THE UNGODLINESS OF RELIGIOUS IMPOSTERS ONLY SERVES TO INCREASE OUR SENSE OF URGENCY IN PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE FLOCK
Cf. Under Armour commercial – “We must protect this house”
Something much more at stake than a football game – precious lives of the flock of Jesus Christ who are being ravaged by savage wolves who have crept in unawares
Genuine believers are those who are “beloved in God the Father”
I. (:17-19) NO SURPRISES – S.A.D. State of Affairs
“But you beloved”
A. (:17-18a) Scenario Predicted by the Apostles
“ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you”
B. (:18b) Arrogance Motivated by Unrestrained Sensuality
“In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts”
C. (:19) Division Accomplished by Fleshly Orientation
“These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit”
II. (:20-21) NO COMPLACENCY
“But you beloved”
A. Pursue Mutual Edification
“building yourselves up on your most holy faith”
Hamilton Smith: We cannot rightly contend for the faith unless we are building up ourselves in our most holy faith. We are not called to build ourselves up in all the different forms which evil may assume. We shall not be able to resist error by simply having an acquaintance with error. We can only meet error as we are built up in the truth. Moreover, our faith is a “most holy faith.” So that in being built up in the faith we are not only gaining a deeper acquaintance with the truth, but we are increasingly wrought upon by the truth. It has a holy, sanctifying effect upon our souls, leading to a greater separation from the evil by which we are surrounded (John 17: 17).
B. Practice Focused Prayer
“praying in the Holy Spirit”
C. Protect Redemptive Relationships
“keep yourselves in the love of God”
F. B. Hole: In the third place we are to keep ourselves in the love of God. In the consciousness and warmth and power of it we are to dwell. We are persuaded of course with Paul that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8: 39). His love has a firm hold on us, and He will never let us go. But we are also to have a firm hold upon it in the quiet recesses of our hearts. We are to be bathed in it, just like a bucket or other vessel which has been flung into the ocean. Then it is in the ocean, and the ocean is in it. So if we keep ourselves in the love of God, the love of God will be in us, imparting its beautiful character to our lives.
D. Pant for Eternity
“waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life”
III. (:22-23) NO ABANDONING OF THE FLOCK
A. Compassion Towards the Wavering
“And have mercy on some, who are doubting”
B. Deliverance Towards the Desperate
“save others, snatching them out of the fire”
C. Holy Trepidation Towards the Ensnared
“and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh”
Guzik: But using wisdom, we approach different people in different manners; by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we can know when we should comfort, and when we should rebuke
Faussett: even the garment–a proverbial phrase: avoiding the most remote contact with sin, and hating that which borders on it. As garments of the apostles wrought miracles of good in healing, so the very garment of sinners metaphorically, that is, anything brought into contact with their pollution, is to be avoided. Compare as to lepers and other persons defiled, Lev 13:52-57 15:4-17 : the garments were held polluted; and anyone touching them was excluded, until purified, from religious and civil communion with the sanctified people of Israel. Christians who received at baptism the white garment in token of purity, are not to defile it by any approach to what is defiled.
MacArthur: The first group are those who need compassion and tenderness because sincere doubts trouble them. Their problem is not a violent reaction against Christianity; their problem is doubt. The second group includes those requiring a bold confrontation if they are to be snatched from an eternity in hell. They have gone past doubt and have committed themselves to a false system. The last group are those who must be dealt with very cautiously. They are so vile in their contamination by evil that the believer is in danger of being contaminated himself.
A. The Preservation of the Saints – despite the threat of apostasy
1. Protection From Falling
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling”
2. Right Standing with God
“and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy”
B. The Personal Relationship with the Triune God of Redemption
“to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord”
C. The Power and Prestige for all Eternity
“be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Piper: Jude begins and ends the letter by assuring believers that God exerts his omnipotence to keep them from falling away from the faith.
Liana: The end of preserving is presenting. In Jesus Christ we will stand blameless in the presence of God. We will see His glory and be filled with joy, that is, an abundant and never ending joy that will never fade in the least. (Eph. 5:27)
Wallace: vs. 19 – Jude continues his indictment against false teachers on two counts: they are divisive, and they are without the Spirit of God. The Greek verb to separate suggests setting up lines of demarcation that give rise to a factious spirit. Moreover, it bespeaks a sense of superiority on the part of these false teachers. With fine irony Jude accuses the Gnostics, who regarded themselves as spiritual, of having not the Spirit. He affirms that spirituality is a quality of life produced by the Spirit of God, and not by religious exercises known only to the initiated few.