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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

January 8, 2014

Jude 17-25

  1. Introduction: It has been a couple of weeks, so let’s recap. Jude had given a stern warning to the false teachers. Jude shares with his audience the main reasons they should avoid these false teachers and contend for the faith. Jude describes these false teachers in several ways to highlight the falsity of their message. Jude called them shepherds who feed only themselves, clouds without rain, wild waves, wandering stars, and prophets who followed the patterns of false prophets from times gone by. Jude declared that these false teachers were grumblers, faultfinders and men who used flattery to take advantage of people. Jude encouraged the true believers to not fall for the false teachings and to contend for the faith.

  2. Verses 17-19. Jude offers encouragement and reminds the child of God of the words of the Apostles about the Lord Jesus. Jude is saying this is not something that is unexpected, because it was predicted. The Apostles plainly said there would be "mockers" in the end times that would live to satisfy their ungodly lusts. (See 2 Pet. 3:3, Acts 20:29-31, Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1, 4:3, 1 John 4:1, 5-6). These false teachers would separate themselves from God's people and from truth and mislead many. The false teachers would thrive on division. Their goal was to separate people from the truth so that they could control others for their personal gain. Jude calls apostates "sensual or carnal" meaning they are controlled by their carnal natures. These ungodly men think themselves to be spiritually superior to ordinary men. Jude is saying these men present themselves as being great spiritual leaders, but they in truth are men driven by sensual lusts. Think of the scandals associated with the modern televangelists who pawn off their false teaching on the unsuspecting with the goal to line their pockets. These false teachers do not have the Spirit of God, but rather operate from flesh. They are flesh driven and not Spirit-Led.

  3. Verses 20-21. Jude wants to make sure his audience sees themselves in juxtaposition to the false teachers. The contrast between the false apostates and those who believe and serve God are without comparison. One is empty, ungodly and devoid any glimmer of anything spiritual or worthwhile. The other is a humble child of God, who has received the very spirit of God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These false teachers parade on their fancy stages with much fanfare offering those who follow them a seemingly higher spirituality than those who are so simpleminded that they have a childlike faith accept God's word. While the false teachers are telling their followers to follow the latest church gimmick, Jude is encouraging the Disciples of Christ to continue doing the things that cause believers to Grow. The true and godly believer seeks to grow in the Lord and build their lives believing and obeying God word. They are humble people of prayer, realizing their dependency on God, and are ever seeking God's help and guidance for their lives. These godly saints by their faithfulness and obedience keep themselves in the love of God, seeking His mercy and salvation through the work of Jesus Christ. Instead of being boastful like the false teachers they are humble in nature anxiously anticipating the return of the Lord Jesus Christ making sure they are ready when he comes.

  4. Verses 22-23. Jude continues his encouragement by sharing that the believers should be merciful to those who doubt. They are not to be cruel to unbelievers, but generous and kind. This is a way for them to show what the true faith is all about. The believers are also to actively share the gospel understanding that the gospel has the power to save. Jude called this snatching others from the fire. The gospel can save people from so much that it is imperative that we be willing messengers of the faith to all we know. Jude also reminds his audience that we are to show mercy at all times mixed with fear. This means we are to show mercy understanding that we are in need of mercy as well. Finally he states that we are to hate sin. He states that we should “hate even the clothes stained by corrupted flesh” meaning that we should hate the very things that even come close to being sinful.

  5. Verses 24-25. Jude closes this letter with a word of comfort reminding that God would keep the believers until the return of Christ. This is really a word of comfort that God would keep them and present them as his children on the day of judgment, versus the false teachers who would be judge on that day.

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