Contend For The Faith
“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. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into [lewdness], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4
I attended a small Christian K-12 school, so we always noticed the new kids on the first day of each year. I had attended the same school since I was in kindergarten so I pretty much knew everyone and was one of the cool kids. Rebekah came to the school my eighth grade year and she stood out to me for many reasons. I was smitten by her beauty, but she also was one to hold everyone to the rules of the student handbook. It seemed she had plans to foil my underground school hustle and pointed out my faults to the teacher. She would raise her hand and quote the school handbook like a well-seasoned attorney quoting case law. She would state the demerits associated with the broken rule, and she proved to be a great resource for the teachers. My once-smitten view of her soon dissipated as she became my antagonist.
Rebekah had group of friends but she was not labeled as one of the "cool" kids because she was on the side of the law. When I started to like her towards the end of the school year, everyone was shocked because I was not the kindest of individuals to her. My friends thought I was crossing over to the wrong side of the law and they could not understand my logic and reasoning. I was smitten bad this time, and I could care less what my friends thought. I pledged my love and told my friends that they better watch what they said about and to my girlfriend.
One of my friends had previously made a deal with Rebekah, and he approached me one day to remind me of the debt she owed him. He was upset with her and told me Rebekah owed him a Hardy Boys book. He went on and on until I told him, "Rebekah doesn't owe you anything." He replied, "What do you mean?" I squared up with him and reiterated, "She doesn't owe you anything, and I suggest you never bring it up again." He looked at me, his eyes got big and he simply said, "C'mon Saso, don't be like that!" while shaking his head and walking away. Although he was a good friend of mine, I was not about to let him try and demand something from my new found love. I was willing to do what I needed to do to contend for my girlfriend even though it may have meant the loss of a friendship. I wish I could say I was this passionate about spiritual matters, but I have often fallen short in that department.
As Christians, we are to contend for the faith and expose all those who would come against it. This does not mean we are to be like Peter and cut off the ear of those who would challenge us, but we are take a stand for the truth of the gospel. We are not to allow false doctrine into the church or into our lives. We are not to join that which would draw us away from our first love, and we are to be careful of who and what we listen to. We must use the Word of God as our compass and not the opinions of those whom we respect and like to listen to. There are some who sound religious and may quote a verse or two, but they deny the very truth of God's Word. They adopt a doctrine that is man's doctrine and contrary to the Word of God. We must not allow this into our lives, but we must contend for the faith and take a stand for the truth. Matthew 10:16 states, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." We need God's wisdom to be bold, but not foolish, and discretion to know when to speak out and when to simply walk away.
Where are you today Christian? Do you contend for the faith or are you swayed by those who are knowledgeable but not godly? Do you listen to those who speak some truth but also speak false teachings? Do you read books that have truth mixed in with lies? Are you diligently in the Word so you are able to be able to contend for the faith or are you a novice of the Word? May we never deny our Lord God and may we be found faithful fighting for what is right. Will you stand for the truth? Will you contend for the faith? We all fight for what we think is important, so may the Truth take precedence in our lives and may we fight for our faith. May God help us to boldly stand for Him in a time when truth is challenged, yet so needed in this lost world.
Stay in the fight!