THE EPISTLE OF JUDE
The writer of this epistle is Jude the brother of James, see v.1. It was written about 6 A.D. The theme is “Contending for the Faith”, and enlightens us as to the apostasy which was attacking the church of those days, and what might be expected in the “last time”.
The epistle has four divisions:
1. Verses 1 to 4. The faith delivered to the saints.
2. Verses 5 to 7. Apostates of the past.
3. Verses 8 to 16. Sure judgment on all apostates.
4. Verses 17 to 25. Exhortations to the faithful.
THE FAITH DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.
God has committed His Word to the church. It is able to carry out His divine purpose with power if we faithfully adhere to his Word. Some have crept into the ranks who deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, but we are exhorted not to follow their example, but to contend for the faith which changes not, vs. 3-4.
APOSTATES OF THE PAST.
Apostasy is not a new error. There have always been those who have turned away from God. Israel, when redeemed out of Egypt, later fell away, and God destroyed them that believed not. The angels who fell in the distant past sinned against light and are now in chains awaiting their day of judgment. Sodom and Gomorrah rejected the testimony of Abraham and Lot, and went to such excess in their sin that fiery judgment was poured upon them. They are an example of how God will judge with eternal fire, vs.5-7.
SURE JUDGMENT ON ALL APOSTATES.
The apostate teachers of whom Jude speaks are called filthy dreamers who speak evil of dignities, v.8. That is, they refer to God withy disrespect, which is a serious offence. Even Michael, the archangel, when contending with Satan had respect for his position, but some people are very destitute of a knowledge of their own extreme unworthiness. Cain, Balaam, and Core are examples of such, but they were rebuked and judged by God, v.11. Enoch foresaw the coming of the Lord, and declared how He will execute His judgment upon those who withstand His mercy, vs.14-15.
EXHORTATIONS TO THE FAITHFUL.
God’s people are told to remember His Word through the apostles about such, that they might keep themselves from the snare, vs.17-19. We are to be diligent and build ourselves up in the faith, and do what we can to rescue others from the error of their ways, vs.20-23. God is able to keep us from falling and present us before His glory in that day with exceeding joy, v.24.