CONTEND for the FAITH
BY: RAY PRINZING
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For thee are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4)
We note a threefold corruption process. UNGODLY - literally, irreverent. How flippant many are with their worship and reference to “the man upstairs.” But “God is not a man,” Numbers 23:19 makes that clear. Yet in their irreverence they lose all sense of holiness, the fear of the Lord, an awe before Him. This is a very subtle thing, for while it is true, He does condescend to men of low estate, yes, “though I make my bed in hell, Thou are there,” nevertheless, it is not a familiarity that reduces God to the human level of man in all his pervertedness and finiteness.
TURNING - again a subtle work, “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness,” or, into excess. This is using the freedom of His grace for the fulfilling of the lusts of the flesh. It is not always a broad jump into corruption, but that gradual turning, until it doesn’t seem so bad, and what was once thought of as sin, no longer seems to be so sinful, in fact, it even seems to be quite permissible. God help us from any turning which would cause us to err, miss the mark, as we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
DENYING - it didn’t start out as denying, only just a little irreverent, then a little turning, but it ends up denying the very God that bought them with his own blood, even denying that He alone is God.
So we would “contend for the faith” - from the root word, to agonize. With intensity of purpose we would be irrevocably committed to the faith, not to be “contentious” about it, but to LIVE IT in daily overcoming.