Contending Earnestly For The Faith: Jude 3
“3) Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭
God was at work in Jude to write an epistle to the body of Christ. As is often the case, he was wrestling about the subject matter. He wanted to address “common things” or “basic unclean things” that Christians commonly struggle with in their walk with God. But the Holy Spirit moved him to address an urgent matter.
It appears that Satan was craftily and speedily at work to twist, distort and hijack Christianity as a whole. Jude was writing to admonish the believer to “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” He recognized that they were in a fight for the gospel message and the Christian faith as a whole was at stake.
As Paul previously warned Timothy, there are many people who are content to “hold to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5) Devious false teachers were at work trying to gut Christianity from its essentials. This core includes the true identity of Jesus Christ, the gospel message based on grace and faith, the inner ministry of the Holy Spirit and the call to a transformed life of holiness. They wanted to reduce Christianity to another empty religion based on external ceremonies, creeds and traditions while excusing and endorsing sinful living.
This movement of confusion was gaining so much momentum that the whole Christian faith was in jeopardy. Jude was prompted to write and urge the Christians to “content earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” He was literally sounding an alarm. He was charging them to fight diligently for the true gospel.
This warning coming from many leaders in the early church can be accredited for the cannon of the New Testament that we have today. Many gave their lives as martyrs to preserve and protect the writings that now make up the New Testament. This inspired text is nothing short of the Word of God!
False teachers today have a different strategy. They seek to twist the interpretation of Scripture because they can no longer alter the actual manuscripts. The authenticity and trustworthiness of the writings that comprise both the Old and New Testaments are beyond doubt by any Hebrew or Greek Scholar of notoriety.
There are always quacks out there who try to attack the Bible text itself. I write them off quickly as ignorant, uninformed and agenda driven. If you want a detailed study of the trustworthiness of the actual text, secure a copy of Josh McDowell’s classic works “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” and “More Evidence That Demands A Verdict.” These two books basically silenced the critics.
Why is this important? Today, when in doubt about biblical issues, it is merely a matter of rolling up your sleeves and diligently and unbiasedly studying the Bible. When you yield to the authority of the Bible in most cases the controversy is settled.
When you read “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”, you quickly discover how seriously the early church answered this call to contend earnestly for the pure Christian faith. Many gave their lives to protect the sacred writings and pure doctrine that we now treasure.
Today we are moving rapidly into what the Bible calls “The End Times.” The battle for pure doctrine is intensifying on many fronts. The book of Jude is again coming into focus defining the cosmic battle around us. The True Body of Christ in these end times needs to be equally diligent about contending earnestly for biblical truth and living application that leads to a life of consecration and holiness.
As we move forward, be prepared for Jude to tackle some controversial issues. He pulls back the curtain on Spiritual Warfare and exposes Satan’s schemes through the ages. It is a vital and profound book.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global