Summary: A sermon examining the proper response to the truths found in the Book of Jude.
Jude: A Letter For The Last Days
THE INSTRUCTION IN JUDE'S LETTER
At our house we have a drawer that contains a vast array of instruction manuals. I am not really sure why we have this collection because I hardly (if ever) take the time to read them. Like most men I have a tendency to buy something, open the box, throw the instruction manual on the floor and immediately begin assembly. Usually I find myself taking the item apart and putting it back together 2 or 3 times, usually there are extra screws, bolts and washers when I get done... but I get it done!
I am slowly learning that it is much more beneficial to actually take your time, read the instructions and do things right the first time. Though it may be time consuming and frustrating, those detailed instructions were written by the people who created that product and whether I want to admit it or not, they know more about it than I do.
It would benefit us to learn a similar lesson concerning our spiritual lives. God has given us a book that tells us all that we need to know about living a life that would be pleasing to Him. But we have a tendency to ignore God's detailed instructions and do things our way. When we do this we generally find ourselves in trouble and dealing with the consequences of our actions. If we seek to be successful in the Christian life, it is imperative that we read God's Word, listen to what He says and faithfully obey His instructions.
Jude is a letter that is very beneficial, especially considering the days in which we live. Originally Jude planned to write about the "common salvation" of the Brethren, but God changed his direction. God wanted us to know the reality and the danger of apostasy in the Church. We need to know how to identify the deceivers who have crept in to the church unnoticed. And we must understand the importance of standing against these apostates.
Jude sounds a warning of danger and he issues a call to action. He calls on the Brethren to "earnestly contend for the faith". This is a military combat term picturing hand-to-hand combat. There is an intense battle in these days of apostasy but God does not send us into battle alone. He equips us for victory, and ultimately He is the One who ensures our victory.
Over the last few months we have walked verse by verse through this power packed epistle. We began by considering The Motivation For Jude's Letter, then we moved on to The Illustration In Jude's Letter, after that we saw The Explanation and The Admonition In Jude's Letter. Tonight we reach the conclusion of this book and in doing so we will consider "The Instruction In Jude's Letter".
In these verses we will see the fact that we must Labor For The Lord, we must Lean Upon the Lord and we must Love The Lord. The truths that are revealed in this passage will help us to be ready and able to "contend for the faith". Let's begin by considering how important it is that you:
A. LABOR FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD
Jude begins this letter by describing himself as "a servant of Jesus Christ". The word there is "doulos" which means a bond slave. We, like Jude are to be servants of Jesus Christ. We are to live for Him and in order to do that successfully we are to labor for Him. Our focus should always be Kingdom work.
- As we consider the fact that we must labor for the Lord we will see that:
1. THIS INVOLVES DISCIPLESHIP - v20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith
In verse 19 Jude describes the apostates as causing division in the church. Their aim was and is to tear down the true faith. But the true believers are to "build each other up". It is vital that we build on the proper foundation. Building on our most Holy faith means to build upon Christ who is the object of our faith.
Peter says "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house" (1 Peter 2:5) As the stones make up a building, we make up the Church. This illustrates the importance of working together. Discipleship is the activity of helping others be disciples. This involves pointing people to Jesus through evangelism, and it involves helping those who have been converted to grow in their faith.
Apostates are out for themselves and will tear down others (in the church) if necessary to get what they want. The true Christian is to be about building up others, not tearing things down.
- Laboring for the Lord involves discipleship and in verses 22-23 we will see that: