The Difficulty of Contending For the Faith

Counterfeit gods and Fake Christs

Why must Christians understand the difficulty for contending for the faith? The problem exists with what is authentic Christianity, as compared to an imitation. There is a type of Christianity which looks like the Christian faith but actually leads away Christians to another Jesus, by another Gospel, and by another spirit other than the Holy Spirit. When the foundational doctrines of Jesus Christ are twisted into other meanings it becomes another Gospel. So contending for the faith is to “preserve” what was originally given and taught by Jesus Christ to His original apostles. The idea of contending for the faith involves a confrontation which makes people feel uncomfortable. The confrontation is to expose by a vigilant effort any teachings which corrupt the doctrines of Jesus Christ. In confronting its an action which requires a diligence to know the doctrines of Jesus Christ. That’s why those who are called as teachers and preachers in the Church must study to show themselves approved as workmen by God. Knowing how to rightly divide Gods written Word in truth.

When a person is called by God to preach or teach the Word of God as recorded in the Bible. They must have the conviction the Bible was inspired by God and is the infallible truth which does not change with cultural trends. The written Word of God has only one standard of truth which has even been debated in Church history by Church Fathers. Why must the written word of God be contended, the reason being found in the presence of heresies and doctrines of demons. Simply put, false doctrines which have twisted the written Word of God into meanings which the Scriptures have never intended find their way into the Church as a dangerous cancer. Even from the very first century doctrines of demons had already found their way into the Church perverting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to contend something?

contended; contending; contends. intransitive verb. : to strive or vie in contest or rivalry or against difficulties : struggle. contended with the problems of municipal government. will contend for the championship this year. Jan 1, 2023

Contend Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster › dictionary › contend

What are some synonyms of contend?
synonyms for contend
• argue.
• confront.
• cope.
• dispute.
• go after.
• grapple.
• meet.
• oppose.

What does contend mean in Hebrew? The Hebrew word for contend is a legal word in Hebrew, it is the word riv which is to bring a case against someone, to file a complaint.
Measured By the Word

Have you read of the judgments which warn Christians of apostasy of the faith? Little is said of Christians having the temptation of treading underfoot the Son of God, even though Christians “ still had the Spirit of Grace (Holy Spirit).” The argument with failing Christianity usually goes like this; “they were never really saved in the first place.” However, the Scriptures warn of Great Apostasy, a sin of denying Jesus Christ after coming into saving faith. This sin was committed while they still have the Holy Spirit which demonstrates they are born again with eternal life, then turn back to the world. In these days Christians must begin to speak out more about Christians who are denying the Lord, by living godless immoral lives after coming into saving faith.

Judging fallen Christianity will not be popular. To confront Christians with an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Lord, will draw anger from the “no judgment Christian crowd.” With the prevalence of false teachers and doctrines of demons, a “fallen sinful Church,” is not permitted to be spoken of. The Super apostles refuse to acknowledge the Church can “fall into great deception,” and move into apostasy as warned by Scriptures. An apostatizing Church is not the “Glorious world conquering Church,” the Super apostles insist transforms the world before Jesus Christ can return. However, the Book of Hebrews warns Christians, just as Israel departed from the Lord in the wilderness, so can Christians have an evil heart in departing from the Lord.

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief,
in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day;
lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ,
if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
(Hebrews 3:12-14)

by Don Purozok

From Bryce Self

“Spirituality” is of course not at all synonymous with a living Christian faith. People in our culture are simultaneously becoming much more spiritual and far less Christian. It is a judicially-imposed punishment from the Lord on those who willfully suppress the truth— the precise thing that happened to Israel for our example when they crucified Jesus.

John 16:2-4 (NKJV) “…Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you."
Be very leery of the “He Gets Us” media blitzkrieg! The folks behind it have cloaked themselves in secrecy and anonymity — precisely the opposite of those who preach the Gospel as personal and proven representatives of the Living God calling all to repentance and faith. Something covert is going of with this crew, and we’re only just beginning to get glimpses of their intent and designs.


In response to a post by George Barna

Rising Spiritual Openness in America

A majority of U.S. adults desires a spiritual dimension to life. Are Christian leaders ready?

By David Kinnaman, Barna CEO

In the artist formerly-known-as Prince’s song “1999,” he alludes to the hope and anticipation of a new millennium. So far, I feel the 2000s haven’t lived up to the hype. We’ve lived through 9-11, the worst recession in recent history, a global pandemic, racial upheaval, political unrest, soaring inflation, rising interest rates and now the ongoing threat of COVID in all its variants. No medical intervention has inoculated us from the psychic effects of a world in turmoil.

But Americans seem open to a different antidote to help make sense of life in these chaotic times.

In an October 2022 Barna survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, three out of four (74%) say they want to grow spiritually. Additionally, the same proportion (77%) say they believe in a higher power. Nearly half (44%) say they are more open to God today than before the pandemic.

Barna has been tracking the state of Christianity for nearly four decades. Though the trajectory of Christian commitment in the U.S. has been on a downward slide and is in need of urgent interventions, our new data give Christian leaders cause for hope...


What does it mean to contend for the faith?


The epistle of Jude is written to Jewish Christians living in Jerusalem. In the opening passages, the author explains that he had initially intended to write a general letter of encouragement on the topic of “the salvation we share.” Instead, Jude explains, “I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 1:3).

Jude is concerned because “the faith”—the Christian message of the gospel—is under attack from false teachers who are spreading dangerous heresies. Jude urges his readers to contend for the faith against those who seek to undermine and erode it. The Greek word Jude chooses, translated “contend earnestly,” usually describes an athlete striving with extreme intensity to win the victory in a physical competition. The Amplified Bible translates the command as “fight strenuously for [the defense of] the faith.”

Jude wants all believers to contend earnestly for the faith. A true contender vigorously endeavors to win the competition, not holding anything back. In this case, the struggle is for “the faith,” which is the saving truth of Jesus Christ and His teachings (2 Corinthians 11:3–41 Thessalonians 2:13Hebrews 1:2).

Since this faith was “entrusted to God’s holy people,” all believers, not just Christian leaders, are called to defend the truth of Jesus Christ. And since this faith was entrusted “once for all,” Jude intends to stand against those who claim to receive “new” revelations of truth. Through Christ’s personal teachings and the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has already given the full message of truth to the apostles (John 14:2616:12–13). Paul gives a similar warning not to let anyone pervert the gospel of Christ with new and different teachings (Galatians 1:6–9). God has spoken, and any new, continuing, or special revelations of “truth” are to be rejected.

The two basic false teachings Jude contends with are stated in verse 4: “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.” First, Jude opposes the false teachers in their sanctioning of immoral behavior—they “pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality.” Second, Jude calls them on their rejection of the deity of Christ—they “deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

The faith entrusted to God’s holy people for which they must contend is grounded in Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16), He is God with us (Matthew 1:23), He is the Word, and He is God made flesh (John 1:1–18). This faith is expressed through holy living to which all believers are called (Leviticus 20:71 Peter 1:16Romans 6:1–1412:1).

Several verses in the New Testament reinforce Jude’s call to contend for the faith. Paul charges Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” as a soldier of God in pursuit of holy living, persistent service, and defending the gospel (1 Timothy 6:11–21). To the church in Corinth, Paul advises believers to see themselves as runners in a race who “run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27). To the Philippian church, Paul writes, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). Fight, run, and strive—in other words, “contend earnestly” for the faith.

In a practical sense, what does it mean to contend for the faith? What does contending for the faith look like? Fortunately, the book of Jude sets out several disciplines showing us how to contend for the faith:

1. Build yourself up in the faith (Jude 1:20). We are to keep pressing ourselves to grow spiritually. A big part of spiritual development involves reading and studying God’s Word so that we know and understand it. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The inspired Word of God has the power to teach, train, rebuke, and correct us in righteousness so that as God’s servants we are wholly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17).

2. Pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20). By praying under the direction of the Holy Spirit, we receive help in our human weakness to understand God’s truth and not be deceived by false teachers (Romans 8:26).

3. Keep yourself in God’s love (Jude 1:21). Staying in God’s love means living by faith and obedience to God. Jesus told us, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10). We obey God because He has captivated our hearts and won our allegiance (Romans 6:17). The ultimate expression of our obedience to God is shown through our loving others (1 John 3:11–241 Peter 1:22).

4. Wait with hope (Jude 1:21). To contend for the faith, we must keep the fire of hope alive in our hearts. When Jude says to wait “expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life,” he is referring to living every moment of life with the confident expectation that Jesus Christ may return at any moment (Titus 2:13).


Counterfeit gods and Fake Christs


He who wins by force hath won but half his foe
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Warm-up: Isaiah 42:1-4

I heard a story the other day about an Irishman who stopped to watch a street fight and inquired, "Is this a private fight or can anyone join in." Unfortunately, some of us are a lot like that when it comes to the gospel: we're always spoiling for a fight. 

Sad to say, the fighting is usually dirty--fist shaking, name calling, fierce, angry faces and verbal abuse. Discussion and debate is one thing; fury, innuendo and insult is another. When we resort to bitter abuse we lose our moral and rational force and, what's worse, we push people away from God. When we do that we're sure of just one ally--the devil. 

Isaiah writes of the Servant of the Lord, our Lord Jesus that he would not "shout or cry out…"(Isaiah 42:2,3). Matthew in his Gospel translates this phrase: "He will not quarrel or cry out" (Matthew 12:19). The word translated "quarrel"means to "to wrangle"and was chosen to describe the tactless heat and intensity of the Pharisees in contrast to the calm, quiet manner of Jesus who, though bold in his proclamation, never, never bullied people. We should follow the Servant's example.

"At some point [one] stands perplexed, above all at the sight of human sin, and…wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide: `I will combat it by humble love.' If you resolve on that once for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it" (Kallistos Ware).

The Puritans were right when they enunciated the principle of "consent."Faith can never be foisted on another. It "remains an act of choice which no one can force upon another" (W. H. Auden). It must be gained by loving humility, gentle persuasion and reason. 

Though we must contend for the faith we must never be contentious--quarrelsome, argumentative, unpleasant and in other people's faces. We must be prepared to answer those who ask us a reason for the hope we have, but we must do so "with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15). Railing at people is contrary to the spirit of Christ. 

"The Lord's servant must not quarrel. Instead he must be kind to everyone, able to instruct, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth, and they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." (2 Timothy 2:24) 

Those who oppose us are not the enemy. They are victims of the enemy taken captive by him to do his will. If they are to be released from Satan's control it must be through quiet persuasion. We must be gentlemen--courteous in our demeanor, non-defensive in our responses, respectful in our efforts to convince those who oppose us. Only then can God "grant repentance leading…to the knowledge of the truth."

Manner and message are inextricably linked; one goes with the other. We must speak the truth in love. Truth without love is hard dogma; love without truth is soft and mawkish sentimentality. Only God's truth delivered with love has power to bring about consent. 

In our enthusiasm we must not resort to severity. Others' salvation depends on it. The good news, it seems, only sounds good when it's delivered with good manners. 

Yet in my walks it seems to me
That the grace of God is in courtesy.

--Hilarie Belloc

David Roper

Lambert Dolphin 

Email is welcome 

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January 26, 2023