Friday, August 31, 2007

Jesus is Coming--What will Become of Thee?--Jude 14-16

It was also about these that Enoch[1], the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Jesus is coming back! Let that sink in for a moment. Resist the urge to start asking questions, “When”, “How”, “For whom”? Just let it sink in, Jesus is coming back! What does that do to your heart? Does it excite you? Does it invoke fear? The other day as we were shopping for props and costumes for our next movie I noticed a T-shirt which said, “Jesus is coming!” Then down at the bottom it said, “Hide the porn”. Even though we would probably not be quite that brazen, I wonder how many of us would have the urge to hide stuff if we knew Jesus was coming back 2 minutes from now. And it is rather ironic that Scripture predicts that in the last days there will be people who ridicule the idea of Jesus coming back. () Jesus is coming back and much of Scripture, including Jude here, lets us know that it will not be a pretty picture for many. Jesus is coming, and He is coming back as Judge—and even if you “hide the porn” He is still going to find you guilty.

Notice how many times Jude (actually 1 Enoch) uses the word “ungodly” in one form or another. I count 4 in two verses. Jesus is coming back to judge the ungodly. Certainly, at the forefront of Jude’s mind are the false teachers, but even if we are not “false teachers” it still has application for us today. First of all notice the scope (extent) of this judgment, notice who Jude says will be judge by Jesus. Did you notice in verse 15 that it says, “to execute judgment on all”? We will all be judged by Jesus. And the ungodly will be “convicted”. Now notice the characteristics of those who will be judged. Deeds of ungodliness, people who have spoken against the Lord, grumblers, malcontents, loud-mouthed boasters, people who show favoritism to gain advantage. Do you find yourself in that list anywhere? I do.

If we look a little deeper at what Jude means by these things I think we will certainly see ourselves in that list. When Jude refers to these false teachers as “grumblers” more than likely he is referring to the Israelites in the wilderness who were grumbling against God. Have you ever grumbled against God? Complained because of how life was treating you? Angry because God is doing something you do not agree with? “Malcontents” means much the same thing, but this time Jude says they follow their own sinful desires. Instead of being content with the will of God (more than likely His holy law) they live their life how they want to. Sound familiar yet? And furthermore they boast about it. These men are arrogant in their sin. And finally we see that they show favoritism to gain advantage. More than likely Jude is referring to the fact that their preaching and life differs based upon their audience. Perhaps they are easy on the rich and try really hard to gain their favor and ostracize the poor. We may not be as guilty of this specific sin, but how often are we a different person based upon the crowd we are in. I have no difficulty finding myself in this passage. It saddens me to say that I sometimes grumble. I’m discontent. I might even be a loud-mouthed boaster (making it seem or sound like I have it all together and know exactly what I am talking about). I would like to think that I do not show favoritism to gain advantage, but I am certain that I either have or do occasionally still.

As far as application I think we can look at four quick things. The base point that Jude is making is this—“Don’t follow these ungodly people who are going to be judged—because then you will become ungodly and will be judged”. Secondly, I think we can look at this and see an exhortation from Jude not to be like these false teachers, we should reflect our holy Lord and not these ungodly sinners. Next, I see a redemptive purpose in this passage. I am ungodly. I am going to still fall short, and still be grumbling. What hope then do I have? Again, we find from this text our need for a Savior. So, let us be holy and be exhorted to not be like these false teachers but at the same time let us cling to the grace of Christ for power to overcome the sin and for cleansing because we do not. Lastly, I see another angle to this redemptive purpose. Knowing that we are ungodly and knowing that Jesus is coming back to judge the ungodly we must ask ourselves, “am I to be found righteous?” Does the blood of Jesus cover me?
In the words of John Newton ask yourself today:
At his call the dead awaken,
Rise to life from earth to sea;
All the powers of nature, shaken
By His looks, prepare to flee
Careless sinner,
What will become of thee?
[1] You will not find 1 Enoch in your Bible. It is a work that many in the Early Church used but it is not a canonical source. Jude is not saying it is canonical he is merely using it as a source. Because of Jude’s quote it does not make 1 Enoch inspired, only the letter of Jude is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On Being a Fried Chicken Dinner--Jude 12-13

These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

If you open up a dictionary and turn to the B’s you will find the word banquet. The first definition of banquet is, “a lavish meal, a feast.” If you go down the freezer aisles in Wal-Mart you will find Banquet TV dinners. Sometimes I get duped into buying the Fried Chicken meal, they are only .99 cents but are certainly everything BUT a banquet. It advertises one thing on the outside and thoroughly disappointments on the inside. That is exactly what Jude says of these false teachers. Jude is going to employ four metaphors to prove his point as well as speak of their condemnation and give further weight to his exhortation in verse 12 that these men are “blemishes” on your love feasts.

Before we get practical with this verse we need to do a little exposition (explaining). First of all, it is possibly better that we view the word “blemishes” as the word “reefs”.[1] So, what Jude is saying is that there are men who are among your ranks who are shipwrecking your congregation, namely your love feasts. Which necessitates further explanation; what are the love feasts? More than likely it is a reference to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.[2] Apparently these men are feasting (banqueting) with the believers as their “leaders” and are only looking after themselves. This is more than likely a reference to Ezekiel 34:2 where he rebukes the leaders of his day for feeding themselves at the expense of his sheep.[3] Then Jude begins his rebuke.

Jude now employs 4 metaphors to describe these false teachers. First he begins with the waterless clouds, swept away by winds. I am certain that farmers in our area are familiar with this. You look up into the sky and storm clouds begin to roll in. You get excited at the prospect of a much needed rain, only to have your hopes dashed a few moments later as the storm passes by and you are left with only a few drops. The second image Jude employs teaches the same lesson. This time he speaks of a tree that should be bearing fruit but instead it is barren. So the person tending to the trees uproots it and throws it into the fire. Just like the tree these false teachers are boasting of great spiritual things (fruit) yet are producing nothing of spiritual value. But it is not as if they are producing nothing. Jude now changes his metaphor to let us know what they are producing; filth. Just like wild waves of the sea bring up to the shore all sorts of trash and nasty scum, so these false teachers are bringing to the body nothing but trash. And lastly Jude is going to help us to see their fate. He likens them to wandering stars (probably planets that cannot be relied upon for their movement, at least in Jude’s day). Then he switches directly to the false teachers and says, “for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever”. And Jude uses the passive voice, meaning it is God that is placing them in the outer darkness. (See the prior blog, “Would a loving God really do that”)

Now what does this have to do with us today? Ask yourself, “Am I a banquet Fried Chicken meal?” Are you falsely advertising? The truth is we all want to make ourselves out to be better than we are. The outside package is so often better than what is on the inside. The truth is, even if we tried to be transparent—that by itself would not be a virtue. If we are to be real and transparent then we would have to display how utterly wicked we are and how impure our motivations are. It would not be pretty. Truly, our only hope is in Jesus Christ who is not a waterless cloud (he always comes through), a fruitless tree (he is the source of fruit), wild waves (only purity and goodness comes from Him), nor wandering stars (he is Light and in Him is no darkness). Our only hope is that the righteousness of this great God might be given to us.

[1] The meaning of “blemishes” is often disputed. It can mean either “spot, blemish, blots” or it can also be translated “reefs”. Many commentators favor the translation “blemishes”, however some still believe it is better rendered “reefs”. Many prefer the translation “blemishes” because reefs often caused danger because they are hidden. Certainly these false teachers are making themselves known. However, it is not necessary to say that in order for a reef to be hazardous it must be hidden. For this reason and also because of the unlikelihood of a polished Greek writer like Jude to have made the mistake between spilas (rock) and spilos (blemish) I prefer the translation reefs. (It was actually through reading the commentary of Richard J. Bauckham from that I have come to this conclusion). Either way Jude’s point is the same—get away from the false teachers.
[2] For a decent article on this check out
[3] Bauckham, Richard. Taken from

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What type of influencer are you? Jude 11

“Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.”

I am not the biggest fan of John Maxwell. Many of you probably do not even know who he is. John Maxwell is a “leadership guru”. Some of his principles I believe are unbiblical in their foundation, others are sounds solid, and some are merely based upon common sense and understanding. But the man does know leadership. For these reasons I quote Mr. Maxwell with caution. In his book on Becoming a Person of Influence, Maxwell comments that, “if your life in any way connects with other people, you are an influencer. Everything you do at home, at church, in your job, or on the ball field has an impact on the lives of other people.”[1] I have heard the statistic before that even the most introverted people are estimated to influence over 10,000 people in their lifetime. We all are influencing others by the way we live our lives, by what we say, what we do, how we act, even by the things that we do not do, we are influencing others. This much is true. We will discover today, three people who influenced others away from God instead of towards Him. These three Jude is comparing to the false teachers of his day. We, along with Jude, are going to ask ourselves, “in what way are we being influenced,” and “what type of influencer am I”?

Jude begins by pronouncing a woe, on these false teachers, these men to whom he is going to liken some of the most infamous sinners in the history of mankind. First, Jude is going to compare them to Cain. At first it might appear that Cain is only guilty of murdering his brother. Jewish tradition, however, takes us further. In what would have been familiar with Jude, rabbinical teaching often taught that Cain was the archetypal sinner and was known for having lead others astray after he was cast out of God’s presence. What is also interesting is many believe that Cain’s fundamental problem was a lack of a true understanding of God. Perhaps he had bought into the heresy that “God will not judge”. In fact one Jewish writing puts these words on the lips of Cain, “There is no judgment, no judge, no world to come; no reward will be given to the righteous, and no destruction for the wicked.”[2] So perhaps it is incorrect doctrine that is what motivated Cain and is what is motivating these false teachers.

Next, Jude turns our attention to Balaam. Balaam is known in the Old Testament (and Jewish tradition) as one of the greediest of all the infamous sinners. You can read about Balaam in Numbers 22-24, 31:16. It might appear that he was obedient but actually Balaam (as our text helps us see) out of greed enticed the Israelites to sin. So, perhaps these false teachers are not only motivated by their heresy but also by their greed.

Lastly, Jude is going to point us to the rebellion that was led by Korah. Korah, along with Dathan and Abiram, led 250 men in rebellion against Moses and Aaron (Number 16). This is perhaps the most “straight-to-the-heart” condemnation against these false teachers. Korah was not only rejecting the authority of Moses and Aaron, he was rejecting the authority of that which they represented; the Law. But it goes even deeper than that—the Law is not merely a book of words, it is the very word and commandment of God. To reject the Law is to reject the Lord who gave it. And this is the fundamental mistake they are making.

All three of these false teachers hold one thing in common because of their sin they were also leading other people into sin. Sadly, we do the same. This would not be an adequately Christian devotion if it did not point us to Jesus Christ. How then does this passage of Scripture point us to Jesus? I see two primary ways it can point us to Christ. First of all, if we are to be real with ourselves we will acknowledge the fact that we are just like Cain, Balaam, and Korah. Our influence is more often than not used to lead people into sin. Whether it is from a misunderstanding of God, greed, selfishness, or a complete rebellion of God’s authority, we all do it. What hope then do we have of not meeting the same fate as these men? Our only hope is in Jesus Christ. He redeems us and rescues us from our sinful influence. Furthermore, Christ even uses our weakness to point others to Himself. Secondly, it is through the power of Christ that we can point others to the fountain of living water and hope—Jesus Himself. Perhaps the most effective witness we will have is by confessing our sinfulness and pointing others to not only their need for a Savior but for ours also.

Ask yourself today:

· In what way am I leading others into rebellion towards God?
· How might I display the grace of God more effectively in my life?
· What areas of my life do I need to confess sin?
· How might I use my influence to point to Jesus instead of away from Him?

[1] Maxwell, John. Dornan, Jim. Becoming a Person of Influence. p3
[2] Quoted from Hendriksen, William commentary on 1, 2 Peter and Jude. Author’s translation taken from

Monday, August 27, 2007

Authority Rejecting 101--Jude 8-10

“Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you’. But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively”.

Remember that Jude is warning his readers against false teachers. We learn a little more about their teaching today, and find that is very similar to teaching that is still around in our day. For a real life example check out the video on this page: Church However You Want

If you watched this video I hope you noticed a few of the statements that are contrary to biblical teaching. First of all they have no "statement of belief” (what then would Jude be calling us to contend for in v.3). There is no strong authority structure (but what about the places of authority that God has mandated—see Romans 13). Did you notice all of the “I believes”? These people have rejected authority, they have rejected the Law. Just as the one young lady said, “I see the Bible as changing”. When we begin to define and reshape Jesus into our own image, a God of our own liking, we are standing on dangerous and slippery ground, just like the folks that Jude is ministering to.

Listen to Jude’s condemnation of these false teachers (v8). First of all, notice what it is they are relying on, “their dreams”. Some commentators think that this is a reference to erotic dreams and fantasies that they have given themselves over to. The more probable explanation, however, is that it is a reference to relying on their supernatural revelation they have received through visions. (This would be very similar then to many in the charismatic movement that “talk to Jesus” and therefore cannot be questioned). Because these men have received this “special revelation” they in turn are rejecting moral authority. Therefore, they are living however they desire. This is the problem that we see in v8; they defile the flesh (sexual immorality) and they reject authority and blaspheme the glorious ones (reject Christ Lordship and the authority of law and the angels who gave it).

Jude then gives an example from the apocryphal book “The Assumption of Moses” to compare these false teachers with the archangel Michael. Some see Jude’s point in verse 9 as being, “If Michael refuses to rebuke Satan how much more should sinful man refrain from slandering Satan?” Others, (and this more closely fits the context) see the argument as being, “If Michael could not reject Satan’s claim on his own authority, because He is not judge, then how can we possibly think that we mere finite creatures are a law unto ourselves?” In other words Jude is saying, “No man is an autonomous moral authority”. I do not get to pick what is right and wrong. God is the Judge. God is the source of truth.

And it is at this point that we must not only compare the teaching of Jude with the teachings of the church in the above video, but also the teachings of our church and our individual lives. What do you see happen whenever truth is rejected? It usually leads to immorality. That is what happened in Jude’s church (see v10). We should ask ourselves today:

  • What is my source of decision making? If I were asked the question, “what should a church look like” how would I answer?
  • Am I living on“instincts” or God’s Word?
  • In what way do I "define" truth rather than matching it up to God's Word?
  • How might Jesus rescue me from finding truth in myself instead of in Him?
  • Are there "authorities" God has placed in my life that I am rejecting? (This includes the police, parents, spouses, teachers...etc)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Would a loving God really do that? Jude 5-7

“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”

You have probably heard the objection, “How can a loving God send anyone to hell?” Why would God send loving ol’ granny to an eternal torment just because she does not want to come to Jesus? Many people give the “freedom of the will argument”. I recently read one defense that falls way short of the gospel and actually ends up robbing us of our only hope of salvation. Some guy named Lenny from offers this as an answer, “If God is the author of all good and people have the free will to follow Him or separate from Him, then it must follow that people will suffer if they don't choose to follow God. In this way it is not a "punishment", but the only option left to God who cannot destroy your sovereign will.”[1]

Lenny strips us of our only hope because if “God cannot destroy our sovereign will” then we are all destined to hell. Our only hope is that God might destroy our “sovereign will”. The truth is that our will is not sovereign, God is! Now, Lenny (and all those who use the free will argument) get at least two things right. 1) People really do go to hell. 2) People really do go to hell because they desire to. That is the human condition we hate what we should love and we love what we should hate. But where they miss the boat is in believing that God is passively sitting by just hoping that we will somehow out of our God-hating hearts “choose Him”. This will never happen! Our only hope is that god might, in his sovereign love change our heart so that it might desire what it ought—Jesus Christ. The question really is not, why does God send people to hell—the question we should be asking is, “why am I not in hell right now”?

Jude’s message to us today is; God really does send people to hell. People who are disobedient and rebellious will undergo the same punishment of eternal fire that Sodom and Gomorrah did. Jude gives three examples from biblical history to prove his point. First of all he points us to the Israelites whom God had just redeemed out of Egypt, afterward when they grumbled and disobeyed God destroyed them. (See Numbers 14:29–37 and Hebrews 3:17–19). Secondly, Jude points us to angels who left their proper dwelling are now kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until judgment day.[2] Lastly, Jude is going to give us the great example of sin; Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19). Jude’s point is simple—look at history, God will punish those who rebel, those who break his law, and those who disobey.

Jude is using this example to point us to these false teachers and is ultimately saying, “Do not follow them”. But the question I ask is this; where does this leave me? I am a rebel. I have broken his law. I have disobeyed. What then does this mean for me? Brothers and sisters we must feel the weight of this—don’t answer it too quickly. Own your rebellion. Come to grips with your lawbreaking. Embrace the fact that you have disobeyed. It is the gospel! We cannot come to an understanding of the gospel until we can grasp (and feel) the weight of our fall. Until we feel the heavy, painful burden of Galatians 3:10[3] we will never feel the life-changing joy, peace, freedom, and grace of Galatians 3:13[4]. If we do not understand the seriousness of Jude v5-7 then we will not appreciate the Gospel.

What is the answer for those of us who have rebelled (that means everyone)? The answer is in the gospel. The answer is in Galatians 3:13. Jesus Christ became that curse—he has taken the punishment for our rebellion and disobedience.

[2] We actually know very little about Jude’s reference here, possibly it is a reference to Genesis 6:2, and the belief that angels left heaven and came to earth—but this is difficult to prove. We must focus on Jude’s main point here—they rebelled, they were punished.
[3] For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them’.
[4] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’

Do You Have Heart Burn?

You were challenged Wednesday night to have "heart burn"--which will only come through running to the Cross of Jesus Christ. In looking at Luke 24, we noticed that Jesus Christ is the key to understanding all Scripture. It truly is "all about Jesus". We also saw that Jesus had to open their eyes in order for them to understand this truth. This is the work of illumination, which the Holy Spirit does in our hearts today. And lastly we saw that Jesus commanded the disciples (after they were empowered with the Spirit, and after he revealed to them that He is the cornerstone of all Scripture) to preach the gospel to the nations. The full text for the sermon can be found here:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grace is Costly...Don't Pervert It

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

We can be so self-deceiving. “I’m dating this girl so that I can witness to her”. “I’m watching this movie so I can relate to my non-Christian friends”. “My boyfriend, who isn’t a Christian, will break up with me if I don’t have sex with him—and since I want to continue witnessing to him, I’m going to have sex with him.” “This show isn’t THAT bad, besides God’s grace will cover it anyways”. We make so many ridiculous excuses for sin. There is a growing movement in churches today to be “relevant”—which obviously means being “secular”. In order to be “relevant”, in order to “reach the world for Jesus” we have to become just like the world.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was fighting this very thing in the 1930’s when he wrote The Cost of Discipleship. Bonhoeffer reflects well the heart behind this passage:

“Grace without price, grace without cost! The essence of grace, we
suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap…cheap grace means the justification of the sin without the justification of the sinner.”[1]

Bonhoeffer, unlike many of us today, really understood what is required of a man in following the gospel. Bonhoeffer, would ultimately pay for the gospel with his life. He was hung in a Nazi concentration camp on April 9, 1945.[2] So Bonhoeffer lived what he proclaimed. “The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.”[3] What Bonhoeffer is saying is precisely the opposite of what these false teachers were saying. They lived by cheap grace. Bonhoeffer understood costly grace. That “little” sin that you are fond of nailed Jesus Christ to a Cross. He spilled his precious blood for your “not such a big deal” sins. Therefore, ALL sin is heinous. We must flee from sin and flee to Christ. But ultimately we must understand that Christ blood DOES cover our sin. We must listen to God’s Word in Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Don’t sin—serve!

Ask yourself today:

· Do I use the grace of Christ as a license to sin?
· Does sin break my heart? Do I hate my sin?
· Have I left all to follow Jesus?

I understand that there is a somewhat difficult part of this passage, “who long ago were designated for this condemnation”. It appears that Jude is saying that God has prepared people for destruction. This is, in an oversimplified way, of referring to the doctrine of double predestination. For more information about that difficult doctrine read these articles:

Double Predestination, by R.C. Sproul
The Double Predestination to Holiness and Sin, by W.G.T. Shedd

[1] Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. p43
[2] Bonhoeffer was actually hung for being involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Which if you know anything about Hitler and his view of church and the gospel then you know that Bonhoeffer’s hope was to preserve the gospel.
[3] Ibid, p51

Christians Should NOT be Mindless

Francis Asbury, a late 1700’s Methodist pioneer, once wrote, “If you can do but one, let your studies alone. I would throw by all the Libraries of the World rather than be guilty of the Loss of one Soul.”[1] Similarly, the dynamic baseball player turned preacher Billy Sunday commented, “If I had a million dollars, I’d give $999,999 to the church and $1 to education”.[2] Should we agree with these comments? Should we separate “studies” from “soul-winning”? Or is it true that solid Christian living is often equated to solid Christian doctrine? Verse 3 in Jude offers an answer:

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

It appears that Jude was very anxious to write to his readers about their common salvation. Perhaps, he (like many other NT authors) wanted to encourage the church in their unity. But apparently there was something far more serious taking place—false teachers had infiltrated their ranks and Jude needed to encourage the church to “contend for the faith”. In order to understand this verse we must know what Jude means by “faith”. The word can mean to trust in, believe upon, etc. But it can also refer to a body of doctrine or a set of beliefs. And that is what the word here is referring to. We know this by how Jude qualifies it, “that was once for all delivered to the saints.” What Jude is talking about is the gospel message. That which Jesus gave to the apostles, the apostles gave to their followers, who in turn gave it to their followers, and so on and so forth. It is the same gospel message that you and I hear today. Jude is encouraging them to contend for this faith.

People such as Asbury and Sunday (along with many Christians today) fail to understand what Jude is saying here. Contending for the faith means that doctrine matters. What you believe is just as important as how you live and how you act. But this is no easy thing. Contending for the faith is not easy. As one commentator helps us to see, contending is, “to exert oneself without distraction to attain a goal. It means self-denial to overcome obstacles, to avoid perils, and if need be to accept martyrdom.”[3] Jude is concerned with preserving the truth. But in our ever increasingly ignorant American Christianity we must understand Jude is concerned with us working hard to preserve solid Christian doctrine.

Ask yourself today:

· Am I contending for the faith?
· What place does Christian doctrine have in my life?
· Am I as concerned that I believe the right thing as I am that I do the right thing?

Correct believing so often follows leads to correct living. For proof of this check out a recent article by John Piper:

[1] Quoted from Os Guiness, Fit Bodies Fat Minds, p29
[2] Ibid, p.32
[3] Hendriksen, William. Commentary on 1, 2 Peter and Jude. Taken from

Monday, August 20, 2007

Will you make it? Jude 1:1-2

“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for [by] Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.”

-Jude 1-2

Do you ever feel like you're not going to make it? By "it" I mean to the finish line of the Christian race. Do you ever wonder if at some point you will completely abandon the faith? How can you know that you will ultimately be saved? How can you be confident that at some point you will not walk away? Jude will hopefully give us an answer to that question today. In these two verses it is packed with encouragment to those who are encouraged to have "faith in a faithless world". These three things are proofs that we will ultimately remain faithful.

1. We are called

There are two different types of calling in the NT. First of all there is the general call which goes out to every man (an example of this is in Matthew 11:28). This call can either be rejected (John 5:40) or received (John 1:12). But we learn more of those who “receive” this general call. It is due to their having also been graciously given an inward efficacious (effective) calling. This is the type of call that Jude is referring to. He is reminding them that they have been specially called by God. We know then from Romans 11:29 that the “gifts and calling of God are irrevocable”. That means if God has called us then he is not going to “un-call” us.

2. We are beloved

Not only are we called by God but we are also beloved by Him. Paul goes into much depth in the eight chapter of Romans to show us the benefits of this new life in the Spirit and to display that we have now no condemnation. What then does Paul play as his trump card to prove this? The love of God! This is precisely the argument of Paul in 8:30-39. If God did not spare his own Son then how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? If God is for us who can be against us? Do you really think that God is going to allow you to not persevere?

3. We are kept by Jesus Christ

The word for “kept” means to watch, stand guard over, or keep.[1] It is as if Jesus is standing over us as a watchman making certain that we do not slip and fall out of God’s care. This sounds very similar to John 10:28, 29 where Jesus says that no one can snatch us out of His hands. What more have you to doubt? If you honestly believe that you will not persevere in this faithless age then you are denying the very power and authority of Jesus Christ. Those who are called by God, beloved by the Father, and kept by Jesus Christ WILL remain faithful in a faithless age! So let us holdfast to the gospel! BE FAITHFUL TODAY!

[1] Cited from MacArthur’s sermon found at

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Starting on August 20th (the first day back 2 school for MTHS) the fbcnewlondon Blog will reappear. The website will be revamped, will have new features, hopefully more student participation, and the daily devotions will reappear. Until we begin our study on the Minor Prophets in September our devotions will be from the letter of Jude.

This letter has been called by some the most “neglected of all NT books”[1]. The author is more than likely Jude, not only the brother of James but also the brother of our Lord Jesus. It is therefore, interesting to note that even his brother (if this indeed be him) considers himself a doulos (slave, bond-servant) or Jesus. What a mighty change from the earlier view that Jesus’ brothers had of him (John 7:5). But something extraordinary had happened; Jude became exactly what he spoke of his recipients, “called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ”.

What is Jude about? Jude is writing to a congregation that has recently been plagued with heresy and false teachers. Mark Dever does well in entitling his overview of Jude, “Having Faith in a Faithless Time”[2]. Jude is encouraging his readers to keep the faith in these difficult times. Our study will be focusing on this central theme--"How do we contend for the faith?"

I hope you come back on August 20th and every day after. It is my prayer that you God might be glorified through this study and that you might be edified. To Him be all praise honor and glory! Be sure to come back on the 20th!!!

[1] Indirectly quoted from Carson, Moo, Morris. Introduction to the New Testament. p.461
[2] The sermon can be heard at


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