Memory Verse: "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3, KJV, Emphasis mine)
Scripture Reading: Jude 1:1-25.
It doesn't matter if you believe the Bible if you don't do what it says. This holds true because defending the faith is about how you live and not a doctrine to follow.
As a sequel to Defending The Gospel,I want to answer the question that came along with that post, 'What did Jude mean when He left us with the instruction to contend for the faith?' Did he mean we should debate, fight, or shove the truth down the throat of another?
Fortunately, there's a better approach. I'll show us a better way:
- Possess The Right Attitude.
There's no greater turn off than a know-it-all disposition. Joyful confidence, is not only contagious but also attractive. The sooner we realize that the defense of our faith is about a 'Who' and not a 'what,' the better off we will be. Therefore, take a humble disposition. Don't be afraid to admit that you don't have the answer to a question. Never brush the person off or fake an answer because that will do more harm than good. Instead, tell them, 'That's a great question,' or 'That's an interesting point,' and let them know you don't have the answer for them right now, but that you will find out and get back to them. Then be sure to get back to them as soon as possible.
- Be Prepared, Always.
Feeling inadequate about your knowledge of the faith can keep you from speaking out about your faith, but that needn't be the case.
We should be committed to digging deeper about our faith, including knowing the Scriptures intimately (2 Tim.2:15) so that when confronted, we can give a defense (1 Pet.3:15-16).
Never neglect the Person of the Holy Spirit: He is the best interpreter there is! Personally, whenever I find myself here, I quickly breathe a silent and brief prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for His assistance. It's easier if the person is also a believer, you both can pray together, that He will open your minds and hearts.
Once this happens, relax. Yes, relax! Don't pre-meditate on what answer you'll give (Lk.12:11-12). Don't rush to speak. Be quick to listen (because He will tell you tell you what to say). Trust His answers and watch the Holy Spirit take over the conversation. Remember, it's a conversation, not a debate.
- Be Patient, Loving And Assume A Gentle Approach.
No matter how hard we try or how much we know about the faith, some people will still resist or even be hostile towards us. Regardless, it's essential to treat them with love, patience and respect while demonstrating a true concern for their soul- even if their reasoning is faulty. Let them see that you care about their soul rather than striving to win an argument. If they believe, continue. If they don't, pray for them and save your breath. You're not in a law court.
As this comes to a close, let's understand that defending the faith is every believer's job. Let's do it right and unashamedly; Daddy would be mighty pleased with us.
Ponder Point: While being knowledgeable is crucial, the goal of defending the faith shouldn't be to prove a point but to win a soul to Christ.
Action Point: Defend the faith the right way: let love lead.
Prayer Point: Father, baptize me with Your wisdom to live in defense of the faith. Show me the right approach in Jesus name, Amen.