Skip to main content

Jude 20-25

This is the last of our studies on Jude, but stick around, there will be a few more posts this week on the theology of Jude and on Jude commentaries.

Finally in Jude 20-23, Jude tells his readers how to contend for the faith. As we will find out, though, it does not take the exact shape that we might expect.

Vs. 20: The first and most important thing Jude exhorts his readers to do is to build themselves up in the holy faith. This is not a command given to the members of the church as individuals, but to them corporately. They are to build up the corporate body of Christ, which is God's temple (c.f., 2 Cor. 6:16). Being in a strong community of faith lessens the allurement of false teaching and sinful lifestyles. Secondly, Jude implores them to pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude probably does not mean speaking in tongues). As a church they are to develop a life constantly in communion with the Spirit through prayer. This intimacy with the Spirit will guard them from error.

Vs. 21: In verse 1, Jude calls them, '...those...kept by Jesus Christ.' Here he tells them to keep themselves in the love of God. Thus, the ethical command is grounded in the indicative statement. We are kept by Christ, and that is what enables us and motivates us to keep ourselves in the love of God. The second half of this verse provides hope. While the false teachers and those who follow them will face certain judgment, salvation awaits those who keep themselves in the love of God.

Vs. 22-23: These verses outline the general approach that the church was to have towards those who had followed, or were tempted to follow the false teachers. We are agents through whom God works out salvation. Salvation is a process, and included in that process is persevering in the faith. We are to help those who waver so that they may avoid having shipwrecked faith. While we pursue them, we must be very careful, for the sin and/or errant teaching that seduced them, may very easily ensnare us. While we must have love for wandering saints, we must have passionate hatred for anything sinful.

So what does it mean to contend for the faith? It means that we need vibrant, loving community grounded in the word of God and filled with the Holy Spirit that hates sin, but pursues wandering sheep.

Vs. 24-25: Jude closes with a doxology that grounds the church in the person and work of Jesus and applies it in a way relevant to their situation. The most important thing the church needed to hear was that God was able to help them persevere. They were seeing friends in the church being drawn away from the faith. Thus, they needed to be reminded that God can and will keep them from falling away because of the work of Christ on the cross, and for that work of salvation he is to be praised. For through it his glory, majesty, power, and authority are displayed. Our roll is to respond through what we say and do with a hearty, Amen!

Briefly we should note what Jude doesn't say. He never says to disassociate with erring Christians. Too often we read texts about church discipline and we think of them as the path you need to take to kick someone out of the church. That really should be a last resort, an extreme measure. The response Jude suggests is one filled with love and hope that they will return to God.


Popular posts from this blog

Commentary Series Overview

When I write commentary reviews, one of my main goals is to assess how well the commentator hit the intended audience of the commentary and utilized the format of the commentary. This often necessitates cluttering up the post discussing issues of format. To eliminate that, I thought that I would make some general remarks about the format and audience of each of the series that appear in my reviews. Terms like liberal, conservative, etc. are not used pejoratively but simply as descriptors. Many of you are familiar with Jeremy Pierce's commentary series overview. If you don't see a particular series covered here, check out his post to see if it's reviewed there. I am making no attempt at covering every series, just the series that I use. Additionally, new series (such as the NCCS) have been started in the five years since he wrote his very helpful guide, so I thought that it might not be completely out of order to have another person tackle commentary series overviews. This…

Paul's Argument in Galatians 3:15-29

15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! Fo…

Doctor Who: Rose Tyler - Traitor?

The end of season four was very, very controversial. When I first saw it, I felt cheated. I was angry. The more I think about it, the more I think I see what Russell Davies was doing. He is too good of a writer and the show is too carefully crafted for him to screw up Rose's character and the end of a four season storyline. So while the ending isn't strictly part of our series, it is tangentially related, and I've agonized over that scene in Bad Wolf Bay so much that I have to write about it. :)

To briefly set things up, near the end of the final episode of season four, there is a meta-crisis, that results in a part human. part Time Lord Doctor being generated. He has all of the Doctor's memories, and thinks and acts like the Doctor. However, importantly, he only has one heart and cannot regenerate. He only has one life to live. The meta-crisis Doctor brought full resolution to the battle fought against the Daleks, and in the process, wiped them out. Thus, the real Doc…