ContestingXforXtheXTruth

Month Theme – Truth: The Final Contest

Week Theme – Contesting for the Truth

 

To ‘Contend’

  • * To say that something is true or is a fact (egas in a court of law)
  • * To compete in order to win something (as in sport)
  • * Struggle to surmount (iroa difficulty)

 

To ‘Contend’ for the faith

  • * It is a balanced proclamation (in word & deed) & defense of the fundamental elements of gospel truth
  • * It is not about being legalistic
  • * It does not involve brutality
  • * It is not characterized by favouritism

 

A Biblical Imperative

  • * It’s a necessity: ‘I felt compelled to write & urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people’ (Jude 3)
  • * It’s our mandate from the Lord: ‘ I am compelled to preach… woe to me if I do not preach the gospel’ (1 Cor 9:16)

 

Motivation to Contend

* A heavy burden for the vulnerability of God’s people: ‘I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak &I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, & I do not inwardly burn? (2 Cor 11:29)

* Watchman for the truth: ‘I have made you a watchman for the people, so hear the word I speak & give them warning’ (Ezekiel 3:16-21)

  • * A love for our fellow believers: ‘be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night & day with tears’ (Acts 20:31)
  • * A desire that no fellow believer would lose our common salvation: ‘teaching everyone that we present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end, I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me’ (Col 1:29)

 

Contend Earnestly!

  • * Battle for the purity of the gospel of salvation through Christ: ‘fight the battle well, holding onto the faith, which some have rejected’ (1 Tim 1:18-19)
  • * Defend the truth continuously and vigorously: ‘fight the good fight of faith… keep this command without spot or blame’ (1 Tim 6:12-14)

 

Who are we contending with?

* ‘godless chatter & the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed & in so doing have departed from the faith’ (1 Tim 6:20)

* ‘the time will come, people will not put up with sound doctrine… they will gather round them teachers, to say what their itching ears want to hear’ (2 Tim 4:3)

  • * ‘they will turn away from the truth & turn to myths’ (2 Tim 4:4)
  • * ‘there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk & deception… they claim to know God but their actions deny him’ (Titus 1:10-16)
  • * ‘false teachers among you… they will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Sovereign Lord… many will follow their depraved conduct’ (2 Peter 2:1-2)

 

Worth the Contest

  • * Decide if this is ‘Truth’ and if it is, fight for it, defend it with all you have/are for it is all we have to give the next generation
  • * If what I proclaim to you is ‘Truth’, then it surely worth living for, fighting for and indeed dying for

 

As You Enter the Contest…

* Remember…

  • – The One in you is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)
  • – Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33)
  • – Stand your ground & He will fight for you (2 Chron20:15-20)

 

Remember…

  • * Jesus will enable you stand (Rom 14:4)
  • * He has given you superior spiritual weapons (Eph6:10-17/ 2 Cor10:3-6)
  • * Jesus will give you words and wisdom that none can withstand (Acts 6:10)

 

Jesus Promise for the Contest

  • * You will be saved (Matt 10:22)
  • * We will be confident & unashamed when Jesus returns (1 John 2:28)
  • * You will receive the crown of life (James 1:12)
  • * You will reign with Jesus (Rev 3:21)
  • * You will eat from the tree of life (Rev 2:7)