CONTENDING FOR YOUR FAITH

2 Timothy 3:1-5

1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Today we are seeing scriptures being fulfilled. The love of many waxing cold, children disrespecting parents, the love of money, the love of self. The lists go on. False prophets and teachers, wars and rumours of war. False messiahs, increase in warfare, and increases in famines, plagues, and natural disasters. Jesus advises us not to be deceived, that these are only the beginning of the "birth pangs"; the end is yet to come.

In the meantime, what are we to do as believers.  We are to contend or defend the authentic faith that we have received.

Jude 3-5 expandable bible

3 ·Dear friends [Loved ones; Beloved], I ·wanted very much [or was making every effort; or was just about] to write you about the salvation we all share [our common salvation]. But I felt the need to write you about something else: I want to ·encourage [exhort; urge; appeal to] you to ·fight hard for [earnestly contend for; defend] the faith [the authentic gospel message] that was ·given [handed down to; entrusted to] the ·holy people of God [saints] once and for all time. 4 [For] Some people have secretly entered [sneaked in; infiltrated; wormed their way into] your group.  Long ago the prophets wrote about these people who will be judged guilty [their condemnation was written about/predetermined]. They are ·against God [ungodly] and have ·changed [perverted; distorted] the grace of our God [with its freedom from legalistic rules] into a reason for sexual sin [debauchery; licentiousness; immorality]. They also ·refuse to accept [deny; have turned against] our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude 3-4 New King James

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we read the above scripture, there are some key words that stand out for me. Words such as, Salvation, Encourage, Fight, Earnestly and Contend.

Jude makes it clear in his epistle, that we should contend for the faith and that is to stand up and defend the truth.

Every day we see different people pulling down the truth of God’s word to their own advantage. If we keep quiet, we allow lies to fester. Lies sometimes travel faster than the truth and your place and my place is to tell the truth in love.

For years many have taken out what they don’t like from scriptures. The more we take out from scriptures the less effect we make the word of God.

Yet we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the person of God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

The bible says “ALL” scripture, not one, not some,

“ALL” scripture is inspired by God, not man. That means both the Old and the New Testament are valid and reliable.

“ALL SCRIPTURE” Is “USEFUL”. There is no part of the scripture that is obsolete or useless as some people will like it to be.

And ALL SCRIPTURE is For

  • Teaching
  • Reproof
  • Correction
  • And for training in righteousness, that a believer may be proficient – competent, skilled, Effective, gifted, masterly, master, good, great, excellent, brilliant and equipped for every good work. The good work that was prepared

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

We need “ALL” scripture for us to be well equipped for the good works of the Kingdom. The good works we were saved for.

Contending for the faith is standing for the truth of the gospel. Paul writes to Titus in Titus 3:8

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men”

We are called to maintain the good works we were saved for and this is how we contend for our faith, we continue in doing the good works. We are not saved by works but we are saved unto good works

Faith and works feed off each other, we grow in faith as we do the good works we were saved for. And we only find the good works in the scriptures.

Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 9:62

62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Contending for your faith is holding on to the truth of the word of God no matter what. Contending for the faith is refusing to be deceived and trusting that God’s word is true and forever settled in heaven. Despite your failures, despite your disappointments, the distractions, the battles, the lies, the false teachers, false prophets etc, these should never stand in the way of your faith in God.

Contending for your faith is preaching the truth of God’s word and the only way you can preach it is to know it. 2Timothy 2:14-15, encourages us to study to show ourselves approved of work men who are not ashamed but rightly dividing the word of truth. God’s word is true.

How can you teach what you don’t know, Paul tells his protégé, Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5

4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

You contend for your faith by preaching the word, by being ready in and out of season. You are to convince, you are to challenge anything false.  Do not give up.  It won’t be easy at times, there would be oppositions, but you keep your eyes on your saviour and Lord Jesus who is the author and the finisher of your faith.

 

 

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