Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.Jude 1:3-4 NIV
Jude is a short letter written to an unknown audience. They do appear to be people that Jude had a close relationship with. And it seems like they were having problems with false teachers. People that Jude identifies as ungodly, immoral, and heretical. Jude had wanted to write to them about the life we share in Christ. But he felt compelled to address the problem these false teachers were causing instead.
False teachers were not unique to the first century when Jude lived. They have been a constant presence in the church throughout its history. Not all of them teach the same thing. But what all of them have in common is that they lead people away from faithful devotion to God.
Contend for the Faith
Jude’s challenge to these believers is one that we also need to heed. It is a challenge to contend for the faith that was entrusted to us. In this passage, faith refers to the body of beliefs we have—the truths taught by the prophets of old, by Jesus, and by his apostles. Jude’s concern here is not with those outside the church. Instead, his instruction concerns those inside the church who are trying to reshape the faith into something more appealing. Don’t give in to them. Instead, contend for the faith that has been entrusted to us. Hold fast to it!