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Contending For The Truth

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Jude addressed certain Christians saying, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Commenting on the phrase, “contend earnestly,” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words suggests that the expression means "to contend about a thing, as a combatant." “Earnestly” insinuates that the contending is done with intensity and diligence.

To “contend earnestly” in no way permits one to be rude, belligerent, dishonest, or deceitful in the presentation of truth; such behavior is itself, unchristian, and will likely do more harm than good for the cause of Christ. One’s conduct must be becoming of a Christian even when “contending earnestly” for the faith. However, to “contend earnestly” does demand more than a passive interest in the defense and advancement of truth. To “contend earnestly for the faith” one must be “set for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:17), be ready to give answer to everyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in him (1Peter 3:15), and share the Word of God urgently at all times when there is an opportunity to do so (2Timothy 4:2). To “contend earnestly for the faith” does not forbid one from being poignant and persuasive with the truth as long as one is meek, humble, patient, and not quarrelsome (2Timothy 2:24-26).

Considering that the world about us is entrenched in unbelief and false doctrine and that many are hostile toward Christianity these days, perhaps it is necessary for us to be reminded that we need to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Soldiers of Christ, arise!