by Daniel Rieke
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 1:3 [i]
Jude calls believers to contend for the gospel – to be willing to stand up against false ideas about Jesus and against lies about God. There are several interesting things I think we should note about this:
Jude “found it necessary to write” – There is clearly a need for Jude to write this sentence. He found it necessary to do so. So we should take note of what he’s about to say as it clearly has bearing and importance for how we live the Christian life.
Jude tells us “to contend” – He tells us to contend for the faith. This means there will be, by implication, contention about the gospel. That means there will be opponents of the gospel. That means we are going to be confronted with false gospels and things contrary to Scripture and it’s necessary for Jude to write and warn us to contend for the truths of the faith.
There is one faith (i.e. one gospel) – The gospel has been “once for all delivered to the saints.” There is only one gospel and God has already given it to us. That means the gospel doesn’t change. We don’t outgrow our “need” for it. We don’t trade it in for some other faddish new ideas down the road. The gospel was ONCE (only one time) and FOR ALL (for everybody…including you and me) delivered to us. So it is that gospel to which we must anchor our souls.
The implication: We need to know the gospel, love the gospel, defend the gospel, share the gospel and fight for the gospel. We need to be those who are willing to sacrifice for the faith that was one and for all given to us in the Scriptures!
[i] Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.