Contend Earnestly for the Faith

(Jude 3)

Mike Johnson

 It is clear from the Old Testament that God intended for us to adhere to His Word, and the Scriptures should not violated (Deut. 4:1-4, 5:32-33; Josh 1:7; Num. 22:18, 24:13; Pb. 4:26-27, 30:5-6; Lev. 18:4-5). Consider now the same concept from the standpoint of the New Testament.

Jude (v. 3) told the early Christians that they should “. . . contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” The Greek word used here means to fight or to contend strenuously in defense of, in this case, “the faith.” It means to “contend about a thing, as a combatant” (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words). The contending for the faith, with love, is also “earnestly,” done, i.e., with might. 

It is the “faith” we are to contend for earnestly. The writer uses the word “faith,” in this context, in the objective sense, and it refers to the system of faith, i.e., the sum of all that we are to obey and believe (note also Acts 6:7, I Tim. 4:1, Phil. 1:27).  

Thus, we are to stand firmly on God’s Word; we are to defend the truth against attacks from false teachers, and obviously, we are to adhere to it ourselves. How do we do that? Do we accomplish this by teaching a doctrine that people can believe anything they want? Do we do this by adding to and taking away from God’s Word? We must “contend earnestly for the faith.” We obey Jude 3 by insisting others follow the pattern of the New Testament, and we must follow the same course of action ourselves. We obey Jude 3 by requiring Bible authority for everything believed, taught, and practiced. We MUST earnestly contend for the faith.