Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jude 1;3 Contending For The Faith

Jude 1:                                                                                                                               
3  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.

The Greek word translated as ‘contend’ is epagōnizomai, which literally means a struggle, an earnest contending. The faith (pistis; assurance,credence,conviction) spoken of here, has been delivered to the saints “once for all” The word in the Greek being hapax,  most accurately translated as “one time”. Hapax is the root word found in the phrase “once for all” in Hebrews 10:10.

Hebrew 10:                                                                                                                             
10  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

All facets of salvation are once, for all, for all time; be it election; justification, sanctification, faith etc. All of these flow from God’s grace to man through Christ’s obedient act. (Romans 5:16-19)
So this faith, which is granted by grace, is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8) and is fruit of the common “salvation” which Jude spoke of also in the same verse.
Men do not inherently possess the faith which pleases God. (Hebrews 11:6). It originates with Christ, and finds its end, that is, its perfection in Him. (Hebrews 12:2) It comes by the hearing of the Word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
As previously stated, this is a gift from God to the elect, the saints.
This being said, the contending that Jude speaks of is NOT contending to obtain the faith, nor is it contending to keep it, since it has been delivered once, for all, to all the saints. Then what is this contending that he is referring to?

Jude 1:4  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.

Verses 4 through 19 describe that against which we are contending. Verses 20-23 describe how this “contentious warfare” is waged.  (2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:10-20)
We are declaring  the true faith against those who bring in another Jesus, another gospel etc. This battle is being fought within the church itself, as all deception, heresy and apostasy, by definition, originate from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Acts 20:26-30; Matthew 7:15-20)
(I have touched on this in my previous post on 1John4:4 and the spirit of antichrist)

We do not have to struggle to be saved, nor do we struggle to “stay saved” We do not struggle for health, wealth, and/or prosperity.
We are not contending to obtain or keep any of that, of which God has already blessed us with in Christ. We struggle against the “angels of light” of which Paul speaks. (2 cor 11:3-15)
The super-apostles, originate ministries based on systems of works (which they devise) through which they merchandise books, dvds ,music etc that teach and promote these systems.
As Paul also wrote:

2Cor 2:
15  For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
16  to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
17  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

When we find accusations being raised against as being contentious or divisive, our question to the accusers should be; Do you mean contentious as in Romans 16:17-18 or according to  those whom Jude describes? The true saints of God wage the good warfare of faith, and stand in complete reliance, by faith in Christ and His finished work.(1 Timothy 6:12)

Jude 1:                                                                                                                                
24  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,
25  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.

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