Summary: Jude gives us a strategy for dealing with false teachers.
CONTEND FOR THE FAITH
Part 2: Know Your Strategy
Text: Jude 17 – 25
· Read the story of Joe
The Story of Joe
Joe is a new Christian. Last month, he and his family went to Sunday morning services at First Church. As he listened to the message, Joe became increasingly aware of his sinful condition and of his need for salvation. When it came time for the invitation, Joe realized that what he had been taught as a boy was true, and that he needed to be saved. He walked down the aisle, knelt at the altar, and asked Jesus to forgive him for his sinful lifestyle. His family rejoiced as Joe stood up, now a new creation in Christ.
But last weekend, two young men appeared at Joe’s door. They wanted to talk to Joe about the Bible, and about his relationship with God. Eager to discuss his new-found relationship with Christ, Joe invited them in. For the better part of two hours, these young men discussed things that Joe had never heard preached in church. They pointed to verses in a Bible that was different than the one Joe used, and also referenced other writings that Joe was unfamiliar with. Joe was becoming more and more confused. These men seemed sincere, and they “looked” like nice people.
Finally, as they began to leave, they asked Joe to attend their place of worship. Joe was hesitant at first, but his curiosity was peaked, and he wanted to hear more, so he agreed. Joe gave them a donation so that they could continue their work, and accepted several magazines and brochures so that he could study them himself.
Today, Joe has shunned the church were he first made his commitment to Christ. He has gotten increasingly involved with this new group, and is attending training classes so that he too can go door to door and share the news.
What would you do if you were a Christian and a friend of Joe’s?
· Review main theme of Jude: A warning about false teachers and advice about how to respond to them. (vv. 3, 4)
· False teachers were guilty of two things: teaching that it was ok to live a sinful lifestyle and still be a Christian, and teaching that Jesus was only a man
· Last time, know your enemy; this time, know your strategy
· We need to see how these first-century Christians were told to respond to these false teachers
A. What should we think? (vv. 17 – 19)
1. These believers were warned about false teachers. (v. 17)
2. This was not a new phenomenon
o Matthew 7:15 – 17 (Spoken late 20’s – early 30’s AD)
o Acts 20:28 – 31 (Paul warns the elders from Ephesus, 60’s AD)
o 2 Peter 2:1 – 3 (60’s AD)
o 1 John 4:1 – 3 (90 AD – still a problem after Jude’s writing)
o Mixing Christianity with witchcraft and occult; excusing homosexuality, abortion, and bigotry; “name-it-and-claim-it”; prosperity preaching; cults
4. People like this are clearly not of God (vv. 18, 19)
o Walk after the flesh
o Cause divisions
B. What should be our response? (vv. 20, 21)
Greek gives four participles that tell us what we should be doing:
1. building – growing spiritually through study and application of Scripture
o How can we know if teaching is unscriptural if we do not know the Word?
o 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
o 2 Peter 1:5 – 8
2. praying – praying under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit, for yourself and for others
o Ephesians 6:13 – 18
3. keeping – living in faith and obedience to God
o This does not mean that our salvation depends upon our own effort, but rather that we should remain faithful to God.
o Our lives should serve as an example of the lifestyle that God wants us to live, and not the lifestyle of false teachers.
§ “Sinneth” = continues to live a lifestyle of sin (NIV – “keeps on sinning”)
4. looking – expecting Christ to return at any moment
o If we truly believe this, we will live like it, and we will avoid and warn others not to fall prey to false doctrine
o 1 John 3:2, 3
C. What should our mission be? (vv. 22, 23)
After safeguarding ourselves against false teaching, we need to focus on others.
Jude mentions three groups of people:
1. some = possibly refers to new and immature Christians that can be easily swayed by false doctrines
o More experienced and mature Christians should have compassion upon these believers and try to correct them