"But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life." Jude 17-21
The recipients of this epistle were part of a minority in a hostile culture. They also faced the daunting task of addressing the sensualists who had secretly infiltrated the church and were leading people astray with doctrine that mocked the call to honor Christ with a holy lifestyle.
In the midst of a very difficult situation, Jude continually reminds them of their union with Christ and the empowering presence of the Lord in their lives. A power that will keep them safe and strong in their trials and present them “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (v.24).
The Call to Action
"A fourth principle of our success [as demonic beings] is to get them [evangelicals] to cover up the battlefield with peace banners, to deny the very existence of the war they’re in. This easily follows from the success of the third principle: the Big Lie of relativism. If your philosophy tells you that there are no real absolutes, then there can be no real war. If you reject the idea that there is any real evil worth fighting, and any real good worth fighting for, you reject the idea of fighting, the ideas of spiritual warfare itself. What a terrific advantage this gives us on the battlefield: most of our Enemy’s [God’s] troops don’t even know it is a battlefield." Peter Kreeft (in the literary tradition of CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters), How To Win the Culture War, p. 73
“‘Building up’ is not that each Christian should build up his own Christian life, but that Christians should help and encourage one another so they may grow in their faith and collectively contribute to the health and well-being of the church.” Daniel C. Arichea, A Handbook on the Letter of Jude
1. Pray in the Holy Spirit.
- Ask for fresh empowerment of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 11:13, Ephesians 5:18)
- Forsake/flee from known sin. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
- Plead for the Holy Spirit to make application of the Word of God in your life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
2. Keep yourselves in the love of God.
We keep ourselves in the love of God by understanding our union with Christ and living out our faith on the basis of our security in Jesus.
“The truth that makes us free is that which tells us who we are (in Christ), what we are (forgiven and secure) and what he has done for us, and how the whole honor of the family is, as it were, in our hands...Reason it out, work it out."D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: Exposition of Chapter 6, p. 169
3. Eagerly await the coming of our Lord and his eternal kingdom.
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:23-25
1. Why did those who received Jude’s epistle find themselves in a very difficult situation?
2. What concepts does Jude give his readers that instill hope, peace and joy in their lives?
3. How aware are you and your contemporaries of the spiritual battle that rages around you? Rate yourself and others 1 to 5, with 5 being highly aware. Note the quote by Peter Kreeft.
4. How do we pray in the Holy Spirit?
5. What does the concept of “leaky buckets’ mean in regard to Ephesians 5:18?
6. How does the Holy Spirit communicate to us as we seek to make application?
7. How does our conscious understanding of who we are in Christ (our union with him) keep us vibrantly in the love of God?
1. We submit to the Bible.
2. We are a family.
Because we recognize that God has ordained the institution of the nuclear family and called us into the greater familial community of the body of Christ, we celebrate and strive to build strong families within individual homes and across the generations within our church.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 4:11-16, Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
3. We serve others.
4. We make disciples.