Athlete, Fight For This
Jude 1:3 (NIV)
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.
Some things in life are worth fighting for … and some things aren’t. Our world is full of both activity and passivity. And just like having a good offense and good defense, it’s hard to get both responses right.
Things that should provoke our righteous indignation and lead us to taking great courage don’t, and things that do provoke us are far too often trivial and unrooted in good cause. Our best cares are being misplaced every day.
In steps God’s Word. It calls us to this simple, strong action: “Contend for the faith.”
In the original manuscript, the word “contend” is translated from the Greek word “agonizimo,” from which we get the word “agonize.” That means God summons us to not just have faith, but to fight hard for it.
He wants us to agonize for faith’s victory in us and around us. He wants us to put our faith to the test by trusting Him, supporting His already declared Word and standing for the truth found there, even in the face of opposition.
Here are some specific battlefronts from the book of Jude where God’s Word teaches us to dig in and fight, to contend for the faith:
SEX AND CHEAPENED GRACE: Don’t let embrace of the grace of God become license for immorality. It can if we’re not careful. Sensuality and sanctification cannot share the same pillow (Jude 1:4,7).
REDUCING JESUS: Don’t let the supremacy of Jesus Christ get downsized. Jesus is more than one of many gods.
Neither His humanity nor His divinity can be denied. His atonement for sin is fully efficacious. Make Him as big as He really is (Jude 1:4).
MONEY AND POWER: Fight to keep financial profiteering and idolatry out of the church and holy missions (Jude 1:11).
VALUING HIStory: Fight to know the story. Learn from the past. Ignorance of God’s Word is largely inexcusable (Jude 1:5-16).
KEEPING FIT: Fight for spiritual fitness like you’ve learned to do for physical fitness. Train for world-class competition. Build oneself up in the most holy faith. Lift spiritual weights regularly (Jude 1:8,12,20).
FUTURE HOPE: Fight to have a clear, confident view of what’s ahead. Fight from victory not just for victory. Good hope fuels the fight. Those that expect to win often do (Jude 1:14-15,17-21).
GOOD ATTITUDE: Fight to maintain a positive, humble, hopeful attitude. That means fighting in prayer, study and obedience too (Jude 1:16,20-21).
RESCUE MISSIONS: Fight to save lives and show mercy. Mercifully wound and scandalously give grace as necessary. Step fearlessly into the heat, the mess, the sin, the slum and unbelief of it all (Jude 1:22-23).
And here’s the good news … God is committed to fight for us and with us on these fronts. He is able to carry us through any onslaught, unblemished or restored, to certain victory (Jude 1:24-25).
Reflect: Of all the things you fight for in life, do you contend for faith? Specifically, where does your fight need more flame? What did you read above that convicted your passivity?
A prayer to consider:
Father in Heaven:
What I have not, teach me.
What I see not, show me.
What I am not, change me.
Accomplish this by Your Spirit who lives in me. And help me contend for the faith, especially as prompted today. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray, Amen.