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. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4 ESV)
With that beginning Mike Ratliff writes regarding the clear mandate from scripture to contend for the Christian faith. It is a topic that has been on my mind lately and this post explains it much better than I could have explained it.
One point I wish to highlight is the context in which we are to defend the faith. The scripture references listed speak of “false prophets”and “people [that] have crept in”. The most vigorous defense of the faith must occur in the church. The church I reference is the church of professing Christians. One cannot be a false prophet unless one claims to be a Christian and a messenger of God’s Word. Those that have “crept in” are those that have entered in among the believers. We must be most vigilant within our own camp. Those from the outside looking in need to see and hear a true gospel message grounded in the Word of God. Otherwise the message they receive and potentially believe will lead to their destuction and not to life.
That is why discernment is so important. True discernment begins and ends in Gods Word. We use God’s Word to verify a truth or lie. Discernment cannot be about what I think, what a group thinks, what the government decides, or even what the popular vote in our local church says. It must only be God’s Word, standing alone. It is the proclamation of the gospel message embodied in Gods Word that saves, nothing else. Jesus gave willingly all that was needed for our salvation. How can we then compromise His Word by allowing false teachings to lead people away from the hope of salvation? We cannot.