(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.”
In our day of inter-denominational ecumenism and non-denominationalism, many people are moving toward a “God is Love” theology, which causes them to sacrifice a Biblical separation in the name of fellowship with “believers.” Jude warns us that “there are certain men crept in unawares” (Jude 4). These men have crept in among the ranks of “believers” and are threatening to lead them astray from the Truth. We see that there is importance in not just that we believe, but also in what we believe, as Jude encourages us to “earnestly contend for the faith.”
The problem with a “God is Love” theology is the danger of accepting unacceptable practices based on the philosophy that God’s Love accepts sinners and their sins. This false teaching has caused many to assume a false sense of security, thinking that they may continue to practice sin because they are blanketed in God’s Love. Be not deceived – God is Love; but He also measures Judgment in Righteousness and commands His people to live Godly lives (Acts 17:30; Hebrews 12:4).
As he wrote of the common, or mutual, or shared, salvation, Jude points us not to a belief, but to “the Faith.” Here, he indicates the Person and Work of Jesus Christ in saving sinners from their sins (1 Timothy 1:15; Matthew 9:13). This Faith (Christ is ‘the Faith’ – Galatians 2:20; 3:14; Habakkuk 2:4) by which we live, is what saves us (Ephesians 2:7-8; “through Christ Jesus… through faith”), as it is His Life (2 Corinthians 4:11) and His Faith (Galatians 2:16) that gives us liberty from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). “The Faith” therefore signifies freedom from sin and its natural consequences. This is the expression of God’s Love (1 John 4:9-10).
Question: If God loves you enough to give His Son’s Life for/to you, don’t you think you should honor Him with your life? (See 1 John 3:16; Romans 12:1; 14:7-8.) The answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ But this is not what we see in those congregations who esteem Love over Truth. Be assured, the Love of God changes the sinner so that we now have a Love for God – a Love that causes us to seek His Will to be done, as we live a life of Holiness unto the Lord (Jeremiah 2:3; 2 Corinthians 7:1).
We are talking about fellowship according to Faith, as opposed to belief. Demons believe and tremble (James 2:14), yet there is no Faith (Life of Christ) in them. And so they have believed in vain. No one will tell you that it is okay to fellowship with demons, even though they certainly believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (See Matthew 8:24; Luke 8:28.) Yet the “God is Love” crowd promotes fellowship with “whosoever” professes belief, despite their living in bondage to sin and carnal-mindedness; contrary to express commands of Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11). Be warned: any “believer” who continues to live in sin has believed in vain, and should not be coddled in order to feel accepted by God within their so-called ‘unique situation.’
Jude warns us about those deceivers who have crept in among the believers. They “walk after their own ungodly lusts,” presuming upon the Love of God (verse 18). Jude goes on to explain that “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 19). The Apostle Paul tells us “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). And yet these ungodly individuals are in prominent positions within the churches, telling us that “God is Love” and that He understands our inability to cease from sin, turning the Grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4).
Belief is important. But Faith is more so. Jude instructs us to earnestly contend for the Faith, or the Life of Christ. This is a life that glorifies God and departs from sin, not making excuse or provision for the weakness of the flesh. Child of God, you have been set free from sin and death, and given the Life of Christ as a witness and testimony that we are to earnestly contend for – that is, strife for and uphold. Let no one deceive you into a false security by presuming upon the Love and Mercy of God, and so bring upon yourself swift destruction as judgment for sin (Romans 6:1-2), because you love sin more that you love God.