Summary: This sermon is an insight into the letter of Jude with a call to contend, construct and confess the faith in the light of those who are compromising the faith.
Contending for the faith from the book of Jude.
Background: Jude brother of James-half brother of Jesus early Church leader.Probably written around A.D.65.
Reason: The book of Jude was written to exhort believers to contend for the faith against those from within who were disputing, disrupting and denying the truth. In fact initially the book was not going to be written for this purpose, but the author Jude was going to encourage the believers in their salvation v3. Yet he felt it important to write against those who were denying the truth and to motivate believers in their faith to stand for truth against error.
Here is a question for you. Is the church today contending or compromising the faith?
This letter is highly applicable to us today as it was then. Within the church their are those who teach error and outside of the church there are those who sole purpose is to destroy faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians we are being bombarded from within and from outside with heresy and hypocrisy we need to be alert.
Jude urges us to stand up, to those who would try to bring us down. Here Jude identifies the enemy and their traits.
Do not love the world 1John2.15-17. The world has come in. Jude realised that the fundamentals were being denied. Bible is full of warnings;
Jesus Himself gave many warnings: Matt.7.15.Watch out for false prophets ! 24;10-14. Many will turn away from the faith in the end times. 24;24.Decievers of the elect if that were possible.Peter warns us; 2 Pet.2.1. they will introduce heresies.Paul warns us; Gal;2.4. Make us slaves. Col.2.8. human tradition. Philosophy. John warns us.1 Jhn.4.1.Testing the Spirit false prophets have gone out.
What were they doing in the letter to Jude?
Those amongst us who are godless men they change the truth of Christ and the apostles teaching v17. v4, they were immoral using the grace of God to live this way.v4 They deny Jesus Christ our only Soverign and Lord. yet are secretive. Not always noticeable.V8, Dreamers polluting their own bodies, Reject Authority, slander celestial beings. v10, Abusive, rash. v16 Grumblers fault finders, follow own evil desires, boastful and flatters, v18, scoffers,v19 dividers, ungodly and do not posses the Spirit.
1. Jude calls us to contending for the faith V3.
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the Salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
We all contend for things in the world, especially over personal issues we will not fail to make a stand.
People are keen today to contend 101 things - for animal rights - homosexual rights - feminist rights what about you what do you contend for anything in particular?
How about the issues of our faith which are entrusted to us? (delivered) once and for all.
Jude urges us or better rendered earnestly contend here it speaks of a serious mind or intention to defending the faith. We are to be devoted to the task and to go about contending not furiously like a heedless chicken but with diligence keeping within the rules.2Tim 2.5. If anyone competes as an athlete , he does not receive the crown unless he competes according to the rules.
1b. Contending the Faith is Active not Passive.
To contend means to struggle in rivalry, to defend earnestly, to assert.
he idea portrayed; Is of a Solider who urgently agonises in combat, to win an objective . This is the vital commitment Jude is urging for. To contend also can refer to the intense effort engaged in a wrestling match where you compete.
In the late 1980’s their was a monumental boxing match against Michael Watson v C. Eubank, they contended head to head right up until the last bell.We are to go head to head with those who sre heretical and teaching errror. No way are we to just bruch it under the carpet.
Paul alsospeaks of our contending in battle terms; Eph 6;13. Putting on the full Armour of God. 1Tim.6;12. fight the good fight. 2 Tim.4.7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course .I have kept the faith
1c. He Urges for Unity v3. The salvation we share, and was once for all entrusted to the saints.V4 Because certain men were turning away from Gods truth and embracing false teaching. Apostasey.
The Bible again and again speaks of the need of unity but never at the expense of truth: Phil.1;27,b I will know that you stand firm in one spirit contending as one man for the faith of the gospel. Gal 3:28.You are all one in Christ Jesus The early Church in Acts.2:42 –47.Eph 4:3-6. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called. One Lord one faith one Baptisim one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 17. 20-23. Jesus prays for unity for believers.