Summary: Eight things to keep you straight.
“Beloved, I was going to write about our common salvation, but it’s necessary that I urge you to contend earnestly for the purity of the faith that was delivered to us. False teacher have sneaked into our church. They claim they live by grace, but their sexual lewdness has produced false doctrine. They deny the Lord Jesus is God” (vv. 3 -4, ELT).
1. Who wrote?
a. Some claim a brother of James, the half-brother of Jesus (Matt. 13:55). The author is Jesus’ half-brother.
b. Some claim a brother of the apostle James (v. 1).
c. Some claim the other apostle named Judas, “not Iscariot” (John 14:22), had a brother named James (Acts 1:13). Because he was linked with Judas Iscariot, he changed his name to Lebbaeus Thaddaeus. After 30 years, he went back to his Latin named, Jude. Jerome, an early church fathers called him Trinomious, the man with three names.
2. Because Jude was identified with Iscariot, he writes with fire against any other betrayer of Jesus.
3. Reminds of three in the Old Testament who were judged, “Having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are . . . suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (v. 7).
a. Israel in the wilderness, “The Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt” (v. 5). They danced naked before a bronze calf (Ex. 2:1-28). Idolatry and adultery.
b. Angels who kept not their place. “The sons of God took the daughters of men” (Gen. 6:4). They were judged in Tarsus (worse than Gehenna). “Reserved in everlasting chains . . . unto the judgment of the great day” (v. 6).
c. Sodom and Gomorrah, judged for their sin of homosexuality (Gen. 19:5). Jude describes their fascination with sin as as “strange flesh.”
B. 12 DESCRIPTIONS OF FALSE TEACHERS
“These filthy men claim authority from their dreams, reject all authority, and scoff at supernatural things. They curse everything they do not know, and like animals that can’t think, they do what their physical bodies tell them to do, so they are destroying themselves. They are like cancers at the communion table, only attempting to get a good meal. They are like pretty clouds to see, but give no refreshing rain. They are like dead trees without any life-giving fruit. Their dead roots should be dug up. They are like useless black stars, dammed forever to darkness” (vv. 8, 10, 12-13, ELT).
1. Filthy dreamers, (v.8) immoral plans.
2. Defile the flesh, (v.8) sin activities.
3. Reject authority, (v.8) rebellions.
4. Speak evil of authorities, (v.8) speak insurrection.
5. Brute beast, (v.10) follow fleshly instinct.
6. The way of Cain, (v.11) money-driven (things).
7. Spots in love feast, (v.12) infection in church.
8. Serving only themselves, (v.12) selfish.
9. Clouds without water, (v.12) empty: farmer’s disappointment.
10. Late autumn trees, (v.12) no fruit.
11. Raging waves, (v.13) lack of peace.
12. Wandering stars, (v.13) no light or knowledge.
C. 8 THINGS TO KEEP YOU STRAIGHT
“Dear friends, build up each other in the faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep yourself in God’s mercy. Be confident of God’s love, and make a difference in the lives of others. Win souls by snatching them from the flame of judgment. Be merciful to others, while you hate the sins that contaminate them. Remember, God is able to keep you from falling and will bring you into His presence” (vv. 20-24, ELT).
1. The Word. “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith” (v.20).
2. Prayer. “Praying in the Holy Spirit” (v.20).
3. Fellowship. “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (v.21).
4. Hope. “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (v.21).
5. Ministry to others. “And on some have compassion, making a distinction” (v.22).
6. Evangelism. “But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (v.23).
7. Separation from sin. “Hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (v.23).
8. Begins and ends with assurance of salvation. “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation” (v.3). “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (v. 24).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.