Contending for the Gospel

Contending for the Gospel

This article is the third in a series of articles based on the four words we as a World Prayer Centre team felt are important to us through 2024.

contending

In our two previous articles (available on our web site, worldprayer.org.uk) we wrote about our desire to Conform to the image and likeness of Jesus, to be more like Him in attitude and action:  Confirm our belief in the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God. This third article is around the word Contend, and the forth will be on the word Connect.

Contend is not an everyday word, but it is something that we all do in our everyday lives. In sport, in business, in politics, even in ordinary family life, we contend. Sometimes it is over unimportant matters and at other times, they literally are over matters of life and death.

To Contend means to struggle, to fight, to compete against someone or something that wants to overcome us as individuals, families, churches and even our faith.  As Christians we face opposition from the seen and the unseen. We at times contend with what we can clearly see in the physical realm, but also what is unseen in the spiritual realm. 

We worship and serve a God who contends. The Psalmist asked God “To Contend with those who contend against me”. (Psalm35)  In the book of Isaiah, God says to the prophet, “I will contend with those who contend with you”. 

We contend to win. Not in our own strength but with the confidence that at the greatest place of contention, the cross, Jesus overcame every power of darkness and death itself. In the words of the Apostle John, “He came to destroy the works of the devil,” so that we as Christians, as St. Paul writes, “can live as more than conquers through Him who loved us.”(Romans 8)

In the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit we contend, resist, struggle, fight against powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6). In the power of the Holy Spirit we contend with those who say there are many ways to God, when Jesus the Son of God said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.”

By the grace of God, we contend with those who deny the truths of the living Word of God. We contend with those who would alter the Christian faith to suit today’s culture, we contend with evil powers that would seek to destroy our Christian way of life, marriage, between one man and one woman, our families, our boys and girls childhood, our communities. 

Today with the New Testament writer Jude, we say, “We are compelled to write and urge you contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 1).

We continue our journey in Conforming to the likeness of Christ, Confirming our belief in the Bible, the Word of God, Contending against evil and Contending for the Gospel (Good news) of Jesus Christ as Saviour of the world.

Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre.

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