“Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed … who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4). We must discern, identify, confront, and learn to overcome and protect against the enemies of our faith.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony” (Hebrews 11:1-2). There is only one way to maintain a good testimony for Christ and that is by the renewing and the defending of our faith. Think about how the enemy wants to steal, corrupt and abort your faith. The Bible is very clear that “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (11:6).
The author of Hebrews gives an incredible word to all the young believers. There were thousands of them and they were to look to the older believers as models. “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:7-8). He is saying, “Look at those who have brought the word of God to you and follow their conduct.”
Those of us who have been walking with the Lord and singing, worshiping him, and seeing him remain faithful all these years are to be examples, standards for those coming behind us to look to. This is an astonishing and humbling responsibility. Those younger in the faith are to follow our lives and actually see how we demonstrate our faith through the struggles and pain we endure.
The author of Hebrews is saying, “Look to them and follow their example!” And Jude is saying, “It’s urgent that you fight earnestly for the faith, for ungodly men have crept in unnoticed.” We are living in the last days of time and we must allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to live and also to discern those things that would draw us away from our Jesus and cause us to deny him.
Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.