Get Adobe Flash player
 ..

"...contending for the Faith..." –

  - Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered verbally to the holy people of God]. Jude 1:3, AMP


This instruction by Jude is not just another suggestion or option. Jude is sounding the alarm that the believer must wake up to the spiritual battle that is taking place in Christian Churches around the world. Those four words are in direct opposition to many sermons which are preached today, sermons designed to make people feel good about themselves and to give the ‘hearers’ a false since of security, rather than encouraging them to grow in their Faith and to be fully pleasing to God as the author of the Letter to the Hebrews instructed. Christian Faith in Jesus Christ is a unique measure of Faith given to the new believer by the Holy Spirit of God, so that we can believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

 

The Necessity of Discipleship...

However, it is not given to us for the single event of salvation. Our gift of Faith is alive in Christ Jesus, and it is filled with the full power and Laws of God so that we can become a new creation (1Cor 5:17), to be able to move mountains, to restrain evil and to stand in victory over the deceptions of satan. As Jude clearly points out the reasons for "contending for the Faith" in this single chapter of his letter;

I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God's marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.(Jude 1.4 NLT)

It is through a pro-active use of the measure of Faith that we gain eternal security and eternal life.

The way we contend for this Faith is by [knowing] the Scriptures intimately (2Ti 2.15), by being in the process of [being sanctified] (1Thess 4:4-8; John 17.17), and by ‘praying in the Spirit’(Eph 6.18). We [prove our Faith and our agape Love] (John 14 & 15) for Christ, through obedience to all that Christ commanded -- just as He obeyed all that His Father command of Him.

THEN, in order to complete the “contending” process, we are to be in involved in Discipling others. It is impossible to contend for the Faith by keeping it to ourselves! It is during the process of Discipling another person that all of our study of Scripture, all of our effort to be separated from the world and sanctified by Christ, all of our effort to pray in the Spirit and according to the will of God and all of our effort to show our Love for Christ through obedience, that our belief and Faith system is stabilized and becomes a firm foundation in our inner-most being. It is at this point that Jesus says that “from our innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.” John 7.38 AMP.

This is the approved, and demonstrated, model of righteousness that Jesus used during His tenure 2,000 years ago. Jesus used Scripture for defeating satan, for healing people, for teaching and discipling and all the way to His death and resurrection. Heb 4.12 teaches that it is the Word (being alive in us) that penetrates to divide the soul and the spirit. 2Ti 3.16 declares that it is Scripture alone that is inspired by God. Scriptures alone contain the Law of Truth and the power of God which are profitable for teaching, rebuking, for correcting and training in righteousness. By NOT [reading] Scripture,our minds can distort the righteous purpose of God and greatly diminish the power of Scripture and its designated purpose inlives of others.

This contention for the Faith, is not, however, something that we have to do out of our own strength. On the contrary, God has given to every born-again saint everything required, including His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, so that we can be victors and overcomers in the spiritual battle that is waging for the souls of men. And as Jude, Jesus, Paul, and Peter point out, this battle is not for the unbeliever, for his soul is already lost, but for those who have been given that greater “measure of Faith” which is designed to carry on the works of God as Salt and Light in a very dark world.

Further,the Christian needs to understand that all men, both believers (2Cor 5.10) and non-believers (Rev 20.12-13), will be judged by the Word of God.

Abiding in the Scriptures, as taught by Christ, has a minimum of three results by default: The Word is a cleansing agent that permeates our whole being, and as we yield to the instruction of Scripture through obedience, 1) [it] produces the Fruit, or attributes of the Spirit of Christ in our lives, which are required attributes for stabilizing our Faith, 2) studying the Word produces the cleansing process in our minds and bodies, and 3) the Fruit of the Spirit are a defense against the wiles and deceptions of satan.

There are no short cuts to spiritual maturity!

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.”Matthew 16:19 (HCSB) (see also Mat 18.18 AMP)

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:23(HCSB)

 

[Ironside - Note on Jude]

The Faith mentioned here is not saving faith, but rather the truth of that salvation, with all that accompanies it. This abiding faith has been given never to be added to. It is the faith “once delivered unto the saints” and no new revelations will be given to complete this truth. Like John, Jude turned the saints back to “that which was from the beginning.” There may be evolution in theology, for theology is simply the reasoning of man’s mind as to the things of God. But there is not evolution in regard to the truth. God has given His last word on the subject. It is for this truth we are called to contend.

This simple expression shuts out all the pretentious claims of new prophets, seers, and revelators. False are the claims of misguided enthusiasts who boldly declare themselves sent of God and add to His words. The signs and wonders that may accompany such pretensions are no more remarkable than those of the antichrist yet to come. The simple-hearted believer turns away from them all, and exclaims with holy confidence, “The faith has been once for all made known. Neither assumption nor miracle will induce me to accept any additions to it.” Many seekers have been attracted by the false claims of cult leaders that angels have appeared to them and given them secret spiritual teachings. The faith once delivered needs neither angelic nor human additions. It is perfect and complete, and the man of God will refuse all other and newer revelations.

The apostle Paul was given the responsibility of completing the Word of God. He was the chosen servant to whom the mysteries hidden from past ages were made known (Col 1:24-27). After having completed the outline of divine teaching, he wrote, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8).

--- end Harry A. Ironside's Notes on Selected Books---

 

We "revoke the Word of God" when we hang on to denominational {traditions}…

In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men.…Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing.  --Mark 7.7-13 AMP

  • "-As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!" --Gal 1.9--
  • -One Lord, one Faith, one baptism. --Eph 4.5--
  • -Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. --Phil 4.9--
  • -if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it. --Col 1.23--
  • -We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me. --Col 1.28-29--
  • -Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us. --2 Thess 3.6--
  • -Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, --1 Ti 4.1--
  • -If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. --1 Ti 4.6--

 

Jude is warning that lives are at stake and that following Christ as a true Disciple is a necessity. He ends this chapter by declaring that every believer in Jesus Christ must be in the business of building each other up in the Faith so that we can be sure to not stumble from the Faith. Just listen to Jude's heart:


20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,
21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love.
22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.
23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their livesJude 1:20-23 NLT

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault – and we accomplish this through the Discipling process.


 

PrintBook

 

 

Paperback Study Guide

 

Click Here to Purchase

 

Buy the Study Guide