I have been working in full-time ministry for a short time now and I find myself needing to be reminded routinely:
- It is His church not ours. His body not ours. His Kingdom not ours.
- It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100: 3)
It is not my church, but His church. I just work there. His providence provides for it. His protection guards it. If I don't like the care that He is providing His church then that is something I need to bring to Him in prayer; and soon.
We do not need to worry about defending His Kingdom like He himself is too weak to defend it. We are not to fight each other to keep the church from going in the tank. We do not defend purity! We do not defend holiness! We are not the standard by which others will be judged! We are judged by a righteous judge (2 Tim 4: 8). We are to be completely humble and gentle; we are to be patient, bearing with one another in love. We are to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph. 4: 1-3)
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Who are we contending with here? What are we contending? Let's read the whole context here and be absolutely crystal clear. We are contending those who deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
I agree! Let's whole heartedly and passionately, rigorously refute those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died and was raised on the third day. Let's gladly have it out with anyone who denies that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God in glory and in power and will one day judge all nations.
This verse is not instruction on how to defend a worship style, or a way to ensure the proper use of a church facility. Are you questioning the Lordship of Jesus Christ? If so then let us contend that if you will, speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4: 15).
Our contending must lead us to, "in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Eph. 4: 15). We are supposed to grow up to be like Jesus. Pray that we can be more like Jesus.