Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Jude (web)
Licentious Christians

Focus
Purpose
Description of Licentious Christians
Defense
Against Them
Doxology
Ref 1 5 8 14 20 24
Div
Greetings
Warning
Paradigms
Prophecy
Application
Conclusion
Topic
The Basis for Contending
The Manner of Contending
Tearing Down
Building Up
Loc
Unknown
Time
c. A.D. 66-80

Outline

I. Purpose of Jude 1-4
II. Description of Licentious Christians 5-16
    A. Warning 5-7
    B. Paradigms 8-13
    C. Prophecies 14-19
III. Defense Against Them 17-23
IV. Doxology of Jude 24,25


Licentious Christians

Greetings

1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:
1:2 Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.

Warning

1:3 Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation,
I was constrained to write to you exhorting you
to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
 
1:4 For there are certain men who crept in secretly,
even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation:
ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness,
and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Paradigms for the Licentious

1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this,
 
that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt,
afterward destroyed those who didn't believe.
1:6 Angels who didn't keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place,
he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them,
having, in the same way as these,
given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh,
are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

1:8 Yet in like manner these also in their dreaming

  • defile the flesh,
  • despise authority,
  • and slander celestial beings.

  •  
    1:9 But Michael, the archangel,
    when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses,
    dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation,
    but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"
    1:10 But these speak evil of whatever things they don't know.
    What they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason,
    in these things are they destroyed.
    1:11 Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain,
    and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah's rebellion.

    1:12 These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you,
    shepherds who without fear feed themselves;

    clouds without water, carried along by winds;
    autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
    1:13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame;
    wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.

    Prophecies

    1:14 About these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying,
    "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones,
    1:15 to execute judgment on all,
    and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness
    which they have done in an ungodly way,
    and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
     
    1:16 These are murmurers and complainers, walking after their lusts
    (and their mouth speaks proud things), showing respect of persons to gain advantage.
    1:17 But you, beloved, remember the words
    which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1:18 They said to you that
    "In the last time there will be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts."

    1:19 These are they who cause divisions, and are sensual, not having the Spirit.

    Application

    1:20 But you, beloved,
     
    keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
    praying in the Holy Spirit.
    1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God,
    looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
    1:22 On some have compassion, making a distinction,
    1:23 and some save, snatching them out of the fire with fear,
    hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.

    Doxology

    1:24 Now to him who is able to keep them from stumbling,
    and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in great joy,
    1:25 to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty,
    dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.


    Discussion Questions

    vs 3 What does he mean by "contend for the faith"? Who are we contending against?
    vs 4 Upon what theological basis do you suppose that they would try to turn to grace of God
    into a license for immorality? (Rom 6:15+) And how is this related to denying the Lordship of Christ?
    Look up the dictionary definition of Licentious.
    vs 5+ List the characteristics that describe these people in the rest of this chapter.
    vs 12 Why would these type of people even want to associate with Christians?
    And why would they be accepted in the Christian community?
    What should be done with such people?
    What verses in the Bible would you approach them with? (1John 3:10)
    vs 21-23 What different types of potential converts do each of these represent?
    How did Jesus deal with people differently?
    Upon what basis did he deal differently?
    vs 24 Upon what do you place your confidence that you will stand before God blameless?


    Comments

    vs 1 Being a brother of James, he was also a step-brother of Jesus.
    During Jesus' ministry, he himself was a scoffer. So no doubt, having been a skeptic and a scoffer, he was more aware of these type of people.

    vs 3,4 He would like to speak of positive things, but there are wolves around endangering the believers. Christians can be so gullible and trusting of anyone who calls himself a Christian. In the name of Christian love and unity we avoid conflicts by not dealing with sinful ideas in the Christian community. And those who point out false teachings and sinful practices in the church are branded as being divisive. But Biblical LOVE cannot be separated from TRUTH and HOLINESS. Therefore the church must often be a battle ground to "contend for the faith" against the false Christians.

    An example of false believers slipping in occurred in the Jerusalem church, as Paul points out in Galatians.

    Yet, from the context of the Galatians passage, these were the same people who were called believers in the book of Acts. But realize that Acts, being historical rather than doctrinal in nature was speaking of what people called themselves or what people were called, and not what they really were, as Paul spoke of them.

    So "the group of the circumcision" that Paul wrote of in Galatians was one type of wolf. But Jude was writing of a different type of wolf. The Circumcision were legalists, rejecting the grace of God. But Jude was writing of men that were the opposite. They were lawless, "who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality". Beware of these two extremes. For justification (the forgiveness of sins) is given freely conditioned only upon faith in the Biblical Christ, and in particular upon faith in his atoning work on the cross. But if one has such faith and thus born of God, it is inevitable that his behavior will be consistent with that of a child of God.

    Many modern evangelicals are deceived with the idea that one can place a trivial faith in Christ and go on to live a lifestyle of sin and be saved. Saving faith is not a trivial faith. And for those who are saved, it is inevitable that they will produce works of righteousness. But concerning false Christians, Jesus says: And so Jude goes on to say that not only do they "change the grace of our God into a license for immorality" but also that they "deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." These are those who supposedly accept Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord. They refuse to submit to his commands given explicitly in the gospels or by proxy through his apostles.

    vs 5 Israel's exodus from Egypt and wanderings in the desert represents the church. It is a mix of true and false believers. God destroyed those who didn't believe and so also among those who call themselves "Christian". The book of Hebrews also mentions Israel's desert wanderings saying of those who died, "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." Heb 3:19 And so Paul also writes in 1Cor 10:5 "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness." Among those who claim to believe in Jesus there are many unbelievers. For not just any "faith" passes for Biblical faith. A person's faith is revealed by his actions.

    vs 6 These angels are Satan and his devils. They rebelled against God. And thus a rebellious attitude is key to recognizing the wolves.

    vs 7-10 Along with a rebellious attitude they also demonstrate immoral behavior. Or more generally, you could describe their behavior as LICENTIOUS, which means:

    vs 11 Cain didn't exercise restraint in his hatred of his brother. God warned him in All these are characteristics of licentiousness.

    vs 12 "slightest qualm" is literally "without fear". They do not fear God's judgment despite their behavior. There are Christians who chose to live a lifestyle of sin fearlessly with the presumption that they will be forgiven. They are deceived and they have lost the shame for their sin, for their sins are public knowledge, much as the man in 1Corinthians 5 whom Paul excommunicated from the church.

    They are blown around by the world's philosophy, not taking a stand on the truth. And they have nothing to offer.

    vs 13 They are wandering stars in the that they do not hold on to the truth of the Bible, but wander in their faith.

    vs 14,15 Jude is not quoting the Bible but the apocryphal book of Enoch. This book, known to the Church Fathers of the second century, lost for some centuries with the exception of a few fragments, was found in its entirety in a copy of the Ethiopic Bible in 1773.

    vs 16 They complain against God much as Israel in the desert that complained about the circumstances that God had led them to and wanted to go back to Egypt. "Evil desires" is more literally "lusts". They submit to their lustful desires, allowing them to rule their lives.

    Humility is the most essential characteristic of a Christian. Thus they are the opposite. And they are like politicians flattering others to gain advantage. Paul writes of the circumcision:

    vs 19 As it was with the group of the circumcision, so also these false Christians are a source of division in the body of Christ. They may preach that anyone who teaches to obey the Bible is being legalistic. They turn the grace of God into lawless licentiousness. These have not been born of God and do not have the Spirit: vs 20 But true believers are constantly building themselves up in the faith. It is in our nature to do so.

    vs 21 Keeping ourselves in God's love involves obeying his commandments.

    vs 22,23 People are different. Just as in raising children, you don't treat them all the same, so also we must adapt our approach to those we are leading to Christ. This implies that we've gotten to know these people. Evangelism is not simply the mechanical process of transferring information, just as relationships are not simply mechanical.

    In the phrase "be merciful to those who doubt" the greek doesn't actually say "who doubt". It simply says "be discriminate in being merciful to some. It doesn't give the basis upon which to discriminate. This has to be determined on an individual basis as one infers by his spirit. These you gently and causally lead along to Christ. Raising children in Christian homes might be like this.

    Some have to be snatch from the fire. These are those who need to be dealt with directly and traumatically. One is reminded of Paul's conversion in which Jesus rebuked him directly and converted him dramatically. Jesus dealt this way with those who lack proper humility.

    To others show mercy mixed with fear. These may be like those who were living a lifestyle of sin, but were nonetheless receptive to Jesus message, like the tax collectors and prostitutes that listened to Jesus.

    vs 24,25 Christians will be blameless when they stand before God. But what Jude implies by his statement is that this is not just true because of the forgiveness of sins, but also having been born of God, it is God who produces in the believer a behavior which is consistent with that of a child of God. True believers don't fall into becoming licentious Christians. And so, of those who do, it is indicative that they have not been born of God. True believers accept the Lordship of Christ in their lives.


    Additional Comments

    Preserved

    Jude 1:1
    Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

    First an interesting fact about Jude.

    The early Christian writers held it that James and Jude were brothers of Jesus according to the flesh. Eusebius - an early Christian historian - writes of an interesting incident in which the descendants of Jude were brought before Domitian - the Roman emperor who greatly persecuted the Christians. They were brought before him because they were known to be related to Jesus Christ in the flesh, who was reckoned King and Lord by the Christian community. Domitian was concerned that these living relatives of Jesus would likewise be reckoned with some authority - much as in the case of the lineage of Roman emperors. But they turned out to be humble farmers and having concluded they were no threat Domitian order the persecution to cease.

    "OF the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord's brother according to the flesh."Eusebius

    Another evidence of the fact that James and Jude were the brothers of the Lord according to the flesh is Paul's testimony in Galatians 1:19 "I saw none of the other apostles— only James, the Lord's brother." Yet why would he use this phrase "the Lord's brother" with reference to James if he were simply speaking of James being the Lord's brother in the common sense in which all Christians are the Lord's brothers (as in Heb 2:11)? Thus James was Lord's brother in a different sense than that of Christian community in general. And if James, so also Jude. (For why would Jude claim to be a brother of James if he were speaking of being a brother only in a spiritual sense?)

    So here we're going to hear from a man that actually grew up in the same family with Jesus.

    Now concerning those he is writing to, he speaks of three characteristics.

    First of all they a "called", which simply means that they had the gospel presented to them and had been called to believe in Jesus unto salvation.

    Next there is a little difference in the Greek manuscripts. Some say they are "sanctified", and others they are "beloved". These are nuances on the same concept - namely that they are reckoned special in the eyes of God.

    And finally that they are preserved or kept (for or by) Jesus Christ. The Greek is ambiguous there as to whether it is saying they are kept for Jesus Christ or kept by Jesus Christ. But we get the general idea. This speaks of the Christian's eternal security. There are many cross references to this idea, one being John 17:12  "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled." And we'll see this idea also coming up at the end of Jude's letter.


    Mercy, Peace and Love

    Jude 1:2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

    Again as with many of the New Testament letters it starts with a prayer - a blessing upon them. In this case Jude was not asking simply to "add" mercy, peace and love to their experience of the Christian life, but rather to "multiply" it.

    The word is often used with respect to way populations populations multiply as in Heb 6:14 "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."

    So when you pray for other Christians, don't pray simply for sufficiency in these things, but rather pray for overabundance.


    Contend for the Faith

    Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

    It would be nice if we could just talk about all the positive things concerning the Christian life. But at times criticism is called for. Such is the case throughout the New Testament letters. Though generally today people get upset when criticism is offered or discernment exercised, as much of Western culture in particular emphasizes tolerance and multiculturalism. But at times - in fact in many cases - the Bible goes against the grain of the world's culture. Thus Jesus said to those who offered worldly advice, "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." John 7:7

    Thus within the Christian community we are called to contend earnestly for the faith - the faith which is clearly layed out in the Bible. For there are those among the Christian community who deviate significantly from what it says. And if they are not dealt with, their false ideas may gain a foothold in the Christian's thought.


    Anti-Lordship Heretics

    Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    And why have such men crept in unnoticed? Because Christians were not watchful, either not bothering to evaluate, or being discouraged from evaluating whether alleged sheep are really wolves in sheep clothing.

    One such example of this are false brothers who had even infiltrated the church at Jerusalem of which Peter, James and John were overseeing. Peter, James and John hadn't noticed them, but Paul did. When he visited the church in Jerusalem it is written, "they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, 'it is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.'"Acts 15:4,5 Paul writes of this incident, "This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves." Gal 2:4

    There are primarily two kinds of wolves - just as there are two ways to deviate from the straight and narrow path. On the one hand are the legalists of which we Paul encountered above. But on the other are the licentious, the lawless.

    The licentious Christians are those who refuse to submit to the Lordship of Christ, but view the grace of God - the forgiveness of sins - as a license to sin. For example Jesus rebuked the church at Thyatira saying,"you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality" Rev 2:20


    OT Illustration

    Jude 1:5  But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

    Paul brings up this same point in 1Cor 10 saying, "I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did— and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did— and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did— and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"

    And we learn also in 2Peter of this point that while some "Christians" have been saved out of Egypt, they may not end up eternally saved, but suffer the wrath of God because of their unbelief. For Peter writes, "if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.'" 2Peter 2:20-22


    Even the Angels Fell

    Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day

    Hell was not intended for people- though many will end up there. Hell was actually created for the devil and his angels. For Jesus said concerning the judgement day, "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Mt 25:41

    The condemnation of the devil is due to his conceitedness, as Paul warned against immature Christians an improper place of authority in the church, "he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil."1Tim 3:6 Thus there are Christians who make too much of themselves over and against what the Bible says and fall under condemnation.

    Therefore let each humbly recognize their proper place and serve God accordingly.


    Sodomites

    Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Today among these are the "homosexuals" Christians and other Christians involved in sexual immorality. Paul writes, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." 1Cor 6:9,10


    Rejection of Authority

    Jude 1:8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.

    They are dreamers in that their doctrine is in accordance with their own imagination rather than conforming to the authority of the scriptures and to scriptural authority.

    Peter likewise writes, "especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord." 2Peter 2:10,11

    Likewise there are false authority figures, such as the elders and chief priests who crucified Christ. They go beyond their legitimate realm of authority. And likewise of pastors and elders who don’t submit themselves to the scriptures but put their own opinions in the place of the Bible.

    Sexual immorality and rebelliousness are bedfellows. For what is sexual immorality but the refusal to conform to God's design and to God's command concerning marriage, for which sex was designed. So also it is written, "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality." 1Thess 4:3


    The Lord Rebuke You

    Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

    While other than this verse there is no other record of this account concerning a dispute over the body of Moses, we do find a similar incident in the prophet Zechariah who writes, "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?'" Zec 3:1-2

    Jude's point is that even if you're disputing with someone as evil as Satan, don't slander. Jude speaks of a "reviling" accusation. The Greek word he uses for "reviling" is "blasphemia". It's slander. It's bearing false witness. It's bringing up false accusations. Those Jude speaks of here are those who slander and make false accusations. They blaspheme the Word of God. See to it that in your zeal for truth you do not do so.

    Yes, contend and dispute even with those in authority who do evil, but respect their position. Jesus taught the Jews saying, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Mat 23:2,3 HOWEVER, notice how Jesus speaks of them in the rest of Mat 23, and elsewhere. He does dispute and contend with them, which is what got him crucified. He does point out their misbehavior and hypocrisy. BUT he doesn't bring a false accusation against them. So content with heretics, as Jude himself is doing in this letter according to Jude 1:3. Dispute with them as Jesus and Paul also did. But see to it that you are not bearing false witness against your neighbor.


    Slanderers

    Jude 1:10  But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

    Again notice the similarity with 2Peter. "But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption" 2Pet 2:12

    In particular Peter has been referring to false prophets in the Christian community. For he writes, "there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed." 2Peter 1:1-2

    Don't be surprise to find such people in the Christian community, and even among leadership there are those who “want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” 1Tim 1:7


    Heroes of Evil

    Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

    Cain killed his brother out of envy concerning the performance of a religious ritual. It is written, "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." 1John 3:15

    Peter writes of Balaam, who was reckoned a prophet in his own right, "he loved the wages of unrighteousness" 2Peter 2:15, and to the church of Pergamos Jesus said, "I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality." Rev 2:14

    The rebellion or Korah, which occurred in Numbers 16, concerned a rebellion against Moses - a usurping of spiritual authority, saying to Moses, "You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?" But in the end "the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods."

    Beware of envy, covetousness, and the usurping of authority.


    The Self-Serving

    Jude 1:12  These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;

    And again likewise Peter writes, "They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. ... These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." 2Peter 2:13,14,17

    Of the reference of the leaves without fruit Jesus said, "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away." John 15:2 The reference to clouds or wells without water is the idea spoken of in Proverbs 25:14 "Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give." Peter elaborates on this saying, "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption." 2Peter 2:18,19

    In order words these preach a "freedom in Christ" which to them means a freedom to sin. But what it leads to is an enslavement to sinful and corrupt passions of the flesh. For "freedom in Christ" is not freedom to sin, but rather freedom from sin.


    Wandering Stars

    Jude 1:13 "raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."

    And again note 2Peter 2:17 "These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."

    And just as a point of astronomy, wandering stars are not really stars at all. Jude may not realize it, but he's probably referring to planets. But the illustration is that they don't keep in step with the stars - they take their own path. Jesus said, "But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Mt 8:12 Jesus was referring to those who reckoned themselves sons according to the flesh, but he said of them "You are of your father the devil" John 8:44 So also there are such people in the Christian community. For the one not dress appropriately for the wedding feast, the king commanded, "Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Mat 22:13


    Enoch's Prophecy

    Jude 1:14,15  Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

    Here Jude is quoting from the end of chapter 1 of the Book of Enoch. Enoch was the 7th from Adam as you may note from the Geneaology chart at http://www.bcbsr.com/survey/geneol.html Enoch is one of the two people in the Bible who apparently never died. Thus some, including myself, speculate that he along with Elijah will be one of the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11, which is further supported by this prophecy which concerns the coming of the Lord and the judgement to follow.

    Judgement will be based upon both what people did and what people said. For Jesus said, "I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Mat 12:36,37  So also we are categories as "godly" by our words and deeds.


    Grumbling Flatterers

    Jude 1:16  These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

    Likewise Paul writes, "Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation."Php 2:14,15 In meekness and with contentment, Christians need to accept God's will for them as good, despite the circumstances. So also James writes, "Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!" James 5:9

    But in contrast is the illustration Paul uses in 1Cor 10 of the people of Israel wandering in the desert. "with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness." 1Cor 10:5 And why? Because "these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted." 1Cor 10:6 For example:

    For example they complained about the food and about circumstances they would have to deal with in the promise land. And they complained about Moses' leadership.

    Complaining and grumbling Christians are much the same as these. While God brings us through the desert experiences in life in which we find our freedoms restricted, we must learn to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:12,13

    For example God may have placed you under an authority figure who is marginally competent so that you may be challenged to trust in God's sovereignty rather than complain.

    Or you may be in a desert experience with respect to the opposite sex, or even in your marriage, such that you may be particularly challenged to abstain from sexual immorality.

    Or you may find yourself in a financial bind and are challenged to not escape the situation through lying, cheating or stealing.

    Yet there are those in the Christian community who under pressure will cast off all restraint and teach others to do likewise, as Peter also writes, "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error." 2Peter 2:18 "By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."Rom 16:18b And "You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed" 1Thess 2:5


    Mockers

    Jude 1:17,18  But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

    A significant part of the Christian's thought should be devoted to recalling what the Bible said - and for the purpose of applying what it said to one's Christian life.

    In particular Peter likewise notes:
    "Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts." 2Peter 3:1-3

    And Paul in 1Tim 4:1,2 says, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron."

    Therefore not only should it not be a surprise to find such people among the Christian community, it should be expected! Therefore beware of theologies which make you feel comfortable about your sin or otherwise don't call sin for what it is.


    The Divisive

    Jude 1:19  These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

    Paul writes, "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites." Rom 16:17,18a

    "sensual" is the Greek word "psuchikos" which is translated "natural man" in 1Cor 2:14 "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God." (NKJV), which is to say, "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God." 1Cor 2:14 (NIV)

    A sensually oriented person is a person who does not have the Spirit of Christ. "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." Rom 8:8,9 And "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Gal 5:24

    It is not that those who have the Spirit of God do not experience temptations, but rather they battle against the sensual desires of their sinful nature. "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." Gal 5:16,17


    Pray in the Holy Spirit

    Jude 1:20  But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit

    Faith in Christ is the foundation of the Christian's life. But who builds a foundation without then building a house on top of it? Thus Peter exhorts, "for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."2Peter 1:5-8

    These are the kinds of things one should build on the foundation. So be careful as to what you build on your foundation. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."1Cor 3:11-15

    But God has not left us alone in building upon our faith, we have the Bible, we have the Christian community, and what Jude points out here is that we have the Holy Spirit. Praying in accordance with the Holy Spirit as we are also living in accordance with the Spirit, helps to direct our attitudes and efforts not only in our own edification, but that of others as well.


    Stay in God's Love

    Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

    What does it mean to keep yourselves in the love of God, and how does one do it? And doesn't this imply that God's love in conditional. I say yes, God's love is conditional. For the Bible says that the grace of God, as in the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life, is conditioned upon faith in Christ, as it is written, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36

    Thus to keep yourselves is the love of God simply means to continue in the faith. For "he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." Col 1:22,23 "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."Col 2:6,7 And John writes, "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming."1John 2:28

    Our perspective is on the future - on the day when we will experience the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ on the judgement day.


    Have Compassion on Some

    Jude 1:22  And on some have compassion, making a distinction;

    The Christian is not only concerned for his own salvation, but for the salvation of others as well. But there may be distinct difference as to how to best approach different kinds of people with the gospel message.

    Some can be approached gently, as Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matt 11:29,30


    Grab Others from the Fire

    Jude 1:23 "but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh."

    These others need a hard message - a message of hell fire - like when Jesus said, "if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire."Mat 18:9 When Paul speaks of dealing with the sinful "Christian" of 1Cor 5:5 saying, "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." For some you need to express a great deal of contempt for their sinful lifestyle so as to impart the fear of God - a precursor to saving faith.


    Kept from Stumbling

    Jude 1:24  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy

    "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1Cor 10:13

    There's cooperation involved in achieving these ends of being kept from stumbling and being blameless in his sight. For example Paul says, "this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ" Php 1:9,10, thus making blamelessness a function of discernment and obedience.

    But for those cooperating he says confidently, "He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1Cor 1:8

    So "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Php 2:12,13

    And now "May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 1Th 3:13


    God is Wise

    Jude 1:25  To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

    God saves us from sin - both from the guilt of sin and later from its presence. And there is nothing else which can offer such salvation.

    And where can we find wisdom? God is the only source of wisdom. And in particular the only source of wisdom when it comes to issues of salvation from sin.

    And thus to God we Christians attribute ultimate glory and majesty, dominion and power. For all those who claim earthly dominion and power and whom the world glorifies will be found to be insignificant, humbled and even humiliated in the presence of God.


    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


    Jun 06,2013