This study of Jude vs 1-5 was taught by Pastor Barry on 7th February 2021 as part of Calvary Portsmouth’s on-line family service.
Jude wanted to write to believers to encourage them in their faith, but there was a problem. People claiming to be Christians were spreading false teaching and living worldly lives – and telling others it was ok to do so because they were now saved, so you can live as you like.
So instead of letter of encouragement, Jude writes this short letter to remind Christians that it does matter how you live. You cannot go around living however you please. God has bought you with a price (the highest price of all – the blood of His Son), so we are to ‘honor God with our bodies and spirits’ – see 1 Corinthians 6:20.
Jude begins (humbly) by introducing himself as a bond-servant of Jesus and brother of James. Of course, he was actually the brother of Jesus! – but neither he or James ever refer to this, as if to use it as a mark of authority. The authority Jude and James have was because they were ‘in Christ’, not because they grew up in the same home in Nazareth.
Jude then reminds us that God is the One who is sanctifying us – in response to our faith (Acts 26:18), that Jesus is constantly watching over us, and that we have the privilege of being called to follow Him. Peter actually says we should ‘give diligence to make your calling and election sure’ (2 Peter 1:10). In other words, ‘You have been given a 2nd chance, you have been called by Jesus Himself – don’t blow your inheritance like the prodigal son or like Easu, by chasing after things to satisfy you merely on earth and not striving to take hold of all that you can have in Christ!’
Jude also reminds us that we have a ‘common salvation’. It is the same for the king as the pauper. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but trough Him. There is salvation in no other way or no other Name, regardless of your rank, education, position in society or wealth. We are all sinners saved by His Grace.
Jude then urges us to fight for the faith, as if in a contest where there can be only one winner. Jude says in effect, ‘it is either the false teachers or the truth that will prevail. Don’t let them win!’ But that means you cannot just do nothing and leave it to someone else. The battle is not just in the media or government, it is in your work-place, in your children’s schools, in your home, even in your heart!
“I say this because some godless teachers have wormed their way in among you, saying that after we become Christians we can do just as we like without fear of God’s punishment. The fate of such people was written long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
My answer to them is: Remember this fact—which you know already—that the Lord saved a whole nation of people out of the land of Egypt and then killed every one of them who did not trust and obey him.” (Jude vs 4-5 The Living Bible)
This might come as a shock! (It should come as a shock!!). We have taught (and will continue to teach) that our salvation is secure, yet Jude uses the Israelites as an example of how we should not take our position for granted!
The children of Israel were delivered from slavery and bondage in Egypt (analogous to being saved from sin and born again), passed through the Red Sea, (analogous to baptism),
They were Redeemed (Ex 15:13 / Deut 21:8), Sanctified (Ex 31:13 / Lev 20:8), Converted (Psalm 19:7), In Grace (Ex 33:12-17 / Psalm 84:11) and had their names in the Book of Life (Ex 32:32-33)
…yet when they sinned through unbelief in the promises of God, they were cut off from God and lost their inheritance! (1 Cor 10:1-10).
The Bible is full of similar examples of individuals who ‘fell from Grace’ – including Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, two of only a very few people to have seen God! (Exodus 24:9-11) – yet they were both ‘cut off’ by God Himself (see Leviticus 10).
Paul told the Corinthians: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall“. (1 Cor 10:12)
In speaking of how the Gentiles have been grafted into God’s family, Paul also says: “Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off”. (Romans 11:19-22)
Paul sums this up in Galatians 6:7-8 when he states: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”.
May you be blessed, challenged and encouraged to walk closer with the LORD!