First of all, I had no intention this morning of blogging about “contending“, but here I am. Actually, I have been investigating the truths; different viewpoints regarding ‘the sons of God and’ the daughters of men’ in Genesis 6. Then, while reading God’s Word on the subject, I was led by the Spirit to go to The Letter of Jude regarding “angels” in verse six. I have a trained habit of reading Scripture in context and since Jude is a short letter, I began reading the entire passage. And then I heard a ‘still small voice’; God’s Spirit speaking to my spirit.
“Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered verbally to the holy people of God]” (Jude 3 AMP).
The Investigation Begins
The word contend in this verse 3 is much different from contending in verse 9. The Greek word is epagonizomai for contend in verse 3. It means, “to contend about a thing as a combatant.” In verse 9 of Jude, the Greek word for contend or contending is diakrino; means “to separate oneself from.”
When ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’ are pressing in on our faith; our choices and decisions, how are we contending? Are we acting like combatants, or are we simply separating ourselves from the truth? And that is not wrong! But are we in the believing Church in readiness to receive and proclaim our faith to the world around us by our choices? Our we as the church in Beroea?
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV).
Our Decisions and Choices We Make in a Lost World
When we make everyday choices; food that we eat, establishments we choose to drink Lattes in, aluminum foil that we use in our kitchens, search engines that we surf the web on…what are we in the faith making our decisions on? Are we indeed being combatants, separating ourselves based on how we feel about controversy? Or are we a church in readiness to receive and proclaim the truth as the Bereans did; searching and examining the Scriptures every day and listening for that still small voice in our inner ear? Our natural feelings about a topic should have little to do about the decisions and choice we make in society. If we put all of this into practice as the Berean church did, be prepared for the results.
“Many of them became believers, together with not a few
prominent Greeks [non-believers in Washington State and your community], as well as men.”