Fighting for the Faith
Lord God, may Your Word sink deeply into me and equip me to live faithfully for You today and every day.
Read Jude 1:1-25
 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:  Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.  Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.  For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.  Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.  And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling-these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.  In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.  In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.  But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”  Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct-as irrational animals do-will destroy them.  Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.  These people 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.  Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones  to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”  These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.  But, dear friends, 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 people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.  But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,  keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt;  save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat's the problem Jude is addressing in his letter?
This letter is prompted by a sudden and serious outbreak of false teaching (3,4). Deviant or deceptive teaching often goes hand in hand with a lifestyle that is contrary to the gospel. Jude focuses less on what the infiltrators are teaching than on how they are living. As Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt. 7:16,20). Arrogant and immoral, they are destined for the same fate as some of their Old Testament counterparts (7,11). Using a cross-reference Bible, you could profitably look up one or two of the examples highlighted by Jude. American FBI agents are taught to spot counterfeit bank notes. But they do this by spending weeks familiarizing themselves with every detail of the genuine article. Then, as soon as a fake does surface, it is spotted immediately. We will never get our heads around all the deviant teaching that is out there, but the more fully we are acquainted with genuine biblical truth, the safer we will be, and the stronger the foundation of our Christian lives will be, also. Jude would urge us to study the Bible and know the truth as our best defense against deception.
How would you explain from Scripture to someone from a non-Christian sect what you believe about Jesus?
Lord, give me a greater desire to know Your Word well so I can never be misled by false teachers.
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