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|Posted on November 7, 2016 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Intro to Jude - Jude 7
Bonus lessons: The Explore the Bible curriculum only covers verses 16-25 of Jude, but Susan and I are committed to studying the word verse by verse. So, we will end this week with the first 15 verses of Jude.
Introduction to Jude:
Author – Jude is accepted as one of the half-brothers of Jesus Christ, and the brother of James, by most scholars. He rejected Christ during His ministry on earth, but believed after His resurrection.
Audience – No specific audience is named, but they were most likely Jewish believers based on the Old Testament illustrations employed by Jude.
John MacArthur Study Bible:
Jude is replete with historical illustrations from the OT which include: 1) the Exodus (v. 5); 2) Satan’s rebellion (v. 6); 3) Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 7); 4) Moses’ death (v. 9); 5) Cain (v. 11); 6) Balaam (v. 11); 7) Korah (v. 11); Enoch (vv. 14, 15); and 9) Adam (v. 14).
Main Theme: Jude spends almost the entire letter addressing apostasy. He condemns false teachers and urges His readers to take a stand against them.
John MacArthur Study Bible:
Jude is the only NT book devoted exclusively to confronting “apostasy,” meaning defection from the true, biblical faith
For more background on the book of Jude, read the introduction to Jude in a good study Bible or at www.biblegateway.com.
Jude 1a (HCSB) Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James:
Jude begins by classifying himself as being in submission to, subservient to Jesus even before he declares himself to be a brother of James who was head of the church in Jerusalem. Jesus was no longer present in His earth-suit to exercise authority over His half-brothers, but Jude internalized the message of Christ to the point that he did not require Jesus to be present to lead him. Jude did not accept Jesus as Messiah until after the resurrection, but once he did believe and trust the Lord, the Holy Spirit guided him into obedience and a life of confirming the truth of the Gospel. Because of his initial unbelief, Jude was not present to hear all of Jesus’ teachings first-hand, but he had the testimony of the disciples, both verbal and via their letters. Jude was not one of the twelve apostles but was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this letter.
Jude 1b To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.
Jude addressed his letter to Christians, most likely Jewish believers (completed Jews.) He wrote to those who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah and, therefore, were kept in the faith by Jesus.
Jude 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
I love the greetings used in the Biblical epistles! So much stronger than “Dear Friends.” It is not just a salutation. It is also Jude’s prayer on their behalf. He desires the Lord to bless them.
Jude 3 Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.
Jude wanted to wax eloquent on the Gospel message, but instead he was led by the Spirit to exhort them to ready themselves for battle on behalf of the Gospel and its message. He strongly urged them to be ready to give a defense for belief as Peter had in an earlier letter (1 Peter 3:15). In addition, these believers were needing to combat the false teaching that apparently was rampant in their area.
Jude 4 For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.
False teachers were prophesied about in both the Old and New Testaments and will receive their just “reward,” the judgement of God against them. False teachers are recognized by the fact that they are ungodly (not exhibiting the character traits of Jesus), they preach a perverted version of the Bible that distorts the truth of salvation by grace alone, and they deny the deity of Jesus. They initially infiltrate the church seeming to be followers of Jesus and His message but do not teach sound doctrine in keeping with the word of God. They tweak the gospel to fit their own agenda which often involves lining their own pockets.
Apostates: Past and Present
Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
APOS'TATE, noun [Gr.]
One who has forsaken the church, sect or profession to which he before adhered. In its original sense, applied to one who has abandoned his religion; but correctly applied also to one who abandons a political or other party.
APOS'TATE, adjective False; traitorous.
Jude 5 Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: The Lord first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe;
We saw a recap of many of God’s judgements against those who did not trust Him during the exodus from Egypt to the Promised land in our study of Psalm 106 which we are posting on weekends during November. For some examples, see Numbers 11:33-34, Numbers 14, Numbers 16, Exodus 32.
Jude 6 and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling.
If God so judges fallen angels (demons), we can know He also will judge the ungodly, those who deny and refuse to believe the truth of Jesus’ deity and the gospel message. Manipulative “pastors,” those who teach false doctrine, and false prophets espousing lies as truth will incur a harsh judgement. Some see this as dealing specifically with the fallen angels in Genesis 6 who had relations with human women.
Jude 7 In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were so sexually perverse, that the Lord rained down fire upon the two cities and destroyed them and their people completely. Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, his nephew Lot was rescued out of the city by angels. The unbelieving people of Sodom and Gomorrah will be thrown into the lake of fire along with Satan and his demons as will all those who reject Jesus. Then they will be remembered no more. However, at this time their story serves as a reminder and a warning that failing to trust Jesus has the most serious consequences – eternal punishment – eternal pain with no comfort, no hope, no God! They will be alive forever but constantly tormented by their rejection of the One who could have spared them.
Challenge: The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was rejecting God’s direction, His law, resulting in gross sexual perversions. Unfortunately, this sounds like the USA today. PRAY for our nation to repent and return to being what our founding fathers envisioned – a nation submitted to and led by our Eternal Father.
|Posted on September 21, 2016 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 103:19-22 (KJV) – Bless the Lord, All His Works
Psalm 103:19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
Sometimes in my sojourn here on earth, it does not feel like God rules everything. Do you ever feel that way? I recently went through a time when I couldn’t see why it was still worth fighting for life and purpose and godliness here in my earth-suit. Why did you feel that way? There were many reasons. I had been ordained for five years but had no way of fulfilling my calling to its fullest extent. My legs had been slowly rotting away for seven years. We did not know what to do, and even doctors and specialists could not pinpoint what microorganism was doing this – they could not identify the root cause in order to treat it effectively. It seemed hopeless until I took the drastic measure to do what the Bible said and cut off the member that offended me (Matthew 18:8a). This would have been a harder decision to make if I had been walking. Since I was not, it was a no-brainer to give up my legs in order to preserve my life. Did it seem for a while that God had ceased to rule the world? I knew God had a plan even though I could not see it at the time.
We see many things in this world and ask why God allows them. However, that does not mean He has lost His grip on His kingdom. His kingdom is heavenly, and at this point rules in our hearts; but ultimately, He does control the universe even though we may not always understand His ways.
Psalm 103:20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
Angels are created beings designed to serve the Lord and those who belong to Him. There are angels, now called demons who no longer serve God (1/3 fell as they rejected God and followed Lucifer). The un-fallen angels praise Him continually and use their mighty strength to instantly do His will.
Revelation 5:11-13 (KJV)
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Psalm 103:21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
God has an army of mighty angels. When Jesus returns in power and glory, they will accompany Him. These will not be a host of effeminate, pretty angels like most artwork portrays them. They are warriors, an army.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (KJV)
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Psalm 103:22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.
What are some of God’s works that should bless Him? All of creation including ME! He sees me as I shall be, not as my temporal self. Praise the Lord! God created each of us with specific purposes, but the main purpose for all believers is to glorify God in all that we do and say.
Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Challenge: When a person comes to Christ and trusts in Him, others should begin to see a change in him or her. We are to bless the Lord by walking in good works. Stephen Curtis Chapman has a great song called “What About the Change”. I love the chorus:
“What about the change
What about the difference
What about the grace
What about forgiveness
What about a life that's showing
I'm undergoing the change.”
You can listen to it here: