Conclusion It is difficult to believe that 25 verses have become over 25 pages as I have ineptly tried to explain what was burning in Jude's heart so strongly that caused him to write with such urgency. Each turn of phrase reveals the passion Jude felt for the church and for his fellow Christians. There is so much for us to learn and apply to our lives and in the life of our churches, but just think if every member of a local church burnt with the passion and zeal shown by Jude, I wonder what city or town could resist.
We look at the lessons for the lives of individuals and for the life of the local church. I am sure that we could all bring a different emphasis or take a different life lesson from the text as the Holy Spirit speaks to us and each could be as valid as the next.
Lessons for life or Practical tips from
Jude As you have been through the study God would have revealed tips for you by
the Holy Spirit that will enrich you life. Here are 3 areas that are important
for all believers:
Rom 12:4 - 6 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
2/ Be willing to contend for the faith as an individual. Many people use this passage as a reason to vent their own grievances and to pass judgment on others. They are critical of others to the point of obsession, only their cronies and they are beyond criticism. Yet this destructive nature and these attacks on the body of Christ come from a misunderstanding of what Jude is expressing and a reduced revelation of God's grace.
Rom 14:1-5 "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind."
Jude asks us to earnestly agonise for the faith. Opposing false and erroneous doctrine through the teaching and expounding of sound doctrine. Even if this stance should lead to death for it is better to die than to deny the truth. He demands that we stand for truth by expounding the truth, not by criticising and slurring those with whom we disagree.
The secondly and more importantly is to agonise over ones own lifestyle and to be obedient to the truth. Contending for the faith through personal sacrifice and discipline. A friend asked for my advice he said that 'The minister of his church did not understand this area of doctrine was in error and that he intended to go and see his minister and tell him he was wrong"
My question was "before you criticise your minister are you ready to die for this point of doctrine"? If yes, then go and see him but if you cannot resolve the matter to your mutual satisfaction then you must leave the church. If no, then should go and see your minister and ask him to explain this point of doctrine so that you may understand.
A quick test is to ask, "do I love those with whom I disagree with the love expressed in 1 Corinthians 13?" If no then it is time to agonise for the faith in your life through personal sacrifice and discipline.
3/ TRUST and OBEY. In the words of the of the Hymn writer 'J. H. Sammis,
Then in Fellowship sweet,
To trust and to be obedient are closely related. It is easier to obey someone we trust, especially in the important things of life. People may say, "Yes we trust and obey Jesus", but the question has to be asked, how is this worked out. The question may be how can we trust and obey God, who we can't see, when we struggle to trust and obey those that God has placed over us in the local church.
John gives an example of this principle:
Trusting is worked out in our relationships with people and obeying again is worked out in relationships within clear boundaries of responsibility and accountability.
My advice from Jude's teaching for every believer is to be ever building, praying, keeping and looking.
What does this say to the church of
Deuteronomy 32:28 They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them.
The ability or skill to discern whether something, some teaching or some call to action is valid or sound, whether it is morally, legally and spiritually acceptable within the responsibilities, principles and commands that God gives us, is vital for the well-being of the church. It is important, therefore, that when someone teaches or preaches or speaks or acts on behalf of the church or Christ that these things are weighed.
Prov 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment
and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
Proverbs says do not let sound judgement and discernment out of your sight. This is particularly important when a church is introduced to some new fad, fashion, model or way forward. The verses imply "Son (you) preserve ., which would suggest that these abilities or skills are lost with disuse.
Yet we must be careful in the application of
such abilities, skills and gifting, for to do anything without love is to do
nothing. A little saying I like is:
Sometimes in areas of doctrine we should charitably refuse the teaching but allow the other person to be wrong. For it is always easy to destroy a thing than to build it.
Psalm 133 is often quoted when unity is
mentioned and I will not divert from this tradition
C. H. Spurgeon in the Treasury of David writes, " By the anointing, Aaron became consecrated, and officially qualified to act as a priest. By unity the Church as a whole, lives its life of consecration, and effectively ministers in the priesthood assigned it. The oil was diffusive; it rested not on Aaron's head, but flowed down to the skirts of his garments. Unity will, in time, make its way from the few to the whole, especially from the leaders in a church to the rest of its members. Hence, it is a personal matter. Each should realise it, and by love and wise conduct diffuse it" [q]
As we look further at the psalm we recognise the role of the high priest and leadership in general reflected in the illustration. True unity is togetherness, agreement together under Godly leadership.
3. Love expressed in faith
t is easy to love those who love and appreciate
us, it is easy to get along with people who show acts of kindness and
generosity toward us. Love it can be said has many layers:
To close any study of Jude we must use Jude's own closing words:
To him who is able to keep you from falling 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.
Introduction / Salutation verses
1 -2 / The Letter's purpose v.3-4 /
Historical warning v. 5-7