JUDE — A CALL TO CONTEND WITH CONVICTIONS
If we are going to contend, we must contend with convictions. Our convictions come from God’s Word. They are Bible-based. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Jude penned in verse three, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Our faith was once delivered. We do not need another delivery of the faith; we do not need a new faith. We need to contend for the faith that was once delivered. We must not change what is proven and tested and has been authoritatively given to us based on the Word of God. We simply need to preach the same truth that has been preached to people in all ages.
We owe a great debt to those who have taken a stand for the truth, to those who have contended for the faith so that we could know it. We may get by without contending, but if we do not contend, there will be nothing left to contend for in the next generation.
The Bible says in Galatians 1:6-8, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Paul said that if a man preaches something other than the truth of God, let him be accursed. He continues in verse 9, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Notice that he said, “Than that ye have received.” How do we pass this along from one generation to the next? We receive it from faithful followers of the Lord, and we faithfully give it to others.
Paul wrote the church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 4:8-13, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.”
He quoted Psalm 116:10, “I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted.” Why do we say what we say? Because we believe what we believe. We believe what we believe because we get it form the Word of God, and we speak it because we believe it. We must contend with convictions—Bible-based, sin-hating Holy Spirit-empowered, and Christ-honouring convictions.
We cannot contend in one generation and stop in the next generation because the generation where we stop contending is the one we lose. There is no place to stop. We must contend continually. We are to contend year after year. If we stop contending for a week, it will show up somewhere.
A well-conditioned athlete will tell you that he devotes so much time each day to practice. He will also tell you that if he does not pay the price each day, the spectators, the coach, and the competitors may not know it as quickly, but it will show up in his body.
There is no way to let up. The Devil is as a roaring lion. He walks by the cage of our lives. He will walk by a thousand times to find the door open one time. The day that we let up will be the day he was by and finds the door open.
The book of Jude can be divided into two parts; the first part speaks of our duty. The word of God says that we are to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The second part of the book speaks of our danger. Verse 4 says, “For there are certain men crept in unawares.” The Holy Spirit declares that the reason for writing is to confront us with our duty earnestly contend for the faith and to declare the danger that certain men have crept in unawares. We need to be awakened to our duty and to our danger.
If we are going to contend continually, there are dangers to be faced. The Bible says that certain people have crept in unawares to alter the truth. Why is it so important that we mark these creepers? The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
The church has the God-given responsibility to declare the truth. The church of the living God is to influence a community, a city, a county, a province, and in some ways, a nation. A standard of holy living is raised by the people who fear God and follow His Word.
If people can creep in and alter what others believe is true, what a damnable thing has been accomplished! No wonder Jude warns us of the danger!
Who are these creepers? Lets take note of what God’s Word says about them. They crept in unawares. This means that they took their place alongside other people who actually believed the truth without anyone realizing they were there. The Bible says in 1 John 2:18-19, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” 2 Timothy 2:19.