Overview of Jude for New Testament Reading with Fellowship Baptist Church
For centuries rugged defenders have built walls, launched missiles, and waged wars to protect from harm, to guard from attack, to repulse enemies, real or imagined. We expend material and human resources for the sake of saving a nation and cities with total commitment and courageous abandon for ourselves and our families. We fight for survival of our values, defending with all our strength what is most precious to us, from everything that seeks to threaten us.
God’s Word and the gift of eternal life have infinite value and have been entrusted to Christ Jesus’ faithful followers. There are indeed many in our time, just as in Jude’s day, who live in opposition to God and His ways. They twist God’s truth, seeking to deceive and destroy the unsuspecting and gullible. But God’s truth must go forth, carried and contended for by those who have committed their lives to God’s Son. It is an important task, an awesome responsibility, and a profound privilege to have this commission.
This was Jude’s message to Christians everywhere reminding the church to be consistently vigilant with a strong faith to oppose evil ungodly men and their heresies. Jude was a brother of James and half-brother of Jesus Christ, claiming to be Christ Jesus’ bond-servant as a sign of respect to his Divine. He wrote approximately in the year 65 AD, which found a first generation of Christianity fading away with destructive teachings beginning to enter in trying to nullify what the apostles had taught as eyewitnesses of the living Lord. This is a short book, but powerful in its language, much akin to the book of 2 Peter in its speech. Read with the passion this book deserves as you determine to “contend for the faith” and be a person of God!
False Teachers- Jude warns strongly against false teachers and leaders who reject the lordship of Jesus Christ, undermine the faith of others, and lead them astray. These ungodly men will be punished severely by the Lord along with those who follow them. There are Old Testament examples, which were given for our benefit for further study into the debauchery that evil brings. We must staunchly defend Christian truth, making sure we avoid leaders and teachers who distort the Bible to suit their own purposes. Genuine servants of God will faithfully portray Christ in their words and conduct.
Apostasy- Jude also warns against apostasy, or falling away from Christ Jesus. We are to remember that the security of the believer is the perseverance of the believer and God knows who is and isn’t serious about the call to follow Him. Christians are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and not devoid of Him (19). We are to remember that God punishes all rebellion against Him. We must be careful not to drift away from a faithful commitment to Christ. Those who do not seek to know the truth in God’s Word are susceptible to apostasy. Christians must guard against false teachings of ever sort that would distract them from the truth preached by the apostles and written in God’s inspired, infallible, and holy Word.
Jude introduces himself and describes the recipients of his letter (1). He intends to write concerning their common salvation, but felt the urge of the Holy Spirit to write for his readers to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” through Jesus Christ the Savior of the world from sin (3). He makes his points early and often that Christians should reject vehemently all teachers who secretly bring in heresies of falsehood and immorality (4-19). These ungodly men have not remembered God’s mighty acts of rescue and punishment against evil (5-11, 14-16), and the warnings of the apostles (17-19).
God’s people are to build up their own faith through prayer (20), keeping close to Christ (21), helping others (22-23), and hating sin (23). Jude in the end offers a glorious benediction of the attributes of our great God and Eternal King with a chorus of praise (24-25). Jesus is the One who keeps us from stumbling and presents us blameless before the Father with great joy!
Jude 1:3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.