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JUDE Anne O’BrieN

A brief and concise account of the main points of the letter of Jude. We encourage you to pray before you begin reading that the Lord would open your heart and mind to be receptive and responsive to God’s message contained within this study. There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds. 1


The Book  of  Jude     Read  verses  1&2     General  opinion  has  it  that  this  letter  to  the  churches  was  written  by  Jude  (Judas),  the  brother  of  Jesus.   Jude  humbly  refers  to  himself  as  the  brother  of  James  (also  one  of  Jesus’  brothers)  and  a  servant  of  Jesus   Christ.  The  Greek  word  that  Jude  used  (doulos)  actually  means  slave.  He  is  writing  to  those  who  have  been   called  –  in  other  words,  to  Christians  everywhere  who  serve  the  Lord;  those  who  know  they  are  loved  by   God  and  whose  spiritual  life  is  sustained  by  Jesus  Christ.  He  pronounces  mercy,  peace  and  love  over  our   lives.     Read  verse  3:     The  Faith,  the  belief  that  we  have  in  Jesus  Christ,  has  been  entrusted  to  us  to  maintain  it,  to  keep  it,  and  to   make  sure  it  is  not  altered  or  watered  down  by  others.  We  are  to  contend  for  it  because  it  is  our  prize   possession.  We  are  to  fight  for  it  (and  even  suffer  for  it)  when  necessary.  We  are  to  stand  up  and  be   counted;  to  question  wrong  doctrine  and  wrong  interpretations  of  God’s  Word  –  which  was  passed  on  to   us  by  the  Apostles,  through  Jesus  Christ.     Q.  Do  we  fully  realize  our  responsibility  in  this?     Read  verse  4:     Now  we  come  to  the  point  of  Jude’s  letter.  “Because  certain  individuals”  have  slipped  in  and  perverted   God’s  message.  This  was  obviously  a  problem  in  the  early  church  –  but  it  continues  to  this  day,  and   moreso!  These  people  were  saying  that  Christians  can  more  or  less  do  what  they  like,  because  God  is  a  God   of  love  and  will  forgive.  Jude  defines  these  people  as  Godless,  immoral  and  they  even  deny  Christ  as  Lord.   Jude  returns  to  this  theme  in  verse  11,  but  first     (v5-­‐10)  he  sets  down  his  argument  for  saying  what  he  does.     Q.  In  our  country  today,  do  you  think  the  gospel  has  been  watered  down  to  try  and            please  everyone?   Q.  Do  you  think  God  will  punish  us  for  this?  If  so,in  what  way?     Read  verse  5-­‐7:     Jude  reminds  us  that  unrepented  sin  will  be  punished  (a  subject  we  don’t  like  to  talk  about!),  whether  we   are  under  the  Old  Testament  Law  or  under  New  Testament  Grace  –  and  he  goes  on  to  give  several   examples:  (God  is  still  God  and  his  standards  remain,  whatever  period  of  history  we  live  in.)       • God  delivered  all  the  Israelites  from  Egypt,  but  those  who  did  not  believe  and  trust  him  did  not   escape  punishment   • The  angels  who  rebelled  will  be  punished  at  the  Final  Judgment   • Sodom  and  Gomorrah  serve  as  an  example  of  punishment  for  sexual  perversion  and  immorality.     However,  Praise  God  that  through  Jesus  Christ,  if  we  repent  of  our  sin  and  make  every  effort  not  to  repeat   it,  then  we  can  be  forgiven  –  because  Jesus  has  taken  the  punishment  for  us  by  his  death  on  the  Cross.   Each  one  of  us,  by  our  own  deliberate  sin,  crucifies  Christ  –  a  sober  thought.       1 2


Read verses  8-­‐10:     Jude  lists  more  signs  of  the  kind  of  thing/people  that  can  infiltrate  the  church  and  spoil  its  witness:   • They  pollute  their  bodies  (sex,  drugs,  smoking,  gluttony!)   • They  reject  higher  authority,  whether  from  spiritual  leaders,  or  “celestial  beings”  –  even  abusing  or   denying  heavenly  powers.   • They  follow  their  own  instincts   He  reminds  us  that  even  the  angels  do  not  take  authority  on  themselves.  They  also  work  under  God’s   authority.     Q.  In  an  effort  to  attract  more  people  into  the  church  are  we  guilty  of  watering  down            our  standards  –  not  wanting  to  appear  “holier  than  thou”?     Read  verse  11:     Jude  selects  three  more  examples  to  illustrate  his  meaning  and  he  says  “woe  to  them”  for  behaving  in  this   way:   • They  have  taken  the  “Way  of  Cain”.  (Genesis  4v1-­‐16)  Cain  was  guilty  of  rebellion,  jealousy  and   murder.  Fundamentally,  he  was  selfish.  When  God’s  will  didn’t  suit  him,  he  imposed  his  own  will.   • They  are  like  Balaam  (Numbers  22-­‐24)  –  he  was  guilty  of  false  prophecy,  making  up  a  word  from   God  to  suit  the  ears  of  his  listeners  –  and  he  did  it  for  money.  When  God  tried  to  remonstrate  with   him,  he  became  stubborn  and  rebellious  and  disrespectful.   • They  are  like  Korah  (Numbers  16v1-­‐35)  –  Korah  refused  to  accept  authority  from  Moses.   Jude  makes  the  point  that  a  lack  of  respect  for  authority  in  the  church  is  not  good.  God  has  placed  his   leaders  in  their  respective  positions.  Unity  and  growth  and  blessing  come  from  a  submission  to  God-­‐ ordained,  Spirit-­‐led  authority.     Q.  How  easy  is  this  in  practice?            What  would  be  the  outcome  if  there  was  no  respect  for  authority?         Read  verses  12&13&16:     Here  Jude  uses  a  series  of  metaphors  to  describe  the  sort  of  people  he  is  talking  about.  They  are  like:   • Blemishes.  They  should  be  shepherds  but  they  only  have  their  best  interests  at  heart.   • Clouds  without  rain,  all  talk  but  with  nothing  helpful  to  say   • Autumn  trees  bearing  no  fruit  or  leaves,  as  good  as  dead   • Waves  of  the  sea  –  blatantly  shameful   • Wandering  stars  in  darkness  –  and  darkness  will  be  their  reward!   And  just  in  case  we  are  thinking  we  don’t  fit  into  any  of  these  categories  Jude  goes  on  to  add  that  his  list   includes:   • Grumblers.  People  who  complain  about  this  that  and  the  other.   • Fault  finders.  People  for  things  are  never  quite  good  enough.   • Selfish.  People  who  want  things  done  their  way.   • Boasters.  People  who  like  to  show  off  what  or  who  they  know  and  what  they  have  done   • Flatterers.  People  who  say  nice  things  to  get  people  to  like  them.         2 3


Read verse  14:       Here  Jude  quotes  from  the  Book  of  Enoch  chapter  1v9  (an  epistle  to  the  churches  which  didn’t  become   part  of  Scripture).  And  he  is  making  the  point  that  there  will  come  a  day  when  everyone  will  have  to  face   judgment  and  all  unrepented  sin  will  be  punished.     Read  verses  17-­‐19:     Jude  continues  with  his  theme  and  says  that  division  in  churches  is  to  be  expected  in  the  Last  Days.  We  all   know  of  churches  that  have  been  divided  and  whose  congregation  and  witness  have  suffered  as  a  result.   Therefore  we  should  be  on  our  guard.     Read  verses  20-­‐23:     Jude  tells  us  the  positive  things  we  should  be  doing:     • Build  yourself  up  with  Scripture  and  with  prayer  –  the  most  basic  and  the  most  important  things  for   Christians  to  do  every  day!   • Stay  in  the  Holy  Spirit  –  walk  in  the  Spirit  –  pray  in  the  Spirit  so  that  you  can  keep  yourselves  strong.   • It’s  up  to  us  to  keep  ourselves  in  God’s  love,  and  not  to  move  out  of  it  by  going  our  own  way.   • We  are  to  wait,  going  through  the  paces  of  our  everyday  life,  in  the  assurance  of  God’s  mercy  and   his  eternal  life   • We  are  to  be  merciful  (not  judgmental)  to  those  who  doubt  and  even  to  all  those  whom  Jude  has   listed  previously  –  seeking  their  repentance  and  salvation                                                                                                                                                                                     • Snatch  them  from  the  fire  –  be  direct  and  forceful  if  necessary   • Hate  the  sin  ...  but  love  the  sinner.     Read  verses  24&25:     Sometimes  the  Christian  life  is  a  hard  call!  But  Jude  exalts  us  not  to  give  up  because  Jesus  is  able  to  keep  us   from  making  mistakes,  he  will  present  us  before  God  without  fault  when  we  trust  in  his  redeeming  blood.   And  we  are  reminded  that  all  the  power  and  all  the  authority  and  all  the  honour  belongs  to  Jesus  Christ  for   all  eternity.    

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The Estuary Elim Group of Churches are three Essex based Elim Pentecostal Churches in Ashingdon, Rayleigh and Southend on Sea with a shared Leadership team. We are a group of people responding to the love of God and the life changing message of Jesus Christ. Our services are lively with contemporary music, worship and preaching and teaching relevant to the 21st Century. To find out more about us visit www.estuaryelim.church Whether you are new to church, someone with questions or a committed Christian, we want to serve you and help you discover and fulfil God’s purpose for your life. If you would like an opportunity to email or talk to one of the team email your contact details to info@estuaryelim.co.uk and we will get back to you. The Ashingdon, Rayleigh and Southend Elim Pentecostal Churches are branches of The Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance (Registered Charity No. 251549) 5

Jude  

The Faith, the belief that we have in Jesus Christ, has been entrusted to us to maintain it, to keep it, and to make sure it is not altered...

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