Contend for the Faith
It happens in every generation: People pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ to justify their sin. Granted, there are seasons in which a believer might do the same; but, soon the Holy Spirit moves him to repent and commit to doing the hard work of mortifying indwelling sin. But what we speak of here is different. In this case is a false brother who insists that his sin is no sin and, indeed, will assert that his sin is consonant with the freedom Christians have gained in Christ Jesus. But this is not the freedom which God gives us in our regeneration but the slavery we inherited in our original birth, nor is it the costly grace God gives us which leads to life but the cheap grace we give ourselves which leads to death. Men shall always abuse the gospel to justify their sin; believers will always abuse themselves to justify the gospel.
The Epistle of Jude, though little read, is a jewel among the Scriptures. Jude was the half-brother of our Lord but out of humility refers to himself as the brother of the better-known, James, and simply as a “servant of Jesus Christ.” From the gospels, we learn that “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5), meaning that both James and Jude came to saving faith after our Lord’s resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 9:5 where it appears that the “brothers of the Lord” and their wives were missionaries). And we bless God that they did and that we have the letters of both these godly men.
Jude refers to believers as “beloved in God the Father and kept for [or “by”] Jesus Christ,” which I take as another biblical testimony of the security of the believer. But Jude is rightly concerned about them. He was going to write them “about our common salvation” but instead felt it necessary to appeal to them to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Such a statement teaches us that “faith” is not some inarticulate, vague feeling about our personal relationship with God but a matter of substance. It is something that has been delivered and handed down to us by our Lord through his apostles and prophets, and as such is something to be cherished and even fought over. Jude will not compromise the gospel of Jesus Christ which he knows has nothing to do with the false teachers and their antinomianism (anti-law-ism) whereby they teach others that God’s grace serves as a license to sin: “They pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Sound familiar? These have been with us from the beginning; they are with us today. They tend to “creep in,” but their condemnation is sure. But as for you, hold fast to that faith once for all delivered to the saints.