Jude 3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
What Jude wanted to write about and what he needed to write were two different things. He desired to write about the common salvation, or the grace of God through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Duty, responsibility, and love demanded he write to them about fighting the good fight. Who wants to fight? Who wants to deal with trouble and false teachers? Who wants to deal with sin? Boys do what they want, men do what they must. Jude had a responsibility, and with false teachers creeping into the churches, he had no choice but to take up his sword and fight, and prepare the people to fight.
Some would rather let error go unchecked rather than have truth defended. They dismiss any defense of the truth as churlish and ungodly division. Jude desired to write to them about the gospel, but there were enemies at had attacking the very thing he loved, and it was necessary to engage in the battle. Jude would have failed if he had wrote a treatise on the doctrines of grace, as strange as that may sound. I know how tempting it is, to pretend trouble is not there and hope it goes away. But it’s not loving to allow enemies of Christ to devour the sheep. It’s not loving to play nice with evil men and wicked doctrine. C.H. Spurgeon said, “We might sooner pardon the assassin who stretches forth his hand under the guise of friendship, and then stabs us to the heart, than we could forgive the man who comes towards us with smooth words, telling us that he is God’s ambassador, but all the while foments rebellion in our hearts, and pacifies us while we are living in revolt against the majesty of heaven.”
Jude had to encourage us to the battle. He exposed the problem, gave warnings, and provided examples to the issue at hand. He exhorted by not only saying “this is wrong” but also, “stay away from it.” Jude encouraged the believers to fight for the faith. If it is not worth fighting for, it is not worth believing. We don’t fight for “a” faith, but THE faith, the whole of Christian doctrine. Salvation by grace, through faith, in finished work of Jesus Christ. Repentance, baptism, godly living, the resurrection, and eternal judgment. Surprised that I placed eschatology and baptism in issues that we must earnestly contend for? The writer of Hebrews 6:1 tells us these things are the principles of the doctrine of Christ. These truths were given and entrusted to us, and there will be no other new doctrine. No new way, no new light. Times will change, culture will change, what people think as acceptable will change, but the faith once delivered will not change.