Oct. 28, 2020

Our Faith Is Being Challenged

Mark 6:3 Jude is a brother of Jesus

Jude used very strong language in his writing. He does not begin and end the letter with a lot of formalities and pleasantries. It appears that he senses an urgency to get right to the point. He doesn’t send greetings from mom-n-em or talk about the big bass that Uncle Joe caught. He doesn’t tell about the delicious cake Aunt Katie baked or remark how the kids have grown. The language he uses and the structure of his letter reveal that he considers what he is communicating to be of utmost importance. So he dispenses with all casual introductions and jumps right into the heart of the matter.

For this study we are going to focus on just one verse of Jude’s letter. His writing is just one chapter of 25 verses. We will look at verse 3.

Jude 3a AMP/JM “Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation.

By his address, beloved, he considers them dear or close friends of his and he is writing to believers. He is not writing to unbelievers in an effort to win them to Christ. He is writing to those who have already confessed Christ and have received Him as Savior and Lord.

In the rest of this verse he uses four very emphatic words or phrases that communicate how serious this matter is. We won’t discuss the next verse today, but in verse four he tells what has happened to cause him to change the topic of this epistle or letter. His original intent was to write a general letter about their salvation. But verse four says that he decided to be much more specific because false teachers have crept in among the believers and they are distorting the message of Christ. Some of these false teachers are even denying that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed Son of God. The whole basis of what we believe is based on the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. This was a very serious issue and needed to be dealt with, with a quickness.

Jude 3b AMP/JM [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write to you…”

It was a necessity, not an option. This is something he felt driven, propelled, even forced to do. Not like Paul regarding marital relations in I Corinthians 7:6 where Paul says he speaks this by permission. He is allowed to express this but it is not a doctrine. Some people take their personal beliefs or convictions and try to make a doctrine or command out of it. They teach and preach that everyone else needs to follow this practice when the Lord didn’t teach it.

Jude 3c AMP/JM “…and urgently appeal (to you)…” Not just to state my case but with passion and pressing persuasion I am urging you.

Jude 4d AMP/JM “…and exhort you…” This is another word that means to strongly encourage or advise or convince that it is imperative that this message is strictly adhered to. He is telling them, “Pay attention to this and don’t just hear it and forget it.” Sometimes after a Sunday service a person may be asked what did the preacher talk about? Quite often the reply is, “I don’t remember but the service was really good!” Jude didn’t want that to be the case here. He wanted them to be on alert. Be aware. Don’t forget this message!

Jude 3 AMP/JM “…contend for the faith which was once for all handed down (or delivered) to the saints…”

Contend = to struggle for (this Greek phrase is only used once in the entire Bible)

Contender = In boxing a contender is a qualified opponent who has worked their way up the ranks in order to challenge for the boxing title.

The contender is one who is challenging the person who already has the title. The contender has built themselves up in strength and reputation by fighting and winning. Every time we win against an opponent that challenges our faith we become stronger. There are a lot of challengers to our faith: family members we have been praying for that it seems like they just aren’t ever going to get on the right track, people in our lives who irritate and antagonize us, sicknesses that attack our bodies, financial situations…so many challenges that want to squash our faith.

We must contend for our faith. We must fight for it. The enemy seeks to diminish and ultimately eliminate our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Oppositions are opportunities to strengthen and develop faith. Keep pressing. Keep believing God. Don't give up. We are on the winning side!