Summary: Jude is a book that many overlook and ignore, but it has a message for the church of today.
JUDE: An Introduction
A Study of the Letter of Jude
Teaching Lesson 1
May 9, 2012
The Book of Jude… how many of you have read it? How many of you have ever studied it?
Tonight we are going to look at an overview of the book of Jude and over the next several weeks we are going to look at each verse in this very short, but powerful letter!
Have you ever wondered about how Satan can get into a church? I believe Satan attempts to sneak in ‘secret agents’ into the church to confuse the fellowship and poison the unity and ultimately crush the witness of the believers!
Sometimes these agents KNOW that is what they are doing and then other times Satan deceives believers into actions that are contrary to a godly and close fellowship… and they are used by Satan to destroy the fellowship that God has built.
With that being said, Jude is a book/letter that contains a greeting or salutation with Jude’s reasons for writing the letter in the 1st place (v.4)
Then Jude gives 3 examples of punitive justice from God, which we will get into later...
but Following this line of thought Jude brings out the wicked ways of certain false teachers within the church and he wanted the true believers to SEE them and know that they were in harm’s way;
after this comes a concluding portion in which disciples are warned and exhorted, and the whole closes with one of the most sublime doxologies of the Bible.
There are passages within this short book that can be found nowhere else in the Bible. We will look at how God is calling us to live and the witness we are called to become… and we will see what God’s word has to say about it…
Before we dive into these verses… I want to give you a brief summary of the Book of Jude…
Author: Jude, the brother of James. (v.1)
Scripture points out that Jesus had brothers named both Judas (Jude) and James (Mark 6:3)
Scholars speculate that Jude uses his brother’s name because he had not been active in the early church, but James had been. This gives him credibility with the readers.
But now Jude has surrendered to Christ as Savior and is serving God through spreading the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Who Letter Was Written To: To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ… (v.1)
What we do know: Jude was writing to a group of believers who were facing difficulty within their fellowship, this letter was DEFINITELY for believers… those who were saved!
What we do NOT know: Although we know he was writing to believers, it is not known what group he was writing to… theologians and scholars have speculated that the letter from Jude and 2 Peter were to the same, if not very similar churches.
It seems as if to indicate that Jude was writing to a group of Jewish believers. But the exact destination and people is NOT known.
Why Letter Was Written: 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… (v.3)
To exhort or encourage this unknown group of believers and to challenge them as well to ‘contend earnestly’ [to battle for] the faith!
Now the dating of this letter is not an issue that can be known for sure, but it is believed that Jude was either the basis for 2 Peter or they were both authored around the same time and that the approx date for writing was sometime between AD67-70.
WHY ARE WE STUDYING THIS LETTER?
Jude is a book of the Bible… a letter inspired through the pen of Jude the brother of James by the Holy Spirit, and yet how many sermons or how many Bible studies have YOU done in Jude?
Tonight we are going to begin a study of this somewhat unknown book of the Bible and we are going to learn… verse by verse… of what God desires us to know.
Some of it is going to make you very uncomfortable, but let us pray that our study in Jude will open our eyes to the desire of our Savior and that we will submit ourselves to His plan and desire for our lives…
OUTLINE FOR STUDY:
A Strong Warning Against Nominal (Casual) Christianity (v.1-25)
Purpose of letter (v.1-3)
Don’t be a Destroyer (v.4-19)
Be a Builder (v.20-25)
What is NOMINAL Christianity?
Nominal is defined as acting or being something in name only, but not in reality… another way of saying Nominal Christianity is a ‘so called’ Christian.
This is a believer who makes a public profession of faith and outwardly attempts to meet all the criteria required to LOOK like a Christian but in reality they have NEVER been changed by the blood of Christ and are lost and without God.