Category Archives: Jude

Jude 17-25

JudeTitle: Keep on Keeping on!

Text: Jude 17-25

Introduction: Dr. Paul Cedar, author of the commentary on Jude in the Preacher’s Commentary Series writes:

When I was a college student, my home town of Pollock, South Dakota, was moved from a beautiful valley to a lovely hillside some one and a half miles away. The little town of 350 people had to be moved for the building of the large Oahe Dam on the Missouri River. The reservoir, which was to become Oahe Lake, would flow into the valley where the old town was situated and would form a smaller lake to be named Lake Poccasse.

I had the privilege of being involved in the construction of the new town. And, subsequently, I also was a participant in the destruction of the old town. The demolition of many of the old buildings I had come to cherish, including the gymnasium where I had played basketball, was a very emotional experience for me.

Through that experience, I learned a lesson that will be helpful to me as long as I live. It is simply this: one can destroy in just a few hours that which has taken years to construct. But then he adds this: However, to be a builder is much more fulfilling than being a destroyer!

You know, he could have just ended it with: one can destroy in just a few hours that which has taken years to construct. But he didn’t, he added something very special to his statement. And how insightful it is: when one looks upon their work, it is so much more fulfilling to be able to look at what you’ve created.

I think that is the melodic line of this little epistle: one can destroy in just a few hours that which has taken years to construct.

  • People, I wanted to write to you about our common salvation. But, I don’t have time for that, something greater needs to be addressed. We have a problem.
  • You must contend for the faith! To underscore the problem, there is a bit of history from Scripture and extra-biblical material you need to bone up on. There is a history here that is repeating itself and you should be aware of it. Let me remind you; here are a few details about those stories.
  • Now in light all that, here is what I want to tell you:

So a basic outline of Jude is:

  1. Contend for the Faith (1-4)
  2. Consider the Past – Learn from the past (these things took place… that we might learn; 1 Cor 10) – (5-16)
  3. Command to Follow Closely: Keep on Keeping on (17-25)

Pause…

ill.: Last week there were more people who got up to leave at one time than I can ever remember. Even for those going to warm up the fellowship dinner! I’ve wondered why all week. I think it is because these stories are hard; even tedious. They’re sad.

Douglas Moo writes: Jude is known for his denunciation of false teachers. Because of this, many students of the Bible immediately think of this letter as bearing an essentially negative message – and one not very applicable to any Christian who is not engaged in false teaching.

app.: Jude, which of course wasn’t his original intent, had to get negative about these false teachers. It’s like, why? And we want to say to Jude something like: Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better! Well, he does so here…

He does get more positive here as he addresses these believers. This passage mirrors his introduction in 4 ways:

  1. 1st, he uses the word: (agapetoi) Q.: Do you love those you serve? I love it when Johnny Beard uses it. I don’t think it’s a title alone – I think he really loves us.
  2. He uses the term “ungodly’ to refer to these certain men and their actions
  3. Both appeal to teaching in the past: 4 – who long ago were designated for this condemnation; προγράφω; Written before; V 17 – the predictions of the apostles;
  4. In v 3 he called them to contend for the faith; Here, he will command them to keep themselves in the love of the lord by building themselves up and praying.

In this last section, Jude gives them an action plan with three steps:

  1. Be Cognizant – You must remember the predictions of the apostles (17-19)
  2. Be Careful – You must remain in the love of God (20-21)
  3. Be Compassionate – You must rescue others who are lost (22-23)

t.s.: Let’s begin with the first step in this action plan

1 – Be Cognizant – You must remember (17-19)

exp.: rd v 17-19; You must remember – remember, when used in the Bible, is not just a mental reflection of something past. This isn’t just a mental exercise. To remember the prophets and the apostles is to take to heart what they said.

app.: The predictions of the Apostles of the Lord: Like when Paul said told the Elders from Ephesus: Acts 20.29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; or when he told Timothy: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. and again But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

exp.: Jude isn’t saying he’s not one of those apostles; Remember what they told you; Interesting, these people are eyewitnesses to these Apostles.

t.s.: So as to review, Remember, be cognizant of what the Apostles have warned you about. 2nd step:

2 – Be Careful – You must remain in the Love of God (20-21)

exp.: two triads here: rd v 20-21

  1. The Trinity: Holy Spirit, Father, Jesus Christ
  2. Virtues: Faith Love and Hope

Textually, grammatically, there is one command, with three descriptions to help keep that command. The verb is “keep” – it means to guard (i.e., keeping watch); three participles then, describing just how you are to remain in the Love of the Lord. Keep yourselves in the love of the Lord has a ‘staying put’ kind of ring to it. However, these participles display action and involvement.

  1. Building yourselves up! – This is active discipleship. Do you realize that you are responsible for you? You and I are commanded to build upon or build up; to lay down a solid foundation and build upon it; Somewhere along the way, this becomes your responsibility. How do you build upon this “most holy faith”? I think the answer goes back to our 1st point – Remember. Turn to Deut. 8 for just a second.

I swiped this from Crawford Loritts and he swiped it from Moses. I’ve altered it a little bit, but the basic ideas come from him. Listen to what Crawford says. This story picks up at the end of the 40 years of wandering. I believe most everyone at this stage, 20 years and older have passed away. Everyone here is 59 years old and younger. But, they’ve been walking, literally, with God for 40 years (or so). I wish I had thought of this concept when I was working on my doctorate. Most of you know my doctoral work was in establishing turnaround churches. Anyway, Moses here has a ‘turnaround’ people. Those who rebelled are gone and Moses is trying to help them in ‘building themselves up’ so that they might ‘keep themselves’ in the Love of the Lord. Let’s look at what he tells them: Rd v 1; So the theme is obedience – careful to do. That they can go in and posses the land… and just how? Rd v 2a;

  1. Remember God’s Leading: how God has been faithful to lead you to this point. Don’t forget the answered prayer. Don’t forget the protection. Don’t forget the times He has been faithful. Remember He has led you faithfully to this point. Rd 2b;
  2. Remember God’s Testing: How God has tested you. Listen to Crawford Loritts, author of Unshaken: Real Faith in our Faithful God. Just before they were to march into the Promised Land, God reminded his people that they didn’t have a good record when it came to passing tests. But, you ask, how did that build their confidence? Look at the phrase “that he mighthumble ” The message was that failure should have taught them that they were inadequate and that they didn’t have what it took to consistently obey God and do his will. Wow! Great point! We are weak and feeble. We need God to take us through. We need to stay in him. Humble people do just that.

ill.: So many people live with regret and wish they could change things. Don’t. Remember God’s Testing. Understand that your failures compose who you are. Remember your failings and that you’re human and you need God. #3; rd v 3-4;

  1. Remember God’s Provision: how he provided manna and water and quail and everything they needed on their 40 year journey. I find this interesting; he humbled you and let you hunger. Note how God’s working: Obedience out of God’s leading; Humility out of God’s testing; Now, he let them hunger and then provided. Do you realize that your struggle may very well be what God is doing to build you up! I wonder if they cried out and grumbled when they were hungry? Exodus 16 – yes, they did! Aren’t we that way, too? But we don’t have to be – Moses is saying here – remember how God provided in the past? He will provide again. Rd v 5-6
  2. Remember God’s Discipline: This one is a no brainer. I feel confident that anyone who has walked with the Lord for any length of time can say they have experienced the Lord’s discipline. And through that, you know he loves you. Rd Deu. 8.7-11a; Now we go back to Jude…and the 2nd participle…
  1. Praying yourselves up! Rd v20b; and praying in the Holy Spirit; Jude is echoing Paul’s words in his segment on the Armor of God: praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. Plus, I think Paul gives us a little commentary on just what this means: He says in Romans 8.26 – 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. It means praying according to the will of God. This is when the believer’s prayers are stimulated by, guided by and infused by the Holy Spirit (Michael Green, p. 184). Lightner says: It means that we pray in His strength and wisdom: He moves our hearts and directs our petitions.

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, and number three: waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

  1. Waiting on the Lord’s return – How do we describe waiting? It’s not patience, though patience is a part of it. Schreiner says it’s an eschatological term, focusing on the return of Christ. Like Simeon and Anna in Luke, who were watching and waiting for the birth of the Messiah. We get a sense that waiting for the mercy of the Lord is in the future (that is, eschatological). In v 2, Jude prayed that mercy would be multiplied to them – a very present experience. So, mercy isn’t a one-time deal. Jeremiah tells us that God’s mercies never end; they are new every morning. We were shown mercy when we repented that very 1st We are shown mercy every time we’ve repented since then. We’ve experienced it at various times when we needed it in the past. We are receiving God’s mercy in the present. And, we will be shown his mercy when he returns. And that mercy is what will usher us into eternal life.

app.: Can I add one final thought: I don’t think Jude is pushing a salvation by works theology here. We must remember that there isn’t any work we can do to save ourselves, but we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. So, let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven.

t.s.: And that’s his last point to his epistle…Be Cognizant and remember, Be Careful and remain, and

3 – Be Compassionate – You must rescue others by the mercy and compassion of God

exp.: rd v 22-23; a simple way of looking at this is to understand that v17-19 were addressing the false teachers and v20-21 were addressing the readers. In light of these two, Jude now encourages these readers to reach out to those affected by the false teaching and maybe even to the false teachers themselves.

  1. To those who doubt (waiver) – those who are being led astray by the false teachers
  2. To those who’ve been led astray – and their standing in the trap, ready to be captured.
  3. To those who lives are defiled by the false teachers – Their garments are stained. But don’t be turned off by the filthy garments. Show them mercy and love them back into the fold. This could be meaning the false teachers themselves.

ill.: here’s the simple message; we’ve been shown great mercy in a most undeserving times. We’re called to be like Christ and show that mercy toward others in need.

God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name.

I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name,

And in Jesus name I come to you

To share his love as he told me to.

He said, Freely, freely you have received;

Freely, freely give.

Go in my name and because you believe,

Others will know that I live.

t.s.: I think that’s the message of Jude.

Conclusion:

this is a great example of what Jude is asking of his readers here:

  • Be Cognizant and remember the Apostles warned us of these false teachers.
  • Be Careful and remain in the love of the Lord, building yourselves up and praying in the Holy Spirit. Then,
  • Be Compassionate and rescue those who have been led astray.

These things take time. Be patient and keep your eyes on Jesus. Finally,

Application: So, let’s mark a few take-a-ways…

  1. Keep yourselves from sin – unstained by the world. If you’re wondering should I participate, don’t.

Ill.: I’m reading a wonderful book by Tim Coody: Meaningless words & Broken Covenants. In his book he talks about how people don’t keep their words – and so their words become meaningless: First to themselves and then to others. It starts with lying to ourselves about when we’re going to get up (but we sleep in) that we’re not going to eat the piece of pie (and then we do). Then we lie to our family (we tell our kids one thing and do another). If you do that I’m going to spank you. I’m counting to three. One two three. I mean it this time. Just wait til your father gets home. Etc.

App.: where has the conscience gone? Why don’t our words mean anything anymore? In keeping yourselves from sin – start with being honest with yourself. Stop lying to yourself.

  1. Men, stop with the Internet porn. Stop with going to those pages where the women are scantily clad.
  2. Women, move out from the day dreaming about what could be. Plant yourself where you are and be honest with yourselves.
  3. We’re just lying to ourselves if we say one thing and do another when no one is looking. Be sure a double standard is going to destroy you.

Ill.: I’m sure you’ve read about Josh Duggar and Ashley Morgan by now. There is a great illustration of someone who has been lying to himself. #1 Keep yourselves from sin.

  1. Keep yourselves in the fellowship – you need accountability. Meeting here for worship isn’t enough. This relationship is too shallow. Get involved. Get more involved. Let people get to know you – there is accountability in numbers. Remember, you are too weak to make it on your own.
  2. Keep yourselves in the presence of God. I think what I’m trying to say here is: don’t forget who you are. You’re a slave of the King. Indebted to his majesty. When you remove yourself from his presence, you begin to think more of yourself than you ought. Oh, I know He is omni-present. But how quickly we forget when we’re out there. Like the KVNE sign up the road said: take Jesus with you.

Let’s pray.

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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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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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Filed under Jude, Scripture, Sermons

Jude 1-2

Title: Jude: An Introduction

Text: Jude 1-2

Introduction: Start recording; Let’s pray:

  1. We as human beings have fears that shape us and sometimes lead us. They shouldn’t, but we let them. You have fears. I have fears. You know some of my But just in case you didn’t know about this one, it’s the fear that someone might sneak in and lead others astray through their deceptive leadership or power. Another fear is that I should fail in protecting the church against unhealthy doctrine. A healthy church is so hard to achieve and it is so easy to be led astray. I have to say that it is the most wonderful feeling laying my head down on my pillow at night with the knowledge that our church isn’t perfect, but she is healthy. As I read the NT, I see that it was a constant battle for Paul and the writer of Hebrews and Timothy and Barnabas and Jude and Peter. That battle was against false doctrines and false teachers.
  2. That battle still rages today. I see churches rejoicing over the SCOTUS recent decision to redefine marriage and the family. They’re having wedding celebrations and embracing what the Word of God has clearly rejected. We were reminded this past Wednesday in the Truth Project that God has given us His design in who He is. From marriage to family to all areas of the social order, God has placed his divine imprint on them all. Satan’s goal is to destroy that image – distort that image and replace it with disorder and dysfunction.
  3. And so we must guard against the things that can destroy us and we must work to protect it – like a marriage. A couple will set up boundaries to protect their marriage. And so, we act in like manner. We must set up boundaries to protect the bride of Christ.

To lighten this heavy message, Jude ‘bookends’ his letter with this focus upon their safety in Christ. : v1 and v24; to those who are kept at this moment – and are being kept until the day we are presented blameless to the Father. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a sermon all to itself! Baptists call this the perseverance of the saints. And we take no credit for it, as Jude says, it is Christ who does the keeping. He keeps us safe.

This safety, this security, this assurance we have, comes with a better understanding of just what it means to be a Christian. The phrase “in Christ” doesn’t appear until after the gospels. It appears for the 1st time in Acts 24.24: 24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. Then, ‘in Christ’ appears 90 more times. It is a term used to define the believers: to all who are in Christ Jesus; What does this mean for us? Who are we in Christ? What is ours because we are in Christ? These are questions Jude answers for us this morning.

Well, let’s begin with who he was:

Who was Jude?

exp.: rd v 1a; Jude (lit.: Judas);

  1. Now, there are 6 men who have this name in the NT. It was such a popular name because some 200 years before, Judas was a mighty warrior and leader for the Jewish people. So many people chose that name for their little boy:
    1. Judas Iscariot: One of the 12 (Mt. 10.4)
    2. Judas, the younger: Also, one of the 12; the son of James; (Lk 6.16; Jn 14.22: Judas, not Iscariot)
    3. Judas, the Galilean: a leader whose rebellion was quickly squelched. (Acts 5.37)
    4. Judas, the owner of the home in Damascus on Straight St. where Paul was taken after his encounter with Jesus. (Acts 9.11)
    5. Judas, called Barsabbas: One of the men who traveled with Paul and Barnabas to send the Church’s decision concerning the Gentiles. (Acts 15.22, 27, 32)
    6. Judas, the little brother of Jesus: this is the writer of this letter. Amazing! Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? (Mt 13.55); Jn 7.5 tells us that he was an unbeliever in the time of Christ’s earthly ministry; that he was probably embarrassed by his older brother, Jesus; and, was probably a part of ridiculing him to go up to the feast. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” (Mk 3.21); But, something incredible happened – the crucifixion, the burial, the resurrection. And somewhere in all of that… Judas gave his life to Christ. He could deny it no longer and was saved! You see it here in his first description of who he is. He could have said: Jude, the little brother of Jesus. But he didn’t; Rd 1b; This brings us to our 2nd question:

Who are we in Christ? Look at these words Jude uses to describe himself and his readers. They tell us who we are in Christ: his statement a slave of Jesus Christ tells us we’re…

  1. Bought: You have been bought with a price. A slave of Jesus Christ; your text probably says ‘servant or bondservant’; the Gk is δοῦλος; J. MacArthur @ the shepherd’s conf.: those who translate the Bible didn’t want to offend anyone; What a shame; HCSB gets it right in the modern translations; The strong Greek word δοῦλος cannot be accurately translated in English as servant or bond servant; the HCSB translates this word as slave, not out of insensitivity to the legitimate concerns of modern English speakers, but out of a commitment to accurately convey the brutal reality of the Roman empire’s inhumane institution as well as the ownership called for by Christ. It is vital that we get this: don’t soften this for a moment. If you are in Christ, then you are not your own. You belong to Him and what he says for your life goes.

This really means so much more because of his next statement (1c): a brother of James. This statement accomplishes for us, a couple of major points:

  • He is the little brother of Jesus. 1st we’re positive this Judas is not any of the other Judas’ mentioned above. 2nd, we know that the only other Judas mentioned was the son of James, not the brother. So, with relative confidence, we can say He is the brother of Jesus. This is also the attestation of the early church, and their confirmation of Jude’s family line.
  • He refuses to say that he is the brother of Jesus. That would give him some status! But he instead, identifies with his brother, James, the pastor and leader in Jerusalem. What he’s saying in all of this is that his relationship to Jesus isn’t brother to brother – familial; but, rather, slave to master. He has been bought by the blood of Christ.
  1. Called: Gk word is κλητός; According to Tom Schreiner, N.T. scholar from Southern Seminary, there are two general meanings for the word ‘call’:
    1. There is a general call (Matt 11:28-30): an invitation; 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
    2. There is an effectual call (Rom 8:30): 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Now, normally we don’t like to talk about these ‘hard to understand’ words; Let me just make this easy and say we cannot fully comprehend this concept of predestination – how God could predestine us. He who knows all things and is the agent by which all things (to quote Paul) live and breath and move – and find their being – How could God predestine? Where does our free will end and His divine sovereignty begin? And visa-versa? Answer: I don’t know. I really don’t. I only know that both are real and both are true.

ill.: It’s like the doctrine of God in the flesh: Was Jesus fully God? Yes – 100%. Was Jesus fully man? Did he sweat and thirst and hunger and get tired? Yes – 100%. How can he be 200%? My answer: Dunno! I only know the Bible teaches us this. So, I accept it by faith.

app.: It’s the same here. God, in and through his infinite mercy, called me. I was undeserving, unworthy and unfit for this grace. And yet, His Holy Spirit wooed me. My heart was softened and I fell to my face and trusted what he said: I confessed my sins and he forgave me.

ill.: Listen to Daniel Akin, president of SEBTS: There is a mysterious wonder in this truth that the sovereign God effectually brings persons to salvation in perfect harmony with their free will and response to the gospel. There is a marvelous complementarity to these twin truths that, if you push them beyond their biblical parameters, you will find yourself lying in your closet, drooling out of one side of your mouth, attempting to do Hebrew and Greek verb conjugations in tantum!

He continues: Timothy George has well said, “God created human beings with free moral agency, and He does not violate this even in the supernatural work of regeneration. Christ does not rudely bludgeon His way into the human heart. He does not abrogate our creaturely freedom. No, He beckons and woos, He pleads and pursues, He waits and wins.” (Amazing Grace, p74)

t.s.: let’s move on: We are bought, we are called, we are loved.

  1. Loved: rd 1d; Beloved in God the Father; lit.: in God the father, being loved; no where else does this phrase occur just like this. It’s a pft pass ptc;

pft: a present state, because of a past action;

pass: meaning we’re the one’s being loved.

part: describing those who have been called.

It’s a great declaration of the Father’s love. There is in one sense a love of the Father for all people; John 3.16; And there is this – a wonderful sense of deep, abiding love that the Father has for His children. I think it might be something akin to my love for kids. I love the children at Calvary, but I have a deeper love for my little girls: Elizabeth, Caroline and Annie.

We are loved!

  1. Kept: rd 1d; and kept for Jesus Christ. τηρέω: appears 5x’s in Jude (1, 6 (2x), 13, 21); Each time it is used in to describe guarding, protecting; Acts 12.5-6 – So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. This is the word that is used to command us to ‘keep’ God’s commands. We don’t just observe them – we protect them, we guard them, we keep them close to us.

app.: this is what is being said of you, believer. You are kept, protected, guarded in Christ Jesus. You are kept by an incredible power! By His death on the cross, purchasing your pardon; by his resurrection and ascension to the Father’s right hand – he keeps you now! He who is powerful enough to save you is powerful enough to keep you.

t.s.: Ladies and Gentleman, this should cause you to stand and applaud! Nothing will happen on this day that God isn’t already aware of! Nothing will touch your life that doesn’t 1st pass through His hands. And if he allows or causes any activity in your life, you can be sure that you are kept and protected and are being preserved.

Transition: Jude says this of himself and of his readers. Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine; Heir of salvation – purchase of God; Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. This is my story, this is my song: praising my savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song: praising my savior all the day long. Security comes in knowing who you are in Christ Jesus. 2ndly, Security comes in knowing what you have in Christ Jesus.

What is ours because we are in Christ? (2)

exp.: rd v 2; Jude has a love of triads:

  • Jude, a slave, a brother
  • To the called, the loved, the kept
  • Be multiplied to you mercy, peace and love.
  1. Mercy: the word ‘multiplied’ gives us a greater understanding of what he is saying here: it’s in the optative mood – which I know means nothing to you, but bare with me: 1st, it is rarely used in the N.T.; 2nd, it is used to express a wish. Paul uses it when he says: μὴ γένοιτο; May it not be; God forbid! Here is Jude’s wish for these people – God’s mercy abounding in the believer’s life. The Hebrew equivalent is hesed; Psalm 23: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. The younger generation learned: Surely goodnes and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life. Akin says: It is a characteristic in God that moves Him to seek a relationship with persons who have no right to be in relationship with Him. The word speaks of compassion, lovingkindness (hesed). It is gracious, undeserved and unmerited; yet it is not blind, dumb or ignorant. It is something in God that moves Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Mercy is a characteristic of God. It is something he pours out on us. Likewise, we’re called to be like him – to show mercy. In v 2 Jude wishes this mercy upon us increasing measure – “multiplied” and

  • in v. 22, he commands the reader to show mercy to others.
  • In Mt 5.7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
  • Jesus teaches us that this is an O.T. concept when he quotes from Hosea 6.6 (Mt 9.13): 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’
  • Paul calls us ‘vessels of mercy’ in Romans;

app.: in Christ you now have mercy – freely given to you and freely given by you to those in need. 2nd, Peace.

  1. Peace: Another word that finds its meaning in the Hebrew: shalom. It makes me wonder if the recipients of this letter were Jewish believers. My guess is yes – they were.

Shalom has so many meanings. Akin says: Ideas such as wholeness, completeness, prosperity and success are just a few of the concepts that emanate from this word. Douglas Moo writes: By ‘peace,’ Jude may mean the inner contentment that comes from a restored relationship to God in Christ – the ‘peace of God.’ But it more likely means our ‘peace with God.’ that is, the new status of reconciliation that God provides in his Son for us.

In Judges we learn it is God’s name: Jehovah Shalom (6.23). In Isaiah (9.6-7) we learn that it is God the Son’s name, too: Prince of Peace. In the OT they search for peace, but it can’t be found. In the NT Jesus says: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Paul affirms this for us when in Romans 5.1 he writes: 1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

app.: No wonder there is peace for the believer. He is saved from his sins now, he walks in peace because God is his life and when he dies, he has the promise of heaven!

You ask how? You say: “Sure, our sins are forgiven – Sure we have the promise of heaven, but right now is so hard”: 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. (Phil 4.4-7) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

app.: yes, this life is hard – but for those of us in Christ Jesus – we have the peace of God. 3rd,

  1. Love: This word appears more than any other in Jude (7x’s; 1,2,3,12,17,20,21); more than any other word of consequence (meaning – if you don’t count the pronouns and conjunctions); Equal to this number is Christ, Jesus and Lord. Next is love – 7 times. And then, kept – 5x’s; really, the focus on this letter is a warning of false teachers and false doctrine, but an argument could be made for focusing upon these words: that in Christ Jesus, you are kept and loved. Just how kept and loved are you?

Romans 8.28-39

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Application:

  1. Know who you are in Christ: bought, called, loved and kept.
  2. Know what is yours in Christ Jesus: mercy, peace and love.
  3. Know also, that you are a conduit of these virtues, traits to a lost world.
    1. So in your struggle, hang in there: God is doing a work in and through you – that you might not even know he is doing. It’s easy to focus on yourself and your suffering when in it. But remember, God is using it for his glory.
    2. So in your celebrating this glorious truth, don’t forget that there is a lost world out there – on their way to hell.

In New Orleans, the summer of 1985, the city threw a big part for the lifeguards who worked that summer. The New Orleans Recreation Department wanted to recognize their workers for a safe summer. Combining all of the pools in the New Orleans Community Pool system, it had been a drown-free summer. Hundreds of guest gathered and celebrated together. Four life-guards were hired to sit and guard the pool, while over 100 lifeguards were recognized and celebrated. When the evening was over and the guests had left, one of the lifeguards cleaning up and putting things away noticed something dark in the deep end of the pool. Jerome Moody, age 31, was found drowned in the deep end. This man drowned, with over 100 trained lifeguards were gathered all around.

It makes me wonder about the church: do we miss those ‘drowning’ near us because we’re so busy celebrating our successes?

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