HS Week #18: Contend for the Faith

Dave Williams continuing through Jude 3. This week we talked about what it means to contend for the faith. Not just striving for it but focusing on the daily grind of contending in response to the job God has called us to.

Jude’s Intent

  • Jude is watching as the church is being attacked from both inside and outside.
  • Outside the church attacks only strengthen it. However, inside the church attacks have the potential to decimate it.
  • Remember the word “appeal” is more of a command. It means to be summoned.
  • Beloved: worthy of being loved.
  • Christ lives in you. Does that change the way we think, act, and speak, knowing that He live sin us.
  • We discussed that Salvation actually has three meanings: saved, preserved and delivered. When we remember what God saved you from, when we remember that the Gospel preserves, and when we remember that God CAME DOWN and delivered us out of bondage the Gospel takes on a greater meaning.
  • Here is the deal, the church lost sight of that fact so Jude had to dig deeper into the principle of contending.

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”  – Jude 3

Contend

  • It is the only time that this word is used in the Bible.
  • Jude dug deep to present a word that would incapsulate exactly what he knew we must do. It means to strenuously and with great agony strive.
  • Almost with all you got, I want you to be driven to this one thing. Because without it the act of salvation—which is the Gospel—can potentially be lost.

Where We Are At

  • Guys I don’t feel like we are contending as a group right now. I feel like we are pushing, striving, even somewhat desiring, but contending? I don’t know.
  • I don’t the passion, that I saw at the beginning of the year. Right now, I don’t see the consistency in small groups, in Wednesday nights, in obedience to Christ. I don’t see the fire.
  • Let me read a text message I got from a friend of mine the other day: I just spent an hour talking to the family of a girl who killed herself last night dave. She was 14. Her 9 year old sister found her .. She went to Thurston. She had never heard the gospel or been involved in a church and now she’s gone… Like we gotta do something about this. I know we won’t reach everyone but that breaks me knowing that girl was so hurt that she let go of the rest of her life and she never knew Jesus. Her Creator, who loves her more than she can imagine and gives her worth that no school bully could ever take away. We just need to spread it more and to everyone and all the high schools because this stuff can happen in an instant. Like this has to catch fire and I know if we just keep pushing and spreading it, it can.
  • This is someone talking about contending. Someone that is frustrated watching others die not knowing who Christ is. Frustrated in herself because she isn’t contenting. We need to be somewhat spiritually discontent. There should be a sense that something is lacking when we aren’t sharing, living, being refreshed by the Gospel on a regular basis.
  • I so desperately want to see Eugene reached for Christ. I want to see people completely sold out on Him. I can’t make that happen for you. Jude can’t make that happen for you. But he can remind you what the bar is.
  • Remember this is an appeal. It is an order coming from a General stating what your duties are. He is asking you to contend.
  • So ask yourself, are you contending or are you on cruise control?
  • If you know that you are loved, if you know that you have Christ living in you. If you know that God left Heaven—communion with the trinity—to deliver you; if you know that then why aren’t you contending?
  • What else does he have to do to prove to you that pursuing Him is the greatest task you will ever do.

For the Faith

  • See I think that’s the problem. We don’t fully believe or appreciate that Jesus is our all in all.
  • That is why Jude says to contend for the faith that was one delivered once and for all delivered to the saints.
  • See it takes faith to believe all those things. It takes faith to believe that God came down and died on the cross for our sins. It takes faith to believe that we are loved by Him. It takes faith to believe that Christ is living inside of you right now.
  • That is why you have to contend for that. You have to fight for that because your flesh, this world, and life circumstances will chip away at that faith if you aren’t contending for it.
  • It is a daily grind. Guys I get it trust me. It is hard to see broken relationships, personal failure, people let you down, things not go your way, or just feeling plain exhausted. I get it. It tears at your faith.
  • But that is why it is all the more important to fight. To contend.
  • Remember what my friend wrote me, “Like we gotta do something about this. I know we won’t reach everyone but that breaks me knowing that girl was so hurt that she let go of the rest of her life and she never knew Jesus.”
  • Don’t forget what is most important here. Fighting for that faith, that belief in God that surpasses everything else.
  • You know what to do, you know your job. I don’t need to tell you what to do or who God is, you know these things — do your job.
  • You are God’s ambassador wherever you go, there is not a day off in that, you need to contend.
  • Are you contending? Are you fighting for your faith? Are you really looking for those Gospel opportunities to share? Only you know the answer to that but but I ask you to take some time tonight to reflect on that.

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