Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” Jude 1:3 (ESV)
What does that mean to you?
It struck me as extremely profound and relevant. We as believers have been subject to the enemy’s assault since day one. But how do we handle that? Interestingly enough, this is the only place in scripture where the phrase “urge you to contend” appears. Reading on, Jude (the half brother of Jesus) warns us that “certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (v 4).
Wow, you mean that’s a thing? People leaning on God’s grace as a license to sin? Apparently so. I wrote about this in an earlier memo. It appears that Jude is referring to folks that deny Christ, BUT, it’s a dangerous place for any of us to consider living. As friends of Jesus, we have an obligation to represent Him in a way that reflects His image in us. That certainly doesn’t include bending the “rules” because we know our ultimate destiny.
Let me take it a step further. Earnestly contending for the faith means being part of the overall solution in presenting the antidote to the problem of sin in the world. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The only salvation from eternal separation from God is a belief that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
But what are we contending for?
Our Faith – that we were all admonished to fight for. We are living in a time in history where there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity to bring truth into our way of life. The truth of an option that many people haven’t seriously considered.
At my lowest point, I was forced to look in a direction other than inward for a solution to the void in my own heart. Around here we call that the God Spot. It’s the place that can only be occupied by Him. Yet, we do all we can to fill it with the things of this world that have no eternal value. Cars, boats, planes, trains, drugs, relationships, alcohol, religion, pornography, power, prestige, you name it. Unsuccessfully ever time.
Contending for our faith includes yielding to the Holy Spirit and placing God before all else. Others before ourselves. That’s not an easy assignment. Yet, WE MUST CONTEND.
And that’s the memo.