My grandparents were first generation Americans. My heritage comes from Norway. Although my grandparents were Americans, they held onto to their Norwegian heritage. I can still remember walking in my grandmother’s kitchen seeing her standing over the stove making Norwegian pancakes. As my grandparents pass on their Norwegian heritage to their family, it is our responsibility to pass on and contend for our Christian heritage that was “once for all delivered to the saints.”
Jude writes to the church about our common salvation. We share a common salvation with every believer that has come before us and with every believer that will come after us. This common salvation is what the church has always believed and has always taught. In recent years, certain denominations have strayed away from our Christian heritage. They have chosen not to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints, but rather to drift from our heritage taught in God’s Word. The church is under attack, but the church has always been under attack.
Our historical documents, like the Apostles Creed (390 AD), were written to protect and preserve our Christian heritage from false teachers. Great men and women of faith stood against the tide of change and contended for the true faith. We must not drift from our heritage, but rather fight for the faith.
We need to look at the great saints that came before us and heed their example. This is the advice given to us in Hebrews 12:1-2,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
We look back to the saints behind us and we look ahead to our Savior before us. We have a faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus is the founder and the perfecter of our faith. If we drift from the historical Christian faith, we will drift away from our Savior, Jesus Christ.
One way we contend for the faith is to teach what the Church has always believed about God’s Word. Our world wants the church to change and drift from our heritage, but God wants us to contend for what He has already given us. Let us hold fast to our common salvation and contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.