Summary: This is the first message in an expositional series through the book of Jude about preparing to deal with false teachers in the church.
Text: Jude 1-2, Title: Preparing for a Fight, Date/Place: LSCC, 8/27/06, AM
A. Opening illustration: Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a bird. A number of months passed, then several years, and still no painting was brought to the palace. Finally the emperor became so exasperated that he went to the artist’s home to demand an explanation. Instead of making excuses, the artist placed a blank canvas on the easel. In less than an hour, he completed a painting that was to become a brilliant masterpiece. When the emperor asked the reason for the delay, the artist showed him armloads of drawings of feathers, wings, heads, and feet. Then he explained that all of this research and study had been necessary before he could complete the painting.
B. Background to passage: This epistle was probably written after the death of Peter in 68, but before the destruction of the temple in 70. The purpose for writing was to combat false teachers that were presently in the church. Because truth is crucial to the Christian life. And the most difficult battles for truth, come not from attacks against the church from the outside, but from those that bend the truth on the inside. And the consequences are far more devastating to the kingdom. This is a kingdom battle!
C. Main thought: And our text gives us Jude’s encouragement in preparation for the battle
A. Gotta have a leader (v. 1)
1. The name Jude or Judas is mentioned of at least six men in the NT. This Jude is identified as the brother of James, not the apostle, but who was the pastor of the Jerusalem church, and the half-brother of Jesus. He is the only NT writer that identifies himself by another person (other than Jesus). But Jude doesn’t base his authority on his physical relationship to Jesus, but upon his spiritual one. He says that he is a doulos. This term is used to describe a relationship of absolute dependence, total commitment, and ownership toward a kurios. This implies unconditional surrender and resolve to be in absolute submission to one’s master. This title was also one of authority, and also one that emphasized the deity of Jesus Christ, substituting Him in for the LORD in the OT.
2. Matt 20:25, 1 Pet 5:3, Deut 34:5,
3. Illustration: The Muslim on MPBN that considered his life a service to Islam. If I was a writer, a journalist, a businessman, Poem about submission, see below, Dr Bennett said that the one thing that your people need more than anything is your personal holiness. In a church I once attended, there was a man of tremendous faith. His wife is an alcoholic, His daughter has psychological problems. He was often poor in health. Yet, week after week, he never complained. He always smiled and asked me how I was doing. He faithfully brought to church a young blind man who had no transportation. He always sat with the blind man, helping him sing the hymns by saying the words into his ear. That man was a ‘Christian leader’,
4. A physical relationship to nothing (not a person, a church, or a family) will not benefit you in terms of getting points with God in heaven. Becoming a bondslave to Jesus does. Is Jesus a master to you, or more like a friend whose advice you can take or leave? Is there anything that you would not do, would not endure, would not receive if Christ asked of you? This is the standard for NT leadership: servanthood. But not only for leadership, for discipleship. If you are following Jesus, you must see yourself as a servant. Ask the question: How does my job serve Jesus? How does my recreation serve Jesus? In looking for leadership in the local church this is the number one qualification: closeness to Jesus. It doesn’t matter what the job is, nor the skills of the individual, if one is not wholly committed to Christ.
B. Gotta have some soldiers (v. 1)
1. The next thing that we see in Jude’s greeting is the recipients of the letter. He labels the people to whom he writes as believers in three ways. He is doing this to shore up their faith for a battle for truth. He reminds them who they are in Christ, so that they may remember that in the heat of battle. He places the word for “called” at the end of the sentence for emphasis. This is the calling of God on every Christian’s life at salvation, where God opened your eyes to your need and His provision. It carries the connotation of selection or chosenness. Secondly, Jude says that we are beloved of God. “That’s not what my bible says!” Explain that it should be beloved, agapao. Perfect passive participle indicating a permanent past action with lasting results. The ppp is also used with the third quality of the Christian soldier. We are being kept by Jesus Christ; permanently and infallibly.