What Are You Contending For?
Faith or Sight?
As the song by Bob Dylan says: "you have to serve somebody." We either contend for the faith or for sight (over and against faith—to be silent, when your faith is being attacked, when you are to speak up, is to choose sight, i.e. the approval of men, over and against faith, i.e. the approval of the Lord). "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24 "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:1, 6 If you are contending for the faith you are contending for the Word of God and for the right for everyone to be given the chance to hear it preached and taught as is (weighing the Word with the Word, untampered by "human reasoning," i.e. not mixed with the carnal mind). Otherwise you are contending for the flesh, which lusts after this world, i.e. for that which is of sight.
The opinions of men, even regarding the Word of the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ, can not take the place of the Word itself (weighing the Word according to men's opinions, engendering the doctrines of men and demons). To do so is to make the Word of God subject to the opinions of men instead of the opinions of men subject to the Word of God. Today, instead of preaching and teaching the Word of God, judging the opinions of men, "ministers" are preaching, teaching, and dialoguing the opinions of men, judging the Word of God, contending for sight (thinking and acting according to the opinions of men) rather than for the faith (thinking and acting according to the Word of God).
The shield of faith, the Word of God protects us from the opinions of men. When we attempt to "protect" the Word of God, depending upon the opinions of men regarding it, instead of the preaching and teaching it as is, we are deceived into contending for it through the opinions of men. In this way, i.e. through the pride of "human reasoning," we have laid down the shield of faith, no longer contending for the faith. We are instead contending for what "seems to be" the "faith," which is simply the opinions of men. Why the "church" has become so gullible, subject to the ways of the world (has become at-one-with the world) is because it has been "grounded" upon the opinions of men, i.e. how men feels and what they think regarding the Word, instead of being grounded in the Word of God itself, i.e. weighing the Word with the Word, weighing our lives and the world around us according to it.
The believer, as he contends for the faith, is now regarded as the agent of controversy (perceived as and treated as the source of division) in the "contemporary church," i.e. in the apostate church which contends for the opinions of men, i.e. "growing" itself upon polls, surveys, and feasibility studies, i.e. saving the flesh from the Word of God, 'redeeming' man from the Word of God, 'reconciling' him to the opinions of men, to the world instead.
"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. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 1:3-4
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men ['justifying' "human nature"], I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man [according to men's opinions]. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Galatians 1:6-12
© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2013-2015