Tag Archives: contending for the faith

“And it came to pass in our going on to prayer, a certain maid, having a spirit of Python, did meet us, who brought much employment to her masters by soothsaying, she having followed Paul and us, was crying, saying, `These men are servants of the Most High God, who declare to us a way of salvation;’ and this she was doing for many days, but Paul having been grieved, and having turned, said to the spirit, `I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come forth from her;’ and it came forth the same hour.”  (Acts 16:16-18, Young’s Literal Translation)

A single word can, sometimes, make a world of difference.

The young girl in today’s scripture passage “dogged” Paul and his companions as they proclaimed the Good News, saying: “These men are servants of the Most High God (TRUE), who declare to us a way of salvation (FALSE).”

Here, it can get confusing because except for a literal, word-for-word, translation of the Greek New Testament one will probably find the word “the” instead of the word “a” in other New Testament translations to English of the girl’s characterization of the disciple’s message.

Paul and the others were not announcing one way of many ways; they lived to proclaim the way of salvation.  It was this mis-characterization of their message that annoyed Paul and provoked him to “call out” the demon within the girl that was the true source of the half-truths.

As disciples of Jesus, our message today is the same as the message of Paul and the other disciples in the Acts: “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12, New Living Translation)

If we believe that to be true, we, too, should be annoyed at any attempt to mis-characterize or to alter the whole truth of God’s word — and use whatever tools at our disposal to set-straight the record.  Words do matter.  – Luther

Tagged , , , ,

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”  (Jude 1:3, NIV)

In this letter, Jude encourages the disciples of Jesus to “contend for the faith,” because there are individuals and circumstances that would render powerless the Good News — except for the existence of persons willing to make a good stand for the truth.

It is worth noting that Jude says that he would have preferred to write about our common salvation; but that he is, instead, compelled to urge them to stand for our historic faith.  The former topic embraces; the latter topic is fists and elbows.

As disciples of Jesus, it is sometimes necessary to take-up the dirty duty of standing for the whole truth, when half-truths are the fashion of the day.  Yet, even in such uncomfortable circumstances, remember to stand in the strength of the Lord; to maintain a posture of grace and, when possible, good humor.

There is no higher compliment for a disciple of Jesus than he or she be known as a contender for the historical faith on which we stand.  – Luther

Tagged , , ,

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”  (Jude 1:3, NIV)

Jude encourages all followers of Jesus — past, present, and future — to “contend for the faith.”

I do not believe it to be accidental that he chose the positive, as in contending for; instead of the negative, as in contending against.  The truth is this: We can go either way, but as it concerns the faith we hold dear let us be forward looking, optimistic, and proactive.

To “contend” means to strive for a particular goal or objective.  We contend for the faith when we make choices that are consistent with our profession, and embrace those choices with confidence and joy.  – Luther

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: