Why were those whom we remember this Memorial Day willing to sacrifice their lives in battle? Because they knew what they were fighting for. If you are going to stand firm for a cause, it makes all the difference in the world to know WHY you are taking a stand, to know WHAT is at stake. A man named Jude penned a book of the Bible, a short letter that urges Christians to "contend for the faith." (v3) Why? What is "the faith"? To sum it up, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) Salvation is found in no one else, for Jesus died for sins, once for all, the Righteous One for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (Acts 4:12, I Peter 3:18) This is the Gospel, the good news that God wants all to be saved and has provided a Savior for us all. In an age where 'faith' is whatever you want it to be, "the faith" that is centered on Christ alone is worth contending for, standing firm against every distortion.
So Jude writes "to those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father, and kept by Jesus Christ." (v1) "Called" reminds us that God comes to us who are by nature enemies toward Him and dead in sin. None of us 'found God,' but He sought us out through the Gospel. This is the grace of God! "Loved" tells us why God would do such a thing; behind the call of God is the love of God. It is sinful pride and a fruitless search to look within us for a reason that God would love us. Look only to the cross. Nowhere else will you find a love more personal and passionate, the love of God to forgive your sins through the punishment of His Son. This is the grace of God! "Kept" reminds us that we remain in the faith not by our own strength but by His grace; it is He who keeps us in the faith through the Gospel. This is the grace of God! Contend for the faith which proclaims that YOU ARE CALLED, LOVED, AND KEPT BY GOD’S GRACE.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.