You can “defend YOUR faith” by “defending THE faith.” To understand what I mean by this let’s read Jude 3, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed….who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV). Jude wanted to write about the wonderful salvation they possessed, but he was compelled to write about evil men who were trying to DESTROY THE FAITH by introducing false teachings that undermined the gospel of God’s grace. The words “the faith” refer to “the fundamental truths of Christianity.” Because of this attack on the truth of the gospel, Jude told them to “contend earnestly for the faith”; that is, to “defend the faith.”

How do we “defend the faith?” We defend the faith by proclaiming the truth! The Apostle Paul’s words in Titus 1:9 speak of this, “Holding fast the FAITHFUL WORD as he has been taught, that he may be able, by SOUND DOCTRINE, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” Notice if we are going to “defend the faith” (the “truth”) we must first be “sound in the faith.” This means we must become acquainted with the “doctrines of the faith” and hold them fast. If we are “holding fast the faithful word” we will be prepared then to defend the faith by “exhorting and convicting those who contradict.” This simply means, as another has said, that we will then be qualified to “silence those who speak against the truth.” This is what Jude had in mind when he wrote and exhorted the saints to “contend earnestly for the faith,” and that’s exactly what Paul had in mind when he wrote to Titus.

We have a prime example of this in the book of Galatians. Paul wrote that whole book to “contend earnestly for the faith.” After Paul had left the newly established churches in that region Jewish false teachers infiltrated those same churches and were trying to convince the Galatians that they must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved. In order to “defend the faith” Paul began his letter with these words, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (1:6-7). From that point on Paul reminds them of the true gospel of God’s grace that he had received and how he had preached the gospel of Christ unto them and they had believed it. In faithfulness he exposed the false teachings that would put men back “under law” which would, in effect, rob them of the grace of God. In 2:16 we read, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” He goes on to warn them with these words in 5:2, “Indeed I, Paul say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ shall PROFIT YOU NOTHING.” In essence he was saying, “If you are trusting in the keeping of the law to save you Christ’s work on the cross will be of no value to you.” Again, Paul is “defending the faith” by “proclaiming the truth!”

Let me add, in closing, that there may be times when we will need to “defend the faith” when other believers are leading people astray by their actions. In Galatians 2:11 Paul states, “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I WITHSTOOD HIM TO HIS FACE, because he was to be blamed.” You can read why Peter was to be blamed in verses 12-13 (in short, he was acting contrary to the gospel of grace and giving people the impression that the law was still needed to be saved). Paul was a witness to this for he says in verse 14, “But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel” and then he sets Peter straight by reminding him, as we saw above, that “a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ” (verse 16). (296.3) (DO)