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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
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.
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.
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.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
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.
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,
25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude called himself the brother of James, the James he spoke of was not the son of Zebedee, but James the well known leader of the Jerusalem church. This James was brother to Jesus, which makes Jude a brother to Jesus. This puts significant weight behind Jude’s words here. Jude sought to protect Christian truth and strongly opposed heretics who threatened the faith.
Verse four tells us “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.”
Jude is saying false teachers had sneaked into the church and he is warning us, the church, that we must fight these men for the purity of the Word of God! These men are by no means Christian brothers with a different opinion. What they are doing is called turning the Grace of our God into lasciviousness.
In another word what these men have done is called negative transfer; they have misapplied the Grace of God. While God accepts us and forgives our sin, we cannot and dare not misapply this Grace and say that therefore we can sin all we want and still enjoy forgiveness. These people are further described as those who deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. These false teachers denounce Him as savory in this way and are not true Christians.
Jude points out that these false teachers deserved divine judgment and would receive it in the future. Jude reminds us that God had acted decisively in the past against those who opposed Him. Jude shows us three examples here of God’s judgment: 1.the judgment of unbelieving Israel in the wilderness, 2.the fallen angels who fell with Satan, and 3.the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha for sexual immorality.
Jude contrasted the heretic’s blasphemy of the fallen angels with the restraint that Michael the archangel showed when contending with the devil concerning the Assumption of Moses.
Jude points out that these false teachers slander what they do not understand. Jude compared them to animals that would destroy themselves by the things they instinctively pursue. Jude also compared the false teachers to Cain, Balaam, and Core. These men deceived others and were known for their hatred, greed, and rebellion.
Jude went on to further say these men were as spots, that is submerged rocks that could wreck a ship. Feasts of charity were fellowship meals at which the Lord’s Supper was served and these false teachers were shepherds who fed only themselves without any concern for others. They were useless and full of empty promises like waterless clouds. They are as worthless as barren fruit trees, and wild waves that deposit their refuse of shameful deeds on the shore of people’s lives. They utter arrogant words, flattering people in order to take advantage of them.
Jude reminds us, his readers, to remember these false teachers are nothing new because the apostles had foretold of such people scoffing at those who refused to follow them.
After describing the false teachers to us, Jude now exhorted his readers on how to contend for the faith. We are to show compassion to those who were wavering and reach out to those who had already been taken in and needed to be snatched back from the fire. But Jude warned the believers to be careful lest we also become defiled and dammed.
Jude ended with a reminder to all that God’s Divine Power and His salvation is always available to believers. Jude praised God because He is able to keep us from falling into the sinful practices of the false teachers and grant us entrance into His glorious Presence.
This reminds me a lot of how the world is today, and how I see people acting toward me and those I love and minister to. It hurts me to see this, but I know we all are just serving our Lord. I know He will set things right in His time and we will be in His loving embrace in the end.
All glory to God
His humble servant Lee M Buchanan