The church has come under attack from within as apostate false teachers continue to deceive many people and lead them astray. Jude delivers a call to arms as he exposes these wolves in sheep’s clothing and emphasizes their certain destruction. Believers must contend earnestly for the faith, guard their own spiritual lives, use all of the spiritual resources at their disposal and actively seek the restoration and protection of the vulnerable flock of God.
These false teachers have created a false dichotomy between the spiritual and the material, excusing their licentiousness which is a practical denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their daily lives. Their lives are marked by lust, rebellion and irreverence. They promise great things while all the time selfishly manipulating people for their own gain. Their eternal punishment is certain as pictured in a number of significant OT examples. But the believers have incredible spiritual resources and the guarantee of the preserving work of the Triune God which will safely bring us to glory in a state of complete sanctification. We need to have a heart of mercy and compassion for those under attack and seek to rescue them while being sensitive to the dangers involved for both them and for ourselves.
The Threat of Apostate False Teachers (Who Are Doomed To Destruction) Calls Believers To Front Line Battle Positions
Jude 1:3 “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
1. (1:1-4) The Lordship Of Jesus Christ Must Be Maintained As A Key Fundamental Of Historic Christianity
2. (1:5-11) Certain Eternal Destruction Awaits The Apostate False Teachers Who Are Marked By Lust, Rebellion And Irreverence
3. (1:12-16) Despite Their Deceptive Nature, The Apostate False Teachers Are Exposed And Doomed To Destruction For Their Pursuit Of Ungodliness
4. (1:17-25) The Ungodliness Of Religious Imposters Only Serves To Increase Our Sense Of Urgency In Protecting The Vulnerable Flock
WHY STUDY THIS BOOK?
• To be aware of the dangers around us within professing Christendom so that we do not naively accept all spiritual leaders and all teaching as legitimate
• To learn the characteristics of apostate false teachers so that we can recognize and expose them and warn the vulnerable flock of God
• To reinforce our understanding of the severity of God’s judgment and the reality of eterinal punishment
• To deepen our heart of compassion and mercy for those under attack who may be wavering or susceptible to the influence of these deceptive teachers
• To heighten our own sense of spiritual alertness so that we avail ourselves of all of the spiritual resources at our disposal to build ourselves up in our faith and keep ourselves in the love of God
• To heighten our anticipation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ who will put down every rebellion, judge every false teacher, and bring His own to glory in a state of complete sanctification
Charles Ryrie: This letter was written to defend the apostolic faith against false teachings which were arising in the churches. Alarming advances were being made by an incipient form of Gnosticism – not ascetic, like that attacked by Paul in Colossians, but antinomian. The Gnostics viewed everything material as evil and everything spiritual as good. They therefore cultivated their “spiritual” lives and allowed their flesh to do anything it liked, with the result that they were guilty of all kinds of lawlessness.
Legge: The Acts of the Apostates – It is a frightening thing, when we think that this little book is so neglected within the church of Jesus Christ today. Indeed, this little book – perhaps you could use as strong a word to say – is hated by many. What is it? It is a call to arms! As you read the book, and read the language, the language is strong, it is harsh, it is scalding, it is severe – and perhaps that’s why it’s not popular because, in the politically correct age in which we live, strong language is not palatable…
That’s the first thing: lack of serious theology. Secondly: the condition of the local church. Thirdly: a lack of general vigilance at the rise and the spread of apostasy. Now even to mention that word today sends the little hairs up our neck – isn’t that right? Because we live in a tolerant age, we live in an age that does not use harsh words – except for those in Christ of course. Apostasy is a word that has been misused, misrepresented but a word, perhaps today more than ever, that is not used at all!
John Piper: Contend For the Faith — So God’s way as we see it in Jude is to give his people confidence that their faith will be victorious in the end (in verses 1 and 24) and then to send them out to fight for it.
1. There is a faith once for all delivered to the saints.
2. This faith is worth contending for.
3. This faith is repeatedly threatened from within the church.
4. Every genuine believer should contend for the faith.