Jude 1:3 “… I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”
Contend for the faith. I can’t get that phrase out of my mind.
Jude urged the early church to fight against every smidgen of apostasy. It was a time when attempts to pervert grace into sin-filled license appeared to be succeeding. It was a time when attacking the deity of Christ proved fashionable. It was a time when moral compromise masqueraded as something noble. It was a time of division when believers were incited to follow their own natural instincts instead of the Holy Spirit.
It was a time not unlike today…
So the urgency of Jude’s message resonates with me. It reminds me as I view the world, I’m called to do more than wring my hands in worry or shrink into a corner of defeat. My job—and the job “entrusted to all God’s holy people”—remains unshakeable, no matter how turbulent the times. Contend for the faith.
So just how do we do that?
We can’t contend for the faith if we allow problems to gut it. We can hardly contend for a faith that’s been emaciated by fear and disappointment. Jude encourages us to “build ourselves up” in faith. It’s not a once-and-done occurrence. We—daily—buttress ourselves against all the forces seeking to unseat our trust in Jesus. More than ever we rely on the Word of God to nourish us in the truth. Truth…it sets us free from the chains of deception. But not only that. Jude further instructs us to “keep praying in the Holy Spirit.” Let’s face it. We need supernatural help in order to contend for the faith (Jude 20).
Jude also makes it clear contending for the faith includes keeping ourselves in God’s love (v. 21). Without God’s love we have no mercy, and we are to never fail in showing mercy. Mercy to those who doubt. Mercy to those about to fall. Mercy to those whose sins appall us (v. 22-23).
If you haven’t read the book of Jude recently, I’d encourage you to check it out. May it inspire you in these darkening days to not stop contending for the faith. Who knows but that Jude might help you “take a sad song and make it better.”