Morning Bible Study
I found a lost story about one of Jesus’ brothers …
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 Jude – Ioudas – “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 …
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
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
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
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
:1 bondservant of Jesus… brother
It would seem there is a touch of humility here.
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.
considered the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
He also wrote
the book of James.
:1 called, sanctified … preserved
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.
: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
apparently going to write a letter about the salvation we all share in Jesus
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 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”.
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.
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?
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
The key is having the word of God and doing
The key to survival is learning to put God’s Word into
practice in our lives.
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 earnestly – epagonizomai – to contend
– agonizomai – to enter a contest: contend in the
gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries
“agonize” comes from the root word.
only intensifies the word.
Be a Contender
“contender” means you’re in the fight.
mean that you have to be “contentious” or “obnoxious”.
Look at Paul’s instructions to Timothy about how to handle people with
(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:
– the word here means “likeable” or “gentle”
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.
– 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.
– 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”
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.
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 who long ago were marked out
marked out – prographo (“before” + “to write”) – to write
before (of time); of old set forth or designated beforehand (in the scriptures
of the OT)
Jude is talking
about how these false teachers had been predicted to come before it
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 who turn the grace of our God
who turn – metatithemi – to transpose (two things, one of
which is put in place of the other)
dyslexic atheist who
claimed there was no dog.
– aselgeia (“not” + “self-controlled”) – unbridled
lust, sexual excess
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
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
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
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
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.
profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified
for every good work.
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”.
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?