INTRO: Aside from a single verse which one may hear quoted occasionally, the little book of Jude is hardly ever mentioned among us. The single verse to which I refer, of course, is v. 3. There are not many commentaries of any note available on this little book. I suppose that most have relegated it to the ranks of the incidental or unimportant. But as much as any other letter in the New Testament, perhaps even more, is the urgency this letter manifests as its author warns Christians of the subversive activities of some who have begun to espouse doctrines foreign to the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. In this little letter you will hear the contrasts between the beloved and the ungodly.
I THE CRITICAL VERSE 3
A. An intended letter versus an urgent letter
1. Jude had apparently intended to write a letter of the common salvation
2. but circumstances had changed such that urgency was needed - the word needful is a strong word of urgency
B. The common salvation...
1. certainly not common in the sense of average, generic, unimportant
2. common in the sense it was the same for all - Acts 10:34,34
C. ...the faith which was once delivered to the saints
1. the faith here is used in an objective sense - body of truth - Eph 4:5
2. once delivered is once, and for all time - 2 Tim 2:2
3. earnestly contend indicates struggle
4. thus, the one faith has to be defended against innovation
5. this is very much the point of Judes letter to godly people - us!
II THE PROBLEM STATED - 1:4
A. Sneaky false teachers creeping in among the brethren
1. they have settled in stealthily (the Greek word)
2. they have not made known their intention to teach error
3. Mt 7:13 - false teachers want to win your confidence, to deceive
B. What were these false teachers teaching?
1. they were apparently teaching a libertine way of life - sensual - that Gods grace permitted one to live and do as he pleased
2. they were apparently teaching error about God
3. they were apparently teaching error about Jesus
C. At 1:16 Jude describes them further
1. they are grumblers, complainers (blaming fate or others)
2. they walk after their own lusts - they are going to do as they please
3. they talk big - want to impress with their mouths - great swelling words
4. they are attracted to rich, powerful, influential people ... for advantage
D. Such ungodly people are ordained to this condemnation
1. and Jude gives Biblical illustrations of others who have rebelled
2. what was their fate? destroyed (v. 5) - reserved in everlasting chains (v. 6) - suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (v. 7)
3. bottom line? false teachers are consigned to eternal condemnation
III TO THE BELOVED?
A. They are to build themselves up (v. 20a)
1. the faith to which he earlier referred is to be the foundation of building
2. it is saints who do not continue to apply themselves to the word who are susceptible to the subversions of false teachers!
B. They are to pray (v. 20b)
1. prayerlessness affects devotion dramatically - out of sight, out of mind
2. I wonder if Jas 1:5 may be one subject of their prayers?
C. They are to keep themselves in the love of God (v. 21)
1. notice that Jude taught personal responsibility as critical to faithfulness
2. the mercy of the Lord can rightly be expected by disciples who understand that they have an active role in remaining in the grace and love of God!
D. They are to attempt to rescue any who may have begun to err (vv. 22,23)
1. their attitude must be compassion with personal concern
2. they must hate the sin into which brethren are being influenced
CLOSE: As I think about Judes sense of urgency, I have to wonder if we have not become far too complacent about moral and religious error. Have we become too accepting of behavior of Christians who walk after their own lusts? I am very afraid we have.
Cecil A. Hutson
16 May 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)