Jude 1:3 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.
In context, the word contend means “to struggle or fight.” It is both a defensive and offensive position. Contend means to grapple, or to argue on behalf of something. Jude is using all of the above when he commands us to “contend for the faith.” Nevertheless, Jude’s command is not merely subjective. We are to contend for the faith “which was once delivered to the saints,” implying to fight for the already established Word.
To keep the faith often requires a struggle. Standing up for the Bible’s commands necessitates action: some defensive, some offensive. The name of Jesus itself will make a demand on us as Jesus said we would be hated of all nations for His name’s sake. The Bible might in fact cost you friendships. It might alienate you from others in ways you cannot imagine. Standing for what is right, whether it be His name, the Gospel, or any other part of the Bible, will come at a cost! Defending what is wholesome will not garnish a reception from those who oppose it.
I wonder how many have walked away from a conversation they knew was wrong? How many have stood up and said “No” to accusations against the brethren; wrong conduct; or carnality even at the risk of losing a relationship? How many have refused to watch something because it was sinful?
My concern is that contenders are few and compromisers are many. Compromising is simply diluting truth for the sake of acceptance. Compromisers will not speak up or stand up because they don’t want to stir up the ire of the backbiter or the falsehood. Some will not defend holiness because they don’t want to be shunned or shut out. Others even invite poisonous concepts into their thinking rather than making a wave and losing a friend.
However, I submit that we must become Contenders: aggressive, bold, and courageous. We must stand up for each other and for the doctrine of Jesus Christ. We must defend and promote the church and the tenets of our faith. It is time for us to use our voice and to pronounce ourselves. Standing for truth today is not complicated; it’s just rare. Standing for what is right has never been popular, but it is the only thing that matters. The Scripture is the basis of our faith, because it comes from the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And to that end I ask you; Are you contending?
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole