Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. – Jude 3
Are you contending for the faith? If you are a follower of Christ, you called to be a contender. Sometimes when we think about contention or confrontation, we view it negatively. We do not want to come off as the mean, judgmental Christian. After all, Christ often rebuked the hypocritical and judgmental religious people. Though it is true that Jesus was a kind-hearted man who loved and had compassion for others, He also made social and political waves in His time as He advocated for objective truth. Jesus preached that He was the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one could come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). When one considers the weight of this statement, it becomes clear how radical a claim it truly is. Jesus declared that access to God was only possible through Him as the mediator. He said He was the truth. Not only did Jesus say He preached truth, but He claimed to be the ultimate source of it! So, when Jesus said He was the only way, He was being very exclusive. Some find Christ’s exclusivity to be unloving. However, every time you make a truth claim, you are being exclusive. When one says that 2+2=4, they reject the possibility of it equaling anything else. Thus, exclusive truth claims are not in themselves wrong, and to deny their existence is to adhere to logical contradiction and absurdity.
When we read Jude’s call for the saints to contend for the faith (v. 3), he is not advocating for Christians to be unnecessarily argumentative, hateful, or divisive, but He is saying that truth matters and should be defended. Believers must stand for the essential tenets of the Christian faith because they are true. But truth carries with it confrontation. As Francis Schaeffer notes, “Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.” Christ experienced the confrontation of crucifixion for the truth He proclaimed. Likewise, if Christians are called to follow Christ, they must also follow truth. The two are inseparable. Christians need to be prepared for the controversy that comes with standing for truth. Jesus told His disciples they would need to deny themselves and take up their crosses to follow Him (Luke 9:23). Thus, Christians must be willing to get out of their comfort zones to honor Christ and contend for the faith.
With so many openly willing to contend for political parties, sports teams, etc., I marvel that so many professing Christians refuse to stand up for the sacred truth of the gospel. Whether it is due to fear or idleness, it is unacceptable and dishonoring to the Lord. Christ has given His followers the great responsibility to be gospel-bearers and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). The church must focus on eternal matters and cannot be distracted by the trivial. There is no greater truth, nor a more important cause to fight for than the gospel of Jesus Christ. For it is the power of God to salvation for anyone who believes (Romans 1:16). The gospel is the source of freedom from sin and the gift of eternal life. On the other hand, a false gospel cannot save anyone. The apostle Paul states that anyone who preaches another gospel apart from the death and resurrection of Christ should be accursed (Galatians 1:6-12). Therefore, Christians cannot allow for the gospel to be perverted. We must be rooted in the faith and contend for truth with boldness and humility. Are you on guard and prepared to combat falsehood? Are you a contender?
Let us boldly stand for Christ and contend for the faith!