“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3)
Tomorrow the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments from lawyers on the definition or redefinition of marriage. They will listen as the argument is made that every American has the constitutional right to marry whom they choose regardless of spousal gender. They will also hear arguments that “traditional marriage” (“biblical marriage”) between a man and a woman is one of the rock beds of our society.
They are slated to rule in June, and I suspect the results of their decision will affect the moral direction of our country for decades. At stake in the debate is the alteration of what is moral and what is amoral. And once all moral cohesiveness is thrown out the window, who will determine in the future what is right and wrong. I fear this is where we may be headed as a country.
That is one of the reasons why I believe Jude’s warning to the first century Jewish Christians living in Palestine is just as needed today as it was the day it was penned by the half-brother of Jesus. Jude wanted to talk about their common salvation. He wanted to address their forgiveness, their redemption, the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, their sanctification, etc. However, he felt the need to appeal to them that they “earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”
Jude is not talking about saving faith, or the continuous faith that produces right living. Instead, he is referring to the whole body of doctrine as is revealed in the Word of God. He affirms what Paul charged the Philippians: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27).
The faith is the supreme reality we all fight for. God demands that His church stand for His truth and that we are not to waiver. We are to earnestly, graciously, and unwaveringly stand for Biblical truth. We must remember this fundamental truth: The laws of man change – the Word of God does not! So, let’s band together and contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. And let’s leave the rest to God.