Summary: The once for all delivered faith must be kept and contended for if the church is to remain pure and pleasing to God. Jude shows the way.
Jude – Defending the Faith
What would you agonize over? What would you fight for with all the resources at your disposal? Today’s study is about doing just that.
This little letter of Jude falls in order as the next to last book in our New Testaments. It has a singular focus although it approaches this focus from several angles. Jude’s message is a warning and an encouragement for these early Christians who were facing false teachers.
Let’s just read the letter together and then take a deeper look at some of the contents.
Note his encouraging introduction in verses 1-2.
Jude likes groupings of three – (called, loved, and kept), (Mercy, peace, and love). This writer seems to be the half brother of Jesus. Seven men bear the name Jude or Judas in the New Testament, (1) An ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:30); (2) The betrayer (Mark 3:19); (3) Thaddeus, one of the 12 Apostles (Luke 6:16; John 14:22; Acts 1:13); (4) A Galilean insurrectionist (Acts 5:37); (5) A native of Damascus (Acts 9:11); (6) A prophet chosen to verify the message of the Jerusalem Counsel (Acts 15:22-27, 32); (7) The brother of James, and Â½ brother of Jesus (Mat 13:55, Mark 6:3) mentioned as one of the sons of Joseph and Mary.
Verse three is the key verse that introduces his purpose in writing.
He urges the faithful who share a common salvation to fight for it. This verse tells us some important things about our faith:
1. The Christian salvation is something we share in common. God draws all the saved into the same family. We become brothers and sisters in Christ. We are given the same hope and share the same mercy, grace and peace. God calls us back to himself as one body in Christ, where there is oneness unlike anything this world has to offer. Gal. 3: 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
2. The faith has once for all been delivered to us. I heard this verse a lot growing up. We were taught correctly that this verse meant that no new revelation should be expected by us. God has given us all we need and preserved this message for us in the scriptures. Jesus Christ is God’s final word! No new messiahs will come. There are no new ages or new dispensations, or new gospels, or new salvation plans on the horizon that will come before the judgment. In other words: these are the last days. We are living in them now. Hold up your Bibles if you have one. If you don’t have a Bible with you, you should. The message within these pages is all we need for life and godliness in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit within us is all we need for empowerment to keep the message of this book. The blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins, to save us from our sins and deliver us and redeem us for God, is the only blood we need to be made clean and holy before God. Nothing else will do and nothing else is coming that will improve on this. There is no better book than the Bible to give us direction and instruct us in the way of eternal life! There is no way to improve on it. Changing it only messes it up. God’s final word is not to be changed; it has been given to change you and me. We can’t improve on the faith, but we can sure be improved by it! This faith, once for all delivered is more powerful than the world! 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.