Contending for the Faith not Doctrine??

My previous posts that posed 3 questions got this interesting response.

Regarding Contending for the faith: In Jude, we are exhorted to “contend for the faith” in his epistle  which was written “concerning our common salvation“. Question: are we instructed to contend over doctrines or with believers? We  “contend earnestly FOR the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” in verse 3. Then verse 4 tells us why and with whom we must contend. It mentions those “who long ago were marked out for this condemnation

The above question assumes that in contending for the faith of a believer, doctrine should not be used. It’s about faith, not doctrine right? A little later the following scripture was used implying that doctrine divides and should not be used so as to protect our “common salvation” from division?

Romans 16:17-18 NKJV … Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

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My response to this:

Remember it’s not those contending for the truth who cause division – it’s those introducing heresy – false doctrine. In 2 Peter 2 we are not talking about simple disagreements – we are talking about heresy, disagreements over another Jesus, another spirit or another gospel. Contending for the faith over these brings the truth out in the open and preserves true unity. Refusing to bring the truth out in the open preserves the heresy – the error, the false unity.

  • 1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV …Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
  • 1 John 4:1-6 NKJV … Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
    4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Notice this qualification for an elder, it shows how error, false doctrine, false teachers etc are to be corrected …

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sound doctrine is used both to build up and to refute
  • Titus 1:9-11 AMPC … He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error]. 10 For there are many disorderly and unruly men who are idle (vain, empty) and misleading talkers and self-deceivers and deceivers of others. [This is true] especially of those of the circumcision party [who have come over from Judaism].11 Their mouths must be stopped, for they are mentally distressing and subverting whole families by teaching what they ought not to teach, for the purpose of getting base advantage and disreputable gain.

Let’s look at what the word “faith” means in Jude.

Jude 1:3-4 NASB …  Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

From NetBible Jude 1:3

  • * The term “faith” has a variety of meanings in the NT. Here, the faith refers to the doctrinal content embraced by believers rather than the act of believing. Rather than discuss the points of agreement that Jude would have with these believers, because of the urgency of the present situation he must assume that these believers were well grounded and press on to encourage them to fight for this common belief.
  • “common salvation” *Jude starts by affirming that the gospel the Gentiles had received from Paul was the same as the one the Jewish Christians had received from the other apostles (our common salvation). But in the midst of writing this letter, Jude felt that the present crisis deserved another, shorter piece. The crisis, as the letter reveals, is that the false teachers whom Peter prophesied have now infiltrated the church. The letter of Jude is thus an ad hoc letter, intended to confirm the truth of Peter’s letter and encourage the saints to ground their faith in the written documents of the nascent church, rather than listen to the twisted gospel of the false teachers. In large measure, the letter of Jude illustrates the necessity of clinging to the authority of scripture as opposed to those who claim to be prophets.
Contending for the faith is to be done with Truth – doctrine. Yes, sometimes this will cause division – division from error, false doctrine and people – false teachers and prophets. Some division is not bad, but necessary to preserve the “common salvation”, “unity of faith”.

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 @Khollandsblog
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Tweets:
We contend for faith not doctrine-It’s about faith not doctrine right? Doctrine divides!! #PeacePeace

Doctrine divides!! => from error-But it also unites in Truth! #DoctrineDivides #PeacePeace bible.com/114/1tim.4.16

https://khollandsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/contending-for-the-faith-not-doctrine/

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Related:
False Teachers and Motives{question 1}
Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit{question 2}
Discerning Truth from Error{question 3}

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2 Responses to “Contending for the Faith not Doctrine??”

  1. khollandsblog Says:

    More:
    Twisted Scripture Refuted

  2. khollandsblog Says:

    Romans 16:17-18 AMPC … 17 I appeal to you, brethren, to be on your guard concerning those who create dissensions and difficulties and cause divisions, in opposition to the doctrine (the teaching) which you have been taught. [I warn you to turn aside from them, to] avoid them.
    18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites and base desires, and by ingratiating and flattering speech, they beguile the hearts of the unsuspecting and simpleminded [people].

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