Notes from Fight for Truth: a study in Jude by Andrew Farley

Jude 1:1-2 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. 
2 Peter and Jude have their similarities in the sense that these Apostles talk about errors and Truth. Like Paul, Jude also emphasizes that we are kept in Christ, and that we are in a safe place. No matter how we mess up, we continue to be kept by Christ, and in whom we are kept in God the Father. We are eternally safe in Christ.
“Jude continues by declaring that grace and peace be multiplied in the reader who believes. Jude says grace and peace be MULTIPLIED to you, and not added. He said multiply and not add. If you multiply by zero you still have zero. Only in Christ do we have grace and peace, may it be multiplied.”
Peter established that the knowledge of Jesus Christ results in grace and peace as well. We are truly loved, called to the table to feast in all of God’s goodness. Now, we are designed for good things, reserved, kept in Him, and therefore we could expect grace and peace, and for grace and peace to be multiplied.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 
Jude is saying that we certainly have something precious in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter speaks of a false freedom, and here Jude says we must ‘contend earnestly for the faith’.
What we have heard so far is that in Christ, we have grace and peace, and indeed, we are kept in Christ; no matter what happens or what we make happen, we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, and we are beloved, reserved, and kept in God, who by the Spirit we call Father. We must contend for the Gospel, and we must not settle for anything less!
We know how much we cherish the Truth of God’s word. We don’t want it watered down. Indeed, Jesus Christ deserves our full respect, His blood sacrifice deserves our honor, and His resurrection deserves our attention… And we have the privilege of preserving it, sharing it, and living it for all to come to believe.
Jude is worried about those who mess with this message:
Jude 1:4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 
We are kept in Christ, and these people crept in. Their modus is in line with what Peter had to say, regarding false teachers who mock the second coming, who preach false freedom that states that you are free to sin and to sin even more, ultimately attempting to put out the Light who is Christ, and Christ alone.
Jude calls them, ungodly. They are non-believers. They aren’t necessarily promoting legalistic works, but they are saying that people can go ahead and just do whatever they like, and whatever their body tells them to do, and that nothing matters – To this, we compare them to who Paul resembles when he mentions in Romans 6, ‘What then? Shall we sin, for grace to abound?’ There is sure to be distortion when these sorts of words are mentioned, even as legalism could distort the same way.
Let’s clarify here: Legalism states that God is angry with you, and that you need to behave in order to stay in God’s presence and love. As a response, we ought to say something along these lines – That you are secure, and that you are safe because of the love and the grace of God, and that Jesus Christ took away your sins, and that God remembers them no more, and that you are a new creation; All your sins are forgiven, and not only do you have a new mind which is the mind of Christ, but you also have a new heart which is fully equipped as you are fully equipped to do good works, and works of life; that you have a new identity, so we could live from this Truth and be inspired by God!
Now, while legalism has its error, so Jude points out that licentiousness is error as well. It’s pretty much the same lines we have stated, only taking out that we live from this Truth of who we are and who God is and what Christ has done, taking out that we live inspired by none other than the Creator of the Universe. Licentiousness deletes the significance of Christ’s life in us and through us.
The Gospel of grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ can apparently be twisted this way. These are ungodly, unsaved unbelievers who are twisting this. They can quote God, but they are not Christians.
Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 
Jude is pointing out the same thing Peter has been saying regarding the judgment of the wicked i.e. those who reject Christ and His finished work. But there’s more to this verse: Jude mentions ‘once and for all’, in line with what is mentioned in Hebrews, where Jesus died and was raised once and for all.. what it means here in Jude, or rather what he emphasizes is that we will all know the Lord from the youngest to the oldest; we will have an innate knowledge of the Lord, without having to have a PHD or a doctorate degree. We will all intuitively know the Lord more and more.
Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. 
Jude continues to emphasize that even angels who rebelled are not exempt from punishment and judgment. He is pointing out the fallacy which these false teachers claim: Sin will be punished.
Jude 1:7 Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
There is a punishment. There is darkness. There is eternal fire. Hell was not invented by the human mind, but mentioned by enough sources in the Bible to be true.
Jude 1:8-9 Yet in the same way these men also by dreaming, defile the flesh and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’
 
Not even Michael the archangel rebuked by his own glory and splendor, but he said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ This is such a strong point, to speak out of the glory of none other than the Lord, especially since nowadays we are fond of literally speaking to the mountains, yet not out of the authority and freedom we have in Christ, but from the confidence of our own mouths. Many tell us to rebuke and to claim and to cast… which is all right, but the point here is that there is the possibility and tendency for us to do all this talking with actually more focus on the enemy than on Christ Himself!
We are quick to name cancer and its related symptoms and even certain conditions that may or may not be happening in our bodies or in the bodies of those we want to pray for, and then we just go ahead and latch a subtle ‘In Jesus’ name’ in the end, just because we think that if we don’t say that, we won’t be heard! 
 
I personally believe that we ought to pray for one another with the focus always being on Christ and His finished work, and on the promises that God is faithful to uphold through Christ who loves us and saved us! 
We see here that even Michael leaned and trusted in the Lord to rebuke the enemy… and yet some, especially those who do not believe, they believe that they have some sort of authority and some sort of power to speak up and to speak out, and as we see in the next verse, their ignorance would be their own downfall.
Jude 1:10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 
They act like authority, when they have no authority. They act as Truth-speakers, when they speak of lies. They speak as if they have the market cornered on freedom, when they are actually spreading lies, lies which bring actually bring people into more bondage.
Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 
Murder, error, and rebellion are in common with these false teachers. They rush in, but they eventually will be led to perish.
Jude 1:12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds, autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;
That doesn’t sound like a Christian. False teachers are double dead, bringing false hope yet so insecure.
Jude 1:13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. 
Now that DEFINITELY doesn’t sound like a person who is in Christ. But Jude goes even further:
Jude 1:14-15 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’
This is what Jude is emphasizing; that these Jesus-deniers and these false-teachers will go through these things. Let us not make the mistake of confusing Jude’s words here by saying that those who are in Christ can still be dropped into the eternal darkness, and that we need to behave to get out of it. No, the Truth of the matter is that as we are in Christ, we know we are free from the threat of eternal darkness, and we behave with gratitude and for others to see and believe in this freedom we have!
We are being trained for the future. We are NOT part of these people who are being convicted, as if we were prisoners waiting for judgment! Note that there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts: disciplines and trains us for the future, and He does not condemn, i.e. bring up the filth and the sins of the past as if they were never cleansed by Christ!
Again: The discipline of the Lord is training for the future, and not punishment for the past. Behavior matters! Choices are important! The Lord disciplines us and trains us for the future, but at the same time He does not hold our sins against us!
 We are certainly not saying that behavior and choices do not matter. The role of the Holy Spirit is undeniable in our lives, and it is not to condemn us or to convict us as if we were prisoners – no, by the Holy Spirit we are reminded of who we are through Christ and His finished work, and in so doing we are trained.
Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. 
Now Jude turns to us:
Jude 1:17-19 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, ‘In the last time there will be mockers,  following their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.’
If someone does not belong to Christ, they do not have the Spirit. They are misleading God’s children. Jude goes back to us again:
Jude 1:20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
We are being built up in Jesus Christ. Our faith is set apart. Our faith is sacred. What we believe is a big deal, and it is precious. Contend for it, hold on to it, preserve it, fight for Truth. We speak in love. We speak in the Spirit, understanding that the mind of Christ dwells within us. Praying in the Spirit is praying with the awareness that we are in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in us, i.e. no word is wasted, and even if we don’t know what to say, the Spirit prays through us in groaning we do not understand.
‘Show me how loved I am, so I can live loved..’
Jude 1:22-23 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others snatching them out of the fire, and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
 
Indeed, we have been given mercy, and Jude prays that mercy continue to be multiplied in us, that through this abounding mercy we show mercy to our brothers in Christ who continue to struggle with doubt, snatching people who do not believe from certain fire and darkness, shining Christ and in so doing leading these to Christ.
Jude 1:24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time now and forever. Amen.
 

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