Text: Jude 20-21, Title: Prescription for Defense, Date/Place: LSCC, 10/1/06, AM
A. Opening illustration: All the doctors giving Junior the run around while this cancer is eating him up. Can you imagine a doctor giving you a 3-hour discourse on the particular disease that you have, and then dismissing you without giving you some meds or instructions about what to do? The answer from Who Wants to Be A Millionaire about what class is required for med students “Advanced Scribbling.”
B. Background to passage: After all this preaching about these false teachers and their identifying sins, Jude finally takes a few lines to tell the believers what to do and how to contend for the faith. Note the great Trinitarian reference in this verb. In this passage, it looks like there are four short imperatives, and in one sense there are. But if you look closely at the verb forms, which are well reflected in most of the good translations, (by the way, let’s talk briefly on bible translations: if you are going to really study the bible, you need a good formal equivalence, word-to-word, literal translation—KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV) you will notice that there is only one imperative verb, and three participles. So Jude is really saying that if you want to contend for the faith earnestly, you must keep yourself (explicit in the text) in the love of God. This word means to “be careful with” or “guard.” Remind them of the balance between you keeping, and God keeping, both expressed in this epistle. It is a locative of sphere; meaning keeping yourself within the sphere of the love of God. There is a path of blessing in which the visible love of God is most readily seen. We know that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ. And then he gives them three ways to do it.
C. Main thought: So, this morning, we will look at the three ways God prescribes for these believers to prepare to contend earnestly for the faith.
A. Work toward edification (v. 20)
1. Jude says to build yourself up upon the “most holy faith.” The word he uses can be translated “to build further” indicating the translation of “on” is probably correct, meaning that he is speaking in terms of “the most holy faith” being a foundation that has been laid. Again this “faith” is the body of doctrine once handed down to the saints. Jude says to focus on your spiritual maturity and grow. Be about the business of making sure that your faith is not stagnating. Put yourself on the path that leads to sanctification and growth in holiness. Don’t simply be content with being a Christian, strive to be a disciple. Have a plan.
2. Heb 5:12-14, Eph 4:16, 1 Pet 2:2, 5, 1 John 2:14,
3. Illustration: “If you don’t have a plan, you are probably not thinking about it much.” –Jeff Crabtree, In a typical week, during how many days, if any, would you read the Bible, not including the time you are at church? Daily, 13%; 3 times a week, 32%; not at all, 43%. –Barna Research, Bible memorization-see below, The Dead Sea is so salty that it contains no fish or plant life. What accounts for this unusual condition? There are absolutely no outlets! A great volume of water pours into this area, but nothing flows out. Many inlets plus no outlets equal a dead sea.