Jude opens his book of the Bible with an appeal to the ages, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Maybe we should tie a string around our finger to remember this admonishment by the brother of Jesus. The Amplified Bible puts a little more emphasis on the text. “I was compelled to write to you [urgently] appealing that you fight strenuously for [the defense of] the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith that is the sum of Christian belief that was given verbally to believers].” Are we fighting really hard as to say putting up a real fight in defense of the faith? I have noticed that each translator deals with this a little different for instance The Message Translation reads:
“Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging! That you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), Who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.
J.B. Phillips in his translation of the New Testament is far more descriptive, he leaves us insight into how holy men of old were moved by the Holy Spirit, directed and lead in the writing of the scripture. Listen to him as he changes his mind about the subject he was penning.
“I fully intended, dear friends, to write to you about our common salvation, but I feel compelled to make my letter to you an earnest appeal to put up a real fight for the faith which has been once and for all committed to those who belong to Christ.”
For there are men who have surreptitiously entered the Church but who have for a long time been heading straight for the condemnation I shall plainly give them. They have no real reverence for God, and they abuse his grace as an opportunity for immorality. They will not recognize the only master, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
One of the listed greats of the Bible is a man named Caleb you will find his story in Numbers 13/14.
Caleb was regarded by God, along with Joshua as having a different spirit to that of his fellow spies. He was not to be classified in the same grouping or class of the other ten. He was different in mind and heart and was of such of disposition that it was acceptable and approved of by the Lord. He had hero inside him and he stood in vivid contrast to the negative spirit and outlook of his brethren, before the Lord. Let me ask you a question “Have you found yourself refusing to be
caught up in the thoughts and feelings of the majority”.
It is one thing to be contentious and totally another to contend. He willingly entered into righteous contention and was inspired to promote it in others. He is a Biblical example and impossible enterprises. He knew that if there was anything worth owning it usually had to be contended for and so went for it.
“CALEB IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF FOLLOWING THROUGH IN 2022.” WHAT PRAY TELL ARE YOU CONTENDING FOR TODAY, IF NOT FOR THE UNALTERABLE WORD OF GOD WHICH IS THE FOUNDATION FOR ALLCHRISTIAN FAITH?
In Numbers 13, he went in with the spies to survey the land they were to possess and though he knew there were formidable enemy, the promised possession was worth the battle with the opposition. He would stand against the naysayers in contention knowing the prize was worth the battle. Caleb, would not let anything intimidate him because he was not just contentious, he was a contender. What are we willing to contend for as Twenty First Century Christians? We are to
fight the good fight of faith and this is exactly what Caleb did in that it was four decades later before the land was conquered.
If you will take time to read Numbers 14, you will see that his inheritance was Hebron was and it was not a hill but a mountain. He had followed through in his DNA and was not fearful of a challenge. Why do you think he was so courageous at this stage in his life? He was intent on setting an example for the next generation.
If you are standing still, you are losing ground. I believe in you and together we are contending for all god has promised to his children, for his unfulfilled prophecies concerning his end time church.
COMMITTED TO GOD AND YOU,
Cleddie and GayNell Keith