Contending for the Faith
Jude 3-5 (Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me 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. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.)If you look up the word faith in the Strong’s Concordance you will find this definition: Reliance upon Christ for Salvation; constancy in such profession, system of Gospel truth itself.
We associate Salvation with the saving of our souls from hell. Praise God this is so, but it also covers much more! Salvation is so vast that it includes everything and anything that you or I need to be saved from!
Jude was exhorting them and us to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints. What are we to contend for? Reliance upon Christ for Salvation, constancy in such profession, system of gospel truth itself. We have an adversary we fight with to hold on to our faith in Christ, to hold on to what is ours- the Faith- the Gospel truth itself.
This is a daily fight. This fight is not only or always with the devil; however, we do have to fight with the devil. I Peter 5:9-10 tell us our adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith.
The devil began as soon as Jesus had risen from the grave to try and deceive people to believe what Jesus did was not enough. He wants us to believe it wasn’t enough that Jesus shed his blood, that He died and rose again, if we were to be saved something else is needed. He tells us it wasn’t enough that Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, if we were to be healed, we need something else. It wasn’t enough that a crown of thorns pierced His head, if our mind was to be sound and whole, we would need something else: It wasn’t enough that He was chastised for our peace, if we were going to be able to live in peace, we would need something else.
It didn’t take long for this attitude to infiltrate the hearts and minds of believers. We sometimes think that unbelief is a recent thing, however, Jude was exhorting them to fight for the faith that had been delivered to them. It was crucial then and it is crucial now to believe- to contend for the faith. The word contend means to strive in, with or against- to dispute, to debate.
We find in Acts 15 an example of trying to add to what was needed. Certain of the sect of the Pharisees wanted the Gentiles who had come to believe in Jesus to be circumcised and be commanded to keep the Law of Moses. Peter said to them, “Why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” Anything we try to add to what Jesus did will be a yoke and we will not be able to bear it. What Jesus did was enough!
It was decided in this meeting we read about in Acts 15 that the Gentiles who came to Jesus would be admonished to abstain from pollutions of idols and from fornication, from things strangled and from blood. We need to take inventory of our lives and our home and see if we have brought the accursed thing into our home. If we have an accursed thing in our home, we will become accursed like it. (Joshua 6:18)
Luke 16: 15 tells us that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The way of the world is not the way of God. So much of what we do and how we live we learned from the world and for the born-again believer that should not be. The way of the world and all of what it offers will only blind the heart and minds of those who partake, and deception will creep into lives and the end will be destruction.
What is gospel truth? What is the faith that was once delivered unto the saints? Jesus Christ- Him crucified and risen again. What Jesus did includes everything, nothing missing nothing lacking. Jesus was our substitute in everything! Everything we should have went through and suffered He went through it and suffered it for us.
Another adversary we face are false teachers. There are people everywhere even ministers helping advocate something other than Jesus Christ. They have changed the completeness of what Jesus did into works that we must do.
Some teach that there are many ways to reach God. That is a lie, and many are in hell today and on their way because they have believed the lie and chosen another way to God which was a false way. Jesus is the way the truth and the life anyone that comes to God must come through Jesus. (John 14:6)
Still others have believed the false teaching that everyone goes to heaven. Although that lie has given false hope to many it is just that, a false hope for, Ye must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.
Many do not know what to believe because they don’t know what the Word of God says. Those who do not spend time daily reading God’s word and praying are prime targets of being deceived. Jesus said we were to search the scriptures for they speak of Him. (John 5:39)
Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 to teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. If what someone presents to you goes against the Word of God, don’t pay heed. We are all responsible to know what the word of God says. For us to know, we must give ourselves to diligent study of the Word.
Man has taken the works of the devil and tried to present them as works of God. Sickness is made to seem glorious. People die in horrible deaths, and you hear, “God needed them in heaven.” That is a lie straight from the devil. The thief, the devil is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus has come that we might have life and abundant life. Jesus doesn’t operate in sickness and disease. He went to great lengths to redeem us from that.
We listen to our adversary and give up. We listen to the lie that says it didn’t work for them and it won’t work for me either. Let me tell you, God’s word works!!!! It must be received by faith and lived by faith. We can’t judge what happened in someone else’s life. We don’t know everything about their situation. We can however judge the Word of God to be true and Him to be true to His word! 2 Timothy 2:13 says, if we believe not, yet He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself.
If we do not take Gods Word and receive it by faith and walk in it, we will not experience the full benefit of His word and it will not profit us. (Hebrews 4:2) Everything of the world and everything from our adversary is to get us into the way of thinking that “What Jesus did was not enough for what I am facing.”
Our flesh is an adversary to us walking in the faith that was delivered unto us. Remember the word faith means the reliance upon Christ for Salvation. We, in our flesh have been trained to be sense oriented. It seems hard for us to get beyond what we can see, hear, feel or smell. God’s Word is greater than what our senses tell us and there is nothing that we face that the sacrifice that Jesus made for us doesn’t cover! Glory be to God! What Jesus did was more than enough!
Our flesh naturally wars against the Spirit. We have used the scripture in Matthew 26: 41 The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, as an excuse to sin. We are not to give in to our flesh but rather mortify it through the spirit.
We say Jesus understands, He knows what I am going through. Yes, He does, but He expects us to believe Him, to believe what He did was enough and live victorious, overcoming lives. What he did for us He did it for the joy that was set before Him. (Hebrews 12:2) Part of that joy was the joy of seeing those who receive Him walking in the fullness of what He has done for them ,for us all!
Verse 5 in Jude tells us that the Lord saved His people from Egypt and afterward all that didn’t believe were destroyed. This is serious. The children of Israel had witnessed the mighty hand of God. He brought them out with a mighty deliverance. But they soon forgot all that they had seen Him do and began to doubt Him and complain. Things in the Word of God happened for our example. How many times have we proved God to be true to His Word? Yet, it seems that it is so easy for us to doubt.
We have got to believe Jesus. Our very life depends upon it! We must commit to spending time in His Word so that we can know what it says and apply it to our lives. We need to pray for Holy Spirit to empower us to stand and resist our adversary. The devil will always try and get us to lie down and quit. But we have got to rise up in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit and resist Him stedfast in the faith.
We have been given exceeding great and precious promises that by them we may partake of the divine nature of God. Get in the word, find out what they are and begin living today in the fullness that comes from a life filled with Jesus!