Jude Bible study

Living Word Magazine

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Salutation 1 - 2.

 

Jud 1:1 From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.

 

It is generally accepted that Jude (Judas from Judah) was the brother of Jesus Christ. However here in His letter he identifies himself along with Paul and others that he is the voluntary bond slave of Jesus Christ. His letter is addressed to those who have been made holy by God the Father and are kept and guarded by Jesus Christ (1 Pet.1:5). Called, that is invited or appointed, to be Christians.

 

Jud 1:2  May mercy, peace, and love be lavished on you!

 

He expresses His earnest desire for their welfare in that they may increase in mercy, i.e. kindness and goodwill to each other and all men even as God showed mercy to them in forgiveness of sin and acceptance through Christ. Peace, with God because they had been reconciled to Him through Christs atoning sacrifice (Rom. 5:10) therefore they ought to live at peace with all men as much as they are able (Rom.12:18). Finally that their love to God would increase that this would fill their hearts and over to fellow believers and all men everywhere.

 

2. Contend for the Faith  3 - 4.

 

Jud 1:3 Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

 

When Jude had first earnestly made up his mind to write to them his intention was to write some thoughts about salvation. However he had heard of the danger they were in from false teachers and therefore found in needful to exhort them to earnestly contend for the faith . Youngs Literal Translation has agonize as the true meaning of contend. To bring home this point we are to fight for the good fight faith in order to keep it pure (1 Tim. 6:1 2). Paul the apostle could say I have fought a good fight,  I have finished the course, I have kept the faith 1 Tim. 4: 7.

 

Jud 1:4  For certain men have secretly slipped in among you — men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe — ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

There were cunning men who had crept into the church undetected pretending to be teachers of the truth wolves in sheeps clothing (Math. 7: 1 5). Although at first they seem to be genuine the underlying purpose is to undermine and corrupt the truth. Such men have already been condemned by the Word of God for their ungodly actions.They corrupted the grace of God by teaching that now that they were saved they were not bound by the Law of God but could do anything that fulfilled the lust of the flesh (Rom. 6: 1 - 2). The teachings that they held were in fact a denial of God and of the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

3. Past Punishment for Evil 5 - 9.

 

Jud 1:5  Now I desire to remind you (even though you have been fully informed of these facts once for all ) that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe.

 

To show them what must be the outcome of these people he brings certain facts for their recollection. Those who the Lord had delivered out of the hands of the Egyptians were later destroyed for their unbelief.

 

Jud 1:6  You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day.

 

The angels who were not satisfied with the positions that God had assigned them left their post and rebelled against God their creator and sovereign Lord. God did not spare them but has kept them bound by everlasting chains of darkness until the Day of Judgment.

 

 

 

Jud 1:7  So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire. Likewise the inhabitants Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire for their sexually immorality of all kinds. They are set forth as an example of the punishment reserved for all who rebel and reject God and salvation through Jesus Christ - they shall be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20: 1 5).

 

Jud 1:8  Yet these men, as a result of their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and insult the glorious ones.

 

Although they have these examples before them these false teachers  whose doctrines were the fruits of their own imagination pollute their bodies with all sorts of self-indulgence. They look down on with disdain those in authority and slander celestial beings.

 

Jud 1:9  But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses' body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"

 

This incident is not recorded anywhere in the Old Testament and is consider to be a jewish legend, however it serve the point the Jude is making in verse 8 and ten. When the archangel Michael contended with the Devil over the body of Moses he did not dare to accuse him but said the Lord rebuke you. Note: The Devil had no claims on the body of Moses anyway.

 

4. Description of false teachers 10- 19.

 

Jud 1:10  But these men do not understand the things they slander, and they are being destroyed by the very things that, like irrational animals, they instinctively comprehend.

 

The things that they know nothing about or have any understanding off they make defamatory statements against, and the things that they know by instinct they behave like animals, they do whatever they feel like (Living Bible).

 

Jud 1:11  Woe to them! For they have traveled down Cain's path, and because of greed have abandoned themselves to Balaam's error; hence, they will certainly perish in Korah's rebellion.

 

Grief shall be their lot for they behave like Cain, disobedient and rebellious and follow the deceit of Balaam in their greed for reward. They shall perish like the sons of Korah who contended with Moses (Num. 1 6:3).

 

Jud 1:12 - 13  These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit — twice dead, uprooted; wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.

 

He likens them to five things in these verses - firstly - spots - the word is used for a rock or reef in the sea, elements of danger and wreck in their love feasts even while they feasted amongst them, shepherds feeding only their own bellies caring nothing for the lambs (see the Lords words to Peter feed my lambs (sheep) John 21: 15, 17). This they did without any fear of being reprimanded. Secondly: as clouds that seem to be full of promising rain and yet they are empty and are carried away with any wind of doctrine that suits them. Thirdly - autumn trees i.e. trees at the time of year when they should have fruit ready for picking but their fruit is withered so no fruit is on them. They are twice dead for they pulled up by the roots and burned (John 1 5:6). Fourthly - wild and restless waves of the sea, making a lot of noise in their professions, lashed into foam that breaks upon the seashore leaving a dirty scum behind to their own shame. Fifthly - wandering stars i.e. having no fixed orbit, no fixed church, going from one place to another looking like bright stars that soon fizzle out but ahead of them is the everlasting gloom and darkness that God has prepared for them.

 

Jud 1:14 - 15  Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, "Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

 

This is a quote from the apocryphal book of Enoch and is not accepted as Holy Scripture. This is the Enoch that walked with God who is reputed to have prophesied that the Lord would come with His saints to judge and convict the ungodly of their godless deeds and of all the ungodly things that sinners have said against Him.

 

Jud 1:16  These people are grumblers and fault-finders who go wherever their desires lead them, and they give bombastic speeches, enchanting folks for their own gain.

 

His final descriptions of these false teachers are that they are always grumbling about something or other, they always find something to complain, whine about. They do whatever evil thing they feel like; and they are loud-mouthed arrogant and insolent show-offs, flattering people for their own gain.

 

Jud 1:17 - 18 But you, dear friends — recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. For they said to you, "In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires."

 

Having described these false teachers he wants them to remember the warnings that was given by the apostles that there would be scoffers in the last days (2 Pet. 3:4) living according to their own godless desires.

 

Jud 1:19  These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

 

They are worldly (carnal) people not having the Spirit therefore not walking (in the Spirit (Rom. 8:1) and cause divisions within the church (1 Cor. 3:3).

 

5.   Maintain your life in Christ 20 - 23.

 

Jud 1:20 - 21  But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.

 

Those who are true to the faith he calls dearly beloved and encourages them to continually build their lives on Christ in the faith (most holy faith = pure faith) and to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. They were to make certain that they remained in the love of God. Living Bible - Stay always within the boundaries where Gods love can reach and bless you. They are to  wait in patient expectancy for the eternal life that the Lord Jesus Christ in His mercy is going to give to us.

 

Jud 1:22  And have mercy on those who waver;

 

With some who dispute with them they are to contend and judge with compassion. (the false teachers).

 

Jud 1:23  save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.

 

This verse could apply to two classes of people, those who had received Christ but have allowed themselves to be corrupted by the false teachers and the unsaved. In either case they were to do all that they could to urge them to repent that they may be saved from hell.

 

6. The Benediction 24 - 25.

 

 

Jud 1:24 - 25  Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling,and to cause you to stand, rejoicing,without blemish before his glorious presence, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.

 

To the One who is more than able to preserve and keep you from falling into sin and to bring you into the presence of His Glory, unblemished, with great joy (Eph. 5: 27), that is God our Saviour who alone is wise, be glory i.e.honour and praise, regal dignity, sovereign might and power both in this present age and forever more.

 

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