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Jude 1:1-4

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 17, 2013


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?


I found a lost story about one of Jesus’ brothers …

The younger brother of Jesus asked his kindergarten teacher for help in putting his boots on, and she could see why.  With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn’t want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked and, sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on-this time on the right feet. He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.” She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, “They’re my older brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them.” She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots...”

I know, I know, this sounds like a crazy story.  But this morning we are going to talk about wrestling, and we are going to hear from that little brother…

:1-2 Hey from Jude

:1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

:2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

:1 JudeIoudas – “he shall be praised”

It’s a pretty common name in the Bible.

It’s the name of one of Jacob’s sons, the head of the tribe of Judah, and the origin of the word “Jew”.
It’s the name of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus.
It’s the name of another of Jesus’ disciples, the “other” Judas, also known as Thaddeus.  This was the fellow who is known as “Saint Jude”, the patron saint of lost causes.
It’s in the title of a famous little tune …
PlayHey Jude” clip
Our “Jude” was the brother (half-brother), the little brother of Jesus.

About Jesus’ family …

(Mt 13:54–56 NKJV) —54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”
The people of the small town of Nazareth knew Jesus as He had grown up, calling Him the “carpenter’s son”.
They also knew about Jesus’ earthly family, even naming His brothers, and that He also had sisters.
It’s likely that the list of brothers is in chronological order, and that would make Jude (Judas) the baby of the family, the youngest brother.

Side Note:  The Roman Catholic Church teaches that not only was Mary a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus (which the Bible teaches), but they claim that she remained a virgin for the rest of her life.  That’s amazing considering that she had at least six other kids (4 more boys and at least 2 girls).

At one point, as the crowds that followed Jesus got bigger and bigger…
(Mk 3:20–21 NKJV) —20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

Jesus’ family thought He was crazy.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, they simply didn’t believe.
(Jn 7:1–5 NKJV) —1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

Maybe Jesus’ younger brothers resented the attention their big brother got.  After all Jesus was “perfect”.

At some point, Jude came to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.   The change took place after Jesus rose from the dead.
We know that Jesus appeared to his brother James, Paul wrote,

(1 Co 15:7 NKJV) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

Perhaps Jesus also appeared to His other brothers as well.

When the early church began to meet after Jesus rose from the dead, look who was there:

(Ac 1:14 NKJV) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

:1 bondservant of Jesus… brother of James

:1 bondservantdoulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition

:1 brother of James

:1 JamesIakobos – Jacob, “supplanter

It would seem there is a touch of humility here.

Jude could identify himself as the “brother of Jesus”, but he only calls himself the “slave” of Jesus.
He is willing to identify himself as the brother of James, the half-brother of Jesus.
James was considered the leader of the church in Jerusalem. 
He also wrote the book of James.

:1 called, sanctified … preserved

:1 sanctifiedhagiazo – To make holy, consecrate, sanctify; to dedicate, separate, set apart for God

Perfect passive participle

:1 preservedtereo – to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard

Perfect passive participle

:1 calledkletos – called, invited (to a banquet)

This is who Jude is writing to.  Us.

We’ve been called by God.
We’ve been made “holy”, set apart for God’s use, sanctified.
We are preserved in Jesus Christ.

:2 be multipliedplethuno – to increase, to multiply

Aorist passive optative

Optative expresses the strongest possible wish regarding an event.

:3-4 Contending

:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

:3 while I was very diligent to write

:3 while I was very diligent

Three words are used here.

allpas – all

speedspoude – haste, with haste; earnestness, diligence

to dopoieo – to make; to do

Present middle participle

:3 to writegrapho – to write, with reference to the form of the letters; to write, with reference to the contents of the writing

Present active infinitive

:3 commonkoinos – common

:3 salvationsoteria – deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation

Jude was apparently going to write a letter about the salvation we all share in Jesus Christ, but something else came up that became more urgent to write about.

It’s the same concern that Peter writes about in his second letter:

(2 Pe 2:1 NKJV) 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.
Peter will say much of the same things that we will be looking at in our time with Jude.  If you want extra credit, you might think about going home and reading through 2Peter.
The scholars aren’t sure who wrote their letter first, but because both Peter and Jude use the same kind of language, we think that one of them knew of the other’s letter.

:3 necessaryanagke – necessity, imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, argument

:3 I foundecho – to have, i.e. to hold

Aorist active indicative

:3 to writegrapho – to write, with reference to the form of the letters; to write, with reference to the contents of the writing

Aorist active infinitive

:3 exhortingparakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort

:3 the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints

The “faith” Jude is talking about is the teaching about Jesus that brings salvation.

This teaching was given to the world “once for all”.

:3 once for allhapax – once, one time; once for all

:3 deliveredparadidomi – to give into the hands (of another); to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage

:3 saintshagios – holy, holy ones

:3 faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; the religious beliefs of Christians


Firm Foundation

Over the centuries that have been various movements that have tried to claim that they are going to “improve” upon the gospel.
Islam (600 AD) claims that Judaism and Christianity have been misinterpreted or altered over time, but that the Arabic Qur’an is the unaltered, final revelation of God.
The Mormon faith (1820) claims that the church had become corrupt, and that Joseph Smith brought back the true gospel.
Yet why would we need an “improved” faith, when Jude claims that it was delivered once and for all to the saints?
The “faith” that has been delivered to us has come through the word of God, starting with the teachings of Jesus.
(Mt 7:24–27 NKJV)24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Everybody will go through “storms”.  Everybody will go through difficult time.

The key to your house surviving the storms is the key to having your life survive the storms.

The key is not just having the word of God or listening to the “sayings of Jesus”.

The key is having the word of God and doing it.

The key to survival is learning to put God’s Word into practice in our lives.

Play The Foundation clip

It’s important that we build our lives on the correct foundation, on the truths in God’s Word.

:3 contend earnestly for the faith

to contend earnestlyepagonizomai – to contend

Present deponent infinitive
fromagonizomai – to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries
Our word “agonize” comes from the root word.
Adding the prefix “epi” only intensifies the word.


Be a Contender

Being a “contender” means you’re in the fight.  It doesn’t mean that you have to be “contentious” or “obnoxious”.
Look at Paul’s instructions to Timothy about how to handle people with goofy ideas:
(2 Ti 2:24–26 NKJV) —24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Four words describe how our attitude ought to be:

Gentleness – the word here means “likeable” or “gentle”

Able to teach – It means you know what you believe, it means you are also constantly learning about your faith and are learning how to communicate clearly what you believe.

Patience – the word here means literally “hold up under evil”.  Sometimes I just want to forget about people caught in “evil”, but I need to learn to be a little more patient.

Humility – the word here is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest.  It stems in a trust of God’s goodness and God’s control over the situation.

Some of us think that all we need is to know “information” (“teach”) when contending, but Paul puts an even greater emphasis on “attitude” (gentle, patient …)

This is how we “contend”.

Another way we “contend” is in prayer.
(Col 4:12 NKJV) Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

laboring fervently” is a translation of agonizomai, the root for the word in our passage for “contend”

One of the ways we wrestle with the bad stuff around us is on our knees.  In some types of wrestling matches, the wrestlers start on their knees.

PlayI Could Have Been A Contender” clip
Are you a “contender”?  Or are you just a “bum”?

:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

:4 crept in unnoticedpareisduno (“alongside” + “into” + “to enter”) – to enter secretly, slip in stealthily, like slipping in through the side door.

Only used here in NT

Aorist active indicative

:4 who long ago were marked out

long agopalai – of old, former; long ago

marked outprographo (“before” + “to write”) – to write before (of time); of old set forth or designated beforehand (in the scriptures of the OT)

Perfect passive participle

Jude is talking about how these false teachers had been predicted to come before it happened. 

Perhaps Jude is thinking of some of the things that Peter writes about in 2Peter.
Some of the predictions are laid out in the historical figures that Jude will talk about in a few verses, people who would become illustrations of the false prophets in Jude’s day, as well as in our day.

:4 condemnationkrima – judgment; the punishment with which one is sentenced; condemnatory sentence, penal judgment, sentence

:4 ungodly menasebes (“not” + “worshipful”) – destitute of reverential awe towards God

:4 who turn the grace of our God into lewdness

gracecharis – grace; that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

who turnmetatithemi – to transpose (two things, one of which is put in place of the other)

Like the dyslexic atheist who claimed there was no dog.

lewdnessaselgeia (“not” + “self-controlled”) – unbridled lust, sexual excess

These fellows turn “grace” into “lewdness”.
They take the concept of grace and abuse it, using it as a reason to continue in uncontrolled sin.

Grace is all about what God does for us, despite what we deserve.

Grace is all about how God can forgive us, not because we are good enough to be forgiven, but because He is good enough to forgive us.
Some people take this concept of God’s free forgiveness to mean that they are now free to go out and do whatever they want because “we’re not under the law, but we’re under grace”.

This was what some people were accusing the apostle Paul of teaching.

(Ro 3:8 NKJV) And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
(Ro 6:1 NKJV) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
(Ro 6:15 NKJV) What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Grace DOES mean that God will freely forgive us.

But if you’ve been truly touched by God’s grace, you will shudder to think of going back into sin.  You will be aware of the great price that God paid for you to be forgiven.  You will know that you are indebted to God and you will want to live FOR Him, not in wickedness.


Not Abusing Grace

PlayHouston we have a problem” clip
If your thoughts about God’s free gift of forgiveness lead you to think that you can go out and do whatever you want and it doesn’t matter … then we have a problem.
One of Paul’s greatest writings about how our salvation is based on God’s grace and not on works is in his letter to the Galatians.  Yet look how clearly Paul warns us:
(Ga 5:19–21 NLT) —19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Paul isn’t saying that you won’t be in heaven if you ever commit one of these things, but he is saying that if these kinds of things are the “practice” of your life, the way you live your life, then we have a problem.  Maybe you haven’t known God’s grace at all.  Maybe you haven’t been saved.
These false teachers that Jude is talking about clearly are not saved.

:4 deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ

:4 onlymonos – alone, only

:4 Lorddespotes – a master, Lord; as a slave would refer to his master

It’s a stronger word than the normal word, kurios.  It contains a hint of “fear” in the meaning.

:4 Lordkurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

:4 denyarneomai – to deny; to deny someone; not to accept, to reject, to refuse something offered

Present deponent participle

In the Greek, Jude uses two different words for “Lord”, and he is saying that Jesus Christ is both “the only Lord God” as well as “our Lord”.


Denying the Lord

How have they “denied” the Lord?
Here it is not just a matter of doctrine, as in denying the doctrine of the deity of Christ.  This is all about lifestyle.
A person can “deny” that Jesus is their “Lord” by how they live.
Paul wrote,

(Tt 1:16 NKJV) They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Paul also wrote,

(1 Ti 5:8 NKJV) But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Jesus said,

(Lk 6:46 NKJV) “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

If I call Jesus my “Lord”, yet I am not doing what He says, I’m lying to myself by calling Him “Lord”.

Play Lord, Lord clip

I’m not necessarily trying to say that if you are struggling to forgive your friend that you are not a true Christian, or that you have lost your salvation.  But if you are uncomfortable about the fact that you are not obeying what God says, then I’ve done my job.  Get back to doing what He wants you to do.

Is Jesus your Lord?