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Introduction to the Books of the Bible

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Jude's Letter




BOOK : Jude

Description : A short letter about false teachers in the church

Author: Jude – uncertain but possibly a brother of Jesus

Date written : Probably somewhere between AD65 and AD80

Chapters : 1



Brief Synopsis:

•  There were godless and immoral unbelieving men who had slipped into the church (v.4)
•  Jude warns that Scripture testifies a number of times that such men will be judged (v.5-7)
•  He graphically describes then making clear they should not be there (v.8-16)
•  The church needs to build itself up and care for weaker members (v.17-23)



Outline :


v.1,2 Salutation
v.3,4 Occasion for the Letter
v.5-16 Warning against the False Teachers
v.5-7 Historical Examples of the Judgment of such men
v.5 Unbelieving Israel

v.6 Angels who fell

v.7 Sodom and Gomorrah

v.8-16 Description of these men who have slipped in.

v.8-10 Their slanderous speech deplored

v.11-13 Their character graphically portrayed

v.14-16 Their destruction prophesied

v.17-23 Exhortation to the believers to build up and care for the church
v.24,25 Concluding Doxology emphasizing the Lord's keeping power



Some Key Verses:


a) The False Teachers


Jude's purpose in writing – to warn against these false teachers

v.3,4 I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.


They reject authority

v.8 these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings


They are self-concerned leaders, lacking provision, directionless, unfruitful, creating upset

v.12,13 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.


They grumble and criticise, boasting using flattery for their own ends

v.16 These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage


They pander to self and lack the Spirit

v.17-19 remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.


b) Exhortations for the church


Build…. pray…. keep.… be merciful…. snatch and save (worth meditating on those)

v.20-23 But you, dear friends

  • build yourselves up in your most holy faith and
  • pray in the Holy Spirit.
  • Keep yourselves in God's love ….
  • Be merciful to those who doubt;
  • snatch others from the fire and save them;



Concluding Comments


Another simple and short letter from a different apostle who expresses concern to an unknown church about certain men who have slipped in but who are clearly wrong-doers and who will receive God's judgment. Until that happens, the church needs to build itself up, caring for all God's real people, some of whom may be more weak in the faith.



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