Monday, April 6, 2020

Contending for the Faith - Jude

JUDE 1-4 & 20-25
 “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
“To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
“May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…”
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Beloved sisters, may mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you as you stand firm contending for the faith.

But what does it mean to “contend for the faith”? How will you do that? And why is it necessary? What is there to struggle against?

In this time of uncertainty, I’m too often tempted to think the struggle is to fill our daily needs and to regain what has been comfortable all my life. Yet I know that’s not the real struggle. It’s not the fight to which God has called me as His beloved.

In these opening and closing verses, we hear assurance of the mercy, peace, and love of God – that great love with which He called us into His salvation. We are called, loved, and kept in Christ! And again, at the end of the letter, we are assured that God is able to keep us from stumbling and present us blameless before His throne of glory with great joy! It has absolutely nothing to do with us or our strength – It is ALL of GOD!!

But in between those opening and closing assurances, we are warned of danger and charged to fight! Jude’s words in the in-between offer no comfort of ease, but put the believer on sharp alert and command our vigilance – against unbelief and sin; against reliance on the flesh and rejection of authority (God’s authority and those to whom He gives it); against grumbling, discontent, boasters, divisiveness… These things creep in when we make the struggle about this earthly life rather than the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ. We are not told to fight on our own, but in the strong name of Jesus, submitted to HIS uneclipsed power and authority!

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…”

Sweet sister, what are you contending for? A return to what was comfortably normal just a few short weeks ago? Or the glory of Christ no matter what suffering that may mean for you personally?

What do you imagine would bring you relief at this moment? Would it put the glory, majesty, dominion, and authority of Christ on display most of all or just make your daily life easier?

This week’s challenge is to read the whole book of Jude (all 25 verses 😊) along with Philippians 2:1-18 – Read them at least twice and ask these questions as you go:

  • What does it mean to “contend for the faith” or “work out your own salvation”? What is the goal of this battle?
  • Against what does God strongly exhort His children to fight? What is the danger?
  • What instructions are we given about HOW to wage the battle? What tools have we been given?
  • What might obedience to this call look like in your life this week?

PRAY: Remember Psalm 18? The LORD is teaching you to do battle. He is training your hands for war even as He equips you with strength for this battle. Offer up your heart in a prayer of gratitude and submission to His good plan to strengthen you and bring glory to His name.

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

In your struggle, may you be the aroma of Christ – the mercy, peace, and love of God that are yours in abundance – poured out to those around you.

Be sure to check out this helpful message from Exodus, too:

I am praying always for you.


  1. Thank you Sarah! I will join in this!

  2. This is great Sarah! Thank you for providing such a great resource and Bible study guide. I love it!

    1. You're welcome! Praise the Lord! So glad to hear it is useful :-)