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.
There is a difference between a Christian’s faith and the Christian faith. A Christian’s faith is something personal and subjective. The Christian faith is a body of teachings that has been preserved and handed down. Jude calls on Christians to contend for The faith that has been delivered from one generation to the next. Congregations and individual Christians give thanks to God that this faith has been passed down by the saints who have gone before us. While one’s primary identity is as a Baptized child of God, we also understand ourselves in relation to other Christians today (Church Militant) and also those Christians who now rest from their labors (Church Triumphant).
It is good for us to give thanks for the faithful message that has been taught from the Holy Scriptures and preserved among us throughout the generations. But it is also good for us to give thanks for those faithful saints, whom the Lord used as His willing instruments, to contend for the faith and to hand in on to the generations who would follow. We give thanks to God for parents and pastors, day school and Sunday School teachers, Deaconesses and DCE’s, models and mentors, and all the saints whom the Lord used to deliver this faith to us in these dark and latter days. For all of our zeal and concern for contending for the faith in the present, let us never forget the great cloud of witnesses whom the Lord used in the past to preserve His Word.
May we follow in the example of those who have gone before us in the faith by struggling and fighting for the Christian faith against the forces of evil in this present darkness. Our struggle is against those who deny the faith once delivered to the saints rather than being conformed to the pattern of this world. Too often, many want to accommodate or fit in with this culture rather than contending, fighting and struggling for the faith. May God help us to contend without being contentious. May God help us to have the strength for the struggle. And may God help us to preserve the faith that has been handed down to us by the saints.
Prayer – Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan