TO PROTECT from harm, to guard from attack, to repulse enemies – for centuries rugged defenders have built walls, launched missiles, and waged wars, expending material and human resources in the battle to save nations and cities. And with total commitment and courageous abandon, individuals have fought for their families. It is a rule of life that we fight for survival, defending with all our strength what is most precious to us, from every real or imagined attack.
God’s word and the gift of eternal life have infinite value and have been entrusted to Christ’s faithful followers. There are many people who live in opposition to God and his followers. They twist God’s truth, seeking to deceive and destroy the unwary. But God’s truth must go forth, carried and defended by those who have committed their lives to God’s Son. It is an important task, an awesome responsibility, and a profound privilege to have this commission.
This was Jude’s message to Christians everywhere. Opposition would come and godless teachers would arise, but Christians should “contend for the faith” (verse 3) by rejecting all falsehood and immorality (verses 4-19), remembering God’s mighty acts of rescue and punishment (verses 5-11, 14-16) and the warnings of the apostles (verses 17-19). His readers are to build up their own faith through prayer (verse 20), keeping close to Christ (verse 21), helping others (verses 22, 23), and hating sin (verse 23). Then Jude concludes with a glorious benediction of praise to God (verses 24, 25).
How much do you value God’s word, the fellowship of the church, and obedience to Jesus Christ? There are many false teachers waiting to destroy your Christ-centred life, the credibility of God’s word, and the unity of the body of Christ. Read Jude and determine to stand firm in your faith and defend God’s truth at all costs. Nothing is more valuable.
PURPOSE: To remind the church of the need for constant vigilance – to keep strong in the faith and to oppose heresy
AUTHOR: Jude, brother of Jesus and James
TO WHOM WRITTEN: Jewish Christians, and all believers everywhere
DATE WRITTEN: About A.D. 65
SETTING: From the first century on, the church has been threatened by heresy and false teaching – we must always be on our guard
KEY VERSE: “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (verse 3).
KEY PEOPLE: Jude, James, Jesus
Jude wrote to motivate Christians everywhere to action. He wanted them to recognise the dangers of false teaching, to protect themselves and other believers, and to win back those who had already been deceived. Jude was writing against godless teachers who were saying that Christians could do as they pleased without fear of God’s punishment. While few teach this heresy openly in the church today, many in the church act as though it were true. This letter contains a warning against living a nominal Christian life.
- The danger of false teachers (1-16)
- The duty to fight for God’s truth (17-25)
EXPLANATION: Jude warns against false teachers and leaders who reject the lordship of Christ, undermine the faith of others, and lead them astray. These leaders and any who follow them will be punished.
IMPORTANCE: We must staunchly defend Christian truth. Make sure that you avoid leaders and teachers who distort the Bible to suit their own purposes. Genuine servants of God will faithfully portray Christ in their words and conduct.
EXPLANATION: Jude also warns against apostasy – turning away from Christ. We are to remember that God punishes rebellion against him. We must be careful not to drift away from a faithful commitment to God.
IMPORTANCE: Those who do not seek to know the truth in God’s word are susceptible to apostasy. Christians must guard against any false teachings that would distract them from the truth preached by the apostles and written in God’s word.
©KingsWay International Church, 1973.