Jude 1:1-4

Jude 1:1-4

Pray: Humble yourself before God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom and open eyes to see the wonderful things He has for you in this section of the Bible. 

Read: Jude 1:1-4

Are you a Beatles fan? If so, then go ahead and hum the melody to “Hey Jude” while you read this. Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah… Unlike the carefree nature of that song, Jude is viewed by many people today as extremely serious, intolerant, harsh and unloving. However, to followers of Jesus, the book of Jude is to-the-point, honest, beautiful, and full of inspiration. One of the most beautiful aspects of Jude is found in verse 1.

“To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.”

In other words, whoever God calls will be irresistibly brought to faith in Jesus Christ through the gospel. God’s gracious call is motivated by His love; a love deeper and more pure than any in the universe. Maybe even more beautiful and reassuring is the last phrase, that those who have been called are also kept by Jesus Christ. Who in this world has the power to pull apart the loving grip of Jesus Christ? No one! Believer, doubter, struggler...let that sink in and comfort your soul. Find joy in the grip of Jesus!

So who was Jude? He was the half brother of Jesus! However, he refused to identify himself directly just like His brother James. This was out of respect for Jesus. He describes himself as a slave or servant of the Lord Jesus. What would it take for you to be convinced that your older brother was God in a human suit and that you were his slave? Jude had some serious street cred!

Jude was also a whistle blower, rightly pointing out that false teachers were spreading like a virus through Jesus’ church. The Bride of Christ was infected. The enemy was in the camp and Jude was calling his fellow believers to do something about it. Jude points out two main issues with these false teachers masquerading as Christians in the church. Wolves disguised as sheep.

1. They abused the grace of God, as a license to sin.

2. They denied the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

In other words, they said things like, “I know I’ll be forgiven so I’m just going to keep looking at porn…or cheating on my taxes…or lying to my spouse etc.” Or maybe, “Jesus is a great teacher and moral guru but he is not God or my Master, I will keep living like I’m my own master.” Or, "I dig Jesus but I don't want Him interfering with my life." 

Jude calls believers through the centuries to ‘…contend for the faith…” (vs.3) rather than sit back and watch the church fall apart. That is part of what it means to be ‘For the Gospel’ at CityChurch. We urgently uphold, protect and proclaim the gospel, both inside our church and in our city. So speak up! Tell someone with your lips and with your life, about ‘our only Master and Lord’ this week.

Reflection Questions:

1.    Do you ever find yourself abusing the grace of God and using it as a license to sin? Where do you find yourself saying, "I'm going to keep doing ______ because I know God will forgive me? 

2.  Are you regularly submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? What areas of your life do you need to submit to Him this week?

Memorize: Jude 1:1

 “To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.”


Jude 1:5-19

Jude 1:5-19

Pray: Humble yourself before God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom and open eyes to see the wonderful things He has for you in this section of the Bible.

Read: Jude 1:5-19

When I was an undergrad, I took a few religion courses at the university I attended and quickly realized I was dealing with almost an entire religion department who were deacons at a local Baptist church and yet treated the Bible as a book of fairy tales. False teaching is dangerous in a classroom and even more dangerous in a church.

This is what Jude was dealing with in his brief letter. His primary message is to “contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (v. 3). False teachers had crept in and he had to fight for the truth.  He uses examples his readers would be familiar with to point out the characteristics of the false teachers: Similar to the unbelieving Israelites who came out of Egypt, these false teachers do not believe God (v. 5). Similar to rebellious angels, these false teachers have overstepped their bounds (v. 6). Similar to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, these false teachers have perverted God’s gift of sex (v. 7). Our culture is furthering false teaching inside as well as inside the church: exchanging God’s unchanging word for political correctness, exchanging the exclusiveness of the gospel for pluralism and universalism, and exchanging “excellent behavior” (1 Pet 2:12) for compromise (internet pornography, profanity, drunkenness, sexual immorality, gossip, hypocrisy).

The false teachers blasphemed angels because of their refusal to recognize authority of the law (v. 8). “They blaspheme what they don’t understand” (v. 10). At the heart of false teaching is false thinking. “They blaspheme what they do know by instinct” (v. 10). While they considered themselves spiritually elite, they merely follow their base, sexual instinct. Jude uses three more Old Testament examples to describe these false teachers (v. 11): 1) they are hateful like Cain who was also a murder; 2) they are greedy like Balaam who was a prophet for hire; 3) they are rebellious like Korah who rejected the leadership of Moses and Aaron. They are further described as destructive, self-serving, empty, shameful, aimless, complainers, and conceited (vv. 12–13, 16). Jude makes use of a couple of extra-Biblical books in his letter that would be familiar to his audience (one earlier regarding the body of Moses in v. 9) to not only describe characteristics but also to describe the coming judgment that God will execute upon them (vv. 14–15). Jude finally appeals to the words of the apostles themselves who had warned earlier about false teachers in the last days who scoff at and mock God, follow their lustful desires, are divisive, and do not have the Holy Spirit within them (vv. 16–19). Jesus called them wolves in sheep's clothing. (Matt 7:15)

It is easy to get lost in the obscure references made by Jude in this passage so what is the bottom line? Know that the enemy is recognizable though cunning by using spiritual terrorists who creep in unnoticed. He has already been predicted and judged. We must stand in the face of false teaching and fight for the faith: stand firm on an unchanging gospel in an ever-changing culture.

Reflection Questions:

1. What areas of your life present a conflict between what God’s word says and what culture tells you is true? How are you responding?

2. How well do you know God’s word and how well does your life portray it accurately?

Memorize: Jude 1:17-19

 “But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they told you, ‘In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.’  These people create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit”


Jude 1:20-25

Jude 1:20-25

Pray: Humble yourself before God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom and open eyes to see the wonderful things He has for you in this section of the Bible.

Read: Jude 1:20-25

This is probably the most important passage in Jude’s letter. Most of it has been written describing these false teachers, many of which we encounter in our world today, yet has little direct application to us outside of Jude’s initial charge to “contend for the faith”.  So, how do we respond to the false teachings that surround us in a culture which teaches that nothing is true for everyone? How do we respond to distortions of the gospel that focus on prosperity and health, or more blatant false teachings denying the deity of Jesus Christ?  

Here Jude returns to the initial theme of the letter and tells us how we are to “contend for the faith.” It takes the form of 4 commands that make up two familiar Christian triads:

1) Build yourselves up in your most holy faith

2) Pray in the Holy Spirit

3) Keep yourselves in the love of God

4) Expect the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life

Faith, hope, and love. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We are to “build ourselves up in the most holy faith.” Our first response is to check our own lives and doctrine and make sure we ourselves are living right with God. Be sure that we have a right understanding of the Bible and the truth before we approach others about their false teaching or wacky doctrine. You cannot correct someone’s teaching if you have no idea what the truth is. That isn’t to say you have to be an expert on everything the Bible says, but you should have a firm grasp on whatever subject before you confront anyone. All the conflict averse people just cringed! Otherwise you yourself are subject to being swayed by persuasive arguments of the false teachers.

Second, we are commanded to pray in the Spirit. We are to seek God, His intervention, and wisdom in the situation. He can do greater works in the hearts and lives of the false teachers than you can.

Third, we are to pursue God’s love. Turning to an erring brother or sister in haughtiness and pride will probably do more harm than good.

And finally, we are told that in contending for the faith we are to wait for Christ’s mercy.

Our response to false teachers is to be firmly rooted in the truth; spoken in love, mercy, and grace; and looking to the future hope and work of grace that only God can bring.

Jude goes on to describe another triad in the types of individuals we might encounter:

1) Have mercy on those who doubt

2) Save others by snatching them from the fire

3) Have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh

Some we will encounter are plagued by doubt, in this context it’s probably referring to those who have been affected by the false teachings and are struggling in their faith. Treat the doubter with mercy and restore them gently. 

Some we are to save by “snatching them from the fire,” referring to those who have bought the lies of a false gospel and are in spiritual peril of never coming to the truth.

The final category describes those who are fully entrenched in the false teaching. The phrase translated, “garment defiled by the flesh” is more literally translated a “feces stained undergarment”. Love them, show them mercy, but handle their teaching like you would human waste. Don't get any on you!

Reflection Questions:

1. What are some ways you can “build yourself up in the most holy faith”?

2. Have you ever been bold enough to correct a false teacher? Why is it important to show “faith, hope, and love” in our correction?

3. Why doesn’t Jude just tell us to wash our hands of the false teachers?

4. What are some examples of popular false teachings in our culture? Why is it important to handle false teachings carefully?

Memorize: Jude 1:24-25

"Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen."