Last week, we went over Jude 1-13. While we learned that Jude was the brother of Jesus, we also learned this was not a point that Jude felt he should brag about. In fact, he doesn’t even mention it in his letter. Jude felt his calling was to be a bondservant of Christ. He felt it necessary to teach of a certain group of men within the Church. These men were apostates and false teachers who, though appearing to belong in the Church, actually acted as nothing more than weeds dragging everybody else down.
Tonight, we are going to move on to the other half of Jude’s message. He was not content telling us what to beware of. His message was not complete until he also told us how we are to live for Christ. He tells us what to watch out for and then goes on to tell us what to become.
Read Jude 14-25.
But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Note how Jude refers to us. He calls us beloved. This was not merely an impersonal message to church members. It was not a memo to be passed around. It was a deeply personal message written to his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no stronger bond than that of Christ. In calling us “beloved” we can feel the sense of love and concern that he is putting forth.
He stresses the importance of remembering the words spoken by the apostles. In Jude’s day, this was done through verbal traditions. These words would have been passed on by word of mouth and held on to dearly. If anything, we are in a much better position because we have the Word of God. Jude didn’t have a New Testament to turn to whenever he felt the need to recall something. He was helping to create the New Testament and probably never even realized it.
Many people say Scripture memorization is only for smart people with great memories. This is completely untrue. If this were the case, it would not be commanded by God in His Word. This isn’t to say we need to know all of Scripture verbatim. It just means we are to be able to recall the teachings of Scripture as a whole.
Psalm 119:9 & 11
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word……….Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against You.
Jude tells us to remember the words spoken before us by the apostles. Psalm 119 tells us by keeping the Word of God in our hearts, we can avoid sinning against God. This is because it is by His Word that we are to live. It has been said that BIBLE stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth but it is so much more. It is our only true and unchanging guideline and standard by which everything else must be judged.
that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
As we covered last week, these men are in the Church but they are not true believers. They are not followers of Christ. They follow after whatever doctrine fancies them at the time. They blow about with the wind. They crash like wild waves. They are dead both inside and out. However, we also have to remember that they were appointed by God for this condemnation long beforehand as verse 4 tells us. Last week, we learned how to spot them. This week, we are learning how to not become like them.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,
having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
We are called to build ourselves up. Simply residing on a foundation is not enough. Imagine buying a piece of property. You seek out the absolute best contractors to get a perfect foundation laid. You ride them day and night to the point where they are exhausted. You refuse to give them water when they are thirsty and you beat them when they show signs of weakness. In the end, the contractors achieve what they set out to do; create the perfect foundation. There isn’t a crack or imperfection to be found. It has been finished. Would you be content with this foundation by itself? Would you set up a tent and then call it a day knowing that you had the perfect foundation and needed nothing else? The purpose of a foundation is to prepare for a building. The better the foundation, the stronger the building will be able to hold up to the ground beneath it.
Jesus is our perfect foundation. We beat him to the point of exhaustion and, when we appeared to be on top, nailed him to the cross. We may not have been there in person but we still shout “Crucify him!” on a daily basis in our actions. We murder our Savior day in and day out when we are called to build upon him as our perfect foundation.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Not only are we called to build up ourselves but also to build up one another. We are to encourage one another and care for one another. This is the exact opposite of what the apostates were doing. They cared only for themselves. This is because they lacked the one thing needed to truly care for someone other than oneself. They lacked love.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
1 Corinthians 8:1b
Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
The Greek word used for “edifies” is oikodomē (oi-ko-do-mā'). It literally means to build up. We are to constantly be in a state of building. We are to build ourselves but we are also to build our neighbor. It is through love that edification can occur and it is only in Christ that we can truly love as it is meant to be.
praying in the Holy Spirit,
Ask congregation what they think it means to pray in the Spirit.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
Praying in the Spirit is simply having the Spirit pray through us. The Spirit is not some foreign deity that we have to seek out.
1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
The Spirit resides within us as Christians. God is a Holy God. There are many times when we may feel like we fall short and don’t deserve to go before such a Holy God. The great news is that Romans 3:23 confirms this truth yet God wants us to come before Him regardless. When we have absolutely no idea what to pray for, just pray that the Spirit will show us what to pray about. He will intercede on our behalf as the Helper. Even if there are no words to be expressed, God knows our hearts. The Spirit will move us to be holy; set apart for God. To pray in the Spirit is simply to have the Spirit pray in us.
keep yourselves in the love of God
Note the change in instruction here. Building ourselves up in faith and praying in the Spirit are things we are to do but this is not the end point that Jude is making. Everything he urges us to do points to the end goal of keeping the faith. He does not simply say “Keep the faith” while leaving us in the dark. How do we keep the faith? We keep the faith by building ourselves up and praying in the Spirit. We keep the faith by keeping our focus on God at all times and growing in Him.
Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
While keeping in the love of God, know that it isn’t a system of legalism that does it. We can’t work our way into God’s favor. It is by the grace of God alone that we can enjoy being in His love. Working out our salvation does not imply works will earn us salvation. It means we are to live for God each and every day under His grace.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
While we are to keep ourselves in the faith, it is God that keeps His children. He has promised to never let any of His children go. He has promised eternal life. Not only is it a promise to His children but it is a promise that has already been fulfilled. Those who are His have eternal life. However, there are many who supposedly fall away from the faith, not just for a short time, but for real. The fact of the matter is that these men never had real faith, were never children of God, and were only deceiving themselves. This is why we are called to not only build ourselves up but to also build up one another. Edify one another.
waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
1 John 3:2-3
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
While living each day for God, we have a greater hope of the future in the return of Christ. We are made in the image of God and there will be a day when we will be glorified as Christ was also glorified following his resurrection. John says the one who anxiously looks forward to the Second Coming purifies himself to the same degree in which Christ is pure. Keeping our sight on God with anxious expectation is a sure fire way to sanctify oneself, edify the Church, and keep ourselves for God.
And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
Jude tells us we are to have mercy on some. The “some” that he refers to appear to be broken down into 3 different groups of severity. They all deserve mercy but they are all for different reasons and require different precautions when handling them.
And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
These people appear to be your typical lost person. They have their doubts and aren’t quite ready to take the leap of faith just yet. Just as God was merciful on us, we are to be merciful on them. As Christians, we are called to be fishers of men. By showing mercy and compassion, we are showing them the love of Christ. These men would fall under your basic evangelism and witnessing.
save others, snatching them out of the fire;
These men are also doubters but to a much severer degree. They are on the fast track for Hell as we all once were. These men need emergency intervention. They need a bit more focus and dedication to be swayed to Truth.
The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"
1 Corinthians 3:15
If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Again, at one point in time, we were bound for Hell. All mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of this sin is death. However, God saved us from the flames. Shouldn’t we turn around and do the same for others by spreading the Gospel and teaching Christ crucified at any opportunity?
and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
This third group would be the false teachers and apostates that we spoke of last week as well as the beginning of this lesson. These men are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of building others up, they tear them down. We are still to have mercy on them in that we preach the Gospel to them but we are to do so with a certain sense of fear. When handling these types, be careful not to be dragged down in the process. How many relationships have you heard of where the girlfriend dated an unbeliever hoping to convert him only to be dragged away from the faith as a result of being unequally yoked? Take an instance such as that and multiply the dangers. We should hate everything that these doubly dead men stand for but we should not let that get in the way of our mission of being fishers of men. Personally, I do not recommend a new believer speak with these people. Should a new believer come across one of these types, I would urge him or her to be loving but get away and refer him to a more mature believer in the faith.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
After everything that Jude had to say to us, he finishes it out with praise to God. All of these are reasons for us to worship the Living God.
God has promised to keep us for Himself. In fact, even verse 1 tells us we are kept for Christ. We may face temptation but this does not mean we have to stumble. When God is our foundation, we can stand firm in Him. When we stand firm in Him, we will follow His ways and His commands which will result in standing blameless before Him. Think of the joy of Christ telling us, “Well done my good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.” It is only through Christ that we are reconciled to the Father. To God, through Christ, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority. In Christ, it is finished and eternity awaits us.