Summary: Jude's first desire was to write a friendly letter to encourage the church, but instead God pressed on Him to write one of conviction and dire warning to all. As Christians, we must be willing to use this example to share God's word truthfully as well!
Jude’s Warning (Part 1)
- Tonight we will begin to examine the book of Jude
- Show of hands … be honest, who has ever read this book before?
- It is unknown who this letter is written to
--Probably written around 70 to 80 AD, to an early church for sure
-- With its references to OT people and places this could be to Christian Jews
-- Again, it is written to warn of false teachers and encourage believers
- Not much is known about the author, Jude
-- Some think there are a few clues as to who he could’ve been:
• A leader in the early church in Jerusalem
• An apostle of Jesus
• Possibly a half-brother of Jesus
- Most scholars believe that he is probably a half-brother of Jesus … why?
-- An apostle would’ve clearly indicated his authority as he wrote this letter
-- In v17 he also refers to the Apostles (shows he is not part of their group)
- He identifies as a brother of James (v1), who was half-brother of Jesus
-- Note: This is not Jude the Apostle however (from Luke 6:16)
-- RE: Jude the Apostle was the son of James (Acts 1:13)
-- IMP: He did not believe that Jesus was Messiah until after the resurrection
- But now, he writes with a heart of love of believers to strengthen them
-- We will take this apart in a few sessions for clarity and opportunity to digest
- Read Jude 1-24
∆ Point 1 – An Eager Greeting
- What I want to ensure we notice here is the life change that Jude goes through
-- As the half-brother of Jesus, he was an unbeliever but now believes fully
-- Now he not only believes … but he is a defender of the faith (purpose of ltr)
- How does this life change happen?
-- Even deeper: How does someone now believe their sibling is God?
-- He comes back from the dead and proves all that He has taught!
- But even more than that, notice the position Jude takes … “servant” (v1)
- The readers are clearly identified as those who are called who God loves
-- These would be a reference to those Jewish Christians living in Palestine
-- APP: They are “kept” by Christ (protected, assured, promised a future)
- But, notice how Jude phrases the promises these people have:
• Called (this references the past)
• Loved (this references what is presently happening)
• Kept (assures those who are loved of a future)
- We can read this, in God’s word, and once again be reminded of our security
-- We too have the same assurance in Christ, promised of eternity forever
-- 1 Thess 5:23, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- APP: When we read a promise like that, how can we not rejoice?
- TRANS: But more than that … how can we not want to know more?
∆ Point 2 – Jude’s calling to be a Defender of the Faith
- Jude’s preference was to write a familiar, family friendly type of letter
-- He even wishes everyone mercy, peace, and love (v2) in his opening
-- Plus, based on their salvation, they (we) have lots to rejoice in (v3)
- But with circumstances what they are, he felt pressed to be more corrective
-- APP: This is why this letter (and others) apply so heavily to today
- The faithful are urged to “contend for the faith”; to be defenders
-- Because of the false teachers and false leaders who’ve slipped in among them
-- The faith has been entrusted to the Saints, but misused by many (v4)
- This issue continues to press on us today, and shows us where we must be
-- The faith refers to those in the Body, those who’ve willingly submitted to Christ
- Yet “ungodly people” who pervert grace, and deny Christ are among us
-- Let’s look at the sins that Jude charges these people with
1) “… they change the grace of our God into a license for immorality”
-- These were ones also referred to as the Gnostics
-- They charged that God created the Spirit (good), but not the flesh (bad)
-- This means that while secure in the Spirit, the flesh was a playground
-- This means they could do whatever they wanted, and indulge fully in sin
-- Result: Immorality, perversion of grace, and rampant love of lust
2) “… denying Jesus Christ is our only Sovereign and Lord”
-- False teachers may have supposed Jesus couldn’t be God in the flesh