Epistle of Jude, Lesson 1

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  Lesson 1 – Vs. 1-4

Vs. 1-2 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.  

Jude was the brother of Jesus Christ. But it is significant that he calls himself the brother of James. Jude wants everyone to know that, though he is a half-brother to Jesus Christ through his mother Mary, he considers himself to be a servant of Jesus. I’m sure there were those who tried to idolize him for being the brother of Jesus Christ. If he had the character of someone like Benny Hinn, he would have written “Jude, the brother of Jesus Christ.” I’m sure if Benny could trace his roots back to Christ he would use that information to get support for himself and power over people. But Jude does just the opposite. He calls himself the servant of Jesus Christ.  

He is addressing this letter to those who have been called and who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ. So he is addressing this letter to Christians. God has called every true believer.  

Rom. 8:28-30 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 

Notice the pattern here. God foreknew us from eternity and also foreknew we would trust in Him for our salvation to the end. Because of that He predestined us. He then called us and we responded in faith. When we responded in faith He justified us, and He will glorify us in eternity. But there are those who act like they are believers but have not been foreknown of God, nor have they been predestined, called, justified or glorfied.  

Matt. 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 

It is hard to tell the difference between the saved and unsaved, but Jude goes on to spell out the difference so we can see it. There are those who have never been saved though they acted like they were believers. There are also those who believe for awhile but they wander away from the faith.  

Luke 8:13-14 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 
James 5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. 
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 
1 Timothy 6:20-21 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you. 
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 
2 Timothy 2:17-18 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 
2 Peter 2:15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 

God knows who is saved because He foreknew everyone and everything from eternity past. Therefore He knows whom He has predestined, called, justified and glorified. But there is also the human perspective. We cannot know the final salvation of anyone. Therefore we must continue to believe, continue in the faith, and not wander away–because if we wander away we can be destroyed. So we must look at the subject of faith from a perspective of space and time in which we live. We must hold, keep, and persevere in our faith till the end. Those who stand in their Faith are those who share in God’s mercy, peace and love.  

Vs. 3-4 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.  

Jude wanted to write about the gospel of salvation and all the blessings we share as believers. But he was impressed by the Lord to write a warning and admonishment instead. There is a time to rejoice and a time to admonish and warn.  

Ecc. 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 
1 Corinthians 4:14 I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 
Ezekiel 3:21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” 
Psalms 81:8 “Hear, O my people, and I will warn you— if you would but listen to me, O Israel! 

What is the warning? What is the admonishment? To contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints! Who delivered this faith?  The prophets, the Apostles, and most importantly the object of our faith, Jesus Christ. We must stay in those teachings that are the foundation of our faith. We cannot build on any other foundation, and a new foundation cannot be laid. If we do not contend (fight) for that Faith, we can lose faith. The Bible is full of verses that say we need to hold, keep, persevere and overcome by faith.  

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 
2 Timothy 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 
1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 
1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 

But condemned men have slipped in. Today we have wolves among the sheep that don’t just fool sheep–they eat sheep.  

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 
Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 

Unregenerate people who claim to be saved but are not have slipped into the churches and our homes through TV. They are very good at looking like they are believers and they freely use the name of Jesus. They make big prayers and can look very holy in their actions. But their false doctrines and false prophecies betray who they really are. They are not sheep that follow the Shepherd. They are wolves that follow their own path, or worse they follow the enemy.  

Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 

Remember that the weeds grow up beside the wheat, the good seed. They act like they are wheat, but you can tell they are weeds by their teachings, prophecies and lack of the fruit of the Spirit.  

Jude says they are godless men. Though they claim to worship Jesus Christ, their gods are of their own making – money and fame. They worship at the altar of power instead of humbly submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ. They use His name to their own ends. They make themselves famous and rich by seducing weak-willed Christians into following them.  

2 Timothy 3:6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 

When a desire for power or some kind of ecstatic experience take precedence over a relationship with Jesus Christ, that is evil. Our reason for following the Lord is not so He can make us feel like we are drunk or high, or to give us power over others. Our reason to follow Him is because we are being crucified with Him daily to those kinds of evil desires of the flesh.  

Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 

These false teachers change the freedom from the Law of Moses that we have because of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ for immorality. They make freedom in Christ a license to sin. Immorality means to not be moral, to do whatever we want and to no longer obey the Lord Jesus Christ. It means not following God’s commands, His Word. We must still obey the Lord Jesus Christ. His Law is now written on our hearts. Because we are freed from observing the whole Law of Moses in order to be saved, since we are now saved only by the grace of Jesus Christ through faith, we are now to obey the Holy Spirit who lives in us. We must not trade that grace away by trying to do the works of the Law. On the other hand, we must not live a life against the law of grace and the Holy Spirit.  

Denying Jesus Christ: When a false gospel is preached, Christ is denied. When you just preach, “Decide for Jesus and come forward” you are not preaching the Gospel. But worse than easy believism, Third Wave teachers have people come forward so they can get you under their control. They do “slain in the Spirit” which is not biblical. Thus even if a person hears enough of the Gospel to be saved, the birds come and pick up the seed. One of the most dangerous times is right when a person is almost ready to believe.  

Luke 8:5 A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 
2 Peter 2:18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 

They preach a gospel like this: “God loves you. Just say, “yes” to Jesus and He will forgive all your mistakes, past, present and future. Come forward and receive Jesus Christ.” Nothing is mentioned about man’s sin condition, why Jesus Christ had to come and is the perfect sacrifice, repentance, the crucified life, etc. This kind of “gospel” does not have the power to save. They are empty, boastful words without real salvation power.  

Rom. 16:17-18 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 

People are often deceived into thinking big TV evangelists are true believers because they talk about Jesus and do slain in the spirit. But this is not true Christianity. They are smooth talkers and they flatter people with things they want to hear, tickling their ears with the promise of health, wealth and power.  

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  

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