Jude 1:3- Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
The cry of Jude "to contend for the faith" echoes down through the centuries to us. Since the Savior's cross is our guarantee of life and salvation, courage, and comfort, we are to fight for the faith.
Can you think of any greater, more pressing need for Christianity than an all-out, self-sacrificing, consuming zeal on behalf of the Gospel? Long ago, the English evangelist John Wesley declared: "If I had 300 men who feared nothing but God, hated nothing but sin, and were determined to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, I would set the world on fire." It's still possible today.
America, above all nations, should never forget the unparalleled grace with which the Almighty has blessed its people. Our churches should be the most earnest contenders for the faith. Jesus said that saints are to be "the salt of the earth," "the light of the world." As such, our impact should be profound, shining light into dark places, touching lives through our good works that bring glory to our Father in heaven (see Matthew 5:13-16).
Thank God, He gives us this privileged role to play in His kingdom on earth. He strengthens and inspires us to share His Good News which alone can bring "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7a). He alone gives faith to the faithless and hope to the hopeless. That this is possible at all, is due to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My prayer is that you do not forget heaven's grace, that you contend eagerly for the Gospel! Fight for the faith in Christ's power, with His lowliness and love for souls. Let Him, the Son of God, be ever exalted in your hearts. May God the Enlightener teach you to see your Savior and say, "I have never deserved pardon for my sins, but I have been saved through Christ. Him, my merciful Savior, I will trust, proclaim, and defend, so help me God!"
We carry the torch of true freedom for those around us in spiritual bondage. "And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith" (1 John 5:4b). Knowing this and beholding your Redeemer, you too can face every foe of the cross with the challenge, "If God is for us"—and He is, in Jesus—"who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31b) May the Holy Spirit give us all the determination to know Christ and, through Him, to fight the good and glorious fight of faith!
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, lead us in the way triumphant as we follow our Savior and Victor Jesus. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "Fight for the Faith!" a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Can you give a current example of someone contending for his or her Christian faith?
2. Why are people hesitant to share their faith? Can this be overcome?
3. How do you try to be "salt" and "light" in the lives of others?
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