Contending for the Faith

Preached by Andrew Smellie, September 2, 2007

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Fight for your own faith, your brother’s faith and the faith of the world!

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Contending for the faith is the responsibility of every disciple of Jesus Christ. To contend is a verb that means to agonize greatly. (Revelation 17:14) Understanding that we are called to contend for the faith, but not to be contentious, each disciple fights on the spiritual battlefield to save sincere souls that still may be headed for hell.

Are you in the battle, contending for yours, the church’s and the world’s faith?

“Contending for the Faith,”
Preached by Andrew Smellie
Sunday, September 2, 2007

Jude 1:1-4
Question: Who was Jude talking to?
• The disciples!
• The Bible is all that we have as the Word of God.
• It makes us uncomfortable because we live in a culture that abides by tolerance.
• If you are tolerant, then it is inappropriate to strongly disagree with anyone or to tell someone that he or she is wrong.
• If you are tolerant, then you have to embrace everything.
• On many campuses, for example, there is this adherence to a “culture of relativism.”
• If you accept everything, then you are no better than the city sewer.
• The filter is the Word of God.
“Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” – G.K. Chesterton
• We are called upon to contend for the faith.
• We must be humble, compassionate and remember the grace that we received.
• Contending for the faith is the responsibility of every disciple of Jesus Christ.
• To contend is a verb that means to agonize greatly. (Revelation 17:14)
• We are called to contend for the faith, not to be contentious.
• There are people going to hell but are sincerely wrong.
• This is a battlefield of spirituality for souls.
Question: Why did Jude feel the need to urge them to contend for the faith?
Question: Why was Jude pleading with them to protect the teaching of salvation?
• Because there were false teachers preaching false doctrine.
• The religiosity of the world is defining what it means to be a Christian.
• If we do not stand up and defend what is right, then this is what the world believes we are.

1 Timothy 6:12
• If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then answer the following question:
Question: Do you remember your baptism?
Question: Do you remember when you said, “Jesus is Lord” in front of many witnesses?
Question: What did it mean for you when you said, “Jesus is Lord”?

1. You need to contend for your own faith.
2. You need to contend for the faith of the church.
3. You need to contend for the faith of the world.

1. You need to contend for your own faith.

Ephesians 6:10 – 20
• It is not about your family or friend or spouse, it is the demons trying to tick you off, make you angry and make you lust.
• The day of evil is everyday.
• You got to be putting on your armor of God everyday.
• Imagine if the United States soldiers did not wear their armor while serving in Iraq.
• In the same way, you got to put on the armor of God.
• You have got to stand, to live and not be taken out spiritually.
• The first thing we see here is the belt of truth.
• Where your waist goes is where your core is.
• Physically, everything you do is led by your waist.
• In order to contend for the faith, you got to be honest and real about where your life is.
• You got to be honest about where you stand before God.
• However, pride can stop you. (Romans 12:3)
• You got to have a sober assessment about where you are at spiritually.
• You can get bitter like the world. (Jeremiah 17:9)
• You need to put on that breastplate of righteousness or else you get self-deceived.
Question: What is your spiritual ruler?
• You got to put on your breastplate of righteousness.
• You need to be ready for action..
• If you have peace, then you are confident, you are ready. (Isaiah 52:7)
• You got to be ready to proclaim that God reigns.
Question: What are you proclaiming?
• You are at peace because God reigns.
• You got to rejoice because you are counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Question: Is that your heart?
• Rather than ending the conversation with the person who you share your faith with who says that he or she practices a certain religion, instead, you got to be faithful.
• Ask him or her if he or she practices this religion or not and go on from there.
• You got to proclaim the Word of God.
• You gain an understanding of every good thing that comes from Christ.
Question: Are you willing to rejoice because you have been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name?
• It is a battle to contend for the faith. (Acts 5:41)
Question: Don’t you have to contend with the sins of self-righteousness, lust, pride and anger everyday?
Question: Where is the shield of faith?
• It is a decision to be faithful.
• It is about being faithful in the moment.
• You got to pray.
Question: Do you have the helmet of salvation on your head?
• Remember the salvation that you have received.
Question: What are you getting help for?
• We have got to be instilling faith in others.

2. You need to contend for the faith of the church.

Philippians 1:21-30
• Unless you have the helmet of salvation, you forget and you eventually fear death.
• The body referred to in this Scripture was the church.
• Satan tries to say that you are not needed but that is a lie from Satan.
Question: Are you convinced that you need to be here?
Question: Are you convinced that if you are not here that the church suffers?
• Your progress in the faith and your joy in the faith. (John 15:1-4)
• Every time that you are growing spiritually, people get inspired. (Galatians 5:22-23)
• The reason why you do what you do is to inspire the church.
• The church is not an organization, it is an organism.
• You have to suffer for Christ.
• Your responsibility is for the sake of the church.
• If we are not unified, then the world will see what it saw in other churches as well.
• If we are not unified in our love, faith, doctrine and our life, then guess what the world sees.
• We got to deal with sin.
• Every single person has the same conviction, same standard and the same doctrine.
• Jesus spent forty days after His resurrection preaching the Word of God to the apostles.
Question: Would you give up heaven for the sake of the church?
• It is a new day. It is a new way.
• It is time again to embrace the challenge to evangelize the world in your generation.

3. You need to contend for the faith of the world.

Galatians 3:22
• The world is a prisoner of sin.
• You have this universal opportunity to build up the faith of the world.
Question: How do you do this?

2 Corinthians 5:6-21
• The standard does not change when you go home.
• You will be judged based upon what you do in the body of Christ as well as what you do outside of the church.
• Once you are in the church, it does not stop.
• If you fear God, then you are willing to get people to get right with God.
• You are trying to proclaim the standard of righteousness.
• The world thinks that you are crazy.
• The resurrection is real.
Question: Are you really preaching about false religion to promote sound doctrine?
Question: Are you really preaching about repentance?
Question: Are you really preaching about godly relationships in the body of Christ?
Question: Are you really preaching about the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Question: What is the worldly point of view?
• God has got a beef because people were sinning it up.
Question: Is there urgency in your life?

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

1 Timothy 4:12
• World evangelism is replacing the old with the new.
Question: How can you ever win people to Christ if you do not break the assumptions?
• You have to persuade them that this world is not enough.
• You have to tell them that there is a joy and a peace that comes from their relationship with God.
• We are aiming for perfection because Jesus did it.
Question: What is your view of the world?
Question: Do you look at the world with worldly eyes or do you look at the world with spiritual eyes?
Question: How do you look at Jesus?

“That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.” – Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940, House of Commons

• As disciples of Jesus Christ, we echo the courage that we’ve seen in men and women across the centuries and especially in Jesus Christ.