I am always amazed at all the different health crazes and different diets and different workout routines there are out there. There is the keto diet. There’s the paleo diet. There’s the Atkins diet. And there are these beach body workouts. There’s P90X. There’s cross fit. People are dedicated to taking care of themselves. People are disciplined, they’re willing to persevere and push through the pain and suffering because they want to have a better positive experience on the outcome.
For us as Christians, we likewise are encouraged to have this kind of attitude in a spiritual sense. To be willing to contend for our faith. The New Testament letter of Jude speaks about this. In those days Jude was writing to encourage Christians who had to deal with a lot of trouble and upheaval in the world. Just as we still face here today. And Jude encourages those early Christians to contend to, to cling to, the Christian faith and that is the teachings of God’s Word. Jude writes
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you concerning the salvation we share, I felt it was necessary for me to write, to urge you to continue to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once and for all. (Jude 3)
That word ‘contend,’ ‘contend for’ is a powerful image. Imagine a marathon runner who is in the middle of his race and he hits his wall. He’s tired, he’s worn out, but does he give up? Does he stop running? No, he fights through it. He’s going to persevere so that he can get to the end. So that he can finish his race.
Or think of two warriors at hand to hand combat. They’re fighting as if their life depends upon it. And that’s the picture that Jude paints for us in this verse as he encourages us as Christians to contend for the faith. To contend for, to fight for, to cling to with all of our might the message of salvation that we have in God’s Word. And it is something that is worth clinging to even to the death for. Because it is a message about one who contended for us.
We have a Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, who contended for us. He came into this world. He lived a holy perfect life for us. He achieved a righteousness with his life that he now desires to share with you and me. And he contended also even with death itself as he willingly went to the cross in order to pay for your sins and mine. And now we have a glorious message that we contend for. The faith that stands triumphant especially on Easter morning as our Lord Jesus is risen from the dead. And that is announcing to us a glorious message that our sins are completely paid for. Heaven is wide open to us.
As we face trouble and upheaval and turmoil in our lives. This is what we cling to. This is what we contend for this glorious message of salvation that we have from God. It’s a message that God has given to us announcing us as His saints. And so we do contend for the faith that was delivered to us.
Will you pray with me?
Lord Jesus, thank you for contending for us to make forgiveness and salvation available. Help us today and help us every day in spite of the trouble and unrest that is present all around us to cling to and contend for this message that you have won heaven for us. Amen.
God’s peace be with you.