| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


Jude Commentary


Jude 1

The evil which had stolen in among Christians would not cease until destroyed by judgment. We have already noticed this difference between the Epistle of Jude and the Second of Peter, that Peter speaks of sin, Jude of apostasy, the departure of the assembly from its primitive state before God. Departure from the holiness of faith is the subject that Jude treats. He does not speak of outward separation. He views Christians as a number persons professing a religion on the earth, and originally true to that which they professed. Certain persons had crept in among them unawares. They fed themselves without fear at the love-feasts of the Christians; and although the Lord would come attended by all His saints (so that the faithful will have been already caught up), yet in the judgment these persons are still accounted to be in the same class-"to convince," he says, "all that are ungodly among them." They may indeed be in open rebellion at the moment of judgment, but they were individuals who had formed a part of the company of Christians; they wee really apostates, enemies left behind.

When it is said, "These be they who separate themselves," it does not mean openly from the visible assembly, for he speaks of them as in the midst of it; but they set themselves apart, being in it, as more excellent than others, like the Pharisees among the Jews. Jude points them out as being in the midst of the Christians, and presenting themselves as such. The judgment falls upon this class of persons; the taking up of the saints has left them behind for judgment.

Jude begins by declaring the faithfulness of God and the character of His care for the saints, which answers to the prayer of Jesus in John 17. They were called ones, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ. Happy testimony! which magnifies the grace of God. "Holy Father", our Lord said, "keep them:" and these were sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ. The apostle speaks with a view to the forsaking by many of the holy faith; he addresses those who were kept.

He had purposed writing to them of the salvation common to all Christians; but he found it needful to exhort them to stand fast, to contend for the faith once given to the saints. For already was that faith being corrupted by the denial of the rights of Christ to be Lord and Master; and thus also, by giving the reins to self-will, they abused grace, and turned it into a principle of dissoluteness. These are the two elements of the evil which the instruments of Satan introduced, the rejection of the authority of Christ (not His name): and the abuse of grace, in order to indulge their own lusts. In both cases it was the will of man, which they set free from everything that bridled it. The expression "Lord God" points our this character of God. "Lord" here is not the word generally used; it is "despotes", that is "master".

Having pointed out the evil which had secretly crept in, the epistle goes on to shew them that the judgment of God is executed upon those who do not walk according to the position in which God had originally placed them.

The evil was, not only that certain men had crept in among them-in itself an immense evil, because the action of the Holy Ghost is thereby hindered among Christians-but that, definitely, the entire testimony before God, the vessel which held this testimony, would become (as had been already the case with the Jews) corrupt to such a degree that it would bring down upon itself the judgment of God. And it has become thus corrupt.

This is the great principle of the downfall of the testimony established by God in the world by means of the corruption of the vessel which contains it, and which bears its name. In pointing out moral corruption as characterizing the stated of professors, Jude cites, as example of this downfall and of its judgment the case of Israel, who fell in the wilderness (with the exception of two, Joshua and Caleb), and that of the angels who, not having kept their first estate, are reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

This last example suggests to him another case, that of Sodom and Gomorrha which resents immorality and corruption as the cause of judgment. Their condition is a perpetual testimony here on earth to their judgment.

These ungodly men, with the name of Christians, are but dreamers; for the truth is not in them. The two principles which we have noticed are developed in the; filthiness of the flesh, and contempt for authority. The latter manifests itself in a second from, namely, the license of the tongue, the self-will that manifests itself by speaking evil of dignities. Whereas, the text says, the archangel Michael durst not rail even against the devil, but with the gravity of one who acts according to God, appealed to the judgment of God Himself.

Jude then sums up the three kinds or characters of the evil and or estrangement from God; first, that of nature, the opposition of the flesh to the testimony of God, and His true people, the impetus which this enmity gives to the will of the flesh; in the second place, ecclesiastical evil, teaching error for reward, knowing all the while that it is contrary to the truth and against the people of God; thirdly, open opposition, rebellion, against the authority of God in His true King and Priest.

At the time when Jude wrote his epistle, those persons whom Satan introduced into the church in order to stifle its spiritual life and to bring on the result which the Spirit views prophetically, were dwelling in the midst of the saints, took part in those pious feasts at which they gathered together in token of their brotherly love. They were "spots" in those "feasts of charity," feeding without fear in the pastures of the faithful. The Holy Ghost denounces them energetically. They were doubly dead, by nature and by their apostasy; without fruit, bearing fruit that perished, as out of season; plucked up by the roots; foaming out everywhere their own shame; wandering stars, reserved for darkness. Of old the judgment that should be executed upon them, This presents a very important aspect of the instruction here given; namely, that this evil which had crept in among the Christians would continue and still be found when the Lord should return for judgment. He would come with the myriads of His saints to execute judgment upon all the ungodly among them for their acts of iniquity and their ungodly words which they have spoken against Him. There would be a continuos system of evil from those in the apostles' time till the Lord came. This is a solemn witness to what would go on among Christians.

It is quite remarkable to see the inspired writer identifying the favorers of licentiousness with the rebels who will be the object of judgment in the last day. It is the same spirit, the same work of the enemy, although restrained for the moment, which will ripen for the judgment of God, Alas for the assembly! It is, however, but the universal progression of man. Only that, grace having fully revealed God and delivered from the law, there must now be either holiness of heart and soul, and the delights of obedience under the perfect law of liberty, or else license and open rebellion. In this the proverb is true, that the corruption of that which is the most excellent is the worst of corruptions. We must add here, that the admiration of men, in order to gain advantage by them, is another characteristic feature of these apostates. It is not to God that they look.

Now apostles had already warned the saints that these mockers would come, walking after their own lusts, exalting themselves, not having the Spirit, but being in the state of nature.

Practical exhortation follows for those who were preserved. According to the energy of spiritual life, and the power of the Spirit of God, they were by grace to build themselves up, and to keep themselves in the communion of God. The faith is, to the believer, a most holy faith; he loves it, because it is so; it puts him into relationship and communion with God Himself. That which he has to do in the painful circumstances of which the apostle speaks (whatever may be the measure of their development), is to build himself up in this most holy faith. He cultivates communion with God, and profits through grace by the revelations of His love. The Christian has his own proper sphere of thought, in which he hides himself from the evil that surrounds him, and grows in the knowledge of God from whom nothing can separate him. His own portion is always the more evident to him, the more the evil increases. His communion with God is in the Holy Ghost, in whose power he prays, and who is the link between God and his soul; and his prayers are according to the intimacy of this relationship, and animated by the intelligence and energy of the Spirit of God.

Thus they kept themselves in the consciousness, the communion, and the enjoyment of the love of God. They abode in His love while sojourning here below, but as their end, they were waiting for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. In effect when one sees what are the fruits of the heart of man, one feels that it must be His mercy which presents us without spot before His face in that day for eternal life with a God of holiness. No doubt it is His unchangeable faithfulness, but, in the presence of so much evil, one thinks rather of the mercy. Compare in the same circumstances, what Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:16. It is mercy which has made the difference between those that fall and those that stand. (Compare Ex. 33:19) We must also distinguish between those who are led away. There are some who are only drawn aside by others, others in whom the lusts of a corrupt heart are working; and where we see the latter we must manifest hatred to everything that testifies this corruption, as a thing that is unbearable.

The Spirit of God in this epistle does not bring forward the efficacy of this redemption. He is occupied with the crafty devices of the enemy, with his efforts to connect the actings of the human will with the profession of the grace of God, and thus to bring about the corruption of the assembly, and the downfall of Christians, by putting them on the road to apostasy and judgment. Confidence is in God; to Him the sacred writer addresses himself in closing his epistle, as he thinks of the faithful to whom he was writing. Unto Him, he says, who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us unspotted before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

It is important to observe the way in which the Spirit of God speaks in the Epistles of a power that can keep us from every fall, and unblamable; so that a thought only of sin is never excusable. It is not that the flesh is not in us, but that, with the Holy Ghost acting in the new man, it is never necessary that the flesh should act or influence our life. (Compare 1 Thess. 5:22) We are united to Jesus: He represents us before God, He is our righteousness. But at the same time He who in His perfection is our righteousness is also our life; so that the Spirit aims at the manifestation of this same perfection, practical perfection, in the daily life. He who says "I abide in Him." ought to walk as He walked. The Lord also says, "Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

There is progress in this. It is Christ risen who is the source of this life in us, which ascends again towards its source, and which views the risen and glorified Christ, to whom we shall be conformed in glory, as its end and aim. (See Phil 3) But the effect of this is, that we have no other aim: "this one thing I do." Thus, whatever may be the degree of realization, the motive is always perfect. The flesh does not come in at all as a motive, and in this sense we are blameless.

The Spirit then-since Christ who is our righteousness is our life-links our life to the final result of an unblamable condition before God. The conscience knows by grace that absolute perfection is ours, because Christ is our righteousness; but the soul which rejoices in this before God is conscious of union with Him, and seeks the realization of that perfection according to the power of the Spirit, by whom we are thus united to the Head.

To Him who can accomplish this, preserving us from every kind of fall, our epistle ascribes all glory and dominion throughout all ages.

That which is peculiarly striking in the Epistle of Jude is that he pursues the corruption of the assembly from the creeping in of some unawares on to its final judgment, shewing withal that it is not arrested but passes through its various phases to that day.

── John DarbySynopsis of Jude


Jude 1

Chapter Contents

The apostle exhorts to stedfastness in the faith. (1-4) The danger of being infected by false professors, and the dreadful punishment which shall be inflicted on them and their followers. (5-7) An awful description of these seducers and their deplorable end. (8-16) Believers cautioned against being surprised at such deceivers arising among them. (17-23) The epistle ends with an encouraging doxology, or words of praise. (24,25)

Commentary on Jude 1:1-4

(Read Jude 1:1-4)

Christians are called out of the world, from the evil spirit and temper of it; called above the world, to higher and better things, to heaven, things unseen and eternal; called from sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to holiness; and this according to the Divine purpose and grace. If sanctified and glorified, all the honour and glory must be ascribed to God, and to him alone. As it is God who begins the work of grace in the souls of men, so it is he who carries it on, and perfects it. Let us not trust in ourselves, nor in our stock of grace already received, but in him, and in him alone. The mercy of God is the spring and fountain of all the good we have or hope for; mercy, not only to the miserable, but to the guilty. Next to mercy is peace, which we have from the sense of having obtained mercy. From peace springs love; Christ's love to us, our love to him, and our brotherly love to one another. The apostle prays, not that Christians may be content with a little; but that their souls and societies may be full of these things. None are shut out from gospel offers and invitations, but those who obstinately and wickedly shut themselves out. But the application is to all believers, and only to such. It is to the weak as well as to the strong. Those who have received the doctrine of this common salvation, must contend for it, earnestly, not furiously. Lying for the truth is bad; scolding for it is not better. Those who have received the truth must contend for it, as the apostles did; by suffering with patience and courage for it, not by making others suffer if they will not embrace every notion we call faith, or important. We ought to contend earnestly for the faith, in opposition to those who would corrupt or deprave it; who creep in unawares; who glide in like serpents. And those are the worst of the ungodly, who take encouragement to sin boldly, because the grace of God has abounded, and still abounds so wonderfully, and who are hardened by the extent and fulness of gospel grace, the design of which is to deliver men from sin, and bring them unto God.

Commentary on Jude 1:5-7

(Read Jude 1:5-7)

Outward privileges, profession, and apparent conversion, could not secure those from the vengeance of God, who turned aside in unbelief and disobedience. The destruction of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness, shows that none ought to presume on their privileges. They had miracles as their daily bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. A great number of the angels were not pleased with the stations God allotted to them; pride was the main and direct cause or occasion of their fall. The fallen angels are kept to the judgment of the great day; and shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Consider this in due time. The destruction of Sodom is a loud warning to all, to take heed of, and flee from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, 1 Peter 2:11. God is the same holy, just, pure Being now, as then. Stand in awe, therefore, and sin not, Psalm 4:4. Let us not rest in anything that does not make the soul subject to the obedience of Christ; for nothing but the renewal of our souls to the Divine image by the Holy Spirit, can keep us from being destroyed among the enemies of God. Consider this instance of the angels, and see that no dignity or worth of the creature is of avail. How then should man tremble, who drinketh iniquity like water! Job 15:16.

Commentary on Jude 1:8-16

(Read Jude 1:8-16)

False teachers are dreamers; they greatly defile and grievously wound the soul. These teachers are of a disturbed mind and a seditious spirit; forgetting that the powers that be, are ordained of God, Romans 13:1. As to the contest about the body of Moses, it appears that Satan wished to make the place of his burial known to the Israelites, in order to tempt them to worship him, but he was prevented, and vented his rage in desperate blasphemy. This should remind all who dispute never to bring railing charges. Also learn hence, that we ought to defend those whom God owns. It is hard, if not impossible, to find any enemies to the Christian religion, who did not, and do not, live in open or secret contradiction to the principles of natural religion. Such are here compared to brute beasts, though they often boast of themselves as the wisest of mankind. They corrupt themselves in the things most open and plain. The fault lies, not in their understandings, but in their depraved wills, and their disordered appetites and affections. It is a great reproach, though unjust to religion, when those who profess it are opposed to it in heart and life. The Lord will remedy this in his time and way; not in men's blind way of plucking up the wheat with the tares. It is sad when men begin in the Spirit, and end in the flesh. Twice dead; they had been once dead in their natural, fallen state; but now they are dead again by the evident proofs of their hypocrisy. Dead trees, why cumber they the ground! Away with them to the fire. Raging waves are a terror to sailing passengers; but when they get into port, the noise and terror are ended. False teachers are to expect the worst punishments in this world and in that to come. They glare like meteors, or falling stars, and then sink into the blackness of darkness for ever. We have no mention of the prophecy of Enoch in any other part or place of Scripture; yet one plain text of Scripture, proves any point we are to believe. We find from this, that Christ's coming to judge was prophesied of, as early as the times before the flood. The Lord cometh: what a glorious time will that be! Notice how often the word "ungodly" is repeated. Many now do not at all refer to the terms godly, or ungodly, unless it be to mock at even the words; but it is not so in the language taught us by the Holy Ghost. Hard speeches of one another, especially if ill-grounded, will certainly come into account at the day of judgment. These evil men and seducers are angry at every thing that happens, and never pleased with their own state and condition. Their will and their fancy, are their only rule and law. Those who please their sinful appetites, are most prone to yield to ungovernable passions. The men of God, from the beginning of the world, have declared the doom denounced on them. Such let us avoid. We are to follow men only as they follow Christ.

Commentary on Jude 1:17-23

(Read Jude 1:17-23)

Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet prudently reprove each other, and set a good example to all about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was connected with fellowship with them, in works of darkness, keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.

Commentary on Jude 1:24,25

(Read Jude 1:24,25)

God is able, and as willing as able, to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory. Not as those who never have been faulty, but as those who, but for God's mercy, and a Saviour's sufferings and merits, might most justly have been condemned long ago. All sincere believers were given him of the Father; and of all so given him he has lost none, nor will lose any one. Now, our faults fill us with fears, doubts, and sorrows; but the Redeemer has undertaken for his people, that they shall be presented faultless. Where there is no sin, there will be no sorrow; where there is the perfection of holiness, there will be the perfection of joy. Let us more often look up to Him who is able to keep us from falling, to improve as well as maintain the work he has wrought in us, till we shall be presented blameless before the presence of his glory. Then shall our hearts know a joy beyond what earth can afford; then shall God also rejoice over us, and the joy of our compassionate Saviour be completed. To Him who has so wisely formed the scheme, and will faithfully and perfectly accomplish it, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Jude


Jude 1

Verse 1

[1] Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ — The highest glory which any, either angel or man, can aspire to. The word servant, under the old covenant, was adapted to the spirit of fear and bondage that clave to that dispensation. But when the time appointed of the Father was come, for the sending of his Son to redeem them that were under the law, the word servant (used by the apostles concerning themselves and all the children of God) signified one that, having the Spirit of adoption, is made free by the Son of God. His being a servant is the fruit and perfection of his being a son. And whenever the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the new Jerusalem, then will it be indeed that "his servants shall serve him," Revelation 22:3.

The brother of James — St. James was the more eminent, usually styled, "the brother of the Lord." To them that are beloved - The conclusion, Jude 1:21, exactly answers the introduction.

And preserved through Jesus Christ — So both the spring and the accomplishment of salvation are pointed out. This is premised, lest any of them should be discouraged by the terrible things which are afterwards mentioned.

And called — To receive the whole blessing of God, in time and eternity.

Verse 3

[3] Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

When I gave all diligence to write to you of the common salvation — Designed for all, and enjoyed by all believers. Here the design of the epistle is expressed; the end of which exactly answers the beginning.

It was needful to exhort you to contend earnestly — Yet humbly, meekly, and lovingly; otherwise your contention will only hurt your cause, if not destroy your soul.

For the faith — All the fundamental truths.

Once delivered — By God, to remain unvaried for ever.

Verse 4

[4] For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are certain men crept in, who were of old described before — Even as early as Enoch; of whom it was foretold, that by their wilful sins they would incur this condemnation. Turning the grace of God - Revealed in the gospel.

Into lasciviousness — Into an occasion of more abandoned wickedness.

Verse 5

[5] I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

He afterwards destroyed - The far greater part of that very people whom he had once saved. Let none therefore presume upon past mercies, as if he was now out of danger.

Verse 6

[6] And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

And the angels, who kept not their first dignity — Once assigned them under the Son of God. But voluntarily left their own habitation - Then properly their own, by the free gift of God.

He reserved — Delivered to be kept.

In everlasting chains under darkness — O how unlike their own habitation! When these fallen angels came out of the hands of God, they were holy; else God made that which was evil: and being holy, they were beloved of God; else he hated the image of his own spotless purity. But now he loves them no more; they are doomed to endless destruction. (for if he loved them still, he would love what is sinful:) and both his former love, and his present righteous and eternal displeasure towards the same work of his own hands, are because he changeth not; because he invariably loveth righteousness, and hateth iniquity. 2 Peter 2:4.

Verse 7

[7] Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The cities which gave themselves over to fornication — The word here means, unnatural lusts. Are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire - That is, the vengeance which they suffered is an example or a type of eternal fire.

Verse 8

[8] Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

In like manner these dreamers — Sleeping and dreaming all their lives.

Despise authority — Those that are invested with it by Christ, and made by him the overseers of his flock.

Rail at dignities — The apostle does not seem to speak of worldly dignities. These they had "in admiration for the sake of gain," Jude 1:16; but those holy men, who for the purity of their lives, the soundness of their doctrine, and the greatness of their labours in the work of the ministry, were truly honourable before God and all good men; and who were grossly vilified by those who turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. Probably they were the impure followers of Simon Magus, the same with the Gnostics and Nicolaitans, Revelation 2:15; 2 Peter 2:10.

Verse 9

[9] Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Yet Michael — It does not appear whether St. Jude learned this by any revelation or from ancient tradition. It suffices, that these things were not only true, but acknowledged as such by them to whom he wrote.

The archangel — This word occurs but once more in the sacred writings, 1 Thessalonians 4:16. So that whether there be one archangel only, or more, it is not possible for us to determine.

When he disputed with the devil — At what time we know not.

Concerning the body of Moses — Possibly the devil would have discovered the place where it was buried, which God for wise reasons had concealed.

Durst not bring even against him a railing accusation — Though so far beneath him in every respect. But simply said, (so great was his modesty!) The Lord rebuke thee - I leave thee to the Judge of all.

Verse 10

[10] But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

But these — Without all shame. Rail at the things of God which they know not - Neither can know, having no spiritual senses.

And the natural things, which they know — By their natural senses, they abuse into occasions of sin.

Verse 11

[11] Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Woe unto them — Of all the apostles St. Jude alone, and that in this single place, denounces a woe. St. Peter, to the same effect, pronounces them "cursed children." For they have gone in the way of Cain - The murderer.

And ran greedily — Literally, have been poured out, like a torrent without banks.

After the error of Balaam — The covetous false prophet.

And perished in the gainsaying of Korah — Vengeance has overtaken them as it did Korah, rising up against those whom God had sent.

Verse 12

[12] These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

These are spots — Blemishes.

In your feasts of love — Anciently observed in all the churches.

Feeding themselves without fear — Without any fear of God, or jealousy over themselves.

Twice dead — In sin, first by nature, and afterwards by apostasy.

Plucked up by the roots — And so incapable of ever reviving.

Verse 13

[13] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Wandering stars — Literally, planets, which shine for a time, but have no light in themselves, and will be soon cast into utter darkness. Thus the apostle illustrates their desperate wickedness by comparisons drawn from the air, earth, sea, and heavens.

Verse 14

[14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

And of these also — As well as the antediluvian sinners Enoch - So early was the prophecy referred to, Jude 1:4.

The seventh from Adam — There were only five of the fathers between Adam and Enoch, 1 Chronicles 1:1-3. The first coming of Christ was revealed to Adam; his second, glorious coming, to Enoch; and the seventh from Adam foretold the things which will conclude the seventh age of the world. St. Jude might know this either from some ancient book, or tradition, or immediate revelation.

Behold — As if it were already done, the Lord cometh!

Verse 15

[15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

To execute judgment — Enoch herein looked beyond the flood.

Upon all — Sinners, in general. And to convict all the ungodly, in particular, of all the grievous things which ungodly sinners (a sinner is bad; but the ungodly who sin without fear are worse) have spoken against him, Jude 1:8,10, though they might not think, all those speeches were against him.

Verse 16

[16] These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

These are murmurers — Against men.

Complainers — Literally, complainers of their fate, against God.

Walking — With regard to themselves. After their own foolish and mischievous desires. Having men's persons in admiration for the sake of gain - Admiring and commending them only for what they can get.

Verse 17

[17] But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

By the apostles — He does not exempt himself from the number of apostles. For in the next verse he says, they told you, not us.

Verse 19

[19] These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

These are they who separate themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit — Having natural senses and understanding only, not the Spirit of God; otherwise they could not separate. For that it is a sin, and a very heinous one, "to separate from the church," is out of all question. But then it should be observed, 1. That by the church is meant a body of living Christians, who are "an habitation of God through the Spirit:" 2. That by separating is understood, renouncing all religious intercourse with them; no longer joining with them in solemn prayer, or the other public offices of religion: and, 3. That we have no more authority from scripture to call even this schism, than to call it murder.

Verse 20

[20] But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

But ye, beloved, not separating, but building yourselves up in your most holy faith - Than which none can be more holy in itself, or more conducive to the most refined and exalted holiness.

Praying through the Holy Spirit — Who alone is able to build you up, as he alone laid the foundation. In this and the following verse St. Jude mentions the Father, Son, and Spirit, together with faith, love, and hope.

Verse 21

[21] Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

By these means, through his grace, keep yourselves in the love of God, and in the confident expectation of that eternal life which is purchased for you, and conferred upon you, through the mere mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 22

[22] And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Meantime watch over others, as well as yourselves, and give them such help as their various needs require. For instance, 1. Some, that are wavering in judgment, staggered by others' or by their own evil reasoning, endeavour more deeply to convince of the whole truth as it is in Jesus. 2. Some snatch, with a swift and strong hand, out of the fire of sin and temptation. 3. On others show compassion in a milder and gentler way; though still with a jealous fear, lest yourselves be infected with the disease you endeavour to cure. See, therefore, that while you love the sinners, ye retain the utmost abhorrence of their sins, and of any the least degree of, or approach to, them.

Verse 24

[24] Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Now to him who alone is able to keep them from falling - Into any of these errors or sins.

And to present them faultless in the presence of his glory — That is, in his own presence, when he shall be revealed in all his glory.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Jude


Jude 23

Those we save, says Jude, are as if snatched from the fire. They must be treated as we would treat a hamburger patty that falls into the hot coals. We must reach in quickly to prevent its further contamination, but we must also guard against personal injury.


Chapter 1. Keep in the Truth

The Prophecy of Enoch
The Judgment of the Coming Lord

I. Contend for the Truth

  1. Evil Heresy
  2. Ancestors' Sin
  3. Angels Who Fell

II. Woe to the Dreamers

  1. Differing Destruction
  2. Face Severe Punishment
  3. Ungodly Things

III. Wait for the Mercy of the Lord

  1. Build up in Faith
  2. Pray in the Holy Spirit
  3. Keep in God's Love

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

Called! Sanctified! And Preserved! (1-2)
[I would like for us to focus on the concepts suggested by the three
words in the title of our study:  "Called! Sanctified! And Preserved!"
Let's begin with the idea of Christians being...]
      1. We have been called with "a holy calling" - 2 Ti 1:9
      2. This calling was not according to our meritorious works 
      3. It was according to God's own purpose and grace before time
      1. We became God's chosen and called through the means of the 
         gospel - 2 Th 2:13-14
      2. By having the gospel preached to "every creature", the call is
         made available to all - cf. Mk 16:15-16
         a. This is consistent with God's desire that "all men be 
             saved" - 1 Ti 2:3-4
         b. This is consistent with God's offer of His Son as "a ransom
            for all" - 1 Ti 2:5-6
         c. This is consistent with the Lord's unwillingness that "any
            should perish", but that "all should come to repentance" 
            - 2 Pe 3:9
      1. This requires much diligence on our part - 2 Pe 1:10-11
      2. Otherwise, we will be like the Israelites in the wilderness 
         - He 3:12-19; 4:1-2,11
         a. All were called by God to enter the Promised Land of rest
         b. But most were unable to enter because of unbelief that led
            to lack of diligence!
[It is the need for faithful diligence that explains the many warnings
against apostasy found in the Scriptures.  It also helps to understand
why Jude felt it necessary to write his epistle!
Closely related to the concept of being "called", is the idea that by
God's grace we are also...]
      1. Are translated from the Greek word "hagiazo" {hag-ee-ad'-zo}
      2. Which means to make holy, to set apart for a special purpose
      3. Therefore, God has set apart those who have been called - Ju 1
      1. Is said to be the work of the Holy Spirit
         a. "sanctified by the Holy Spirit" - Ro 15:16
         b. "sanctified...by the Spirit of our God" - 1 Co 6:11
         c. "sanctification by the Spirit" - 2 Th 2:13
         d. "the sanctifying work of the Spirit" (NASV) - 1 Pe 1:2
      2. Is also said to be the work of the Word of God
         a. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." - Jn
         b. "that He might sanctify...by the word" - Ep 5:26
      3. Since the Word of God is said to be the "sword of the Spirit"
         (Ep 6:17), the Word is evidently the instrument used by the
         Spirit to help bring about our sanctification
      1. Some people understand "sanctification" as "all at once" or
         "in two stages" (e.g., the Wesleyan concept of entire 
      2. The Biblical evidence suggests otherwise:
         a. The church at Corinth was made up of members...
            1) Who were "sanctified in Christ Jesus" - 1 Co 1:2
            2) Who had been "sanctified" - 1 Co 6:11
         b. Yet, many of these members were "babes in Christ" and 
            "carnal" - 1 Co 3:1-3
      3. As written to the Hebrews, those in Christ are "being 
         sanctified" - He 2:11
         a. I.e., sanctification is an on-going process
         b. It begins at conversion, and continues as we grow in the
      4. As Paul prayed for the Thessalonians :  "may the God of peace
         Himself sanctify you completely" - 1 Th 5:23
[Whether God does indeed complete the process of sanctification for 
those who are called will be determined by whether or not we remain
"preserved in Christ Jesus". (Ju 1)
So let's take a closer look at what is involved with being...]
      1. It comes from the Greek word "tereo" {tay-reh'-o}
      2. Which means "to guard (from loss or injury)"
      3. It is used to describe that which is closely watched and 
         a. Such as those disobedient angels who are awaiting the 
            Judgment Day - Ju 6
         b. Such as the punishment awaiting "ungodly men" - Ju 13
      1. We are being carefully "guarded" in Christ!
      2. Peter uses a different word (phroureo, froo-reh'-o) to express
         a similar idea - 1 Pe 1:5
      3. Paul used yet another word (sozo, sode'-zo) to express his own
         confidence in God's preservation - 2 Ti 4:18
      3. Indeed, Jesus reassured his disciples that no one could 
         "snatch" them out of His hand - cf. Jn 10:27-29
      -- But does this mean that it is impossible to fall away?  Do we
         have no personal responsibility to remain "preserved in Jesus
      1. Jude uses the same word for "preserved" in Ju 21: "keep 
      2. This indicates that we must cooperate with God
         a. As Peter indicated, we are "kept by the power of God 
            through faith" - 1 Pe 1:5
            1) God provides the power to keep us safe
            2) But we must provide the faith
         b. Jesus' teaching on security is for those who are 
            1) No one can "snatch" us away from God against our will
            2) But what if "believers" become "unbelievers"?
               a) Does the promise still apply if the conditions have
               b) What if we choose to leave or jump out of God's 
                  protective hand?
         c. That "believers" can become "unbelievers", and thereby in
            danger of losing one's salvation, is clearly taught in He 
            3:12-19; 4:1-2,11
      3. Thus we are "preserved in Jesus Christ"...
         a. But remaining "preserved" involves personal responsibility!
         b. It requires that we "keep ourselves" in the love of God!
1. We who are in Christ are indeed richly blessed:
   a. We have been "called" by the gospel of Christ, to which call we
      responded when we obeyed the conditions of the gospel (faith, 
      repentance, confession, and baptism)
   b. We have been "sanctified" or set apart for a holy purpose by God
      the Father, as He works upon us through His Holy Spirit in 
      conjunction with His Holy Word
   c. On the basis of our faith, we are "preserved" in Jesus Christ 
      unto eternal life
2. But dear brethren, forces of Satan are very much at work...
   a. They seek to undermine our faith in Christ
   b. They seek to harden our hearts, and to develop an evil heart of
   c. They seek to make us spiritually lazy, and not to maintain the
      diligence necessary to keep ourselves in the love of God
3. Yet God in His grace has preserved His Word to give us ample 
   warning; shall we not heed the warnings found throughout His Word,
   such as those found in The Epistle of Jude?
And as we speak of giving heed...have you given heed to the call of the
gospel of Christ? - cf. Ac 2:36-38


Contending Earnestly For The Faith (3-4)
1. As we begin to focus on the purpose of The Epistle Of Jude, we see
   that his original desire was to write about our common salvation 
   shared in Christ:
   "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." - Ju 3
2. The need to change his purpose is seen in the next verse:
   "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." - Ju 4
3. That men "crept in unnoticed" should give us pause...
   a. That such could happen, despite the many warnings given by Jesus,
      Paul, and Peter
   b. How much easier, then, for this to happen today when we live in
      time far removed from those initial warnings!
4. In light of this, Jude's call to "contend earnestly for the faith"
   becomes even more relevant for us today...
   a. We ought to appreciate "the need" to contend for the faith
   b. We should understand "the how" when it comes to contending 
      earnestly for the faith
[In this study, "Contending Earnestly For The Faith", it is "the 
need" and "the how" that we examine more closely...]
      1. This I infer from the phrase "the faith which once for all
         delivered to the saints"
         a. The expression "once for all" can rightly be worded "one
            time for all time"
         b. That is, "the faith" (that body of doctrine which we are to
            believe) was delivered to the church "one time for all 
         -- Revelation was not to be repeated, nor was there more to be
            revealed later on!
      2. That God has revealed all that He would have us know is 
         evident from such statements like those of:
         a. Paul, telling the Ephesian elders he had not shunned to 
            proclaim "the whole counsel of God" - Ac 20:27
         b. Peter, writing that God has given us "all things that 
            pertain to life and godliness" - 2 Pe 1:3
         -- If we have "all things", and if we have the "whole counsel
            of God", what else is there?
      3. Thus the Scriptures, which contain the faith delivered "once 
         for all", contains all we need to become what God wants of us!
         - cf. 2 Ti 3:16-17
      4. But when people suggest:
         a. That God's revelation is incomplete, or it is still in
         b. Or that God's revelation needs to be repeated
         -- Then our task is to "contend earnestly for the faith once
      1. There were those in Jude's day "who turn the grace of our God
         into licentiousness (lewdness)"
         a. Their doctrine of grace gave them excuse to sin
         b. So much so, that they engaged in that which was openly 
            shameful (lewd)
         -- Perhaps they said:  "Let us sin so that grace may abound!"
      2. There are some today who pervert the grace of God...
         a. To excuse their disregard for the commands found in God's
         b. To justify their lifestyle that is contrary to the 
            principles of the Bible
         -- For they are likely to say:  "God is too loving, His grace
            is too wonderful, to condemn us when we are so sincere!"
      3. But those who "contend earnestly for the faith" will be ever
         mindful of what the grace of God truly teaches - cf. Ti 2:
         a. To deny ungodliness and worldly lusts!
         b. To live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age!
      1. Jude had to deal with those who "deny the only Lord God and
         our Lord Jesus Christ"
         a. The emphasis appears to be on the term "Lord", used to 
            describe God and Jesus
         b. The term "lord" comes from kurios {koo'-ree-os}
            1) Which is related to the word kuros (supremacy)
            2) Meaning "supreme in authority"
         c. These people were denying the authority rightly belonging
            to God and Jesus
      2. Today we often face people denying the authority of God and
         a. By their lack of respect to the Word of God
         b. By their setting up other standards of authority for what
            they believe or do
            1) Such as a synod, convention, council
            2) Such as a pope, bishop, minister, or their own person
      3. But those who "contend earnestly for the faith once 
         a. Will recognize the authority which belongs to Christ -
            Mt 28:18; Ep 1:21-22
         b. Will recognize the authority delegated to His apostles - 
            Jn 13:20; 1 Co 14:37; 1 Th 2:13; Ac 2:42
[Clearly the need to "contend earnestly for the faith" is present, for
just as there were those in Jude's day who...
                  - denied the all-sufficiency of God's Word
                  - perverted the doctrine of grace
                  - denied the authority of God and Jesus
...so there are such people today!  How then shall we do it?]
      1. From the "Believers' Study Bible":
         a. The vivid expression epagonizomai (Gk.) is translated
            "contend earnestly" and is related to the English word 
         b. The term is associated with strife and combat of a most 
            vigorous and determined variety.
         c. The present tense of the verb indicates that the Christian
            struggle is to be continuous.
         d. Jude believed that the foundational tenets of the Christian
            faith were under attack.  Nothing but vigorous 
            counter-contention would be sufficient.
      2. The use of such an expression therefore suggests:
         a. The matter is serious; we are at war!
            1) Paul describes the nature of our warfare in 2 Co 10:3-6
            2) And again in Ep 6:10-13
         b. This is not a time to be unprepared; we must arm ourselves!
      -- We must therefore contend with vigor, even to the point of 
         agony, for "the faith once delivered to the saints"!
      1. Paul defines our weaponry in Ep 6:13-18
         a. Girded with truth
         b. The breastplate of righteousness
         c. Feet shod with the gospel of peace
         d. The shield of faith
         e. The helmet of salvation
         f. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God
         g. Watching with all prayer
      2. Notice that most of these things are for our own defense, lest
         we be lost in the struggle!
         a. The elements of truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, 
            salvation, etc., are needed for our own salvation as much
            as for those we seek to conquer
         b. Make sure that you let them "remove the plank for your own
            eye" so you will be able to see clear "to remove speck out
            of your brother's eye" - cf. Mt 7:3-5
         c. Some people are so quick to take up the "sword", they leave
            the rest of their armor behind!
      3. Paul also has something to say about other weapons that are
         "mighty in God"
         a. Such qualities as "the meekness and gentleness of Christ" 
            - 2 Co 10:1-6
         b. Making sure that we are first "spiritual", and then 
            displaying gentleness and caution - Ga 6:1
         c. Refraining from quarrels, applying gentleness, the Word, 
            with patience and humility correcting the opposition - 2 Ti
1. The call to "contend earnestly for the faith" is not a license to
   engage in "contentions" and "outbursts of wrath" - cf. Ga 5:19-21;
   1 Co 3:1-3
2. But it is a call to vigorously contend with all the weapons at our
   a. First and foremost, with the Word of God, applied first to self
      and then to others
   b. But also, with the Christ-like qualities that are "mighty in God"
      to win people over to obedience to Christ
3. It is the fact...
   a. That many are not obeying Christ as Lord
   b. But perverting His teaching or setting themselves up as their own
   ...that makes it necessary that we "contend earnestly for the faith
      once for all delivered to the saints"
Dear friend, whose side of this battle are YOU on?  Have you submitted
to Him whom God has made both Lord and Christ?  Are you continuing 
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine? - cf. Ac 2:36-42


Reminders Of God's Righteous Condemnation (5-7)
1. Exhorting his readers to "contend earnestly for the faith", in verse
   4 Jude introduces the reason for them to take such as stand...
   a. "Certain men" have crept in unnoticed
   b. They were "ungodly men", guilty of:
      1) Turning the grace of God into lewdness
      2) Denying the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ
2. Jude also writes of these men that they were "long ago marked out 
   for this condemnation"
   a. Some might infer that Jude meant that these men were predestined
      to act this way
   b. However, as Warren Wiersbe in The Bible Exposition Commentary 
      correctly states:
      "Jude did not write that these men were ordained to become
      apostates, as though God were responsible for their sin.  They
      became apostates because they willfully turned away from the
      truth.  But God did ordain that such people would be judged and
      condemned.  The Old Testament prophets denounced the false
      prophets of their day, and both Jesus Christ and His Apostles
      pronounced judgment on them."
   c. Yes, what is ordained is their punishment, that those who turn
      from God will not escape His righteous condemnation!
3. To reinforce his point, Jude reminds his readers of three examples
   in which the ungodly did not escape God's righteous condemnation 
   - Ju 5-7
   a. Israel in the wilderness
   b. The angels who sinned
   c. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
4. That we might be reminded as well, in this study we shall briefly
   review what is known about these three "case histories" of divine 
   judgment, and draw some points that can be gleaned from them
   a. If you feel a sense of "deja vu", it may be because Jude follows
      a pattern set by Peter in his second epistle - 2 Pe 2:4-6
   b. Jude's action is understandable, as he is warning against the 
      very presence of those Peter had warned would one day come
[There is a difference, however.  Whereas Peter used as one of his 
examples the people destroyed in the flood, Jude selects the example 
      1. A well known event in Israel's history, God "saved" the nation
         by bringing them out of the land of Egypt
      2. Yet despite their being recipients of His wonderful grace, God
         "destroyed" those who did not believe
         a. Their lack of faith required that they wander for 40 years
            in the wilderness
         b. So that those over the age of 20 when they left Egypt, none
            but two (Joshua and Caleb) entered the Promised Land
      3. The final "tally":  603,550 men were "saved", but then 603,548
         were "destroyed"
      1. God may destroy those He has saved!
         a. Paul made this point in writing to the Corinthians - 1 Co
         b. The writer to the Hebrews made the same point - He  3:12-
      2. The reason?  Lack of obedient faith!
         a. "God destroyed those who did not believe" - Ju 5
         b. "they could not enter in because of unbelief" - He 3:18-19
      3. While the Bible teaches "the security of the believer" (cf.
         1 Pe 1:5)...
         a. It warns against the believer developing a heart of
         b. It teaches "the insecurity of the unbeliever"
      4. Therefore the Biblical admonition:  "...let him who thinks he
         stands take heed lest he fall." - 1 Co 10:12
      5. A recurring theme throughout the New Testament is this:
                 "Remember what happened to Israel!"
[Having reminded his readers that the example of Israel shows the
possibility of "once saved, but destroyed", he then provides an example
that shows God has a place reserved for the wicked...]
      1. Very little is known from the Scriptures themselves
         a. As described by Jude, there were angels who:
            1) "did not keep their proper domain"
            2) "left their own habitation"
         b. Peter simply writes that the angels "sinned" - 2 Pe 2:4
         c. A very old interpretation is that Jude refers to what is 
            described in Gen 6:1-4
            1) Where "sons of God" is understood to refer to angels (as
               used in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7) who cohabited with the 
               "daughters of men"
            2) This interpretation of Gen 6:1-4 is common in Jewish 
               literature (Enoch 7; 9:8; 10:11; 12:4), and Jude appears
               to quote from such literature later in verse 14
            3) It is also found in intertestamental literature and the
               early church fathers (e.g., Justin in his Apology 2:5)
            4) It fits in with the connection Jude later makes with the
               sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, that they had "gone after 
               strange flesh" - Ju 7
      2. What is clearer about these angels is their condemnation
         a. God has them "in everlasting chains under darkness for the
            judgment of the great day"
         b. As worded by Peter in 2 Pe 2:4, God...
            1) "cast them down to hell"
               a) The word for "hell" is tartaroo {tar-tar-o'-o}
               b) "Tartarus, thought of by the Greeks as a subterranean
                  place lower than Hades where divine punishment was
                  meted out, was so regarded in Jewish apocalyptic as
                  well." (BAG, p. 813)
            2) "delivered them to chains of darkness" (The NIV renders
               it "gloomy dungeons")
            3) "to be reserved for judgment"
               a) As Jude puts it, "for the judgment of the great day"
               b) Similar to the scene described in Lk 16:19-31, where
                  the wicked rich man was in torment awaiting the 
                  judgment at the Last Day
      1. God is prepared to render everlasting punishment to the 
         a. He has the angels in "everlasting chains under darkness" 
            - Ju 6
         b. For the "ungodly men" described later, He has "reserved the
            blackness of darkness forever" - Ju 13
      2. Just as He had a place prepared for the angels who sinned, so
         He has a place prepared for the wicked and unbelievers! - cf.
         Re 21:8
[So God has demonstrated that He is prepared to punish the wicked. That
He will do so is emphasized with one more example:  The judgment that
came upon...]
      1. The judgment against these cities is vividly described in Gen
      2. Why this terrible judgment?
         a. The LORD said it was "because their sin is very grievous" 
            - Gen 18:20
         b. Jude says that "in a similar manner to these" (the angels
            who sinned), they had:
            1) "given themselves over to sexual immorality"
            2) "gone after strange flesh"
         c. We see a sample of this in Gen 19:4-11
      1. Both Peter and Jude make the point that Sodom and Gomorrah are
         an "example"
         a. Peter, an example "to those who afterward would live 
            ungodly" - 2 Pe 2:6
         b. Jude, an example of those "suffering the vengeance of 
            eternal fire" - Ju 7
      2. I.e., God has given us an example of the eternal fire awaiting
         the subjects of His righteous vengeance!
1. We may be like the original recipients of Jude's letter, well 
   acquainted with these events...
   a. But Jude wanted to "remind" them - Ju 5
   b. And we need to be reminded often as well!
2. And what is it that we need to remember?
   a. Remember Israel, as an example of those once saved who were 
      destroyed for lack of faith!
   b. Remember the angels who sinned, as an example of those whose
      incarceration tells us God has a place prepared for the wicked!
   c. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah, as an example that God will not 
      withhold the vengeance of eternal fire when the time is right!
3. It is only when we keep such events in mind that we will...
   a. Take serious the warnings about those who would lead us astray!
   b. Take serious the admonitions designed to keep us preserved in
      Jesus Christ!
Are you letting these examples serve their intended purpose?  Will you
let them motivate you to make whatever changes need to be made in your
life?  The "judgment of the great day" draws nearer...


The Ungodly Dreamers (8-16,19)
1. So far in this epistle, we have noticed that Jude has...
   a. Exhorted his readers to "contend earnestly for the faith" - Ju 3
   b. Made mention of "ungodly men" who have "crept in unnoticed" 
      - Ju 4
      1) Men who "turn the grace of our God into licentiousness"
      2) And who "deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ"
   c. Reminded them of examples of God's righteous condemnation in the
      past - Ju 5-7
      1) The nation of Israel in the wilderness
      2) The angels who sinned
      3) The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
2. At this point, Jude follows the example set by Peter (cf. 2 Pe 2:
   10-17) and describes these "ungodly men" - Ju 8-16,19
   a. In doing so, Jude does more than simply repeat Peter
   b. He reinforces Peter's words and adds more information about these
      "ungodly men"
3. In this study we shall consider Jude's description of these "ungodly
   dreamers", noticing that what is said of them is summarized in verse
   a. They "defile the flesh"
   b. They "reject authority"
   c. They "speak evil"
[As Jude elaborates, he starts with the last of these, how...]
   A. OF DIGNITARIES... (8-9)
      1. The word "dignitaries" comes from doxa {dox'-ah}, meaning 
         "dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship"
         a. It can refer to angelic beings, or those in positions of 
         b. In either case, these "ungodly dreamers" would not hesitate
            to speak evil
      2. To illustrate the folly of their behavior, the dispute over 
         the body of Moses is given:
         a. Michael, the archangel, dared not bring a reviling 
            accusation against the devil
         b. Saying only "The Lord rebuke you"
         -- How foolish, then, for these "dreamers" to speak evil of
            those in authority
      1. Unafraid to speak evil of dignitaries, they do not hesitate to
         speak evil of things they know nothing about!
      2. And what they know naturally, in that they corrupt themselves!
         - cf. 2 Pe 2:12
      3. In conducting themselves in this manner...
         a. They have gone in the way of Cain
            1) Whose works were evil - 1 Jn 3:12
            2) Who did not act out of faith - cf. He 11:4
         b. They have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit
            1) Who loved the wages of unrighteousness - 2 Pe 2:15-16
            2) Who put a stumblingblock before the children of Israel 
               - cf. Re 2:14
         c. They have perished in the rebellion of Korah
            1) A rebellion that was ostensibly against Moses and Aaron
               - Num 16:1-45
            2) But was really against the Lord Himself - cf. Num 26:9
      1. James warned us about the dangers...
         a. Of the tongue - Ja 3:2-12
         b. Of speaking evil of brethren - Ja 4:11-12; 5:9
      2. Paul also wrote Titus to counsel Christians not to speak evil
         others - Ti 3:1-2
      -- When we add the example of the "ungodly dreamers" and their
         quickness to speak evil of others, shouldn't we be very 
         cautious of how we speak about others?
[As we continue, we also notice concerning these "ungodly dreamers" 
      1. Feasting "without fear, serving only themselves"; they were 
         also "sensual persons"
      2. In prophesying of their behavior, Peter elaborates:
         a. "carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with
            you" - 2 Pe 2:13
         b. "having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from
            sin, beguiling unstable souls" - 2 Pe 2:14
      3. They took advantage of brethren's hospitality to engage in 
         their lustful thoughts
      1. "Clouds without water, carried about by the winds"
         a. Offering promise of blessing
         b. But not leaving any
      2. "Late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the
         a. Barren when fruit should be expected
         b. But even worse, beyond fruit-bearing because they are dead
            and cut off from any source of nourishment
      3. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame"
         a. Like the flotsam and jetsam spewed by the waves
         b. So their shame comes forth by their words and behavior
      4. "Wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of 
         darkness forever"
         a. Shining for a moment
         b. But without direction or orbit, they will eventually be 
            gone forever!
      1. By Enoch, the man "who walked with God; and he was not, 
         because God took him" - cf. Gen 5:24
      2. Enoch prophesied of the Lord's Coming...
         a. Coming with ten thousands of His saints (angels?) - cf. 
            1 Th 3:13; 2 Th 1:7
         b. Coming to execute judgment on all - cf. 2 Th 1:8-9
         c. Coming to convict all who are ungodly (such as these 
            ungodly dreamers)
            1) Of their ungodly deeds committed in an ungodly way
            2) Of harsh things spoken against the Lord by ungodly 
[So the judgment is sure upon these "ungodly dreamers" who speak evil
and defile the flesh.  But if that were not bad enough, we also learn
from Jude that...]
      1. We have seen that they were quick to speak evil, contrary to
         apostolic teaching
      2. Jude's description of them as "murmurers, complainers" also 
         shows a lack of respect for apostolic authority - cf. 1 Co 10:
         10; Ph 2:14
      3. Their use of flattery likewise was condemned by the apostles 
         - cf. Ro 16:17-18
      1. "Walking according to their own lusts", as "sensual persons",
         clearly this was a rejection of apostolic authority and 
         teaching - cf. 1 Pe 2:11; 1:14
      2. The same was true in "causing divisions" - Ro 16:17-18
1. The last phrase of verse 19 truly sums up the condition of these
   "ungodly dreamers":  "...not having the Spirit"
   a. Yes, when they "defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak 
      evil..." - Ju 8
   b. They demonstrate that they are walking "according to the lusts of
      the flesh", not "according to the Spirit" - cf. Ga 5:16-23
2. The end of these "ungodly dreamers" is clearly stated in the 
   a. As emphasized by the apostle Paul:  "those who practice such 
      things will not inherit the kingdom of God" - Ga 5:21
   b. As stated by Peter:  "...to whom the gloom of darkness is 
      reserved forever." - 2 Pe 2:17
   c. As stated by Jude:  "...for whom is reserved the blackness of 
      darkness forever" - Ju 15
3. In our next study, we shall consider Jude's counsel on how we can
   avoid being misled by such "ungodly dreamers"
Does Jude's characterization of these "ungodly dreamers" hit a little
too close to home in some areas?  If they do, why not make things right
with God...?


Exhortations To The Beloved (17-23)
1. Up to this point, Jude has established the "need" for his readers to
   contend earnestly for the faith...
   a. With reminders of God's righteous condemnation of the ungodly 
      - Ju 5-7
   b. With a vivid depiction of the ungodly men who have crept in 
      unnoticed - Ju 9-16,19
2. Now Jude provides a series of exhortations designed to make sure 
   that they stand strong in the faith "once for all delivered to the
   saints" - Ju 17-23
3. Twice in these verses, Jude addresses his readers as "beloved" 
   - Ju 17,20
   a. As an appellation, the term "beloved" is used frequently in the
      1) By Paul in Ro 12:19
      2) By the author of Hebrews - He 6:9
      3) By Peter in 1 Pe 2:11
      4) By John - 1 Jn 4:1,7,11
      5) And by Jude at the beginning of his epistle in Ju 3
   b. It describes those addressed as being very dear to the heart of
      the one using it
4. It is with such love in his heart that we find Jude giving the 
   exhortations necessary to keep from being misled by the ungodly
[As we consider these "Exhortations To The Beloved", let us bear in
mind that as God's children we too are "beloved" (beloved of God - Ro
1:7) and that these exhortations are therefore directed to us as well.
The first exhortation, designed to keep us from stumbling, is to...]
      1. They were the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ
      2. That is, those duly appointed and sent out by Jesus Himself
      3. To heed them is to heed the Lord Himself - cf. Jn 13:20
      1. That there would be mockers in the last time - cf. 2 Pe 3:1-3
      2. That they would walk according to their own ungodly lusts 
         - cf. 2 Ti 3:1-5; 4:3-4
[For us today, we must remember what they wrote.  This implies diligent
study of the Word of God on our part.  The need for such study is also
implied in the next exhortation...]
      1. It is not enough to just lay down one level of knowledge and
      2. We must continue to build upon it, as Peter expressed it: 
         "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" 
         - 2 Pe 3:18
      3. We therefore need to take advantage of opportunities to study
         and learn
      1. While God, family, and brethren will be there to encourage you
      2. You must accept personal responsibility and make the effort
      1. It is that body of doctrine in which our personal faith is to
      2. It is that body of doctrine which has been revealed "one time
         for all times"
      3. Which of course pertains to what our Lord Jesus Christ has
         done and will do for us!
[These first two exhortations stress the importance of our "continuing
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" (Ac 2:42), that is, to study 
diligently and apply the Word of God to our lives.
But Bible study alone will not suffice; there is also the need to...]
      1. By the Word of God, God speaks to us; by prayer, we speak to
      2. The Word of God is a source of strength and comfort to us; but
         then, so also is prayer - cf. Ph 4:6-7
      3. Think of prayer and the Word of God as the "two legs" upon
         which our spiritual well-being stands; both are need to be
         well-balanced in our spiritual growth
      1. Jude does not elaborate, nor does Paul, who uses the 
         expression in Ep 6:18
      2. But Paul does use the expression "walk in the Spirit" (Ga 5:
         25), which suggests walking or living according to the 
         Spirit's direction as found in the Word of God
      3. Perhaps "praying in the Spirit" simply emphasizes that our 
         prayers be in harmony with what the Spirit teaches in the Word
         of God, which is akin to what John wrote in 1 Jn 5:14
[Diligent Bible study and prayer are certainly essential to keep from
falling.  But as we continue to consider Jude's "Exhortations To The
Beloved", we learn there is more we need to do...]
      1. We are called upon to "keep yourselves..."
      2. The word for "keep" is the same word translated "preserved" in
         Ju 1
      3. So while we are indeed "preserved in Jesus Christ", our 
         remaining preserved in Christ is affected by our willing 
         cooperation with God
      4. As Peter wrote, we are "kept by the power of God through 
         faith" - 1 Pe 1:5
         a. The power of God is the divine contribution to keeping us
         b. Remaining faithful is the human contribution to being kept
      1. Jesus taught that keeping the commandments is the key to 
         abiding in God's love
         a. It is how we will be loved by our Father - Jn 14:21,23
         b. It is how we will loved by the Son - Jn 15:9-10
      2. This is not legalism, but a simple recognition of the 
         importance of doing what God (and Christ) commands...
         a. Observing the commandments of Christ are an essential 
            element of recognizing the Lord's authority and keeping the
            Great Commission - Mt 28:18-20
         b. Keeping the commandments of God is what really matters, as
            far as Paul is concerned - 1 Co 7:19
      3. It is also the ultimate proof that we love God and His 
         children - cf. 1 Jn 5:2-3
[So to Bible study and prayer we must add the actual application of 
God's Word to our lives if we wish to keep from falling.
But to avoid turning our efforts to keep the commandments of God into
legalism or thinking that we somehow earn our salvation, we need to
heed the next exhortation...]
      1. Looking forward to "the blessed hope and glorious appearing of
         our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" - cf. Ti 2:11-13
      2. Looking forward to "the coming of the day of God" - 2 Pe 3:
      3. Looking for that "new heavens and a new earth in which 
         righteousness dwells" - 2 Pe 3:13-14
      1. Eternal life is not something we earn, but is graciously given
         in Christ Jesus - Ro 6:23
      2. We are saved, not by works of righteousness, but according to
         mercy, that we might become heirs according to the hope of
         eternal- Ti 3:4-7
      3. Thus, the prayer that Paul had for Onesiphorus should be the
         prayer that we all have for ourselves:
         "The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord
         in that Day" - 2 Ti 1:18
[The final exhortation speaks not so much to what we can do to keep
ourselves from falling, but what we should do to save others in 
      1. First, to save ourselves, for mercy will only be shown to the
         merciful - Ja 2:13
      2. But also to save those who are in danger
         a. Compassion is needed to move us to action - cf. Mt 9:36-38;
         a. Compassion is needed to properly handle those in danger 
            - Ga 6:1; 2 Ti 2:24-25
      1. Lest we be caught up in the same error of the wicked - cf. 
         Ga 6:1
      2. That we might be motivated to persuade those in danger of 
         being lost - cf. 2 Co 5:10-11
1. Here, then, are Jude's final "Exhortations To The Beloved"...
   a. Remember the words spoken before (17-18)
   b. Build yourselves up in the most holy faith (20)
   c. Pray in the spirit (20)
   d. Keep yourselves in the love of God (21)
   e. Look for the mercy of our Lord (21)
   f. Be compassionate, with fear (22-23)
2. These exhortations might easily be called:
   a. "How To Keep From Falling"
   b. "How To Contend Earnestly For The Faith"
   -- For that is what Jude is seeking to do in writing these words of
3. Do we not see the need for heeding these same exhortations 
   a. Do we not face the same danger today?
   b. Do we not desire the same blessings promised to the original
      recipients of this letter?
4. May these words of Jude to his beloved serve as a guide for us 
   a. Imagine the blessedness of a congregation in which every member
      is heeding these exhortations!
   b. Imagine the blessedness of seeing everyone in this congregation
      receiving the mercy of the Lord on that Day!
Beloved, are you keeping yourselves in the love of God today by keeping
His commandments...?


Jude's Closing Doxology (24-25)
1. In the course of his short epistle, Jude has had to write some 
   necessary, and to some degree, unpleasant things...
   a. A plea to contend earnestly for the faith - Ju 3
   b. A warning about ungodly men who have crept in unnoticed - Ju 4
   c. A reminder of God's righteous condemnation in times past - Ju 5-7
   d. A description of the depravity of the ungodly dreamers - Ju 8-16
   e. Counsel on how to keep from stumbling - Ju 17-23
   -- One might think that such unpleasant tasks would leave him in a
      depressed state of mind
2. Yet we find that Jude is moved to end his epistle with a 
   a. The word means "an expression of praise to God"
   b. Doxologies are common in Scripture
      1) Usually at the end of an epistle - cf. Ro 16:25-27
      2) Sometimes in the middle of one - cf. Ep 3:20-21
   c. The format of a doxology is usually in two parts:
      1) An address to the one being praised, including reasons for the
         praise being offered
      2) The expression of praise itself
3. In "Jude's Closing Doxology", we find this epistle closing...
   a. On a very high note, not in doubt and fear
   b. With a beautiful expression of faith and hope
4. That we might be sure to live with a strong assurance of faith and
   hope, let's take a few moments to carefully examine this "expression
   of praise" preserved for us in this epistle
[Jude begins his doxology by describing...]
      1. "to keep you from stumbling"
         a. That God is in view is evident from verse 25
         b. But the emphasis appears to be on His ability to keep us
            from "stumbling"
            1) "stumbling" does not refer to the occasional sin
            2) But to stumble so as to fall away completely - cf. 2 Pe
         c. This is reassuring in an epistle filled with warning about
            ungodly men who would seek to lead one astray
         d. God's ability to keep us from stumbling was implied at the
            very beginning of this epistle - cf. Ju 1 ("preserved in
            Jesus Christ" )
         e. But as we have suggested in previous lessons, our faith
            must cooperate with God's power if we are to keep from
            "stumbling" - cf. 1 Pe 1:5; 2 Pe 1:5-11
         f. Indeed, we must heed the exhortations given by Jude
            1) "Remember the words spoken before..." - Ju 17
            2) "building yourselves up on your most holy faith" - Ju 20
            3) "praying in the Holy Spirit" - Ju 20
            4) "keep yourselves in the love of God - Ju 21
            5) "looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto
               eternal life" - Ju 21
         g. If we continue in faith, heeding such exhortations, we know
            that God is able to keep us from falling!
         h. God's ability is stressed by Paul in his "doxology" - cf.
            Ep 3:20-21
      2. "to present you faultless before the presence of His glory
         with exceeding joy"
         a. Here, the focus is on God's ability to produce the ultimate
            goal of redemption
         b. That goal is expressed here as presenting us before God...
            1) "faultless"
               a) As Paul expressed it in Ep 5:27...
                  1] "not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing"
                  2] "holy and without blemish"
               b) This is necessary if we are to be permitted in the
                  presence of God's glory
            2) "with exceeding joy"
               a) Without a doubt this will be the condition of those 
                  so blessed!
               b) But let's not discount the joy God will experience
                  when He sees His redeemed ones at last!
         c. Through His divine providence, God will bring His scheme of
            redemption to pass - cf. Ro 8:28-30
   B. "TO GOD..."
      1. "our Savior"
         a. At this point Jude is about to ascribe praise to God
         b. So this phrase may be a summary description of what was
            stated in verse 24
         c. I.e., that the God who is able to keep us from stumbling 
            and present us faultless is truly our Savior!
      2. "who alone is wise"
         a. His wisdom is seen in His ability to keep us from stumbling
            and present us faultless
         b. Again, a summary description of God in view of verse 24
[Having described God, Jude proceeds to offer his praise.  A feature 
noted in Jude's epistle is his love of triplets...
      - His description of his readers - Ju 1
      - His prayer for them - Ju 2
      - His three examples of God's righteous condemnation - Ju 5-7
      - His preliminary description of the ungodly dreamers - Ju 8
      - His three examples of Old Testament apostates - Ju 11
      - His summary description of the ungodly dreamers - Ju 19
      - His threefold exhortation to his beloved - Ju 20-21
Now in His doxology, we find one more triplet, actually a triplet of 
doublets, being used in..]
      1. "glory" comes from "doxa" {dox'-ah}, and is used to suggest 
         dignity and honor
      2. "majesty" comes from "megalosune" {meg-al-o-soo'-nay}, meaning
      3. These terms are closely related in concept, suggesting that 
         which is worthy of awe, praise, and worship
      -- Thus Jude seeks to have all glory and majesty given to God
      1. "dominion" is from "kratos" {krat'-os}, and means "might, 
         power, strength"
      2. "power" is from "exousia" {ex-oo-see'-ah}, and refers to 
         "authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength"
      3. Also closely related in concept, the use of these words 
         demonstrate that Jude recognizes that it is God who rightly
         deserves and exercises authority over all
      -- Not only does he recognize it, it is his fervent prayer that 
         it continue (as we read on...)
      1. Jude's fervent prayer is that dominion and power, glory and
         majesty remain God's
      2. Not just for the present, but for eternity!
1. With a single word ("amen", i.e., "so be it"), Jude ends his 
   doxology and the epistle itself
2. And so it WILL be...
   a. Despite the efforts of any to turn the grace of our God into 
      licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus 
   b. God will bring into judgment all who are ungodly
   c. God will preserve in Jesus Christ all who remain faithful to Him
      1) God will keep them from stumbling
      2) God will present them faultless before His presence with 
         exceeding joy
3. And to Him WILL be...
   a. Glory and majesty
   b. Dominion and power
   ...both now and forever!
But brethren, for us to enjoy the blessedness promised the faithful, we
must heed Jude's call...
   - To remember the words spoken before
   - To build ourselves up on our most holy faith
   - To pray in the Holy Spirit
   - To keep ourselves in the love of God
   - To look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus unto eternal life
   - To extend compassionate effort to those in danger
...for only then will it be true that we heeded the exhortation "to
contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the

--《Executable Outlines


Keep in the truth

The prophecy of Enoch

The judgment of the coming Lord


I.  Contend for the truth

1.    Evil heresy

2.    Ancestors’ sin

3.    Angels who fell

II.Woe to the dreamers

1.    Differing destruction

2.    Face severe punishment

3.    Ungodly things

III.       Wait for the mercy of the Lord

1.    Build up in faith

2.    Pray in the Holy Spirit

3.    Keep in God’s love

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


Three Stages of Apostasy (Jude 11)

I. The Way of Cain, the Self-righteous—Natural apostasy—opposed to Christ, the Way

II. The Error of Balaam, the Self-interested—Sacrificial apostasy—opposed to Christ the Truth

III. The Gainsaying of Core, the Self-willed—Ecclesiastical apostasy—opposed to Christ the Life

The end of those who

   1. Go in the way of Cain—is to be banished, like Cain (Gen. 4.14, 16)

   2. Run greedily after the error of Balaam—is to be admonished like Balaam (2 Pet. 2.16)

   3. Follow in the gainsaying of Core—is to be punished, like Korah (Num. 16.22)

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons


Six Metaphors Describing the Wicked Jude uses

   1. six illustrations from Old Testament history (vs. 4~11)

   2. six metaphors from classical writings (vs. 12~13)

   3. six epithets of his own (vs. 15~16)

The six Metaphors are—

I. Brute beasts wallowing in their corruption (v.10)

II. Spots in the Christians’ ‘love-feasts’ (v.12)

III. Clouds without water, driven before the wind (v.12)

IV. Trees without fruit, plucked up by the roots (v.12)

V. Waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame (v.11)

VI. Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness (v.13)

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons