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Called, Loved and Kept

Jude 1-2

Jude was most probably the youngest half-brother of our Lord Jesus.  He identified himself as the brother of James, the eldest of Jesus’ half-brothers (Matthew 13:55-56 - where Jude is called Judas; Galatians 1:19).  After the death of his father, Joseph, James would have become the family leader.  Later he became the leader of the church’s Council in Jerusalem and wrote the Epistle of James in the Bible.  

Contending for the Faith

Jude 3 - 4

Jude had a message to pass on to his friends, possibly converts from one of his mission journeys.  We do not know who they were but Jude felt a deep spiritual responsibility for them to stay true to the gospel.  The gospel is not a flexible or dynamic concept, bending to each wave of social opinion.  It was given by the Lord Jesus and defined by the apostles as one clear doctrine to be handed down unchanged to each generation.  However, already, false teachers had infiltrated the churches with a different gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).  

Healthy reminders

Jude 5

When we are surrounded by lies, we need to be reminded of the truth.  Otherwise, we risk being pulled away from Jesus and becoming a spiritual danger to others (Acts 20:29-30).  Jude knew that his readers had believed the true apostolic gospel, but false teachers were luring some away to satisfy their own fleshly appetites (Jude 1:3-4).  So, Jude reminded them that their faith was not a nice idea to bring comfort while they pleased themselves, but a potent call to radical life-change - so that they could say ‘No’ to wickedness and ‘Yes’ to righteousness (Titus 2:11-14).  

Abandon the truth - Abandon a safe future

Jude 6-7

As Jude warned against the dangers of abandoning the true gospel and embracing false teaching, he gave two examples: angels who became demons and two sinful cities which were destroyed.  The Bible only gives us glimpses of how Satan and his demons fell from their privileged position in heaven as evil rulers are described in demonic terms (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19), but Jude affirms that they wilfully abandoned the safety of heaven for the terrors of hell.  They were not able to escape God’s authority; and their hope of independent power continues to be frustrated by the chains of t

Dangerous Dreamers

Jude 8-10

These are very strong words!  Jude is leaving his readers in no doubt about the extreme danger posed by false teachers who have no respect for God’s Word, who believe themselves more powerful than angels and demons, and who have no moral restraint.  Although people like that appeal to the worst fleshly instincts, they were being tolerated in some churches.  So Jude emphasised the words of Jesus: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

The character traits of falsehood - Part 1

Jude 11

The problem about false teachers is that they do not wear a sign saying, ‘I am a false teacher’!  They look normal, usually sound friendly, strong and sympathetic; and they give the impression of godliness (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  Jude used three spiritually perverse people from the Old Testament as examples of how error can take a hold. Cain, Balaam and Korah were all strong characters who thought they were right but were all self-motivated, dressing up their selfishness in a religious way.  They knew about the Lord and claimed to serve Him: but they did not love Him.

The character traits of falsehood - Part 2

Jude 12-13

Jude had grown up in the same household as Jesus, his elder half-brother.  He knew the difference between truth and lies.  Now he saw that the false teachers who were distorting the gospel (Acts 20:30) were not only spreading lies: because they did not believe the truth, they could not live truthfully … their hearts were full of evil which corrupted their behaviour.  They lacked any conscience that they were offending God in failing to teach the truth, at the same time as personally gaining from others in the church - who shared with them whatever they needed (1 Timothy 4:1-2).  The false t

The character traits of falsehood - Part 3

Jude 14-16

Enoch lived before the flood, in the seventh generation from Adam, in the godly line of Seth.

Expect Opposition

Jude 17-19

Spiritual opposition is nothing new.  Ever since sin entered the world (Genesis 3:1-10), people have been tempted to rebel against God and lead other people astray (Jeremiah 23:30-32).  The Lord Jesus prepared His disciples to teach the church to expect hostility.  If they hated Him, they would also hate those who follow Him (John 15:18-25).  The Apostles warned that seductive false teachers would come (2 Timothy 3:1-9).  

Build, Pray, Keep and Wait

Jude 20-21

Opposition can be paralysing.  We can be like frightened animals, hiding and motionless while danger threatens.  But that was not the example of Jesus or the Apostles.  Jude saw how the church was in danger of being swept away from true faith by the false teachers, but also recognised the danger of spiritual paralysis as faithful believers might be tempted to hide away.  Instead, they needed to keep building up their faith.