I have been reading the Letter of Jude. It is a small letter, only 25 verses. It is a letter we do not often read, but it is a letter with great relevance for our generation. As I was reading, I came across that word “contend.”
“I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.” [Jude 1:3 HCSB]
That word (contend) had special meaning in light of a warning I read the other day. As I was studying for a message, I came across this comment: “The church is always only a few generations away from losing the Gospel.”
When Jude wrote his letter, he was concerned because the Christian message of the Gospel of Christ Jesus was under attack from false teachers spreading dangerous heresies. These teachers were seeking to undermine and erode the truth of the Gospel.
Jude urges them to “contend for the faith.” The Greek word translated as contend is only used in this passage. It means to struggle for or earnestly contend. It usually describes an athlete striving with extreme intensity to win the victory. Jude is urging his readers to fight strenuously for the defense of the faith.
Jude’s message for his generation is a message for our generation. The Gospel is under attack in our midst also. False teachers, false doctrines are seeking to undermine and erode the truth of the Gospel. False teachers seek to dilute and distort the message of Christ Jesus.
We are in danger of losing the Gospel in the next few generations if we do not step up and “contend for the faith” now!
Make us brave O God!