When Did You Last Contend?
It has been said there are two subjects friends do not discuss: Politics and religion. Of all subjects, it is said these two subjects will yield the most controversy and division. Most people seem to feel quite strongly regarding their political views as well as their religious views. During the close of a presidential term, the nation prepares for an election. As our nation moves into this election period, you may find yourself in discussions of a political nature. However, once this election is past, people may not be as interested in your political position. However, religious discussions should never come to a stop. Christians should always be looking for opportunities to discuss or contend for the word of God.
When was the last time you contended for the faith, for the word of God? In a Christian’s life, there will always be opportunities to contend for the faith. A Christian who contends for the faith is one who is obeying a command from God. Consider the following except from the book of Jude: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:3-4)
When Jude began his letter, his original intention seems to have been to write on the subject of “our common salvation.” However, other developments moved Jude to address a different subject. Jude exhorted the saints to “contend earnestly for the faith.” This faith to which Jude referred was the faith that had been “once for all delivered to the saints.” What were those developments that made necessary Jude’s exhortation? According to verse 4, “certain men have crept in unnoticed . . . who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because of the present day teachers of error, Jude found it needful to encourage the brethren to contend for the faith.
Quite often, people picture the devil as being the tempter, the one behind all temptations to sin. However, if this is the only area we believe the devil to work, then we are sorely mistaken. The devil works very effectively in attempting to derail the doctrine and faith brought by Christ to a lost world. Consider the following passage from Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
According to the words of Paul, Satan, the devil will attack the foundation of one’s faith and belief in Christ by using men to teach error. Those who teach error and false doctrine will appear to be “ministers of righteousness.” However, these teachers of error are nothing more than “ministers” or servants of the devil, doing his will by undermining and perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who work as servants of the devil by perverting the gospel of Christ will be accused. The apostle Paul wrote, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)
While we take a stand on moral issues of right and wrong, we must likewise take a stand for the Truth. We live in a world that is littered with many varying perversions of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result, children of God must “earnestly contend for the faith.” This “one faith” was established by the “one Lord,” the “one Spirit,” and the “one God and Father of all.” (Ephesians 4:5) As disciples of Jesus Christ, children of God, we must study His Word so that we can “give a defense for the hope that lies within us,” “speaking as oracles of God.” (1 Peter 3:15; 4:11)
The next time you hear someone perverting the truth of God’s word, do not be afraid to contend for the faith. In a loving manner, challenge the speaker. Take a stand for the truth of God’s word.