Jude: A Passionate Appeal to “Every Member Warfare”

 

Backstory:

Author: Jude, the half-brother of Jesus. He was a later convert to Christianity.
Audience: All who are truly saved.
Date: Probably late AD 68, after the writing of 2 Peter and Revelation, making it the last book written in the New Testament.

Theme:

True spiritual warfare is contending for the truths found in God’s Word and the souls of those who are being taken again captive by the world or false teaching posing as true Christianity (i.e. false gospels).

Instruction:

1. “Every member warfare” requires correct identification of the enemy. (Jude 1:4-18)

1.1  They are insiders. v. 4 “crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation”

1.2  They teach a false gospel which exchanges submission for sensuality, Lordship for licentiousness. v. 4b (Acts 24:25; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Peter 2:2,18; Luke 6:46-49; Matthew 7:21-27)

1.3  They are biblically incompetent, hating the competent. v. 5-7 (Isaiah 8:19-20; Jeremiah 23:25-33, 10:21, 9:23-24; 2 Peter 2:12, 15; Zechariah 3:2; 1 Timothy 4:16)

1.4  They practice selective obedience, selfish motives and subversive tactics for power which heaps judgment and helps no one. v. 11-18 (Numbers 16; Genesis 4:1-12; 2 Peter 2:15-16; Romans 10:6-9; Deuteronomy 30:12-13; Matthew 11:12)

1.5  They are system-cynical, self-appointed, people-pleasing politicians. v. 16 (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1, Acts 6, 11; 20:28-30)

 2. “Every member warfare” requires maintaining our own justification before God. Jude 1:17-21 (1 Timothy 3:1-7, 4:16; 1 Corinthians 9:27)

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Quick overview of Justification: The Bible teaches that we are justified (made and declared righteous before God) by faith in that which makes it possible: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, this gracious state/standing that we have received by faith is something that we must now maintain. If we fail to maintain it, we will forfeit justification and any hope of future salvation since God will not save anyone who is not justified. (See Justification and Justification Reprise for a fuller explanation. Also, 2 Corinthians 5:20; Hebrews 6:-6; 2 John 1:8; Jude 1:5)

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Therefore, how do we maintain our Justification?

2.1  Remembering the truth that has been taught and the predictions that are coming true which prove God’s Word. v. 17- 19 (2 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 11:11-12; Acts 20:28-30; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5; 1 Peter 1:13, 4:12, 5:12; Hebrews 3:12-14; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-2, 119:11-16)

2.2  Building our theology and building defenses against false gospels. v. 20a (2 Peter 1:5, 2:12-17, 3:18, 1 Peter 2:2; 1 Timothy 1:3, 18-20)

2.3  Praying as a result of filling our mind and time with spiritual things. v. 20b (Ephesians 5:17, 6:17-18; 1 John 3:22, 5:14)

2.4  Keeping the covenant. If you do not have the covenant, you will not have the blood. v. 20-21a (John 14:23; Matthew 18:17, 26:28)

2.5  Waiting, persevering to the end. This is an active waiting. v. 21b (Matthew 10:22, 24:36-51, 25:1-13; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:2-12)

 3. “Every member warfare” requires salvaging the justification of others. Jude 1:22-23 (2 Peter 2:18-22)

Here, Jude gives a type of spiritual triage:

3.1  Level One: Doubting v. 22 – those who think obedience is “nice” but not necessary (2 Peter 2:19)

3.2  Level Two: Duped v. 23a – those who are failing to keep themselves in the love of God

3.3  Level Three: Defiled v. 23b –

3.3.1       the natural result of all false theology

3.3.2       the garment is symbolic of justification (Exodus 19:10,14; Revelation 3:4, 18; 4:4; 19:6-8 see also The importance of good deeds to salvation)

3.3.3       this person is no longer recognized as a believer

3.3.4       church discipline is an attempt to save a person (1 Corinthians 11:32)

4. “Every member warfare” requires complete trust in Christ as our Protector in battle. Jude 1:24-25 (1 Thessalonians 5:22-23; 2 Timothy 2:1-13; Colossians 1:21-23; Philippians 2:16)

 

If you are interested in a deeper, more fully developed presentation of this material, please listen to:

Jude: Backstory

Jude: Part Two

Jude: Part Three

Jude: Part Four

Jude: Part Five

Parts 3, 4 and 5 are also available on video.