The book of Jude is one of the shortest books in the whole of the Bible yet it is one that is jam-packed full of wisdom, admonishment, exhortation and blessings. This is my short exposition of the book of Jude based on notes that I took whilst reading through it. Enjoy and be challenged!
Grace and peace,
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
Jude simply calls himself a “servant of Jesus Christ” which is what we who are born-again sons of God are. It is through Christ’s abundant grace and mercy that we are His servants. Notice also that Jude says “brother of James” not “brother of Jesus”. He realised that He was not worthy to be put on the same level as His brother Jesus who came to this earth as God in the flesh.
“…preserved in Jesus Christ…”
Spurgeon aptly puts it “We have here a very blessed description of the whole work of our salvation, — set apart by the Father, joined unto Christ, and preserved in him, and then, in due time, called out by the Spirit of God.”
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Notice the greeting that Jude uses to greet his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It is one filled of genuine agape love, warmth and goodwill. He addresses them as “beloved”. The bride of Christ – the church – is indeed beloved for He bled and died to purchase her salvation.
As followers and ambassadors of Christ we must earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered (i.e. fixed, set in stone) . Psalm 119:89 “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” This means we are to expose false doctrine where it clearly stands in contradiction of Scripture, God’s inspired and infallible word. We are to boldly defend the Christian faith from assaults that may come from any direction. Whether that be from outsiders such as atheists, humanists, cultural Marxists etc or whether it be sadly from even those who call themselves Christians yet attack the Christian faith from within. Clearly these people are “wolves in sheep skin” seeking to divide and tear up the body of Christ.
This should be the benchmark by which all letters written by Christians should be prefaced.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heresy and false teaching had crept in stealthily into this church. These false teachers did not openly avow their heresy because if they had, then they would not have been let into the church in the first place. These guys had sneaked in and gotten access to the pulpits whilst professing to be preachers of the Gospel of Christ yet undermining its very teachings.
These men turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. That is they falsely declared that the law of God had no effect or binding force upon the Christian’s life. This sounds a lot like what is happening today where we have people like Joel Osteen and Benny Hinn twisting Scripture to mean whatever they want it to say to justify their sinful way of living. These people take the amazing grace and mercy of God for granted and use it as a license for sinning. The grace of God should not and never will be a license for us to keep on sinning. Yes indeed by grace we are saved through faith but we are also called by God to live lives pleasing to Him.
This is how false teachers operate in the church. They aren’t going to make their intentions obvious. What they say will tickle your ears… it’ll sound good. The discerning follower of Christ will test everything in the light of Scripture instead of accepting the teachings of flawed man without question. These conmen are going to sneak in and do their sinful and misleading deeds covertly. And it won’t necessarily come just from the pulpit either. It can come in the form of humanistic philosophy which certain people have subscribed to and then they teach this to others – especially young people and young believers and thus mislead them. They’re going to come as wolfs dressed in sheepskins yet inwardly they are as ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:16 says of these teachers that “you will know them by their fruits”. That’s the ultimate test. Watch their fruit and the way they live their lives. Is it in accordance with Scripture? If not then you should seriously be questioning their credibility as teachers or preachers.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Oh the danger of unbelief. It is so easy to harden our hearts and slide into a state of disbelief. The consequences of the Israelites’ unbelief should be a solemn warning to us all.
C.H. Surgeon puts it well “If we have no real faith, we may appear to go a long way towards heaven, but we shall not enter the heavenly Canaan.”
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
In today’s world there’s an overwhelming push for all kinds of abominable sexual perversions such as homosexuality, bestiality etc. This verse says that these people gave themselves over (or participated in) fornication and went after strange flesh (which is a reference to un-natural relationships such as homosexuality).
Notice Jude uses the word “filthy” to describe these people. Their sin is abominable before God and so we as Christians need to be very strong on our stance and use of words when condemning this abominable sin. God does not approve of this kind of sinful activity and nor should anyone who claims to be a child of God.
Verse 7 references God’s punishment on the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrha who were practicing all manner of sexual perversions. God absolutely hated their sin enough to pour out His divine judgment in the form of fire to totally destroy both cities. There is a day coming soon when this world will be destroyed by fire in the second judgment and all manner of wickedness will be wiped from the face of this earth. The account of Sodom and Gomorrha should be a very solemn warning to all those who practice such depraved wickedness.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
It’s a terrible thing when man sins to the full extent of his knowlege and abilities. Such is the phenomenal depravity and blackness of sin.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Greed, jealousy and contradicting God are most probably the three biggest downfalls of mankind and a large part of the cause of this world’s misery.
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Possessing no holy fear of God is a sign of someone who is very distant from God. If we are to approach God, we must do it with great fear and trembling because before Him we are nothing and we really deserve nothing. The grace of God is not any reason for us to come flippantly to the throne of grace and treat God without the due respect, honour and pre-eminence that He rightfully deserves. These types of people are empty. They hold not water. They’re tossed to and fro like leaves in the wind. They believe according to the teachings of the last man who talked to them. They are easily persuaded to this doctrine, that doctrine and the other. In other words they are not firmly grounded in the faith nor do they test anything to see whether it has solid Scriptural basis. The fruit they produce withers instead of growing healthy. These are all serious signs of someone who is not walking with the Lord. For more information, I suggest you read and examine Matthew chapter 7.
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
These are false professors of religion. They hold to a form of godliness (aka religion) yet deny the power of God on their lives. For them are reserved seats in the flaming fires of hell for ever. This is a very sobering thought indeed.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
There’s a day coming when Christ will return with all the hosts of Heaven and will pour out judgment on all those who reject God and trample His teachings underfoot. Every word, deed and action will be judged. These people reject God for now but we are told in that every knee will bow and every tongue will acknowledge Him as Lord of all on that day.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
Nothing ever satisfies these people. They murmur, they complain, they follow after whatever gratifies and pleases them for the present time. They speak big nice sounding words and they hold audiences captive with clever sounding words that slide from their tongues.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Yes we should be expecting this kind of behaviour and these kinds of people in the last days of which we are now living in. The apostles spoke of it often. We are now experiencing it head on.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
This is becoming increasingly more and more palpable as we are now in the end days. Myriads of people mock and reject God, Christians, the Bible and the Christian faith. Instead of turning to God and coming to Him on His turns, they would much rather wallow in sin and walk the path of depravity, carnality and immorality. Such is the sinful heart of mankind.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
We need to actively build up our relationships with God and pray continually. That is the key to really growing in our walk with the Lord. There’s no shortcuts or easy routes.
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
This is my favourite verse out of this entire book. As Christians we must not lose focus of who we are serving. We must keep ourselves in the love of God, serving Him all the while looking forward to our glorious hope and the day we will be raptured up to Heaven to meet with Him and the saints that have gone on before us. Oh what a joy that will be to experience that final destination that was only made possible for us to enjoy and experience because of the phenomenal mercy of our Lord and Saviour: Jesus Christ.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Some of those so-called Christians, who are not living consistently with their profession of faith, in whom you can see signs of sin, yet there may be some trace of repentance, some reason to hope that they will forsake the evil when they see it to be evil: “have compassion” upon them and save them from the fires of Hell.
There must be abhorrence, hatred and detestation of sin thus it says “hating even the garment spotted by the flesh”. In other words throw sin away… all of it. Everything touched and marred by it has to go.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
If but for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ we would be like the rest of the world and the rest of modern Christianity walking in the way that we want to walk with carelessness and little regard for Biblical truth. Christ is the only one who can keep us from falling and is able to present us faultless before His presence on judgement day. We should be so grateful for His mercy.
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
All praise be to Him the lamb that was once slain and is worthy to receive all honour, glory, majesty, dominion and power both in this present time and forever in the ages to come!