Contend Earnestly For the Faith

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. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4 (NASB) 

The Epistle of Jude is generally attributed to the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. In v3 we learn that his original intent was to write an epistle on salvation to his recipients. However, he was compelled to write a call to battle for the truth instead. Why?…

The church was being infiltrated by some apostate teachers. Several of those I contend with attempt to say that God’s plan for the church does not include doing this. Some have even said that God has commanded that we should allow the tares and wheat to grow together in the church and let God sort them out as our Lord shared in the parable of the Wheat and Tares found in Matthew 13:24-30. However, Jesus interprets this parable for us in v38 telling us that the field containing the wheat and tares is the world, not the church and those told to leave them be until the judgment are angels, not Christians (v39).

Jude exhorts us to do what in Jude 3? He exhorts us to contend earnestly for the faith. The Greek word for “contend earnestly” here is επαγωνιζεσθαι (epagonizomai). it means “to strive, contend earnestly. To fight for or in reference to something.” A direct translation of this word into English would be “earnestly contend for.” The Greek word for “faith” here is πιστει (pistei) the dative singular feminine case of πίστις (pistis). The usage here refers to the whole body of God’s revealed truth about our salvation, which is contained in Sacred Scripture. So Jude is exhorting all reading this letter to battle for the truth. This is a battle cry to to wage war against error in all forms and fight strenuously for the truth. We are being exhorted to do this like soldiers who have been entrusted with the guarding a holy treasure. That is what the truth is my brethren and this battle cry has never been recalled.  View article →