Contend for the faith!

Contend for the faith! – a sermon on Jude 3 by Rev Colin Pretorius.

In 2009 the priest Patrick Kennedy was sacked from the Catholic Church in Brisbane after 28 years’ service. He wasn’t sacked because of any sexual impropriety – as one would in these times so easily assume – but for his beliefs. You see, he was proclaiming things and also allowing things that were unscriptural. And his leadership team went along with that – in fact, as the ABC reported at the time, they were solidly behind him.[1] Taking a number of members with him, Kennedy and his leadership team set up a new church just metres away from the one from which he’d been expelled, and they continued their practices and proclamations. In an article last year Kennedy is quoted as saying: “I don’t believe in the Catholic Church or even the Christian faith [my italics]. For me, I think it’s really all about justice.”[2]  It seems that for the people leading this church it is about being progressive and finding your own truth, rather than following God’s commandments.

Now I certainly don’t support the doctrine of the Catholic Church, but when I hear a story like this, I can’t help but thinking about how Paul warned Timothy about how there will be false teachers in the church and how people will not seek to hear the truth preached.[3] And this is what Jude writes about as well in his letter to his fellow believers. He writes to warn them of the danger and to instruct them how to handle that danger – they’re to stand up and fight for what’s right. Or in Jude’s words, they are to contend for the faith. He starts by urging them in verse 3 to go into battle for the faith. In verses 4-16 he gives them the reason for his appeal and in verses 17-23 he tells them how they’re to do it.[4]

  • The command to contend (v 3);
  • The reason to contend (v 4-16); and
  • The way to contend (v 17-23).


[1] Kim Lyell and Kerrin Binnie, Brisbane priest sacked over Catholic feud, 2009-02-08.

[2] Nick Baker, These Australians were cast out by their religions. But they have no regrets. 2021-07-26.

[3] 2 Timothy 3 & 4.

[4] David R. Helm, 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: Sharing Christ’s Sufferings (Preaching the Word; Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 295.