Monthly Archives: August 2015

Jude 11-16

Title: Chivalry isn’t Dead!

Text: Jude 11-16

Introduction: We’re in Jude this morning…

I’m reading a book entitled, The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Story of William Marshal, The Power Behind Five English Thrones, by Thomas Asbridge. It’s a wonderful book about a Knight in the 12th Century. It’s a story like Braveheart or King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. In this story William is sent from his home in England to live with his uncle, who will educate him and teach him the art of military warfare at his estate, Tancarville. William grows up from age 12-20 in his uncle’s home, watching and learning from the knights in his uncle’s service. War breaks out and William is Knighted into service – a tremendous honor for the 20 year old. As the men prepare for battle, William is a bit over anxious. He moves out of rank and puts himself ahead of the other knights – men who outrank him. This upset the Chamberlain, who after the battle releases William. He has nowhere to go. He can’t go home. Home belongs to his eldest brother. He is forced to grow up and quickly.

In that day, there were contests or tournaments for Knights. You’ve probably seen them played out in movies where Knights would compete against each other. William hears of a tournament nearby and enters, with the hopes of making a little money and maybe impressing some Lord with his combat skills. Thus, being taken into their home and their retinue. So William enters this tournament and defeats the number one knight. This guy is the Tom Brady or Lebron James of Knights. His name was Philip of Valognes.

The “History” recorded that after William snatched Philip of Valognes’ bridle and dragged him from the field, ‘Philip readily gave his pledge to the Marshal’ and, trusting him, William ‘let him go’. Philip had promised that, when the reckoning came at day’s end, he would settle any ransom or forfeit due, and his word alone was deemed sufficient. Both men shared a deeply ingrained understanding that they had to honour the rules of this game; that by social and cultural convention, any failure to do so would be regarded as shameful. Such a transgression would cause disgrace and a loss of status, not only for the individual, but also for his retinue and kin. In William’s day, the ‘ chevaliers ’ or knights who understood and observed these customs were following the principles of ‘ chevalerie ’ –chivalry. In a literal sense, they knew how horsemen should act. These precepts might be bent, even manipulated, to one’s advantage, but to be seen to break them openly would be to invite scandal and ignominy.

Much in the same manner, there are people in the church who do not live by such a standard – Chivalry: Gallant distinguished behavior. Hard to believe, huh? Jude is warning his readers of just such men (anthropos; v 4) who creep in unnoticed and lead people astray. They are not Chivalrous. They have no honor. They lack character. We pick up in v 11 this morning. Read with me, verses 11-16;

Let’s pray…

I’ve taken the liberty to divide Jude’s passage up into three man sections, focusing on these ungodly leaders:

  1. Three Examples of Ungodly Leaders (11)
  2. Five Characteristics of Ungodly Leaders (12-13)
  3. Three Statements about the Destiny of Ungodly Leaders (14-16)

Transition: Let’s begin with the 1st section where Jude gives us…

I.     Three Examples of Ungodly Leaders: (11)

Exp.: you see the three listed there in the text. Are you familiar with all of these stories?

  1. Cain – was the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, Abel. What was it about Cain that makes him a bad example: Abel was a rancher and Cain was a Farmer; Both brought portions as offerings to the Lord. God received Abel’s offerings; however, Cain’s offering, he did not. Cain was angry and his face was downcast; We’re given a little insight into the understanding of this passage when God, very gently says: “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” So we see anger and maybe jealousy. Why was he angry? We also see someone who was unwilling to even make the attempt to reach God’s standard. He thought the answer lie in getting rid of his brother. I don’t know, maybe then the standard would be lowered?
  2. Balaam – When you first gloss over the story of Balaam, you get a sense that he makes the right decision. He says the right things. However, a deeper look shows duplicity on Balaam’s part. It was like externally he did what was right, but internally he was greedy and selfish; externally he sounded like he wanted to do God’s will, but internally he was self seeking. His actions actually caused the people of Israel to fall into the trap of immorality. Numbers 31.16 gives us a commentary of Moses on this story: 16 Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. His duplicitous deception led Israel into sexual sin.
  3. Korah – He was a leader who incited people to rise up against Moses and Aaron. Moses seems to be so cool here. He basically says ok. We’ll ask God to show us who he has picked to lead. If these men die of old age, then God hasn’t chosen me. If, however, God does something new… 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

app.: These stories reveal the heart of these men, but also what their true action was: they didn’t trust God.

In these men we see anger and jealousy. We see an attitude of rebellion that says I’d rather kill my brother than live up to your standard. We see a leader who is two-faced: displaying an outward appearance of holiness and piety, but on the inside has selfish motives. We see a leader who rises up against the authority God has placed in their midst. We see them remain steadfast in their rebellion, even to death.

  1. It shows that rebellion against the leaders, whom God has put into place, is rebellion against the Lord.
  2. Rebellion, on the part of one individual, hurts others. Dad, your rebellion hurts your family. Mom, your rebellion hurts your kids. Boss, your rebellion hurts your business and your employees. Teacher, your rebellion hurts your students.

Korah didn’t die alone. Numbers 16.31ff: 31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense. Shoogmb! Just like that! Gone.

t.s.: Jude then moves to this section, still focusing in on these ungodly leaders by giving us 5 characteristics..

II.    Five Characteristics of Ungodly Leaders: (12-13)

  1. They are Destructive – rd v 12a; destructive, ship wrecking your faith; all they really care about is themselves. Blemishes; spots in the ocean; could be rocks, reefs, could be a school of fish.

ill.: we saw this a couple of weeks ago at Gulf Shores; amazingly beautiful. – but could be disastrous. 2nd,

  1. They are Disappointing – rd v 12b; I’ve lived this illustration out in my life; the first time I remember hearing it was in college. Dr. Reynolds was talking to us preachers about preaching sermons that were filled with thunder and lightning, but never brought any refreshing rain. Don’t be like that! He chided us. That’s what these leaders do – there is a lot of thunder and lightning, but not rain. #3
  2. They leave you Dissatisfied – rd v 12c; They leave one unsatisfied, malnourished, if you will. They are big, even beautiful trees, but they produce no valuable fruit. 4th,
  3. They are Dangerous – v 13a; the scary thing about foam is, you can’t float in it. The bigger, the deeper the foam in the ocean, the more likely it is that you’re going to drown. Anyone who has ever ridden big waves can tell you that. There’s a 5th characteristic,
  4. They’re Temporary – rd 13b; Shooting stars – a bright light, full of gas, that fades quickly.

t.s.: What’s interesting here is that Jude sets us up for the last section where he makes…

III.   Three Statements about the Destiny of Ungodly Leaders: (14-16)

exp.: v. 13a: for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. I don’t know about you, but that statement isolated and by itself is scary! Here’s what we know:

  1. His Judgment is Set. rd v 14; A date for Judgment against them by God is Set. 1st, this is not a quote from Scripture. It probably comes from 1 Enoch, a pseudopigraphic document. It’s possible these certain ungodly men were familiar. He might just be using their own ammunition against them; however, what he says is still true: We know the Lord is coming again; the Lord comes – I’ve heard this called an historical aorist – meaning you see a past tense verb but give it present or future tense meaning. Tom Schreiner in his New American Commentary on Jude calls it a prophetic perfect. Meaning that the prophet’s intent is what we translate. For his hearers, this would be understood. For us though, we must take the literal and translate it into our understanding. I love this term by Dr. Schreiner – Prophetic Perfect. Defined: a present state from a past action. This is hard for us to grasp with our minds, but God knows who will reject him. He knows who will lead others astray. …the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever for such as these. His judgment is set. You can’t stop it. No power within your grasp can change it.

app.: this says that before Cain rebelled and killed Abel, God knew; that before Balaam rebelled, God knew; that before Korah rebelled, God knew. And before tomorrow comes, God knows.

ill.: This week in my reading I was in Acts 1. His disciples asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel? He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

t.s.: No one knows the day or hour. The point is that there is just such a day and hour. 2ndly,

  1. His Judgment is Sure. rd v 15a; and to execute judgment and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness… We know the day is coming – we also know just what that day will entail. The ungodly will receive their just punishment. That’s our 3rd sub-point…
  2. His Judgment is Right: rd v 15b; to execute judgment and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” they have acted and spoken in an ungodly fashion, deserving the judgment God renders. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I wish some people, who I love dearly would give their lives over to Him. But if they don’t… there is reserved a judgment for them that will be eternal. And God, who is perfect in every way, is perfectly right to lay down the rules and judge us by them. Rd v 16;
    1. They grumble; People who don’t get their way usually grumble;
    2. They are always finding fault; that’s what malcontents are.
  • They follow their own sinful desires; 2 Peter 2.9-10; then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
  1. They are loud-mouthed boasters; this Gk word gives it the flavor of saying: they got big mouths! 2 Peter 2.18 gives us some insight into their boasting; 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. So, their boasting is in their selfish, sinful passions.
  2. Showing favoritism; We don’t talk too much about this, but we should. We need to remember that favoritism toward individuals in the church is wrong. This is a recurring theme in the O.T and we see it taught in the NT, too. Ungodly leaders deserve the judgment of God upon their lives because they disobey him at every turn – using people to get what they want.

Application: These ungodly leaders lack character. When on the battlefield of life, they give their word, but don’t live by it. They don’t want to play by the rules that have been set in place by God. With them there is no honor, no integrity, no truth.

William Marshal trusted Philip of Valognes and released him up his word of promise. William Marshal earned a great wealth in such battles. He lost some, too. But mostly he won. In the losing of battles, William was forced to decide on whether he would keep his word and live up to the standard set by the rules. He did.

His character placed him in a position to defend the queen. He was what we might call the Secret Service today. As the years past, he would serve the royalty of England as a trusted Knight earning the title: The Greatest Knight.

So, what? How does this apply to me?

  1. Stop comparing yourselves to your brothers and sisters. They are not your standard! That was Cain’s problem.
  2. Understand that your actions affect those around you. Contrary to what the world says, your actions really do hurt others. I’ve had this discussion with millennials who believe that you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt others. That is why they buy into gay marriage and adultery if it is through Ashley Madison or some other ‘secret’ way. Listen, be sure your sin will find you out.
  3. God has placed your leadership in place for your protection. You know these men. Ask yourself: are they selfish? Are their motives impure? Do they appear to be jealous or envious? Are they gaining something through their leadership? Are they showing favoritism to others to gain Money? Prestige? More than likely, as you take a close look at your leadership, you’ll see them leading from pure motives and the intent of their heart is for your protection – the protection of the body.
  4. God’s mercy is great. Now is the time to take advantage of it. Now is the time when he warns us: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Here is how you do well
    1. For Christians – if you’re walking in sin – repent.
    2. For non-believers – if you’re feeling convicted of your sin – I offer you Christ.
    3. Church membership – offers you accountability.
    4. Service – is God calling you into his service?
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Filed under Authenticity, Jude, Leadership, Scripture

Jude 8-10

Title: In Dependence

Text: Jude 8-10

Introduction: Start the recording; we started with a simple introduction in v 1-2; then, we were quickly introduced to Jude’s purpose and his warning to the church about False Teachers.

What makes a false teacher so scary? They infiltrate our ranks as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their own self-deception leads them to lead others away like a blind man leading a blind man off of a cliff. They willingly embrace their own destruction because they think they are right. They inject their venom into willing victims who buy their lies. A false teacher is:

  1. Someone able to sneak in Unnoticed (4)
  2. Someone who behaves in an Ungodly fashion (4)
  3. Someone who leads others astray (i.e.: rebel) (5-7)

Think terrorist. How else are they able to set off a bomb in a crowded area and kill so many and wound so many more? They sneak in unnoticed. They look and act like everyone else. Their actions are without a doubt ungodly. And, their leadership is able to tap into a resource of youth and immaturity that leads others astray. Eventually bringing about their destruction and the destruction of others.

Now, I know that isn’t a perfect illustration and doesn’t fit every terrorist. But think about the actions of those who have killed in the US lately… (pause).

Read the text: Jude 8-10;

By attaching these verses with the previous verses, Jude offers us three warnings about False Teachers through their actions:

  1. Independence from the Word of God leads to Spiritual Immorality (8)
  2. Independence from the Authority of God leads to Spiritual Arrogance (9)
  3. Independence from the Spirit of God leads to Spiritual Ignorance (10)

Let’s leave that screen up for a moment for those who want to write them down. You’ll want to note that each point is a verse.

Transition: Let’s begin with this 1st warning…

Independence from the Word of God leads to Spiritual Immorality (8)

exp.: or, you might say: dependence on anything other than the Word of God leads to spiritual immorality. I’m not saying any other source doesn’t matter (Congregational Votes; Prayer)– What I’m saying is that God’s Word must be our standard – you cannot separate your life from God’s Word. If you’re getting information which conflicts with God’s Word – you open the door to Spiritual Immorality. Now Brother Fred, why would you Spiritual Immorality? Answer: Because it’s God’s terminology! He refers to the prostituting of ourselves to gods when we chase after them and reject Him. This is the illustration he uses. rd v 8a; Yet in like manner these people also; he is drawing attention to the previous illustrations;

  1. In the same way; these people (v4), these false teachers rebel
    1. Rebellion due to a lack of trust – like the Hebrew children
    2. Rebellion due to a sense of pride – like the fallen angels
    3. Rebellion due to selfish lusts and desires – like Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities

Rd 8b; relying on their dreams; these guys are dreamers. I see this in two ways: 1. They dream dreams while sleeping and interpret them. Or, 2. They have visions, possibly while inebriated with some aid. This leads them to Jude’s next Triad:

  1. Defile the flesh, – like the behavior of those in Sodom and Gomorrah; This is detestable to the Lord:

Deut. 13.1-5: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

Jeremiah 23.25-32: 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.

Dr. Akin writes: If you choose to live loosely and immorally, lewdly and out there on the moral edge, don’t look to God to justify your foolishness and immaturity. Be honest enough to point your finger at the real enabler: Yourself.

  1. Reject authority;: to despise Lordship; these people don’t like anyone telling them what to do; basically, this is a rejection of the Lordship of Christ.

ill.: John MacArthur has a book entitled: the Gospel According to Jesus. I read it years ago. In it Dr. MacArthur makes an argument against making Jesus your savior and not making him your lord. He says it is impossible have one without the other. Some people actually preach and teach you can do that: instead of Jesus as Savior and Lord, they say you can be saved without surrendering your life to him as Lord. It makes for great debate; however, that is exactly what Jude is saying these people are doing.

  1. Blaspheme the glorious ones:
    1. Blaspheme is a theme in this text. Did you notice it appears in all three verses: rd 8-10;
    2. It appears the context for glorious ones is the angels; note the angel Michael appears in the next verse;

app.: these people live immoral, ungodly lives by rejecting the authority of God’s Word for their lives. Instead they follow their dreams and do what they want to do without accountability to rein in their passions.

t.s.: 2ndly,

Independence from the Authority of God leads to Spiritual Arrogance (9)

exp.: rd v 9; But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Yeah, this is a hard verse to understand, so let’s just skip it and move on to the next verse. V 10; Just kidding. God has preserved it for us, let’s see what we’re supposed to learn. I think for us, the application of the verse is where we want to go. Let’s not struggle with what we don’t know. Let’s focus in on what we do know.

  1. We know the Characters of the story:
    1. Michael – the archangel; that title means he is the highest ranking angel there is; I was taught when I was younger that there were three archangels: Satan, Michael and Gabriel. I don’t really have any proof of that. I think that was more of an assumption on the part of my teacher. But, it sure did teach well. The title archangel is used only here and again in 1 Thessalonians 4 to describe the return of Jesus. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Michael is seen in battle in Revelation 12.7 where he defeats Satan and his followers and casts them out of heaven. In Daniel he seen in a similar fashion and is called the ‘Great Prince’ and “one of the chief princes”.
    2. The Devil – the arch enemy of the Lord; Satan, Lucifer, the fallen angel from heaven who took with him 1/3 of heaven when he fell. Revelation 12;
    3. Moses – The leader of Israel; He died before the children of Israel were allowed to enter into the Promised Land. He, himself, did not get to go with them. That was pretty hard on him. He dies in Deut. 34 and is buried by God in v. 6. I assume because God didn’t want the Israelites to have his body. They were already carrying the bones of Joseph. And, they didn’t make an idol out of his bones. But, Moses was different. He was special.
    4. The Lord – self explanatory; he’s not really a character in this story, but I think it is inferred.
  2. This verse tells us something we’ve not found elsewhere in Scripture. My commentaries tell me this is a story found in The Assumption of Moses or The Testament of Moses. There are no existing copies, so we can only go by the testimonies of those who read from these and tell us about them. And, our best guess as to the purpose of Satan wanting the body of Moses would be to make him an idol and a stumbling block for the children of Israel.

ill.: Can you imagine what it would be like for us if we had a really good picture of Jesus? Can you imagine what the original would be worth? We make idols of the goofiest things in churches: crosses, pulpits, chairs, pictures, pew cushions. You can see why God would bury him rather than let him become an object of worship.

Now, before I move on, I want to address the issue of when Biblical Authors quote non-biblical material.

  1. Acknowledge that it happens. Twice in this book; 9, 14; It happens in others.
  2. Acknowledge that all Truth is God’s Truth. The source doesn’t matter. The Source of Truth is what matters. In a post-modern culture, people want to apply truth to specific topics or times or circumstances. They would say that what is truth for you, might not be for someone else. No, All Truth is God’s truth. Satan is the father of lies and what is false.
  3. Just because the author cites someone secular, it doesn’t mean everything that author says is to be believed or accepted. Acts 17.22-29: Paul uses a secular poet to make his point. It doesn’t mean Epimenides was a prophet of God.
  4. There are 66 books in the Bible. We don’t have these other books because God chose not to preserve them for us. These books meet certain very specific requirements. These 66 were chosen because the early church recognized that they were inspired of God. There are many other books out there with great history or descriptions; however, the early church did not include them because they obviously did not meet the requirements and the Holy Spirit either directed them or caused them to be lost (i.e.: the other two letters to the Corinthians; there was another letter to the Philippians; There was a letter to the church at Laodicea from Paul); what we have is what God wants us to have.

So, here’s how this applies:

app.: Michael knew his place and position. He also knew his responsibility. He humbled himself and let God take care of it. False Teachers don’t know their place. They presume to be more than God has positioned them and do more than God has ordained for them. If Michael, the highest ranking angel out there humbled himself and recognized he wasn’t God – what does that say for you and me? Where is our position in God’s economy.

t.s.: Don’t make more of yourself than God has assigned to you.

  1. Independence from the Word of God leads to Spiritual Immorality
  2. Independence from the Authority of God leads to Spiritual Arrogance
  3. Independence from the Spirit of God leads to Spiritual Ignorance

Independence from the Spirit of God leads to Spiritual Ignorance (15-24)

exp.: rd v 10; 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Here is what this verse says: They blaspheme what they don’t understand. They have a natural understanding just like the animals do, which leads to their destruction.

Teaching Points: 1 John 4.7-13

  1. We have a relationship with God because he loves us. His love abides in us.
  2. This relationship gives us benefits:
    1. Love: the action on his part to redeem and restore us. Rd 1 John 4.7-9
    2. Forgiveness: propitiation; rd 1 Jn 4.10
    3. Relationship:
      1. With each other: We love others as he loves – giving, sacrificially v. 11
      2. With God: He abides in us and we abide in him; the word is also remain. Rd 12-13; His Spirit in us!
    4. Knowledge/Understanding for life. And, this is what separates the believers from the non-believers.

1 Cor 4.11-14: 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Independence from the Spirit of God leads to being a Spiritual Moron! To quote Jude: These people blaspheme all that they do not understand. They’re spiritually immoral, arrogant and ignorant. What they do know is the same thing an animal knows instinctually. But, left to their own choices, they destroy themselves.

ill.: Watching the Truth Project again has been an eye opener. This past week we watched a portion of the study where Dr. Tackett took the imprint of God on certain spheres of life and showed us how in ignorance, we as humans try to do what God has taken care of and we mess it up. This week the sphere we looked at was the State. God’s design is God, King, the people. When God is removed from the equation, the state can become the most monstrous, evil mechanism. Just look at Stalin, Hitler, The Khmer Rouge. When God is removed from the structure of every institution, that institution gets distorted and ultimately fails. 50,000,000 unborn children murdered in the US. Now, these babies are being harvested to the highest bidder for research.

ill.: Show pictures: The Trinity, The Family, The State; Show the portion of the video that talks about the state becoming the savior.

app.: here’s the point – when we divorce ourselves from God’s design, we become dysfunctional. Independence from the Spirit of God leads to functioning in ignorance.

t.s.: So how do we avoid this?

Application:

  1. Acknowledge God’s Design for your life.
    1. Your relationship with Him
    2. Your marriage/family
    3. Your business
    4. Your state or government
    5. Your church
  2. Guard your heart
  • Proverbs 4.23 – 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
  • Phil 4.7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  1. Let the Word of God be our standard in all affairs.
  2. Let the Authority of God define who we are in our relationships.
    1. Love
    2. Accountability
  3. Let the Spirit of God be our teacher in all matters.

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Filed under Authenticity, Jude, Scripture, Sermons

Jude 3-7

Title: Beware of False Prophets

Text: Jude 3-7

Introduction: Start the Recording; Read the text: v3-7; Last week we simply took time to look over Jude’s introduction and greeting. We answered the questions:

  1. Who is Jude?
  2. Who are we ‘in Christ’?
  3. What do we have ‘in Christ’?

At this point of the letter, Jude, the little brother of Jesus, turns his attention to the purpose in writing his letter. This is the 1st point of my message today. A simple breakdown of the passage would look something akin to this:

  1. The Purpose: A Call to Contend
  2. The Warning: False Teachers Clothed as Sheep
  3. Three Reminders: Jesus Punished Those who rebelled against Him.
    1. Jesus Destroyed the Hebrews who rebelled against him.
    2. Jesus has kept the angels who rebelled in chains until the Day of Judgment.
    3. Jesus has set before us an example of punishment in Sodom, Gomorrah and their surrounding cities.

Just reading this outline already has me ruffled. I can feel my spirit beginning to move and wonder if some of you are thinking the same things. Let me take a moment to pause and say: if this is happening to you, take a breath. Let’s not miss the intent of Jude because we are angry at the Supreme Court. Let’s not use this as fuel to feed the fire already kindled in our hearts. There is a danger we must keep before us as we move forward: Legalism is as dangerous as liberalism.

Ill.: In the days of Christ, he faced both ends of the spectrum in the Pharisees & Sadducees. Both groups hated him and both groups wanted him gone. A simple way to describe them would be with the words: Laws & License.

  • The Pharisees: loved the laws. They had hundreds of laws to describe the Law of Moses. In their eyes, everyone needed to be like them. They set the standard. They tithed everything, even down to their spices: mint, dill and cumin. They fasted not just the one time a year, but 2x’s a week! And on and on and on – ad nauseam. The missed the Law of Grace. For them, salvation is something you earn.
  • The Sadducees: loved their freedom. They didn’t believe in anything. Not angels, not in afterlife, not the resurrection. If you asked, well, what do you believe? They’d say: I believe I’ll have another drink! They were the exact opposite of the Pharisees. The Sadducees would do well in San Francisco or Hollywood today.

Most of us would bristle at the thought of being labeled the same as a Sadducee. But I’ve got to admit that a Pharisee doesn’t turn me on either!

And I think that’s sort of the way we’re supposed to feel when we begin to read Jude’s letter – not anger, not pleasure, but concern. Let me show you a way to get the flow of a message. If you read the passage with only the subject and verb of each sentence, you’ll see that Jude isn’t angry at all.

  • I found it necessary to write.
  • Certain men have crept in unnoticed.
  • Let me remind you about Jesus: He destroyed, detained and demonstrated.

Wow… I think Jude displays for us a deep reluctance to write what he had to write. He wanted to write about something totally different: rd v 3; 

The Purpose: A Call to Contend

exp.: The subject is Jude; he’s writing to the ‘beloved’ in God (v1); The verb is found or lit.: have necessity; Jude wanted to write about ‘our common salvation’; lit.: the shared of us salvation; κοινή; not common as in ‘everyone around here has it’ but rather common as in shared. But he was pressed to write about something else: he needed to change the subject to encourage them and warn them to contend for the faith.

He continues: I found (have: vb; aor act ind) it necessary to write (nfn) appealing (pres act ptc) to you to contend (nfn) for the faith (note the def. art. which describes not what we believe but rather the content of that belief) that was once for all delivered (aor pass ptc) to the saints. He describes this Faith as that which was once (and not needed again) delivered over to the saints.

Do you see the difference? We’re not talking about the manner in which each one comes to a place of belief and surrenders their lives by what they now understand in their minds. No, Jude here is talking about an objective reality of the truth of the Gospel.

Gal 1.23 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” – ‘the faith’; Gal 1.6 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel here it is termed the Gospel; This faith is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are the facts:

  • Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life. Thus, qualifying him to serve as our Passover lamb.
  • He died on a cross, shedding his blood to pay the penalty for our sin.
  • He was placed in a borrowed tomb where his dead body lay for three days.
  • He rose from the dead and lives now in glory and honor.
  • He ascended to the right hand of the Father where he makes intercession for us.
  • By placing your faith in him, you can receive the forgiveness of your sins and the hope of eternal life.

This is the objective reality of the Gospel and it is what Paul is telling the Galatians not to abandon. It is the passionate plea of Jude to these recipients, and to us to contend for this Gospel. Don’t tamper with it, Don’t dilute it to make it palatable and don’t distort it to make generic – contend for The Faith!

ill.: Bob Woods tells the story of a couple who took their son, 11, and daughter, 7, to Carlsbad Caverns. As always, when the tour reached the deepest point in the cavern, the guide turned off all the lights to dramatize how completely dark and silent it is below the earth’s surface. The little girl, suddenly enveloped in utter darkness, was frightened and began to cry. Immediately was heard the voice of her brother: “Don’t cry. Somebody here knows how to turn on the lights.”

app.: In a very real sense, that is the message of the Gospel: Light is available, even when it seems that the darkness is gloomy and overwhelming! And Paul and Jude are saying – you know how to turn on the lights! This is the Gospel, which you have received! Don’t change it…Don’t let it be changed by others!

Point # 2:

The Warning: False Teachers Clothed as Sheep

exp.: rd v 4a; The subject is men – specific or certain men; he doesn’t name names, but he tells them, and this is the verb: Certain men have crept in unnoticed; one word in the Gk, 4 words in the English.

This word appears only here in the NT. It’s related to many words with similar structure. A similar word ἔνδυμα/ἔνδυω which means clothing and to cloth; Mt 7.15: 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. This word in Jude means to cloth oneself in such a way that one might be able to blend in and go unnoticed. But the motive of this one is to bring harm to those who are unsuspecting.

These people don’t come into the church through the front door and announce they’re here to challenge the sufficiency of Scripture, or to shed doubt upon efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice.

But don’t be afraid! God knew about them long before they even breathed a breath. Rd 4b; 4 Descriptions:

  1. Who long ago were designated (pft pass ptc) for this condemnation, Prophesied about – Maybe Peter in 2 Peter; Maybe a common source for Jude and Peter; Maybe an OT Source or extra biblical literature, like Enoch; Dunno – but I do know that God has already known about it. He’s not surprised!
  2. Ungodly people; godless – not atheist per se…Douglas Moo writes: The word connotes a person who is “without religion” who ‘fails to worship.’ Hellenistic Jews used it especially of irreverence in an ethical sense: not theoretical atheism, but practical godlessness. In other words, their lives were filled with immorality. Their actions are the actions of someone who doesn’t have God in their lives; however their speech probably does. And this comes through in the next statement:
  3. Who pervert (pres act ptc) the grace of our God into sensuality; this could be sexual misconduct, drunkenness, gluttony, and so on. Sins of the flesh, if you will.

I wonder if this fits with Gnosticism. You know, you can do anything with the body because it is separate from the spirit. Someone would ask, as in Romans 6: Shall we continue in sin that Grace may abound? Yes! Absolutely!

I wonder if there were these men pushing for all the men to be circumcised. A procedure done in the flesh, but not necessary any more; however, these teachers wanted adherence to the Law. I don’t know; Jude doesn’t tell us. Maybe that is why he doesn’t name them – we can apply this principle across the board. But he continues…

  1. Who deny (pres mid ptc) our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. There is one def. art.

Point #3

Three Examples of Punishment

exp.: rd v 5a; Now I want (vb; pres mid/pass ind) to remind you, although you once fully knew (pft act ptc) it, …

  1. Jesus destroyed the Hebrew slaves

exp.: rd 5b; The subject is Jesus; The verbs are destroyed, has kept, has set

…that Jesus, who saved (aor act ptc) a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed (vb: aor act ind) those who did not believe (aor act ptc). You and I know this is the exodus from Egypt (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and into Deuteronomy).

  1. Jesus has kept and is keeping the Angels

exp.: rd v 6;And the angels who did not stay (aor act ptc) within their own position of authority, but left (aor act ptc) their proper dwelling, he has kept (pft act ind) in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— This is one of two stories:

  1. The Rebellion in heaven and the fall of Satan and his followers.
  2. Genesis 6.1-4; Elaborated on in 1 Enoch. Which Jude refers to in v 14;
  3. Maybe they’re one and the same;
  1. Jesus has set Sodom, Gomorrah, surrounding cities before us as an example of punishment

exp.: rd v 7; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged (aor act ptc) in sexual immorality and pursued (aor act ptc) unnatural desire, serve (pres mid ind) as an example by undergoing a punishment (pres act ptc) of eternal fire.

So Jude is saying: Let me remind you that this Master and Lord of ours has destroyed, is detaining and has demonstrated for us the punishment that awaits those who rebel and lead others astray.

Conclusion: Some years ago, when I was really struggling as a pastor, Lisa asked me to take a moment – she wanted to share something she’d read in her quiet time. She told me that she doesn’t go looking for messages for me in her quiet time, but this was something that really stuck out. So, I listened. She took me to Galatians 5.7ff – 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? She said, that verse was a picture of my life: I had been running this race, but something happened – someone cut me off. Then she read verse 8 – 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

That truth hit me hard: I had indeed let others cut me off and they were keeping me from obeying my calling. That sort of thing wasn’t from the Lord. I needed to do a serious gut check. Lisa doesn’t know this, but I returned to that verse many times. The context was different, but the principle was the same. God had called me and I was letting people move me away from that calling. The passage continues: 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.

Satan is good at using people to derail your movement and obedience. The sinful nature of a person causes that person to seek prestige and power – and they’ll use that to get you to follow them and not the Lord.

Application:

  1. Do not lose the sense of urgency Jude had. He could have acknowledged to himself that there were indeed false teachers around, but he would write about them later. NO. He changed his plans because he sensed the urgency of the moment.
  2. False Teachers abound in this day and age. We need to be diligent. Set up barriers and alarms. Can you identify when something isn’t just right in what you’re hearing?

Ok, let’s make it personal:

  1. Are you listening to the Lord or pursuing your own passions? Are you one who is leading others astray? This is a very serious matter – to be so head strong about a program or ministry that you’ll sacrifice relationships to get your pet project off the ground?

Some years ago, our little church where I was serving was doing a Bible Study which was also a weight loss program. I was involved and was dropping a few pounds myself. It was all about portion control – and eating only when you were hungry. Good principles! However, some things were said in the Bible study time that bothered me. A couple of people noticed it, too and asked me about it. I did a little research and found that one of the tenets in their statement of faith was that Christ was the 1st Created being. According to their statement of faith, they did not believe in Christ’s eternal existence – He always has been and always will be. This group didn’t believe in the Trinity – they couldn’t conceptually grasp the idea of the plurality of the Godhead. I met with some of my leaders and made a decision that we would not host that Bible study anymore. Fssht – cancelled.

Do you think everyone was ok with that? No, there was one lady in our church was very upset. The mother of this family just happened to be losing more weight than she had ever experienced before. For her, that success was a litmus test – it was good enough. She was so angry with me. And her argument was very emotional: for the first time in my life I’m experiencing real weight loss. Fortunately for me, she found no followers interested in my lynching.

Each of us as believers is called to faith and called to service. In your service, are you listening to the Lord or pursuing your own passions? I’m not just asking if you prayed about it – What does the Lord say through His word.

  1. Note the three examples and what exactly were their egregious offenses? Why did they not follow the Lord?
    1. Rebellion due to a lack of trust.
    2. Rebellion due to a sense of pride.
    3. Rebellion due to selfish lusts and desires.
  2. You know how to turn the light on. There are others around you who live in darkness. What are you going to do?

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