Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 3, 4
“Jude initially made every effort to write regarding the common salvation he shared with his readers. Effort (spoude) connotes hastening or speed, and could mean Jude hurried in vain to write, or that he tried hard but could not complete what he originally planned to say. Whatever the case, the presence of false teaching restrained him, impressing him with the urgent need to call the church to battle. His initial notion was to speak positively of the shared blessings of salvation. But that very salvation was under assault by apostates, hence his change of subjects.”
Dr. MacArthur writes:
The expression “contend earnestly” is translated from a strong Greek verb epagonizomai,literally meaning “agonize against.” The word describes an intensive, arduous, drawn-out fight. There is nothing passive, peaceful, or easy about it. Jude “exhorted” them – meaning he urged and commanded them – to wage a mighty battle on behalf of the true faith.
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria