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The Book of Jude Introduction & Study - (vv. 1-25)/ False Teachers & Resistance to False Teachers...

The Book of Jude Introduction & Study (vv. 1-25)

Introduction to the Book of Jude

Author: Jude, a relative of Jesus – (called the “brother” of the Lord in Matthew 13:55; and Mark 6:3) and the brother of James the “Just” … This is not the Jude who was one of the Twelve, also called Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus – (v. 17); see, also Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; & Acts 1:13) …

Date: The date of the letter is uncertain, but sometime in the period – AD 60-80 seems reasonable for most of the scholars …

Major Theme – “Contending earnestly for the faith” … Jude is a polemic directed against false teachers within the Church who are jeopardizing the salvation of many … Jude bases his attacks on examples from the OT and the tradition of God dealing harshly with those who assault His people …

Background: To whom Jude writes is difficult to discern … Some scholars have suggested that the addressees are Christians from a Hellenistic Jewish background … The heresy Jude opposes seem to be an early form of Gnosticism … These people where still members of the Church – (see, vv. 4, 12, 22 & 23), carrying on an aggressive attack campaign of propaganda and subversion … Jude’s mode of attack is more “ad hominem” that is, a censure of persons, than theological: The Bible says, we will know them by their fruits, and these people are bearing bad fruit amongst the early Church …


Greeting to the Called

1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,

To those who are called, [a]sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Contend for the Faith

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord [b]God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Old and New Apostates

5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their [c]proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the [d]vengeance of eternal fire.

8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of [e]dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in [f]contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Apostates Depraved and Doomed

12 These are [g]spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried [h]about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Apostates Predicted

16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are [i]sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Maintain Your Life with God

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22 And on some have compassion, [j]making a distinction; 23 but others save [k]with fear, pulling them out of the [l]fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Glory to God

24 Now to Him who is able to keep [m]you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To [n]God our Savior, [o]Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and [p]power, Both now and forever. Amen.


1: PRESERVED IN JESUS CHRIST is a promise of God to all the faithful … but not all are so faithful, as Jude will relate in this letter – (see – John 10:27-30; 2Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 12:2) …

John 10:27-30

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow, Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

2Timothy 1:12

12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Hebrews 12:2

2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3: Jude was probably trying to write a more general letter on salvation, but it was the danger of the false teachers that caused him to write a polemic instead … OUR COMMON SALVATION is one salvation that is the same for all the elect … This salvation is what’s set up in the apostolic tradition ONCE FOR ALL DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS; IT CANNOT BE CHANGED …

4: THIS CONDEMNATION involves body and soul – (John 5:29) … ONLY LORD GOD is better “only sovereign” – (Greek – “despotes”) …

John 5:29

29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

5-7: The recipients of this letter ONCE KNEW THIS (v .5), the mysteries of the faith, because the totality of that faith had already been delivered to them – (v. 3) … Jude gives three arresting examples of the danger of departing from truth and righteousness:

(1): IN THE EXODUS FROM EGYPT – (v. 5), all were saved through the baptism of the Red Sea, but not all responded to their deliverance with ongoing deeds of repentance and godliness – (Numbers 14:26-37; see also 1Corinthians 10:1-13) … The lesson learned for all Christians from this is to always stay in our walk-in union with Christ …

(2): THE PROPER DOMAIN OF THE ANGELS is in their likeness and proximity to God … THEIR OWN ADODE is heaven, though they may serve elsewhere … Those who left are confined far from God, having become bound to spiritual darkness … They AWAIT THE JUDGEMENT – (see, also 2Peter 2:4), when bonds with God will be demolished forever … The lesson for Christians is that their proper domain is in being children of God by grace, and their own abode is in the one holy Church …

2Peter 2:4

4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to [a]hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

(3): The men in the plains around SODOM AND GOMORRAH lusted after the angels because of their sin of immorality and homosexuality – (Genesis 19:1-29) … The lesson for Christians is to live under God’s call to a chaste and pure life …

8: AUTHORITY – (“lordships”; also translated “dominion” see Ephesians 1:21; & Colossians 1:16) and DIGNITARIES – (“glories”) refer to angels, perhaps in this case to fallen angels – (see – 2Peter 2:10 for parallel) … Although, they are hostile to God, they are nonetheless to be treated dispassionately …

Ephesians 1:21

21 far above all principality[a] and [b]power and [c]might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Colossians 1:16

16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or [a]principalities or [b]powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

9: From the apocryphal book The Assumption of Moses – (see – Deuteronomy 34:5-6 for the possibility of the assumption of Moses; also see Zechariah 3:1-2) … The people of God are defended by holy angels … This is also a gracious warning to believers concerning vehement accusations against God’s enemies: Let God judge … The archangel Michael showed restraint – (Zechariah 3:2) even though he was dealing with the devil himself …

Deuteronomy 34:5-6

5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.

Zechariah 3:1-2

3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan[a] standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”

10: KNOW NATURALLY: that is, they know by their own natural instincts, apart from any specific revelation of the Holy Spirit … God has given all persons a measure of “common sense” …

11: A threefold woe warning of great sorrow, using a triad of Israel’s most famous offenders: (1): CAIN – (Genesis 4:3-24) sinned by faithless and envy, especially over an honor given to another … His sin led to murder – (Genesis 4:16-24) … (2): BALAAM – (Numbers 22-24) sinned by greed, which led to lying and an all – out assault upon the truth, which he knew as well … (3): KORAH – (Numbers 16:1-35) sinned by ambition, pride, and arrogance, grasping for leadership against God’s will … His sin led to blatant REBELLION against God …

12: Will be taught from my Study Bible …

13: RAGING WAVES are perverse teachers – restless, dark, bitter, destructive, and persistent – (Isaiah 57:20-21) – who are casting up as foam as they hit the breakwater of the Church … The higher they raise themselves, the more disorderly and dissipated they become: They crash and perish … In astronomy a WANDERING STAR is either (1): a planet that never rises or sets in the same place or (2): a “shooting star”, an asteroid, which shines brilliantly but only briefly and then burns out in DARKNESS … These are likely fallen angels, for in the Book of Enoch and other later Jewish apocalyptic literature, “star” often means “angel” …

Isaiah 57:20-21

20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21 There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”

14-15: God has always judged the wicked who dwell among the righteous …

16: Those who are consistently GRUMBLERS AND COMPLAINERS are often telegraphing a deeper problem, that is, WALKING ACCORDING TO ONE’S OWN LUSTS … The more a person truly desires the fullness of life in Christ, the easier it becomes to renounce those things that are contrary to godliness …

19: SENSUAL – (Greek “psychikoi”) means operating by the powers of the human soul alone without the indwelling power of the Spirit, that which makes one “spiritual” – (see, also 1Corinthians 2:13-15; and 15:44-46) … CAUSE DIVISIONS: Having separated themselves from the way of the righteous and the life of the Spirit, the divisive “do not have the glue of charity” – (Bede) …

20-21: Our chief safeguards against heresy are (1): growing in the FAITH of the Church – vital dependence upon God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and (2): maintaining faith by PRAYING …

24-25: Jude is quoting an ancient Christian benediction or doxology probably taken from an early liturgical tradition …

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