘the,’ because it is a very specific message: the good news that leads to eternal life (Galatians 1:11. Romans 1:16). God wants to raise solid Christians; people who would hold fast to the exact message they were taught and pass it to others (2 Timothy 2:2).
Even though he had encountered Jesus for himself, Paul believed and preached what he had learnt from the scriptures (I Corinthians 15:1). Christianity is not the ingenuity of any preacher. As believers, we have a doctrinal identity.
To “contend” means to strive or fight for something. In the context of our faith, contending involves actively defending and upholding it. The gospel’s message got to you because people were faithful enough to preserve it, and now you get to do the same. We contend for the faith by standing up for and defending our beliefs when they are questioned or attacked.
In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul tells Timothy to commit the message that he passed to him on to faithful men. Jesus committed the gospel to the apostles, and from then until now, faithful men have ensured that it was passed from generation to generation unadulterated. Now, you have the responsibility to stand as a faithful man and ensure that no falsehood creeps in to corrupt the gospel’s message.
In Acts 19:20, we see the testimony of the word of God growing mightily and prevailing in the city of Ephesus. For something to prevail, it must do so at the expense of contrary false ideas.
The faith we have is not a mere set of beliefs or empty traditions; it is the precious faith that leads us to salvation and eternal life. Our faith is not based on mere human ideas or traditions, but on the unchanging, rock-solid, foundation of Word of God. If the gospel will prevail in your day, you have a part to play.
What is your responsibility? Be vocal about the truth. Be passionate about it. The gospel must prevail on your account. You should love people and be tolerant of their beliefs, but you should also tell them the truth.
We cannot be indifferent about doctrine. We must add and lend our voices. Throughout history, no idea has ever prevailed without effort. If we don’t uphold standards, they will fall. Contend earnestly! Don’t be indifferent about doctrine.
Prayer: I declare that I am not indifferent. I uproot every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted, and I establish systems of righteousness.
Bible Reading Plan: Jeremiah 26-29