The Book of Jude is a short and powerful letter in the New Testament of the Bible, consisting of just one chapter with 25 verses. It is attributed to Jude. Although he is the brother of Jesus and James, Jude identifies himself as His servant, acknowledging Jesus as Lord. The primary theme of the Book of Jude is a warning against false teachers and their ungodly influence within the Christian community.
Key points in the Book of Jude:
Warning against False Teachers: Jude urges believers to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, as false teachers have infiltrated the church, distorting the truth and leading people astray.
Historical Examples: Jude provides several historical examples of God's judgment on those who rebelled or practiced immorality, such as the Israelites in the wilderness and the angels who rebelled. These examples serve as warnings about the consequences of ungodly behavior.
Characteristics of False Teachers: Jude describes the false teachers as ungodly, immoral, and motivated by self-interest. They reject authority and speak evil of celestial beings.
Encouragement to Believers: The letter encourages believers to build themselves up in the faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, and keep themselves in the love of God. Jude advises showing mercy to those who doubt and saving others with fear, pulling them from the fire of judgment.
We see the book concludes with a doxology, praising God for His ability to keep believers from stumbling and present them blameless before His glory.
In summary, the Book of Jude serves as a passionate call to defend the true Christian faith against the influence of false teachers and to remain steadfast in godliness and love while relying on God's grace and protection.
As we continue today, let’s focus on the later part of our chapter in verse 17. Proverbs tells us that there are two voices calling out in the marketplace—the voice of wisdom and the voice of folly. All through the Christian life both voices ring in our ears. Jude warns believers to be aware of these voices and the dangers that can so easily pull them off course. Verse 17 is the turning point in this letter, as Jude describes how the life of a believer should look amid such noise.
First, Jude reminds those in the early church of the apostles’ warnings about scoffers and ungodly people who aim to lead others away from Christ’s true teachings (vv. 18–19). The early Christians lived in a time of great persecution. The gospel was under attack. Likewise, all over the world today the church is facing both subtle and blatant pressures to compromise when it comes to proclaiming the gospel. We need to be aware of what stands between people and the truth.
Second, Jude asks believers to pay attention to their own spiritual walk. He uses action words such as “build,” “pray,” “keep,” and “wait” to describe how to maintain the healthiness and fruitfulness of their faith. We need to treasure all the ways that help keep us close to the Lord. It’s easy to wander and to label what should be called “sin” as “individual choices.” Likewise, we are tempted to call selfishness “freedom.” We can fool ourselves into calling darkness light. It’s difficult to stay true to what we’ve been taught, to live disciplined lives, and to wait for what we cannot yet see.
So the question is, where in my life am I blurring the lines of truth? This kind of inward examination should not make us fearful. It is necessary as we seek to fix our eyes on Christ. We don’t keep the course of steadfast faith accidentally. It’s a costly path that requires diligence, repentance, and the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work.
Third, Jude encourages believers to reach out to those around them who are struggling, showing mercy to people with spiritual or physical needs. We as Christians are called to care for those in doubt, pulling them from danger while holding strong to their convictions. Sin is cunning. It creeps in and can ensnare anyone. It is destructive, and all of us are vulnerable.
Despite this sober warning, Jude wraps up his letter on a high note of hope. We can fall in so many ways, yet the grace that first called us—while we were still sinners—continues to cover us. God holds us in the palm of His hand. Nothing can separate us from His love. He is the one who enables us to hear His voice and persevere. He is the one who one day will present us blameless before Himself, to His glory and praise.