“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 delivered to the saints.” ~ Jude 3
I finally had the opportunity to listen to the message our pastor gave on New Year’s Eve. He taught out of the little book of Jude, and I was encouraged and convicted by the verse above. In this new year of 2012, let’s stand strong in what we believe.
Jude, the brother of James and half brother of Jesus, had planned to write an encouraging letter, yet he was compelled to exhort them instead to “contend earnestly for the faith”.
Exhort. Our pastor gave the example of when someone pushed him off of the high dive once upon a time. He had climbed up there with every intention of jumping, but he wasn’t moving ahead on that path. Someone gave him a shove to get him moving! When we are exhorted, we are given a nudge or shove to continue on the path we have already started along. Those of us walking this road with Jesus need to keep on keeping on!
“Contend earnestly” in the original Greek means to “sincerely agonize”. We are called to passionately stand for what we believe. The world is rapidly rejecting the truths of God’s word, and even many churches and pastors are redefining what their ideas of truth are. We must hold fast.
“The faith” is the body of truths taught by Jesus Christ and the word of God. This does not change, no matter what our culture thinks or chooses, no matter what is politically correct or considered normal. The word of God is the word of God. It will not change or be changed.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” ~ Isaiah 40:8
We don’t need to argue or contend with one another, picking fights and causing animosity. However, we must hold fast to the truth and be ready.
“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” ~ 1 Peter 3:15
When asked, be ready to share the good news of the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth! 🙂