By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
Our brother Jude wrote these inspired words to the New Testament church:
Jude 3-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 wrote to the Christians who were facing various false teachers.
Many of these false teachers were trying to change the Word of God to suit their own desires.
In the midst of this, Jude says that (while he wishes he could write and expound upon the common salvation that all members of the church enjoy) he found it necessary to encourage the Christians to “contend” (seek, strive for, defend, adhere) for “the faith.”
Yet what exactly does this mean?
When we turn to the pages of the New Testament Scriptures, we see that the phrase “the faith” had reference to the body of teaching that God had given to mankind.
In other words, “the faith” is thr Word of God revealed in Scripture.
To corroborate this, notice with me several ways that the phrase “the faith” is used:
Acts 6:7-Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Acts 13:6-8-6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear THE WORD OF GOD. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from THE FAITH. (Notice how “the faith” is used synonymously with “the Word of God”).
Acts 16::4-5-4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them THE DECREES to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in THE FAITH, and increased in number daily. (Notice how “the faith” is synonymous with the Divine “decrees”).
Philippians 1:27- Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL.”
Colossians 1:23-if indeed you continue in THE FAITH, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of THE GOSPEL, which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
2 Timothy 3:8-Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist THE TRUTH: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning THE FAITH; (Notice that “the faith” is synonymous with “the truth”).
All of these passages (and more) show us that “the faith” is basically identifiable with the Word of God.
The Scriptures are clear that there is only “one faith” (Ephesians 4:4-6), and that this “one faith” consists of what the Apostles of Christ delivered to the church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11-13).
While many in the religious world of our day and age would tell us that there is “no faith,” no “pattern,” no Word of God by which all things are to be measured, the Word of God itself says quite differently.
Paul exhorted the Colossians to continue in the “faith” as they had been taught (Colossians 2:6-6).
Paul commanded Timothy to hold to “the pattern of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13).
John reminds us that it is by adhering to the Word of the Apostles that we are able to know the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).
It is the Spirit Who gives life, and the words that came from Christ are spirit and they are life (John 6:63).
We must all do everything in our power to contend earnestly for the faith; for, just as in Jude’s day and age, there are many who would corrupt and destroy God’s holy Word.
If you are not a Christian, I would encourage you to become one today. The Son of God laid down His life to save you from your sins (1 Timothy 2:6). He was buried, and arose again on the third day as testified by over 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
He invites believers to repent and be baptized by His authority to receive the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
He invites baptized believers who have forsaken Him to return to Him in repentance and prayer (1 John 1:9).
Why not come to Him today?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.