Jude v. 1-4 - personal bible studyI’m leading a bible study with a small group.  We’re currently doing the book of Jude.  This very short letter written by the half brother of Jesus is tucked away and rarely quoted but it offers a very practical and important message to christians.  Last week I provided the background and introduction to the book.  This week we begin reading and studying verses 1-4.  In these 4 verses, Jude get’s right to the point about who he is, why he is writing this important letter.

In this weeks study, I used several study tools including a few  different translations of the Bible (NIV, ESV & NASB).  I also referenced the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, The Blue Letter Bible website and a couple of different commentaries.  After this study you can go to Jude 5-9 found here.

So, here is Jude verses 1-4:

v1. Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.
James identifies himself as a slave/bondservant of Jesus Christ, not a relative of Jesus.  He confesses Jesus as the Messiah and submits himself to the Lordship of Jesus.  Jude identifies true believing Christians in three ways:(jude likes to break things into threes…..
  • Called – A person is a Christian because God has called them. The important thing is to answer the call when it comes, just as we answer the telephone when it is ringing.  In the NT, 2822 /klētós (“divinely called“) focuses on God’s general call – i.e. the call (invitation) He gives to all people, so all can receive His salvation. God desires every person to call out to Him and receive His salvation (1 Timothy 2:4,5).—–2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.           “Unfortunately, many choose not to – but all can; all don’t but all can call out to God for His mercy (not just ‘some’)” (G. Archer). See 2821 /klēsis (“calling”).
  • Sanctified – We are set apart from the world AND set apart for God.
  • Preserved – God not only initiates salvation, but he completes it through Christ, keeping the believer seure for eternal life (John 6:37-44) (John 10;28-30) (Romans 8:31-39)
v2. Mercy peace and love be multiplied to you
  • Jude is giving a blessing similar to what the Apostle Paul does in his letters.  
  • Jude expresses his care for those he is writing to offer his very best prayer for their well being.
v3. 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.
  • I found it necessary – He felt compelled to send out a warning that apostate teachers have arrived and are among them.
  • Contend  – Jude wants them to fight / earnestly wrestle for the faith
  • For the faith – Here the faith Jude is talking about isn’t our own personal belief OR  of our trust in God. The phrase “For the faith” means “The essential truths of the gospel that all true Christians hold in common.  These essentials are:once and for all – God’s revelation was delivered by God to the world through the apostles and prophets. God may speak today, but never in the authoritative way that He spoke through the first apostles and prophets as recorded in the New Testament.   The NT scriptures are the completion of God’s revelation to man.  It is all we need to learn about how to be saved from our sins AND how to serve our Lord Jesus Christ
    • The deity of Christ (Jesus is God),
    • Salvation by God’s grace and not by works
    • Salvation through Jesus Christ alone
    • The resurrection of Christ
    • The Gospel
    • There is but ONE GOD in three persons (God, Jesus & The Holy Spirit(the trinity)

v4.  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.

they Crept in Unnoticed – On the outside, the looked and sounded like other Christians. 
  • Who long ago were marked for this condemnation – These certain men have a destiny.  It is the same destiny that every false teacher and leader has.  They are “Marked” and destined for this condemnation.  They are marked for judgement by God.
  • Ungodly People – these men are not Godly.  They are not like God no matter what their outward appearance is like.
  • Pervert or Lewdness – is practicing sin without shame.  
  • Who turn the grace of our God into lewdness: These certain men had received something of the grace of God. But when they received it, they turned it into an excuse for their lewdness.  When they experienced this grace, they used it to live sensual lives instead of Holy ones……  At church they seemed like christians but their lives did not mirror the savior.  
  • Deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ – They taught that Jesus wasn’t our master and Lord.  The Lord came in the flesh and died for our sins, offering salvation from sin to all who repent and believe.  These men didn’t know the messiah and were not saved from their sin.
Jude is writing to Christians who are set apart from the world and for God’s service.  We must fight for the essentials of the faith, most importantly, the deity of Jesus Christ who is our savior and Lord.  There are people who teach in our churches who are ungodly and teach that misrepresent who they are.  More importantly, they try to add requirements to our faith.  These people are not Christians and intentionally lead weaker brothers and sisters astray.  Their lifestyle displays who they really are.
As Christians in the 21st century, we must be prepared to defend the essential Christian beliefs.  If we don’t know what the scripture says, how can we defend the faith from wolves?  How can we defend our personal faith and not be led astray if we don’t know the Word of God.  Take time as often as you can to read, learn, understand and meditate on the Word of God.  This will bless us and protect us from the ungodly false teachers who deny Jesus Christ as the Lord God almighty.
Next week we will look at God’s judgement 5-16