Do you think God has invited us to any battles? Has God invited us to make a stand? If so, what for and how?
One of Jesus' younger brothers, Jude, was so excited to write a letter to the church about the greatest gift God has given the world, salvation through Jesus Christ. But, the Holy Spirit prevented him from writing that letter. The Holy Spirit inspired him to invite followers of Christ to the most important battle. Let's read what the Holy Spirit revealed for him to write about.
"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. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." Jude 3-4
The battle that we need to be focused on is to "contend for the faith." What does that mean?
The "Faith" Jude is referring to is the entire point of Christianity. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only atoning sacrifice for our sins. That Jesus is the only One who can make us right with God and adopt us into His family. The Faith is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The "faith" also includes the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; God's Revelation about Jesus and how He is the only One who is the Messiah. So, the "Faith" is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Bible which reveals this to the world.
Jude explains that there are certain people who have infiltrated the church and trying to change the faith. They were trying to change how to get right with God. They were seeking to follow Cain's lead. Cain brought a fruit and vegetable offering instead of a blood sacrifice offering in order to get right with God. God revealed that sin is so serious and He is so holy and pure that any imperfection can not exist in God's presence. A great fruit and vegetable buffet does not accomplish the miracle work of God removing the death of sin from us and ushering His perfection into us.
Jude more than invites us, followers of Christ, to join this battle. He "urges" us; implores, exhorts, beseeches, admonishes us to contend for the Gospel of Jesus. He is enlisting us into this battle.
How do we join the battle? How do we best contend and fight for the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
I think there are three ways.
First, let the Gospel of Jesus have full reign in your life. Let Jesus be the true leader and Lord of your life. Let Jesus have His full way in you so that He transforms you into His image more and more. I love how Eugene Peterson translates Col 3:16-17 "Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way." Let's "contend for the faith" by cooperating with Jesus in our every day attitude, thoughts, words and actions.
Second, proclaim the Gospel of Jesus to everyone you know. Join Jesus' mission to share, talk about, verbally explain why Jesus had to leave Heaven, live a perfect life, die a sacrificial death, rise a victorious resurrection and ascend into Heaven. The Psalmist instructed, "Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does." Ps 96:2-3 Let's "contend for the faith" by verbally communicating the Gospel on a daily basis.
Third, protect the Gospel of Jesus. Fully and clearly understand the Gospel of Jesus and then fight for it. Do not let anyone change it or add to it or twist it. The evil one is a brilliant master at twisting God's glorious wisdom and truths. Let's not let that happen."For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time." 1 Cor 15:3-6 Let's us "contend for the faith" by protecting the Gospel.
How are you doing at pushing back the darkness by living, proclaiming and protecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Continuing to the battle together,