Jude 1:3 ~ "Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered [entrusted] to the saints."
Three reasons to contend for the faith:
The Urgency of the Hour
You cannot read this text of Scripture in Jude without first recognizing there is urgency to Jude’s letter. What had happened to cause Jude to change directions from writing about the common salvation to writing about contending for the faith? There began an attack on the very foundation of the church, the person of Jesus Christ.
It became an absolute imperative that Jude needed to warn the people of God that heresy and false teaching was “secretly” slipping into the church. False teachers were turning the grace of God into a license for immorality, denying Jesus Christ as the only Sovereign and Lord. The hour was urgent and there was no time to delay. The church needed to contend for that which the false teachers were trying to destroy.
The Priority of the Faith
Another reason that we must contend for the faith is the issue of faith itself. In this text, Jude is not speaking of some form of religious dogma or practice. Jude is clearly speaking to the very core issue of the Christian life. Friends, this life we call Christianity is a faith life. That is to say, we are to do everything in association with the life that we have in Christ Jesus.
In the text, Jude uses the direct article in connection with the word “faith.” Literally, it is the faith, not a faith, or some faith. The issue of our faith in the Living God is the very core priority of all our existence. We are to contend for the faith for it is the faith that has brought us into the life we have in Christ. There is a specific reality that is unique to the Christian life and that is our complete identification with Jesus Christ and our complete confidence expressed in loving obedience.
The Duty of the Saints
The last reason we contend for the faith is that it is our duty to do so. If there were no other reason to contend for the faith, this would be reason enough. We read in the text that this faith has been “once for all entrusted to the saints.” We have been given a trust, and we must prove faithful. Let’s break this down a little. First of all, it is “to the saints.” That is, it is given over to those who have personally come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus never entrusted His word to the unbeliever, only to those who have come to know Him by faith. So, if you’re a believer, this is you.
Second, it is “entrusted.” Literally, this means that it has been delivered to you as a sacred trust. You have been given God’s greatest gift, the life of His Son in you. Finally, this is “once for all.” Now this can mean “once for all time” signifying the saints’ duty to pass this faith on through generations, or it can mean “once for all people” signifying the saints’ duty to pass this faith on to all people. Either way is agreeable to the text and the significance is clear.
Let me ask you: Do you see the urgency of the hour? Do you see that the time we live in is given over to casual faith and a sense of self-satisfying Christianity? Do you understand that there is no other “faith” except the faith of Jesus Christ? Do you understand that people are still lost if they don’t believe the truth? Do you know that this faith is a sacred trust? Do you know that you are obligated to prove faithful to the trust given you?
It is the urgent call of God to every believer that we must contend for the faith, entrusted to us once and for all.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.