Jude 1-3:  The Acts of the Apostates

August 29, 2017

 

This little book has only twenty-five verses, but the writer, Jude reminds us of how easily apostasy can creep in. He says, “Certain men have crept in unnoticed,” literally, “Crept in by the side door.”

 

Jude’s purpose is two-fold he wanted to expose the false teachers that had infiltrated the Christian community, and he wanted to encourage Christians to stand firm in the faith and fight for the truth.

 

Jude takes us back to Israel, going apostate after God rescued them from Egypt, and he reminds us of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, that “were filled with immorality.” This is a strong message to Christians!

 

Hebrews 3:12,13, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

 

Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…”

 

Because Apostasy is literally right at our doorstep, we must not be taken in by false teachers and doctrines contrary to the Word of God. And we must not become complacent! Anyone who is teaching a false gospel is under the condemnation of God.

 

Galatians 1:6-8, “I  marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

 

The Gospel is defined for us:

 

1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

 

The Bible warns there will be a falling away.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away (apostasy) comes first, and the man of sin (the Antichrist) is revealed, the son of perdition.”  

 

Christian friend, don’t get discouraged, the hope we have is that Jesus is coming soon!

 

Now let’s look at the book of Jude:

 

Verse 1a: The author, “Jude,” also, “Judas” or “Judah,” was one of the four half-brothers of Christ (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). He was born of Joseph and Mary, Christ was born of Mary and the Holy Spirit. His name was a common one among the Jews, two other apostles were named Jude or Judas, “Judas,” the brother of James and “Judas Iscariot” who betrayed our Lord. This book that bears his name was probably written 66-69 AD.

 

Verse 1b: “Jude, a bondservant.” The Greek word is, doulos, a slave; one who gives himself up to another's will, devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests. “I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ” (The Message).

 

Verse 1c: “To those who are called…” A Christian is somebody who is called. That is the first great security of the Christian. He has been called by God. A Christian's salvation isn't something that he dreams up on his own; rather, it is an act of God.

 

John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…”

 

Romans 8:28,30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose…Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

 

Verse 1d: “To those loved by God the Father…” (The Message). The Greek word is agapao, God chose to love us! John MacArthur says, “The perfect tense indicates that God placed His love on believers in eternity past,

 

Ephesians 1:4, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” results that continue in the present and into the future.”

 

Dr. Ironside wrote, “Our Lord Himself declared it (speaking of the love of the Father) when He said, ‘The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one. I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.’ (John 17:22-23)

 

Verse 1e: “And preserved in Jesus Christ…” “And keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ” (New Living Translation). “Kept” (King James Version). The Greek word is: tereo: “To guard, to hold firmly, to watch or keep,” It expresses watchful care, and is suggestive of present possession. It means to watch as one would some precious thing. The idea is to observe attentively and to retain in custody Jesus said in John 17:11, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me…”.

 

Verse 2a: “Mercy” in Greek is  eleos. The idea of “mercy” is to show kindness or concern for someone in serious need or to give help to the wretched, to relieve the miserable. Here the essential thought is that mercy gives attention to those in misery. God in His mercy does not give us what we deserve. Instead, He gave our punishment to His own Son on the cross. Mercy is God’s love in action! God didn’t just love, He gave.

 

John 3:16, “God so loved…That he gave…”

 

Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Verse 2b: “Peace” in Greek is eirene, “To join or bind together that which has been separated.” It is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Shalom, “Peace to you,” which implies health, well-being, and prosperity. 

 

Verse 2c: “Be multiplied to you…” It means to fill, to be made full, grow, increase, to cause to become greater in number, abundance. “May you ever experience more and more of mercy, peace and love!” (Phillips Translation).

 

Colossians 1:20, “And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

 

Verse 3 Gives us the reason for Jude’s writing.

 

Verse 3a: “Beloved, “Divinely-loved ones.” –Wuest “Dear to the heart of God!”

 

Verse 3b: “I was very diligent…” “Diligent” in Greek is spoude and it refers to “eagerness, earnestness,  effort, willingness or zeal,” quickly obeying what the Lord reveals as His priority. Hurry up and get at it! “I had constraint laid upon me.” –Wuest. Paul uses this same word in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”

 

Verse 3c: “Our common salvation…” “Common,” in Greek koinos, that which is open to all. The salvation that genuine believers everywhere share. “Salvation” is soteria, rescue or deliverance from danger, and destruction. Deliverance from the consequences of sin.

 

Verse 3d: “I found it necessary…” “Eagerly planning” (NLT). “I felt compelled, constrained to write.” The Holy Spirit impressed on him the necessity of writing…The intrusion of false teachers made it necessary to write and urge them to fight for the faith.

 

Verse 3e: “Exhorting you…” in Greek, parakaleo: “admonish” “Urge” “Beg.”

 

Verse 3f: “Contend earnestly…” “Contend” is a strong word, in Greek it is athleo, “to engage in a contest, to strive.” Paul uses this word in 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes for the prize…” 2 Timothy 2:5, “if anyone competes in athletics…” “Earnestly,” is eagerness, struggle, fight.” “Fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us” (The Message).

 

Verse 3g: “Contend for the faith…” “Faith” is the essential truths of the gospel that all true Christians hold in common. The body of doctrine that forms the Christian confession, that was given by Christ and through the apostles by the moving of the Holy Spirit. That confession can never change. What Christians are to believe about Christ, the gospel, God, Christ’s return, justification, and other core doctrines cannot be altered. 

 

Jude is admonishing his readers, and us to agonize in fighting for God’s truth! The essentials of our faith are not open for discussion. You’ve heard the saying, “God said it I believe it, that settles it.” What’s wrong with that? “God said it, that settles it, whether I believe it or not.”

 

Verse 3h: “Which was once for all delivered to the saints…” “Once delivered,”  means that the faith was entrusted to writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, given one time, and doesn't need to be delivered again. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed).”

 

Jude challenges all believers to fight for God’s truth, the Word of God.

 

Why are we to fight for God’s truth?

 

Verse 4a: “For certain men have crept in unnoticed…” The Greek verb means to slip in by a side-door.

 

Galatians 2:4, “But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.”

 

Some people had infiltrated the church, they had crept in by the side door.

 

By the way, these infiltrators are never ugly looking monsters that frighten people. Satan knows how to get in. When I was pastoring in Texas a very nice couple began attending our church. They were good looking, loving, kind and very hospitable, invited young couples to dinner, etc. Well, they were indoctrinating these young couples in doctrine which was not out churches doctrine. They had to be dealt with!

 

Verse 4b: “Who long ago were marked out for this condemnation…” Who were long ago written about for this condemnation. The deeds of those who were responsible for the apostasy had been proclaimed or written down long ago.

 

They slithered in like snakes, without others being aware. God, however, marked them out as enemies a long time ago; He knows they are there.

 

1 Timothy 4:1, “But the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some in the church will turn away from Christ and become eager followers of teachers with devil-inspired ideas.”

 

2 Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

 

Verse 4c: “Ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness.” Ungodly” in Greek is, asebes, “A lack of interest in the things of God and a behavior and lifestyle consistent with such an irreverent attitude.” Robert Leighton wrote that...The carnal mind sees God in nothing, not even in spiritual things. The spiritual mind sees him in everything, even in natural things.
 

Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

 

“Lewdness” “Lasciviousness” (KJV), originally referred to any excess or lack of restraint but came to convey the idea of shameless excess and the absence of restraint, especially with sexual excess. ‘They perverted the grace of God into an excuse for blatant immorality.’”–Barclay

 

The term, “Antinomianism” comes from the Greek, anti, “against” and nomos, “law,” meaning “lawless or against law.” In Christian theology it is the term teaching that Christians are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality. More generally, antinomianism may be seen as characteristic of human rebellion against any external authority.

 

Paul speaks to this:

 

Romans 6:1,2, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

 

1 Corinthians 10:23, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me,[b] but not all things edify.”

 

1 Corinthians 5:1,2, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named[a] among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!  And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:12,13, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.”

 

Verse 4d: “And deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

It is used of followers of Jesus who, for fear of death or persecution, deny that Jesus is their Master, and desert His cause; also of those who deny God and Christ, who by cherishing and disseminating pernicious opinions and immorality, are adjudged to have apostatized from God and Christ.” –Wuest

 

2 Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

 

1 John 2:22,23, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

 

People who believe they have lost their salvation, in truth, never had salvation! There are always those who give “lip service” to salvation, but have never experienced true salvation.

 

2 John 9-11 NLT, “Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.”

 

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

 

What are the characteristics of false Christians?

 

“A fake Christian is not a struggling Christian, because every Christian struggles. Every Christian has times of falling short and sinning and slipping up. But that is not a fake Christian. A fake Christian is a poser, a pretender, an actor and an imitator. A fake Christian is one person sitting in the church pew but is another person altogether in day-to-day living.” –Greg Laurie

 

Does Christ live in them?  

 

John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

 

John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

 

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

 

Colossians 1:27, “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 

Do they have changed lives? When you are born again, you become a whole new person with new desires, a new mind, and new heart.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

 

Is there evidence of the Holy Spirit in their lives?

 

Romans 8:9, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

 

Galatians 5:22,23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

 

Galatians 5:16-18, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

 

Do they love?

 

1 John 2:9,10, “ He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”

 

1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us,[b] because it did not know Him.”

 

1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 

There are so many people today who claim to be Christians, and I have given you some characteristics of them. So if you are still confused about what a Christian is here are a few more thoughts:

 

•Does going to church make me a Christian? No!

•If I’ve been baptized does that make me a Christian? No!

•I read my Bible now and then, does that make me a Christian?  No!

•I pray every occasionally, does that make me a Christian? No!

•I feed the hungry and house the homeless, does that make me a Christian? No! That’s a good thing to do, but it does not make you a Christian.

•I’ve never done anything real bad, does that make me a Christian? No!

•I’ve always tried to keep the Ten Commandments, does that make me a Christian? No!

 

Allow me to simplify it for you. It’s a s easy as A.B.C.

 

Admit you’re a sinner. God says in Romans 3:23, “For all have     sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

 

Believe with all you heart (your inward being). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” (Acts 16:30).

 

Call on Jesus: Romans 10:13, “For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 9:9, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also the New Living Translation (NLT); The Message (MSG); The Amplified Bible (AMP); the King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version) NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV) and The Living Bible (TLB).

 

Marlena and I support this ministry with our Social Security plus donations from a few of our friends. We need more friends! Will you be a friend to us and God’s word For You? Your financial support of this ministry is much appreciated. You may send your support to God’s Word For You, 25413 Alpha Street, Moreno Valley, CA 92557

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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