On May 12th, we had the privilege of starting our two-week series on the short but ever important book of Jude. We studied the first half of the book and saw that “we are to contend for the faith to preserve the integrity of the gospel.”
1. We are Beloved and Kept for Christ (v.1-2):
In the introduction to the book, we reflected on both the identity of Jude and how he addresses his audience. To start Jude identifies himself primarily as a servant(or slave) of Jesus. Even though Jude was Jesus’ brother he saw himself primarily as his servant, which is instructive in how we too ought to see our identity in light of Christ’ lordship over us. Next, he turns to addressing the audience by reminding them of the identity which has been accomplished and secured by our Triune God and wishes multiplied blessing upon them. In this, we reflected how we too ought to be reminding our brothers and sisters of their standing in Lord and be people that seek the blessing of others.
2. We Contend for the Faith (v.3-4):
In these verses we see Jude explain why he is writing to this church, and it is that they need to contend(fight or struggle) for the faith. Even though Jude would rather be writing them about their common salvation he sees it as crucial that he addresses the false teachers that have crept into their midst. How Jude describes these teachers is really in two main ways. (1) They pervert the grace of God by going into sensuality. Here we referenced Romans 5-20-6:4 and reminded that the grace of the gospel does not lead believers to pervert God’s grace but rather to walk in the newness of life. (2) Jude describes that they deny our only mast and Lord Jesus Christ. Here we referenced Matthew 7:21-23 and reminded people that Lord is not simply God’s name it is a title with implications. The call to follow Jesus is a call to live under his lordship. In light of these descriptions, the church must be actively on guard of these things because if our gospel becomes perverted it becomes a gospel that cannot save.
3. We Contend for the Faith because God’s Judgement is Sure(v. 5-16)
Finally, we spent a good chunk of time working throuhgh the analogies, illustrustrations and descriptions of judgement for these false teachers. Without going through all of these over text there is really two things I think this section ought to teach us: (1) without Christ these descriptions would rightly describe us, (2) apart from Christ this judgement will be true for us. We concluded by relfecting on three ways we ought to contend for the faith which were:
- Upholding Qualified Overseers
- Biblical Confrontation
- Restless Prayer