Summary: In today's lesson I simply want to capture a bird's-eye view of this extremely important letter.
About a year ago I read a book by pastor and author John MacArthur. The title of the book is The Truth War, and its sub-title is Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception. As you can tell from the title and sub-title, Dr. MacArthur argues that we live in an age of deception, and we are engaged in a war for the truth.
I found this book compelling. I was challenged to learn about the deception that confronts us on a daily basis, and that we are called to confront deception with the truth of God’s Word.
Dr. MacArthur’s book is essentially an exposition of the first few verses of the Letter of Jude. So, I resolved that I wanted to preach on this marvelous book.
Jude is one of the most neglected books of the New Testament. In fact, it is difficult to find many commentaries on Jude.
It is the fourth shortest letter in the New Testament (after 2 John, 3 John, and Philemon). But it packs a powerful punch. It is extremely relevant for today, and we would do well to study this marvelous piece of God’s revelation.
So, today, I would like to read the entire letter of Jude to you as we begin studying this wonderful letter. Let’s read Jude 1-25:
1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.