This verse has appeared on every paper since our beginnings at Azusa; appears on the cornerstone of the HQ church.
Take a jar of dirt, flag, dollar bill, paper crown, and a heart. Explain that these represent the major issues men have fought (or contended) for over the centuries of time—land, freedom, money, power, and love. Then show a cross. We are contending for something even more precious than any of these! We are contending for the “faith that was once delivered to the saints.”
Ahead of class time, tie a baby rattle to a toy snake and put it in a paper bag. Start class by holding up the bag and saying, “This bag contains a small rattlesnake.” When your students look disbelieving, say, “Raise your hand if you don’t believe me.” When your students raise their hands, say, “I am not lying. This really is a rattlesnake in here. But keep your hands up if you still don’t believe me.” Then pick a disbelieving student and challenge him to come forward and place a hand in the bag. Have him reach in and hold up the snake. Offer congratulations for that person’s courage of convictions. Say, “______ did not believe I had a rattlesnake in here and he was willing to place his hand in the bag to back up his conviction.” If no student will reach into the sack, hold up the snake and say, “Some of you said you didn’t believe, yet you didn’t have the courage to stand up for your convictions.” Use this example to point out that if we cannot back up our beliefs by action, our belief isn’t real. We want to have the strength and courage to uphold—to earnestly contend for—the Gospel.
“Withstand the Current” from HW 96-3
“Entrusted With the Faith” from HW 94-3
The Greek word translated “earnestly contend” means to “fight for.” Jude was encouraging whatever struggle might be necessary to defend the faith—the Gospel message preached by the apostles. The word “once” does not mean an event that happened some time back, but rather a message preached “once for all” – a final and authoritative communication which cannot be changed by false teachers. – From a sermon by Darrel Lee