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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jude 1

Verses 1-16

  1. Intro:
    1. Jude, what a book. It’s often overlooked because Jude’s Postcard is sandwiched in between John’s trilogy of love (1,2,3 Jn) & his fast paced, mysterious, & exciting book of the Revelation.
      1. 1. But what an awesome cream filling sandwiched between these 2 Oreo cookies.
    2. Jude echo’s Peter’s warning in 2 Pet.2 [Peter prophesied that these false teachers would come; Jude says that they are now here and at work]
    3. Jude wrote in a dynamic style, using many figures of speech. (shepherds, clouds, trees, waves, stars)
    4. Jude frequently wrote in triads (poss.18) called, sanctified, preserved (1). mercy, peace, love (2).
    5. In the military, your daily routine is an endless cycle of drilling & training for battles that most hope will never happen. Yet, if an enemy threatens the nations freedom, the well-trained soldier is ready to fight & even die, so future generations can live in peace.
      1. What’s true for the military is true for the church.
        1. We pray that enemies will never infiltrate our ranks with destructive doctrines. But if they do, we must be ready to fight for our beliefs. [this week many of us were challenged on whether we would put our politics before our christian calling. A lot of hurtful words shared by emails, by back bitters, & so called friends]
      2. Jude like a good field commander realizes the importance of stirring our fighting spirit. He gives us a hard look at our enemy - a look that will motivate any Christian to get involved in the battle. (Charles Swindoll, Jude.) [do things we thought not possible - goldfish pic]
    6. We are going to get a pumping pre-battle speech by General Jude.
      1. How are Christians to react to this danger? General Jude says, Contend earnestly for the faith. We are to defend God’s truth and the body of doctrine the NT calls “the faith.” We are to be soldiers who hold the fort at any cost.
      2. Jude rally’s the troops (3) & then prepares them for battle by warning them of the enemy (4-16). And then next week, sends them out fully equipped (17-25).
        1. To which I want to end on b4 I go to Tanzania. The next Sun a 100% worship service.
    7. Title: Survival Manual
    8. Application for us today: The book is a solemn warning to Christians everywhere, since all are subject to the same doctrinal and practical errors.
      1. All believers need to avoid the pitfalls of: denying Christ’s lordship, following the fleshly desires, rejecting authority, being divisive, and living for self.
    9. Outline: The Call to Contend (1-4), The Traitors Tactics (5-16).
  2. THE CALL TO CONTEND (1-4)
    1. Who is this Jude? - Hey Jude [Paul composed in his car on the way over to see Cynthia & Julian Lennon when John divorced her over his affair w/Yoko Ono. McCartney said, "I started with the idea 'Hey Jules,' which was Julian, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces. Julian Lennon discovered the song had been written for him almost 20 yrs later]
    2. (1) Jude the ½ brother of Jesus, as was James (Mrk6:3; Acts1:13,14 sharing in the prayer mtg b4 Pente)
      1. Jude doesn’t boast of his human relationship to Christ. (I would)
      2. He prefers to call himself a bond-slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.
    3. Preserved - remember mom or grandma making preserves? Or maybe you do.
      1. ​​​​​​​Why were they called preserves? Because they were preserved against spoiling.
      2. Fruits in the raw or untreated soon deteriorate, decay, & perish. But preserved fruits lasted indefinitely because they were impregnated with sugar. Sugar was the secret.
        1. ​​​​​​​One cookbook recommended, 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of fruit. :)
        2. If we’re preserved in Jesus Christ...is there anything sweeter than that? (Adapted from: Bread For Each Day, M.R.DeHaan, M.D., Are you God’s Preserve? March 27th.)
          1. ​​​​​​​We as Christians are called than to be sweet at all times if we’re preserved in Christ. - Impregnated with Christ, filled with Him.
      3. The word preserved is tereo in the orig. It means to guard against loss or spoiling.
        1. ​​​​​​​The Christian is watched over by the Lord & He guards & protects us.
      4. It’s interesting Peter uses the same word tereo for the word reserved in 1Pet.1:4 we have an inheritance incorruptible...reserved in heaven.
        1. ​​​​​​​So, we are preserved in Christ Jesus, & our inheritance is reserved in heaven for us. What security! - We are preserved; our salvation is reserved; & both words mean to guard against loss or spoiling.
        2. All this should make us sweet like the One in whom we are preserved.
    4. (3,4) He started out to write them about Salvation, but felt impressed to warn them instead of some enemy infiltrators that crept into their camp.
      1. ​​​​​​​Like little cockroaches that crawl in at night, unnoticed.
      2. These wicked men were like a few drops of poison in the water system of the believers.
        1. ​​​​​​​Only one drop of cheap grace…what could that hurt?
        2. Only one drop of deniallike the incarnation of Christ.
    5. Common salvation - this is the WHOEVER. (Adapted from J. Sidlow Baxter, Awake, My Heart, pg. 121.) For God so loved the world that He gave His onlybegotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
      1. ​​​​​​​It’s the [anˈTIPəәdēz] antipodes of a secret society [if live in No.Hemi, say towards Aus/NZ, direct opposite]
      2. It’s so open & inviting. Its welcome so wide/vast.
      3. It is applicable & appropriate for all. The gospel is not like a river which branches out into different streams, one for the rich, another for the intellectual, & others for the poor & illiterate & the nobodies.
        1. ​​​​​​​No, all of us are one in our common need as sinners, so there is one common salvation which avails us all. One that is not only for Kings/Lords & Presidents/Prime Ministers, but also for the forgotten on death-row & for the broken earthenware of skid row.
    6. (3) Jude rallies the troops to Contend for the faith –
      1. ​​​​​​​Contend - struggle for, exercise great effort & exertion for something. [LKGNT]
        1. ​​​​​​​From the Gk work epagonizomai (agonize). Used in athletic contests. The picture of 2 wrestlers grappling, sweating, muscles straining, to the point of them bursting as they agonize against each other for the prize.
        2. Don’t let anyone pin your faith to the ground w/o a struggle.
      2. ​​​​​​​For the faith - the complete body of Christian truth concerning God, the Bible, Jesus, sin, redemption, heaven, & so on. [LKGNT]
        1. ​​​​​​​It’s also a faith delivered once and for all. (3b)
        2. We can’t change one word. They are absolutes. A solid nucleus of truth that can’t be amended, erased, or molded to suit each new generation’s lifestyles.
      3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It’s possible to contend for the faith w/o being contentious.
    7. ​​​​​​​(4) Ever notice that after an exhilarating & refreshing rain, snails & slugs come out of hiding. They slime their way along, chewing & devouring all that is in their path?
      1. ​​​​​​​So with the fresh blowing of revival in a church by the H.S. – Immediately comes the spiritual pretenders, who have made a base profession of grace, to wisk the newborns away. (Adapted from Spurgeon quote.)
    8. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(4b) Turn the grace of God into lewdness - means they told people that grace permitted them to live as they pleased.
      1. ​​​​​​​Turn - means to transpose. They transposed grace from a major key to a minor key - from freedom to obey Christ to freedom to sin.
  3. ​​​​​​​THE TRAITORS TACTICS (5-16)
    1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Jude gives us 4 reasons not to follow them: Because of their End/Mouth/Emptiness/Lifestyle.
    2. BECAUSE OF THEIR END (5-7)
      1. ​​​​​​​1st reason not to follow them was because they were on the same path of judgment the: Unbelieving Israelites; the Fallen Angels; & the Cities of the plain they were on.
      2. How foolish to follow them down the same path that you know is booby trapped, has land mines, & a ticking bomb at the end…with your name on it.
      3. (6) These angels who defied God were judged and imprisoned in tartarus, a special part of hell.
    3. BECAUSE OF THEIR MOUTH (8-10)
      1. ​​​​​​​2nd reason not to follow them was because they bad mouthed all in authority over them
    4. (8) They didn’t hold to Truth, but to their own dreams or opinions.
    5. (9) This is to Illustrates the magnitude of their blasphemes.
      1. ​​​​​​​This is believed to be taken from the book, The Assumption of Moses (also called the Testament of Moses).
      2. It is a Jewish apocryphal (doubtful authenticity) pseudepigraphical (pseude/false + epigraphē/name) work. We have a single 6th-century incomplete manuscript in Latin that was discovered in Milan in the mid-19th century and published in 1861. Most scholars date the work to the early 1st century.
        1. ​​​​​​​The account basically reads, The Archangel Michael was sent to bury Moses body, when Lucifer intercepted him to claim the body, Michael showed no disrespect to Lucifer but left the matter to the judge of all creatures, saying, “The Lord rebuke you”.
          1. Maybe referring to the example of that in Zech.3:1-5.
          2. Josephus said, God hid the body of Moses least it be made an idol, Nehushtan.
      3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The point – Michael, top-gun-Angel, carefully weighed his words, even against the wickedest of angels.
        1. ​​​​​​​How presumptuous are these apostates to rail against righteous angels (8b).
        2. Application: Why some are free today to say, I rebuke you Satan, I’ll never know.
    6. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(10) If they didn’t understand something (like the incarnation) they would criticize it.
      1. ​​​​​​​What they do know from their fleshly minds…ends up corrupting them.
      2. (Vatzlaf)Vaclav Havel, playwright, essayist, poet, philosopher, dissident & 1st pres of the Czech Republic said, “The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.” (Vaclav Havel, in a letter found by Robert Royal; quoted by Martin Marty in Context (June 1, 1990). Christianity Today, Vol. 34, #13.)
    7. ​​​​​​​BECAUSE OF THEIR EMPTINESS (11-13)
    8. ​​​​​​​(11) 3rd reason not to follow them was because they followed in the footsteps of these 3 amigos: Slide#16 self-competent Cain; buy-me Balaam; rebellious Korah.
      1. ​​​​​​​Like self-competent Cain they offered the first of their works instead of trusting in the blood of the Lamb. Gen.4
        1. ​​​​​​​So, the way of Cain is the way of man-made religion, rejecting the revelation of God and the blood of the Savior.
      2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Like buy-me Balaam they sell their prophecies for profit. Num.22-25
        1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The error of Balaam involved leading others into sin for personal gain.
        2. Balaam knew the truth but deliberately led Israel into sin that he might make money.
      3. Like rebellious Korah they defy the authority of God’s chosen vessels of truth. Num.16
        1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Korah and his followers rejected the divine authority given to Moses and tried to assume power for themselves. False teachers promote themselves and override the authority of God’s servants.
    9. (12,13) The danger of their religion.
      1. ​​​​​​​MSG - These people are warts on your love feasts as you worship and eat together. They’re giving you a black eye - carousing shamelessly, grabbing anything that isn’t nailed down. They’re - Puffs of smoke pushed by gusts of wind; late autumn trees stripped clean of leaf and fruit, Doubly dead, pulled up by the roots; wild ocean waves leaving nothing on the beach but the foam of their shame; Lost stars in outer space on their way to the black hole.
      2. Spots - or stains, or Hidden Reefs. They’re like that 1 bad sunflower seed.
        1. ​​​​​​​They have no fear/respect. They fatten themselves. They’re doubly dead, ripped up, fruitless trees, ready for the fire. They’re foaming at the mouth. They’re like shooting stars that shine briefly, then vanish into the darkness, for ever.
      3. False teachers promise much, but produce little, rainless clouds when it is so needed.
        1. ​​​​​​​What we called some cars while cruising Whittier Blvd, “All show & no go.” Pretty on the outside, nothing under the hood where it mattered.
      4. ​​​​​​​(13) Wow, reserved seats in Hell.
    10. ​​​​​​​BECAUSE OF THEIR LIFESTYLE (14-16)
    11. 4th reason not to follow them? - Here’s where General Jude shreds their shoddy sheep shroud, exposing their filthy garments.
    12. (14,15) Enoch fastens these false teachers to the wall by a wooden stake.
      1. ​​​​​​​They’re called ungodly, 4’x. [note last one: ungodly sinners, or sinful sinners]
    13. Enoch – The 7th from Adam (count em in Gen.5)
      1. ​​​​​​​Here Jude quotes the apocryphal book of Enoch, in Enoch 1:9 (preserved today in the dead sea scrolls/cave 4)
        1. ​​​​​​​This doesn’t mean however the book of Enoch was regarded as inspired or equal to Scripture. Even pagan works can contain items of truth.
        2. Just as Paul quoted from the poets Aratus, Epimenides, & Cleanthes to his intellectual Athenian audience at Mars Hill (Acts 17:28).
      2. But jump back to what this Antediluvian(pre-flood) patriarch is prophesying about.
        1. ​​​​​​​It is of Jesus 2nd coming…1000’s of years before His 1st coming.
    14. ​​​​​​​(15) To convict all - A cartoon in Leadership Magazine showed a picture after a church service: "Powerful sermon, Pastor. Thoughtful, well researched. I can always see myself in them. And I want you to knock it off." Charles Swindoll, Jude.

Verses 17-25

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: Safeguards
    2. The story is told of a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relieve his fear he asked, “How often do you change the rope?” The monk in charge replied, “Whenever it breaks!” Daily Walk, March 30, 1992
      1. A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for. John A. Shedd
        1. Note on my desk says, Control the things you can control. I plan, I safeguard, then place myself into God’s hands for His part. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Prov.16:9
    3. Outline: But you beloved; The Believer & Self; The Believer & Sinners; The Believer & Savior
  2. BUT YOU BELOVED... (17-19)
    1. ​​​​​​​A good general, after explaining where the enemy is (in their midst); & what they do (their tactics), now hits them with their Battle Strategy Safeguards.
    2. W/your binoculars search for 5 distinguishing markings in 18b-19: mockers; have ungodly lusts; sensual persons(worldly); cause divisions; & devoid of Spirit.
      1. ​​​​​​​Once apostates cut loose the anchor of Scripture, they freely follow the winds of their own lusts w/o remorse. Swindoll
  3. THE BELIEVER AND SELF (20,21)
    1. ​​​​​​​Believers are to be building on the Word of God; praying in the power of God; keeping in the love of God, & expecting the eternal mercy of God.
    2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​BUILDING (20a)
      1. ​​​​​​​From vs.3 contend earnestly for the faith (that complete body of Christian truth). That are absolutes. Solid truth, that can’t be amended, erased, or molded to suit each new generation’s lifestyles.
    3. ​​​​​​​PRAYING (20b)
      1. ​​​​​​​Prayer not in the Spirit, is in the flesh. Only the prayer that comes from God, goes to God. We must shoot the Lord’s arrows back to him. (Spurgeon)
      2. Andrew Murray, “Let it be your business every day, in the secrecy of the inner chamber, to meet the holy God. You will be repaid for the trouble it may cost you. The reward will be sure and rich.”
    4. KEEPING (21a)
      1. ​​​​​​​We do not keep ourselves saved, but we should keep ourselves in the love of God by obeying His Word (v. 21). www
      2. “We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.”
    5. EXPECTING (21b)
      1. ​​​​​​​Stop…remember why your fighting…focus on when the war is overeternal bliss!
    6. So, build up your faith; pray w/the heart of God; keep in the love of God, & expect the eternal mercy’s of God.
  4. THE BELIEVER AND SINNERS (22,23)
    1. ​​​​​​​Jude instructs on how to deal w/3 types of sinners:
    2. Here’s how to take care of the battle scarred: those in great doubt, great danger, great depravity.
    3. Slide#15a Those who are in Great Doubt (22)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
      1. Be merciful to those who doubtniv Those doubting in battle. Show them compassion.
    4. Slide#15b Those who are in Great Danger (23a)
      1. ​​​​​​​Save the defectors. Those going A.W.O.L. (Absent Without Official Leave)
      2. NIV Have mercy w/fear – for you could be in the same place, if not but by the grace of God.
      3. Pulling them out of the fire/burning building with the “shoulder pull” technique.
    5. ​​​​​​​Slide#15c Those who are in Great Depravity (23b)
      1. ​​​​​​​Hating – instead of hating them as traitors, we should hate the sin that’s destroying them.
      2. Defiled garment – If a wounded soldier that you came upon had poison oak all over his uniform, you’d help him discard it, being careful not to get it on yourself.
        1. ​​​​​​​This stain has actually gone down to even the undergarment (orig.) is dirty.
        2. This image actually came from Lev.13:47-59 where the priests were to burn the leper’s polluted garments that carried the disease.
          1. ​​​​​​​Hate the disease, even the garments that are destroying him, but not the person.
    6. What is you concept of Evangelism?
      1. ​​​​​​​Do you see it like strong horseradish: where people praise it with tears in their eyes.
      2. For some people, evangelism is an evangelical mugging mission, where we go into a phone booth, come out with a big red S on our chests and charge out into a neighborhood, seldom our own, to win it for Christ.
      3. For others, it's some kind of evangelical ambush where we lure the honest, unsuspecting victim to some type of an event, lock the doors, and sing 22 vss of "Just as I Am."
      4. Some people think of evangelism as a bombing mission where, from protective cloud cover at 30,000 feet, we fill backyards with gospel bombs.
      5. For others, evangelism is herding fish into the stained glass aquarium where the big fisherman throws the lure from the pulpit.
    7. I pray we’re as passionate as a firefighter going back into the building to save another victim.
  5. THE BELIEVER AND SAVIOR (24,25)
    1. ​​​​​​​Slide#18a,b Jesus’ Ministry (24)
    2. His current ministry (24a): Preventing us from falling down here.
      1. ​​​​​​​Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling - In one sense the path to heaven is very safe. In other respects there is no road so dangerous. (Adapted from Spurgeon Morning, Oct.9, Jude 24.)
      2. It is full of difficulties. One false step and down we go. [Burma hike. 2am. 40 lb. pack. 18” wide dirt path. Water both sides. Foot gave way. Face first]
      3. What a slippery path some of us have to tread. How many times have we exclaimed with the Psalmist, But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.
      4. If we were strong, sure-footed mountaineers, this would not matter so much; but in ourselves, how weak we are!
      5. We have many foes who try to either trip us or push us down. Our road is rough & we are weak. Only an Almighty arm can preserve us from unseen foes seeking to destroy us. Such an arm is engaged & ever ready to keep us from falling.
        1. ​​​​​​​God, I’m not able to save myself. I’m not able to live up to Your expectations God. I’m not able to save my marriage. I’m not able to be good enough. I’m not able to not stumble. I’m not able to live spotless. I’m not able! - Now TO HIM who is able!!!
          1. ​​​​​​​This is cause for doxology! :)
    3. His coming ministry (24b): Presenting us faultless up there.
      1. ​​​​​​​And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
        1. ​​​​​​​His Keeping power can not only keep you from falling into sin, but also bring you out of sin
        2. His power to keep us safe, compels us to keep ourselves close to him (21).
      2. ​​​​​​​Let faultless roll around in your mind. We are far from it now; but as our Lord never stops short of perfection in His work of love, we shall reach it one day.
      3. The Savior who will keep his people to the end, will also present them at last to himself, as Paul said, He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church w/o a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. (Eph5:27)
        1. ​​​​​​​Pure spiritual virgins without spot or stain.
      4. How will Jesus make us faultless? He will wash us from our sins in His own blood until we are white and fair as God’s purest angel.
        1. ​​​​​​​We shall be unblameable and unreproveable. He will make us so perfectly holy, that we shall have no lingering tendency to sin.
        2. Judgment, memory, will - every power and passion shall be emancipated from the power of evil. We shall be holy even as God is holy.
        3. The saints beauty will be as stunning as that of the place prepared for them.
        4. Sin gone, Satan shut out, temptation past for ever, and ourselves faultless before God,... this will be heaven indeed!
        5. Let’s rehearse the song of eternal praise of all the blood-washed host...read together the last verse in the translation behind me...To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
    4. Jesus’ Magnificence (25)
    5. No doxology in all of scripture do I enjoy more than this one by General Jude.
      1. ​​​​​​​Doxa = glory. Lagas = to say, a word, a saying. Doxology is a praise saying.
        1. ​​​​​​​Usually speaks to 4 things: To God. Glory. Forever. Amen.
      2. Find them all throughout Scripture. End of 5 books of Psalms (end of 41,72,89,106, all 150).
      3. When Jesus is born angels sing in Lk.2, Gloria in excelsis Deo (Glory in the Highest, God).
        1. ​​​​​​​Glory/shekinah had been absent for years.
      4. Then Jesus gives at end of Lord’s Prayer. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
      5. It’s never anything mundane. It’s not when we find a parking spot at the mall near the store, & you say, PTL! - No, never trivial, never mundane but marvelous, transcendent, redemptive, thanking God.
        1. ​​​​​When some people hear that Heaven is forever, often they think forever the same. No way Jose, it is forever different! - Thus, the detonating doxologies that explode throughout the Revelation. Like, a Champaign cork blowing off cuz of all that pressure.
    6. Amen – is a seal stamped at the end of this letter, then filled with molten steal, expressing the confident eternal majesty of God…the God who is able.
      1. ​​​​​​​Read - Is.52:10-12
    7. 24–25 msg And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating - to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, & rule before all time, & now, & to the end of all time. Yes.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jude 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jude-1.html. 2017.