“I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.”
Jude 3 (NLT)
Most of the translations say that Jude is urging believers to “contend” for the faith. To contend is to “to agonize, to struggle” when the faith is attacked, when Christians are targeted, or when the doctrines and morality of the faith are undermined and distorted. Ellicott says to contend is a graphic word, “…implying standing over a thing to fight in its defense.”
Imagine a boxing ring, and Truth is duking it out against its opponent, Lie. Lie throws a big left hook and knocks Truth to the mat. To contend means you step in like a referee in the ring, and put Lie back in its corner and allow Truth to get back up on its feet again. It is urgent, Jude says, that Christians do this.
Apologetics is the art and science of defending the Christian faith against attacks on orthodox doctrine or Christian morality. When you contend for the faith remember:
- Contend, but do not be contentious.
- Defend. but do not be defensive.
- Argue, but do not be argumentative.
- Disagree with false ideas and beliefs, but never disrespect people (I Peter 3:15).
It is a shame that our culture has become so contentious and mean-spirited. Jude urges believers to stay engaged and lead with truth and civility.
On November 8-9, Pastor Ethan will be taking a group of students to the reTHINK Apologetics Conference at Grace Church. I encourage all our students to go and learn to be a contender!