The True Believer – A verse by verse study of Jude ( Part 5)

Verses 17-25

“But,beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. There be they who seperate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit, But ye, belved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire;hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory, and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

 

In these verses, Jude concludes his letter to the churches. He begins the letter by identifying the traits of the true believer, then he teaches and warns us concerning the false teacher and their apostate teachings and the judgment that they are eternally doomed to. Now Jude is giving an exhortation to the true believers.

In verse 17 and 18 he continues telling us of the prophesies of old concerning the false teachers. He tells us to remember the words that were spoken by the apostles, particularly those words of Peter and Paul concerning the false teachings that would arise. They were of high regard and deserved to be remembered. They are remembered and preserved without error. The apostles predicted and prophesied that these false teachers would be mockers in the last days. They mock the doctrines of the true believer. They have turned the truth of God into a lie and have disregarded the teachings of those who are Godly and are called to preach the gospel of Christ. They live without the fear of God and with no regard to things that are spiritual. Jude reinforces for us the truth that they continue to walk after their own lusts, just as they has been predicted to do so by the apostles.

In verse 19 Jude mentions that they seperate themselves. Not from sinners, but from the true saints of God. These are they who cause division in the church. They are worldly minded because they do not have the Spirit of God. They have not seperated themselves from their apostate teachings or from their vain worhsip, only from the ways of the true minister. They want to stand out as the next big hit. They don’t want to associate themselves with the teachings and preachings of the traditional ways. This is more applicable to modern day ministry than most realize. I understand that we are living in a different age and that things are done a bit differently than they were in years past, but the truth of God and the truth of the His Word has not changed, nor will it ever change. Men today are scared to be branded as “old time” preachers and modern day church members refuse to sit under someone who preaches the “old time religion.” The old truths are still the right truths. Our methods may have changed over the years, but God’s message is still the same. It is the message of the gospel of Christ that Jesus loves you, died for you, rose again on the third day and asceneded into Heaven, and wants to save you and have a personal relationship with you. That is the old message. That is the message which brings conviction upon the sinner. These new teachings today have no conviction because they lack the Spirit of God, which is the member of the Godhead which convicts men of their sin.

In verse 20 Jude begins his exhortation to the true believer. He exhorts the believer to build up his life and gives the means to do so. He teaches that we are to build our lives on our “most holy faith.” He has taught us about the ways of the false teachers and how that they walk after the lusts of their own flesh. Their ways are ungodly and are worldly and carnal, but we are to build our lives up on the ways of God. We are to walk in the way of the Lord in a manner which  is Godly and pleasing to the Father. Our “most holy faith” is referring to an inward holiness in the saints. It encourages them and excites them to an outward holiness. We can recall in Psalms 51 that David desired to get right with God. He wanted to once again have that intimate relationship with God that he once had. The very first thing he had to do was get his heart right. He asked God to create in him a clean heart. He knew that if he didn’t have a clean heart that nothing else would matter. The same is true for us. Repentance starts on the inside. We can clean up the outside and make it look real nice, but it is the matter of the heart that is the heart of the matter. Jude continues this thought into verse 21 teaching us that we are to keep ourselves in the love of God. This means to stay in the favor of God. We are not to be like the false teachers and live ungodly lives lacking the fear of God, but we are to walk in a manner which is pleasing to God.

Verse 22 describes those who have gone astray and have been drawen aside. These are those who are convicted and wounded in their conscience and are repentant of their sin and mistakes. To these people, we are to show compassion. I have witnessed many people who were forced away from the things of God simply because someome did not show compassion when it was needed. In verse 23 though, the situation is a little bit more extreme. Here Jude is once again referring to the false teachers. These are the ones who lead others astray and give themselves unto sin. These are the ones who should be given sharp admonitions and be dealt with harshly. It is with these false teachers that we declare the terror of the Lord and of everlasting damnation. Notice that it is with these false teachers that the terror of the Lord is being declared. With others, we are to have compassion. One trait missing in the church today is compassion. We either declare the terror of God on every person that we come across, or we show compassion when the terror of the Lord is needed. We need that balance.

Concerning the false teachers, Jude tells us that we are to “pull them out of the fire” meaning that their soul destroying doctrines should be exposed and revealed and shown publicly to them. They are to realize that they are in great danger of eternal damnation because of their apostate teachings. Jude even tells us that we are to “hate even the garment spotted by the flesh” meaning the converation and way of life for these ungodly apostates. These garments are referring to the abominable pollution of their false teachings which have spotted and infected too many.

In verses 24-25, Jude concludes his letter by exhorting the true believer to walk in the power of God. He tells us that we are walk in the ways of the One that can present us faultless before God. Only Christ can keep us from falling and present us as blameless with unspeakable joy. This is a true expression of the power of God. In verse 25 Jude ends by giving glory to the One true God of Heaven.

May we heed the warnings given to us by Jude and may we ever be mindful that there are false teachers who have crept in silently into the churches and have affected the church and the people of God with their soul destroying doctrines. May we ever find comfort in knowing that we can live a Godly life that is pleasing to the Father and that there is truth that we can lean on. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth.” Stick with the Word of God, and you will always have the truth!

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