Contending for the faith!
Scripture reading for December 22nd: Jude
“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 he faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” Jude 3
Jude was the half-brother of Jesus Christ. His letter was written to the church as a wave of false teachers were enticing believers to live in worldly ways and enticing them to sexual immorality and idolatry. (Jude 4) He planned to write about their common salvation, but instead wrote a letter of encouragement and warning about the need to contend earnestly for the faith! We are in a spiritual conflict and the enemy of our souls is trying to steal our faith!
Jude points God’s people back to God’s past dealings with His redeemed people. God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. They all experienced God’s grace but not all believed and they were destroyed in the desert. (Jude 5) Lot and his children were delivered from Sodom, but God destroyed these towns because of sexual immorality and perversion (homosexual behavior). (Jude 7) These towns were destroyed by fire and serve as examples for us today of eternal fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Jude’s strong warnings were meant to help those in the church to resist these false teachers and stay on the path of righteousness. Jude gives some positive instruction to the church to help them. They are to remember the teaching of the Apostles who had warned about these scoffers of the last times who would seek to divide the church. (Jude 18-19)
The best way Jude suggested to build yourself up in your faith was to pray in the Holy Spirit. By doing this, a believer could keep himself in the love of God and wait patiently for Jesus Christ. While waiting, each believer should be merciful to those who are doubting or weak in their faith and show mercy to others by snatching them from the fires of hell. They must be careful to keep their faith and focus on Jesus.
“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and 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!” Jude 24-25