“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).

1) Contender For The Faith: Jude 3 (Jon W. Quinn)
2) Shrewd Sons (Frank Himmel)
3) Be Fervent (video sermon, Tom Edwards)


Contender For The Faith: Jude 3

Jon W. Quinn

If the Lord takes the time to reveal in His word that something is necessary, then do you suppose it is? Of course it is! Bible says it was needful for the following exhortation to be given and heeded by disciples of Jesus Christ: “I felt it necessary to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3b). When Jude stresses the importance of this need, then we should understand that because he is writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that this is God’s appraisal of the importance of this admonition.

What Is “The Faith”?

The Lord does not admonish us to contend for “a faith” or “the faith of your choice.” The definite article “the” is used which means a specific faith is being discussed. What is it? Sometimes the word “faith” refers to our own attitude of trust, and sometimes it is used to refer to that truth into which we have placed our trust. It is in this second sense that Jude uses the term; “the faith” is God’s truth; the gospel; His word. The book of Acts tells us that “the word of God kept spreading” and “a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). So “the faith” is something “obeyed” as well as contended for. It is identified here as “the word of God” (cf. Romans 1:5).

Also, one can be “turned away from the faith” as the false prophet Elymas tried to turn Sergius Paulus away as he heard Paul teaching “the word of God” (Acts 13:7,8). The “gospel” was preached in Derbe and the new disciples made there were encouraged to “continue in the faith” (Acts 14:21,22) which was preached to them (cf. Galatians 1:23). So, “the faith” (and there is just one; Ephesians 4:5) is the word of God.

The Faith Was “Delivered”

Jude also says “the faith” was delivered. Jesus delivered this faith to His apostles and disciples during His personal ministry upon the earth. He also promised His apostles that after His departure, He would send the Holy Spirit to allow them to remember “all” that He had taught them and to supplement His teaching with further instruction (John 14:25,26; 16:13; Acts 1:4,5). This promise was fulfilled on the first Pentecost following the Lord’s ascension (Acts 2:1-4).

The apostles, and those that received the gifts of prophecy and tongues through the laying on of the apostles’ hands (Acts 8:14-18; 2 Timothy 1:6) were God’s delivery system for “the faith.” This continued as the the first century advanced and the result has been preserved in the Bible for you and me today (1 Peter 1:22-25).

The Faith Was “Once for All” Delivered

We are also informed by Jude that this delivery was made “once for all” (NASB). The Greek word (hapax) is more definite than the KJV rendition of “once.” It means “once for all” and shows that the work was completed once for all time and all people (cf. 2 Peter 2:3). This delivery of “the faith” was not to happen once; and then again; and then again. It was to happen “once for all,” and then be completed.

This is important because many false prophets have claimed through the centuries of having additional faith revealed through them. Mohammed claimed such. So did Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, Sun Yung Moon and others. And then there is the idea among even more “mainstream” religious leaders that they, somehow, have the authority to meet together in conclaves, synods and councils and vote on what the creeds and doctrines of their particular faith will consist. They have no such right because “the faith” has already been determined “once for all” by Jesus Himself (cf. Hebrews 1:1,2).

“Contend Earnestly” For The Faith

“Contending earnestly” for the faith simply means that we must defend it and fight for it. The battle is to win hearts and minds for the Lord. The contender for the faith is not contentious, but he does contend. He or she does not allow false teaching to go unanswered. When the mocker comes, the contender does not respond to foolishness with foolishness, allowing himself to be taken down to the mocker’s level. Rather, the response is a scripturally sound one. It is both reasonable and faithful (2 Peter 3:3-5; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 17,18). By all means, feel free to “argue religion” but do it with love and concern, for God and for man (Ephesians 4:15). “The faith” has many enemies who will gladly speak against it. Will you speak for it?

The Reason To Contend For The Faith

There are good reasons to be a contender for the faith. Even today, many are seeking to turn the grace of God into licentiousness, as they were when Jude first wrote the words of this admonition (Jude 4). These ideas of moral relativism must be answered. Failure to defend the faith is a denial of the Lord and betrays His love for us (2 Corinthians 5:11;14-15). Does the love Jesus had for you control you so that you will respond when duty to His kingdom calls?

Jude reminds disciples that there are times when godliness will be ridiculed, but that the end result of this kind of disobedience is destruction. This is still so today. Can the Lord count on you to do this necessary thing? To “contend for the faith”?

— via Expository Files 9.10, October 2002


Shrewd Sons

Frank Himmel

Jesus once lamented that the sons of this age are shrewder in relation to their own generation than the sons of light (Luke 16:8). In other words, people of the world have more initiative toward worldly things than Christians do toward heavenly things.

Consider a man who wants to catch fish. He does not expect fish to swim up to his door and invite themselves in. He is realistic. He’ll buy ample equipment: a rod and reel (likely several), hooks, a net, a bait bucket, a stringer, all sorts of tackle and a deluxe box to keep it in, a hook remover, a cleaning knife, and anything else he thinks might be useful. He will probably borrow some money and buy a boat. He’ll read books on fishing, watch those fishing shows on TV, and might even go to fishing college (yes, there is such a thing). He’ll start keeping track of the tides. He’ll talk to other fishermen about the best spots to go.

Do you suppose he will give it all up the first time he comes home empty-handed? No way — he’ll just go out earlier the next time! No matter how busy a fisherman is, there is always time for fishing. He will ask his buddies to go with him. And when he snags a big one will he keep it a secret? You know better.

There are Christians who say they want to learn more of God’s word. To accomplish this worthwhile goal they devote a whole thirty minutes per week listening to a preacher! Why don’t they get up an hour earlier or set aside Wednesday evening for Bible Study? Evidently they don’t see much value in that. And when these same folks have no money for books, periodicals, and other study aids, and no time for daily reading, it is little wonder that the fish aren’t biting.

Are you having trouble with a certain temptation? Get help. Talk to others. Talk to God. Read His prescription. Stay away from circumstances where that urge is the greatest. You don’t have to worry about saltwater fish in a freshwater lake.

Want to convert your neighbor? Set a good example. Ask him to come to church with you. Ask him to study with you. You might begin by asking him to tell you about his beliefs. Give him some literature or subscribe to a good magazine for him. You won’t catch a thing unless you throw your hook in.

Here is a young brother who thinks he might want to serve as an elder some day. What should he do? Objectively analyze his character and work on deficiencies. Learn well the word so he can hold it faithfully. Listen to older brethren that his judgment may mature. Develop his skills as a teacher by watching, listening, and doing. Pay close attention to his family. Be hospitable. Work with people. Be careful to protect his reputation. Pray. When the time comes to cast, he’ll be ready.

Heavenly goals merit thought, careful planning, enthusiasm, hard work, and whatever sacrifice of time and money is required. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

— via The Beacon, April 10, 2022


Be Fervent

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this link while online:



The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

Tebeau Street

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Congregational Singing Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)