By Sarah Mack
3 …. appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 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. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day-- 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
The word contend means to struggle, to strive for a prize as in warfare or an athletic contest. We see that Jude is referring to a struggle or contest to hold on to our faith. Do you feel that you're in a battle for your soul and mind? This struggling is for the fundamental truths and purity of God that are attacked throughout our world today and have been throughout history.
The struggle Jude specifically mentions is against a worldly mindset concerning sin. Today it might be labeled as "inclusive," "love wins," or even "God is still speaking." Now those "who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (v. 4) are following their own mind and heart. The love of Jesus says come to me and I will heal you, change you, and mend the broken.
God is still speaking, but his spoken word to our hearts today will always confirm the written scripture. The Spirit of God will not contradict Himself. The spirit of the world will contradict the Word of God. As v. 5 & v. 7 state, those who reject the purity of God are destroyed for their unbelief and those who pursue immorality will eventually be burned.
In v. 6 we see that the messengers or angels of God who didn't watch over or guard themselves left behind their own proper dwelling that the Lord appointed. The result was chains of darkness and gloom. Just as the angels had a decision to stand under the Lord's authority or deny their Master (v. 4), we have that decision. The difference between us and the angels is that we have an atonement for sin, Jesus Christ. If we have walked rejecting God's authority, we can repent and walk free in the power of the blood that covers us. The results are a transformed life free from sin. For the angels it was immediate darkness and chains with no redemption.
Let's not abuse God's grace because Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction came suddenly and we don't know how much time we have. Let the appeal to contend for your faith be something that propels us forward into God today.