“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.”
This is such a relevant, revealing, and challenging verse of Scripture. It has been estimated that Jude wrote his epistle between 65 and 90 A.D. When these inspired words were penned, our Savior had only been back in Heaven for a few decades. Yet, Jude wrote of the critical need to contend for the faith.
The battle against the revealed Word of God is nothing new. It began in the Garden of Eden; and we see in the New Testament era, it was raging in the first century. This shows us how soon the leaven of error can begin to corrupt. We cannot afford to be casual about compromise and doctrinal deviation. We are to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
The body of truth had already been revealed and entrusted to the Lord’s churches. This has tremendous contemporary implications when one considers the number of religions today that are depending on some form of revelation received long after Jude wrote these words. The faith that was delivered to the saints was the standard by which all beliefs are to be judged. It is amazing the number of religious groups that are holding to some post-biblical writings or traditions of men, which clearly contradict the Word of God. The Bible plainly teaches that “the faith” was delivered to the saints in the first century.
Jude knew this would be an ongoing contest. The words earnestly contend mean there will be an intense struggle for the truth. This was the case in the first century, and it is certainly the case now. The Bible is being challenged on every hand, and not by pagans alone. Even those who claim to know the Lord, defend practices and priorities that violate the Scripture. Bible perversions are being substituted for the Word of God. Sound doctrine is often belittled. Bible believers are treated as fanatics rather than faithful servants of God.
The writers of Scripture warned of an apostasy or falling away, a turning from the faith that would occur before the return of Christ. We see it almost daily. Take heart, beloved. We are not looking for a new faith, but are earnestly contending for the one delivered to the saints long ago.