~by Randy Bushey
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3).
Jude, New Testament book, is but a single chapter.
And it is largely ignored.
In the early church, there were some who doubted that it belonged in the New Testament (NT), probably because of its brevity. Jude references Old Testament (OT) characters and events; but rather than quoting from the OT, he references 2 Jewish traditional books from the period between the OT and NT.
However, Jude – likely the earthly brother of the Lord Jesus – was committed to defending the faith, under great attack from false teachers in the later years of the 1st century.
In verse 3 above, he challenged and implored believers to recognize that the Gospel was under attack – and to respond to the distortion of truth represented by false teachers.
1) our faith is God’s Gospel – and as such is owned, defined, and controlled by Him. And it is represented by a long unbroken chain of believing men and women, not only from Christ to the time of Jude’s letter, but continuing from the NT on to the present day.
2) the Gospel is entrusted – it is considered to be a valuable treasure by the Lord and so should be highly valued as of unparalleled value by His people.
3) the Gospel is entrusted to the saints – not people who have lived extraordinary and exemplary lives; but to those of us declared to be righteous by Almighty God because of our faith in Christ.
4) the Gospel is to be contended for – in other words, Christ-followers are to be defenders of the faith.
Takeaway: We live in an era – like many before our time – where the Gospel is being distorted, sometimes intentionally and often through ignorance.
But to defend that which has been entrusted to us, we need to know it well. To do that we need to be committed to God’s Word – knowing it, living it, and loving it.
The Gospel needs to be integrated into our very bloodstreams if we are to respond to Jude’s challenge in our day.
…graphic by Julia Freeman-Woolpert, freeimages.com