Morning Bible Study
Today we finish
working our way through this little letter written by one of Jesus’ half-brothers.
Jude is apparently
the youngest of Mary’s five sons.
last week that Jude’s main
theme is his concern for the false teachers that were beginning to crop up in
the church. We read in verse 3
(Jud 3 NKJV) 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.
At the end of his letter, Jude turns to his readers and challenges them
about how they are to live their lives in the light of these false teachers
that can creep into the church.
Sometimes we can get so worried about the “false teachers” that we can
neglect our own walk with the Lord.
I’ve seen this among friends who become so focused on becoming the world’s
greatest heresy hunters that their own lives can fall apart.
Jude started with having his readers work on their own lives first.
(Jud 20–21 NKJV) —20
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our
Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
:20-21 … building
yourselves … keep yourselves …
Fix Me First
We will talk a little about how we deal with false teaching, but notice
that Jude wants us to pay attention to ourselves first. We need to take care of our own faith first.
Jesus taught this principle when He talked about judging others.
(Mt 7:1–5 NKJV) —1 “Judge
not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what
judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will
be measured back to you. 3 And why do you
look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your
own eye? 4 Or how can you
say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank
is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own
eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your
Sometimes we misunderstand Jesus’ teaching and think that
we are to never, ever criticize another person.
But that wasn’t Jesus’ point.
Jesus’ point was not that you never deal with the splinter
in your brother’s eye. His point was that you
learn to deal with what’s in your own eye first.
are just blind to our own problems.
Would you consider asking this person to give you voice lessons?
launch out on your quest to fix the world, you better be sure you take a good
long look in the mirror and think about what you are criticizing others about.
Try making a list of the things you find wrong in the lives of other
about what’s wrong with our world.
about what’s wrong with people at work or school.
about what’s wrong in the members of your family.
Sometimes the very thing we are most critical of others is the thing that
we struggle with.
Before Jude gets into “fixing” people, he has already told us that we need
to be building ourselves up, praying, looking to Jesus’ coming, and keeping
ourselves in the love of God. Then …
:22 And on some
have compassion, making a distinction;
:23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating
even the garment defiled by the flesh.
:22-23 on some …
Jude is giving his readers instructions on how to handle these false
teachers and their followers.
There are some
people that need to be treated with compassion.
others who could stand to have a little of the “fear of the Lord” put into
their lives, to be reminded that hell is real and you don’t want them to go
Big Tool Belt
There are people that need “fixing”.
Sometimes the key to “fixing” things is to have the right tools.
A home repairman
doesn’t fix everything
with the same tool.
Fixing people is similar.
We have to have many tools in our tool belts and learn what tool is right
I love to watch a real craftsman work.
I love to see his choice of tools and the skill he has at using his tools.
What do you use
to turn a screw? A screwdriver.
What do you use
to cut a 2x4? A handsaw will do.
You don’t use a saw to turn a screw.
You don’t use a screwdriver to cut a piece of wood.
Adulterous Woman clip from the Gospel of John (John 8:1-11)
compassion on this woman. He offered her
forgiveness. He rescued her.
Some people don’t need to hear about how bad they are and
the hell they are facing. They already
know it. They just need compassion.
need the fear of God. Later in the very
same chapter in John …
challenges the Jews clip from the Gospel of John (John 8:41-47)
Jesus did not
have the same kind of compassion on those who argued with Him in the Temple as
He did with the woman.
Some people need a firm hand and hard words.
The people Jesus had the harshest words for were the
religious people who weren’t open to Him.
People like to talk about how gentle Jesus was, but nobody
talked more about hell than Jesus.
The trouble comes when we mix up the tools in our tool belts and use the
wrong tools for the situation we’re in.
Being careless with the tools you have can be dangerous.
Allstate Mayhem Lawnmower
to use all the tools in God’s tool belt.
It’s sad when we rebuke the person who needs compassion.
It’s dangerous when we show restraint to a person who needs a strong word.
I have to admit I don’t have this all down pat. I’m learning too.
:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you
faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
:25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion
and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
:24 to Him who is
able – dunamai – to be
able, to be capable, strong and powerful
God has certain “abilities”. Jude
tells us that God “is able” to do two things:
1) To keep me
2) To present
:25 able to keep
you from stumbling
– aptaistos – not stumbling, standing
God has the ability to keep me in a
place of “not stumbling”.
The Greek is important here – this isn’t saying that God will magically
stop my fall once I’ve stumbled. It
means that God will keep me in a place labeled “not stumbling”.
He is able to help
He has the ability to keep me from stumbling.
He has the ability to keep me from doing stupid things like sinning.
But if He is
able to keep me from stumbling, how come I stumble?
If you are stupid
enough to light your pants on fire, do you think God is going to magically put
the fire out?
(Pr 6:27 NKJV) Can a man
take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned?
If I am stupid
enough to load my brain up with pornographic images, do you think God is
obligated magically NOT allow me to do something stupid?
If I am stupid
enough to hang out with people who are drinking or doing drugs, do you think God
is obligated to magically make my desire for drugs to go away?
God having the “ability” to “keep” me in a place of “not stumbling” is tied
to whether or not I’m willing to make the right choices in my life, then God is
going to support me in making the right choices.
The challenge for me is: Will I
trust Him enough to do the right thing?
Or am I going to be stupid and give in to the temptation?
In the book of Daniel
(Daniel 3), three
young men faced a difficult choice.
Nebuchadnezzar the king had made a new law that everyone was supposed to
bow down to his new golden statue. He
even put together a worship band, so that when the band played, everyone was
supposed to bow down to this statue.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego weren’t about to bow down to anyone other
The problem was that Nebuchadnezzar added a little penalty if you didn’t
bow to his statue – you would be thrown into a burning fiery furnace.
When Shadrach and his friends refused to bow down, they were brought before
the king and warned about the burning fiery furnace.
(Da 3:17–18 NKJV) —17
If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from
the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O
king. 18 But if
not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will
we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Their confidence was that God “was able” to deliver them.
And even if God didn’t “deliver them” the way they were
hoping, they would still not bow down.
They were sold on doing the right thing.
happened to them? They actually
got thrown into the fiery furnace. And
God kept them safe INSIDE the furnace.
Not the way I would have planned it.
But God kept them in their “not stumbling” place.
They made the right choices.
They didn’t make the wrong choices and blame it on their
circumstances or blame it on God.
God is able to keep us from stumbling.
He will provide you with the strength to do the right thing if you will
So we will choose to obey Him and draw on His strength.
:24 able … to
present you faultless
with exceeding joy
– agalliasis (“much” + “leaping”) – exultation,
exuberant joy, gladness
When we are in His presence and find ourselves “faultless” we will be
– amomos (“not” + “blemish”) –
without blemish; faultless, unblameable
He is able to get us to the finish line in a “faultless” condition.
In one sense, that
cleansing comes the moment you accept Christ as your Savior.
Before Jesus, our sin is like a big “spot” in our lives.
(Is 64:6 NKJV) But we are
all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like
God wants to clean the spots from our lives.
(Is 1:18 NKJV) “Come now,
and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they
are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
God removes our spots by putting them on Jesus, who died to pay for our
(2 Co 5:21 NKJV) For He
made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him.
If you want this cleansing from God, you must come to God and ask for
(1 Jn 1:9 NKJV) If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God is “able” to present you faultless, but you have a
part in it. You must confess and believe.
In God’s eyes, in heaven, you are now clean.
In another sense, there is a cleansing that is continually at work in your
It’s not just
about having forgiveness in heaven, but a clean life on earth.
(Eph 5:25–27 NKJV) —25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and
gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by
the word, 27 that He
might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or
any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (faultless)
Jesus is at work in us to “sanctify” (make holy) and
“cleanse” us with the washing of His Word.
As you spend time in God’s Word, it challenges you, it
brings out your faults, it reminds you to change, and it washes your mind.
God’s goal is to remove all the spots and wrinkles.
I know I played this clip just two months ago, but I can’t
think of a better way to illustrate what God does in our lives…
one thing I want to add, is that there needs to be a willingness on my part,
in this life, to let God do His “makeover”.
I need to partner
with God to see the changes made.
Paul was confident that God would complete this work in our lives.
(Php 1:6 NKJV) being
confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will
complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
God is “able” to do this work of spot removal in our lives, but again, I
have a responsibility in this – I need to learn to obey Him.