Jude

"Contend for the Faith"

By Dr. Edgar Pierce

(c) 2005

 

The book of Jude admonishes us, "to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints." One of the main topics in the book of Jude is the coming Apostasy, or the falling away from the faith. I Tim 1:19; 4:1; II Tim 4:4; Heb 3:12; 2 Pet 3:17 all talk about the coming apostasy. Someone said if Acts is the acts of the apostles then Jude is the acts of the apostates.

The time of the writing of this book is given from 65 A.D. to 80 A.D. I offer the following outline for our consideration in our study of Jude.

"Contend for the Faith"

I- Authorship: 1:1-2

II- Purpose: 1:3-4

A- Jude's purpose:

B-God's purpose:

III- Examples of Apostasy 1:5-7

A- Exodus Crowd:

B- Angels:

C- Sodom and Gomarrha:

IV- Doctrine of Apostates: 1:8-13

V- End of Apostasy: 1:14-15

VI- Prophecy of Peter: 1:16-19

VII- Our Response to Apostasy: 1:20-23

VIII- Benediction: 1:24-25

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I- Authorship: 1:1-2

The authorship of the book of Jude, while not certain, is usually contributed to Jude the brother of Christ. The reason there is some debate on this is that there were four men in the scriptures by the name of Jude or Judas. The author identifies himself as, "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James..." Matt 13:55 gives some of the family of Jesus and James and Judas is two of His half brothers. We must remember that the half brothers of Jesus did not believe on Him until after the resurrection. (See John 7:5) James is as you will remember the leader of the church in Jerusalem. (see Acts 15). He writes to those who are sanctified, preserved and called. He writes to the saints of God.

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II- Purpose: 1:3-4

What is the purpose of the writing of this small epistle? We know that a great deal of the time the apostle Paul spent fighting against the Judaizers who taught that you must live under the law to be saved. The doctrine that Jude warns about is another false doctrine. The Gnostics had infiltrated the church and was teaching false doctrine. "The Gnostics viewed everything material as evil and everything spiritual as good. They therefore cultivated their 'spiritual lives and allowed their flesh to do anything it liked, with the results they were guilty of all kinds of lawlessness." (Ryrie Study Bible, introduction to the letter of Jude.) The Gnostics taught that Jesus could not have come in the flesh because flesh is evil and God and evil could not mix.

A- Jude's purpose:

Jude had a different purpose at the start then what he ended up writing. He wanted to write about the, "Common salvation" rather than about problems.

B- God's purpose:

God had a higher purpose in mind for Jude to write about. God wanted him to write and exhort the believers to contend for the true faith, the original faith that was given. (1:3) Jude realized that man had gotten involved with Christianity and had perverted the doctrines and turned them into something evil or something to condone their lust and evil practices.

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III- Examples of Apostasy 1:5-7

Jude gives us three examples of those who turned from God. Simply professing Christ does not make us a possessor of Him. We will see here three examples of apostasy from the truth.

A- Exodus Crowd: Num 14:28-35

Numbers 14:28-35 gives us the background of this example. They did not enter into the promised land because they did not believe God. Because of their unbelief they did not receive the fullness of God.

B- Angels: Gen 6:1-4

The book of Genesis provides the background of this example. Gen 6:1-4 talks about the fall of the angels and the apostasy for which they were guilty.

C- Sodom and Gomarrha:

The last example Jude give us is the cities of Sodom and Gomarrha. These cities are symbolic of divine judgment throughout scripture because of their moral decay. Gen 19 records their destruction.

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IV- Doctrine of Apostates: 1:8-13

1:8 "filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." The word "Likewise" links them to the sins of Sodom and Gomarrha in like kind and extreme decay.

1:10 says they were slaves to their animal passions.

1:11 says they had gone in the way of Cain. Cains heart was not right with God as he offered his sacrifice in Gen 4:1-12.

Another error they followed was the "error of Balaam for reward." The greatest condemnation to them may have been that they lead others astray. In Numbers 22-24; 31:8-16; 2 Pet 2:15; Rev 2:14 speak about this doctrine of Balaam. Remember he was the man the donkey talked to and he devised a plan for the enemies of Israel to corrupt Israel from the inside with the women playing on the lust of the men.

The man Korah mentioned here is the one who lead the rebellion against Moses and God in Numbers 16.

1:12-13 The Love Feast is probably talking about some perversion of the Lord's supper observation. (See I Cor 11:20-21 for a similar occurrence.) There is some picturesque language used ot show the degeneration of these who had crept in unaware as 1:4 says.

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V- End of Apostasy: 1:14-15

This is a quote out of a non-canionized book of Enoch. Paul also quoted from secular writers also in his writings. (See Acts 17:28; I Cor 15:33; Titus 1:12). We see that the end of apostasy will be the return of Christ. This is the Second Coming of Christ as recorded in Revelation 19 when he returns with the saints that have been raptured out before the tribulation. (See II Thes 4)

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VI- Prophecy of Peter: 1:16-19

These verses are from 2 Peter 2. Some people think that Peter borrowed from Jude or Jude borrowed from Peter. As we have previously stated there is a lot of writings that warn about turning and the coming of apostasy.

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VII- Our Response to Apostasy: 1:20-23

There are seven exhortation for the way Christians should respond to apostasy given here. I will simply put them in a numbered format and give additional scripture for our consideration.

1- "Build up yourself on your most holy faith..." I Tim 1:4

2- "Praying in the Holy Spirit..." Eph 6:18; Rom 8:26

3- "Keep yourselves in the love of God..." 2 Tim 1:14; Rom 8:38-39

4- "Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ" Heb 12:15

5- "Have compassion on some..." One of the ways we keep our faith vibrant and living is when we exercise it in helping others. Dakes Annotated Bible says, "Have compassion on some, making a difference between those who are weak and ignorant and those who are proud and arrogant of heart and unwilling to obey the truth.

6- "...others save with fear..." We should be concerned about the souls of men because hell is a real place.

7- "...hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." We need to be sin haters. James 1:27; Eph 5:27

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VIII- Benediction: 1:24-25

In the benediction section we see two things about God. He is "able to keep your from falling..." and is capable and will "present you faultless..." My friends we must realize that falsehoods and false doctrine abound in the world of religion. We must be willing and "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

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