Jude intended to write his beloved brethren about the wondrous blessings of their common salvation, but he had to change his plans because of the distressing truth which had come to light: the once-for-all-delivered-to-the-saints’ faith was under attack by clandestine foes—ungodly men—who sought to pervert the grace of God and deny the authority of deity over humanity (vv. 3-4).
This real and present danger of apostacy was yet another sad chapter in history’s accounting of spiritual warfare. One tragic chapter was written in the days of Moses when those saved out of Egypt were forever lost in the wilderness (v. 5); another horrific chapter was recorded when angels sought to rebel against God’s authority (v. 6); third gruesome chapter culminated in the utter destruction and complete disappearance of Sodom and Gomorrah around 1900 B. C (v. 7).
To protect his dearly loved fellow heirs of God’s grace, Jude wrote to exhort us to “contend earnestly for the faith”:
- like a soldier engaging in intense hand-to-hand conflict.
- like a runner seeking to win the race.
- like a passionate athlete strenuously striving to win the contest.
Such effort is essential to all who desire to fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith, and be given the crown of righteousness from the righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:7-8).