Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Mining the Scriptures: Jude 16-19

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Jude describes the false teachers he warns about as individuals who are severely lacking in character. This is characteristic of the self-willed. First, they grumble and complain. This shows a lack of respect for authority. They are governed by their own lusts. This indicates selfishness and a love of sin. They use flattery to gain advantage, which indicates a deceitful spirit.

These evil individuals had been predicted by the Lord’s apostles. One example of this is found in Acts 20:28-30, in the warning Paul gave to the Ephesian elders at Miletus.

The overriding characteristic of these men was their sensuality. It seems that both Jude and Peter (2 Peter 2) refer to men that are either similar to, or perhaps are the originators of what would become known as Gnosticism. Regardless, the pursuit of carnal passion is always troublesome and divisive, and must be warned against with regularity.

Mining the Scriptures: Jude 12-15

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In these verses Jude continues his description of the false teachers, who in their treachery destroy themselves and those they are able to influence. He calls them clouds without water, trees without fruit, raging waves of the sea, and wandering stars. In all of this they are seen to be vain and destructive in the error they propagate, and doomed for eternity.

Two questions arise from the text. First, what are the “love feasts” referred to in verse 12? The word “spot” may be a mistranslation, as the term may instead have reference to hidden rocks rather than a blemish. Regardless, they are destructive. The phrase “love feasts” most probably refer to social meals that brethren eat together, giving them an opportunity to express their devotion to one another. These men use such occasions to promote their evil agenda.

The second question concerns the origin of Enoch’s prophesy in verses 14-15 concerning the judgment of these false teachers. The prophesy quoted is not found elsewhere in scripture. However, as Jude spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can be assured of its legitimacy (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17) . He here describes the final judgment when these men will give account of themselves to God.

Mining the Scriptures: Jude 5-11

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To illustrate the condemnation reserved for false teachers, Jude used three examples in this text. First, those of the Exodus who exhibited unbelief despite the miraculous intervention of God. He “destroyed those who did not believe.” Second, the rebellious angels. Though little is revealed about this rebellion of higher beings, we know that God placed them under “everlasting chains.” Third, the immoral cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, that suffered by His hand, “the vengeance of eternal fire.”

These serve as an object lesson to the current false teachers that Jude warns his readers about. These evil men are sensuous and rebellious. Because of their evil ways, they are worthy of condemnation.

In verse 9 of the text, a reference is made to a conflict between Michael, the archangel, and the devil, about the body of Moses. We have no knowledge of the nature of the dispute, and it is worthless to speculate. However, the occasion is used to point out the audacity of the false teachers Jude condemns. Their brashness leads them to do things even Michael himself would not.

Mining the Scriptures: Jude 1-2

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Jude 1-2

Even the salutations of scripture contain wonderful lessons for the discerning reader. For example, in our text Jude describes himself as at “bondservant of Jesus Christ.” The word literally indicates a slave, and shows clearly the concept of submission and subservience. We are all to be bondservants of our Lord, submitting wholly to His will.

Jude refers to his readers as “sanctified by God the Father.” The word sanctified literally means to be set apart. God separates us from the world when we obey the gospel. But, the concept of sanctification requires that we live a life worthy of that separation (cf. Ephesians 4:1).

Finally, among the first words of Jude is the phrase, “preserved in Jesus Christ.” As Christ is our Savior, we are “more than conquerors” (cf. Romans 8:37). There is nothing on this earth, or under the sway of the devil, nor the devil himself that is able to separate us from Jesus Christ. As our Savior, he is “able to keep” what we have committed to Him “until that Day” (cf. 2 Timothy 1:12).

“Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.”

Mining The Scriptures: Jude 3-4

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Jude 3-4

The concept of contending for the faith, while well documented scripturally as a requirement of God, is not practiced with regularity in our time. Rather, the call today is for compromise and tolerance.

It is interesting that Jude indicates in this text his desire to write “concerning our common salvation.” It is certainly a pleasant thing to relate the privileges and rewards that are ours if we are found faithful in Christ. However, Jude “found it necessary” to write instead about false teachers and their influence, to warn his readers.

Why did Jude feel compelled to do this? Because of the dangers such men present! They are deceitful in their practices, and Jude reveals that they will stand condemned for their message (cf. vs. 14-15).

Jude warns his readers to “keep yourselves” (vss. 20-21). False teachers are dangerous, and we must contend with them!