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.
Jude urges the believers to ‘contend for the faith’ because the way people are, there is a natural flow away from the truth of God. Jude describes men who are depraved in their thoughts and actions, proclaiming a false gospel and serving their own selfish desires. They are promoting it as normal in the household of faith. They are co-existing with the church, boasting about their sin. Jude says, ‘contend for the faith!’ In a culture (church sub-culture?) that is “sissifiying” the church, Jude’s exhortation is very masculine! It’s a battle we’re in. It’s 15 rounds with someone who wants to take you out! What are you going to do? Lay over and take it?! Stand up and contend for the faith! Engage the battle. Exhort, encourage and rebuke. Paul told Timothy that the Word of God was useful for this very purpose (2 Tim 3:16-17). Rebuking is not culturally correct these days, but it probably never has been. If we’re going to contend for the faith, we’d better suit up and get after it.
Jude describes later what this looks like, I think, when he writes (verses 20-23), But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. He then ends his brief letter in worship.
In the context of so much sin, who Jesus is is reassuring to my heart! God is able to give me all I need. He is able to keep me from falling and, because of His mercy, to present me in His very own Presence without fault and with great joy! God is my resource in contending for the faith. He is the beginning and the end! It is His Gospel and His Kingdom. I must zero in on being His person, worshipping Him for who He is and all that He has done. Then my heart will be right and in tune with His will.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.