Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

Contending for the Faith

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.
Jude 1:3 (NIV)

Who we worship matters. And the distinct way we see Jesus matters too. What we say about Him matters. Jude really challenges us that defending our faith matters as well. The faith we practice matters. The worship we offer matters. The Bible in its entirety—from Genesis to Revelation—all of it matters. And yes, that even includes passages that make us think about culture, morality, sexuality, and politics.

Jude encouraged and admonished Christians to fight for the preservation of the faith that was handed down to them from the prophets and through Jesus, a faith that was being attacked by people who just could not surrender to a Christ-centered spirituality.

Unfortunately, the Christian faith is a favorite of most people to express doubt about, to make comedic fodder of, to find easy excuses for abandoning. People are inclined to give themselves permission to ignore it, to adjust it, to extract important Scriptures from the Bible and disregard the rest. Some people in our culture think themselves too highly enlightened to believe in the Bible. Others have become disheartened. And way too many are afraid to defend the core beliefs of the Scriptures as we know them.

When your faith is being targeted for dilution or destruction, listen to what Jude says in verse 3: I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith. That word contend in the Greek can be transliterated into fight for it, preserve it.

If you’ve got a faith that is growing, your faith is always wrestling with doubt. That’s because it’s easy to have enough faith to be on the boat while Jesus is on board, but your faith is stretched when Jesus invites you to meet Him out on the water. It is easy to have a faith in a God who comes to you saying, “I’m going to give you a son,” but it’s not as easy to exercise that same faith when God comes along and says, “Take your only son, the son you love, and meet me on the mountain and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering.”

You can doubt, you can be curious, you can search, and you can wander and come back— because Jesus is the center. His blood has redeemed us. Not only is Jesus the Son of God, but Jesus is God the Son. That is the faith entrusted to us that we must contend for.

If you’re not wrestling, you don’t have faith. But here’s what faith says: don’t you ever forget, child of God, that while men and women may come and go, the Word of God shall abide forever.