Jude 1.14-16 – The Ungodly

Today Jude writes about the ungodly, what is waiting for them, and we see how to avoid this.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Jude quotes from Enoch who we read of in Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11. His book was not canonised as Scripture, and Jude is using the same principle Paul did in Titus 1.12, for example, when he quotes non-canonical sources into what we now hold as Scripture. One story goes that the book of Enoch contained so many prophecies and testimonies of Jesus that it was destroyed by the Jews out of malice (EnduringWord).

Jude paints a vivid picture of the ungodly, and what is coming for them (vv.14-15), and then we see in v.16 that much of the ungodliness actually comes from what we say. We see harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him…grumblers…malcontents…loud-mouthed boasters…showing favouritism…

I read recently that where people fall out of step with God, they begin to complain. So, ungodliness here stems from what we say and our complaints. Complaints come when we are out of step and right relationship with God. To avoid ungodliness and the judgement that always comes with it what do we need to do?  

Stay in step with God and stay in right relationship with Him. 

We read of how in John 14,

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Point to ponder – Am I in step with God today?

Prayer – Father, we thank you that through faith in Jesus we can be in right relationship with you. We know that apart from this we would never be able to work ourselves to you, into right relationship with you, and we pray today that you help us to rest in the finished work of Jesus, and in the wonderful truth that through faith in Him we are in step with you. Amen. 

Jude 1.10-13 – But These People…

So far in Jude we have been encouraged to contend for the faith, we have seen the importance of how we relate to Jesus, and we have been given the example of the Archangel Michael as one who fought for what he deemed important and wholly within the will of God. Today, things take a turn for the serious. 

10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

So, Michael would not even speak ill of the devil in his own power (v.9), yet these people blaspheme all that they do not understand…Those who do not understand find it easy to speak poorly about something. We find that it is easy to trash something with our speech when we are ignorant of it, don’t we. 

Jude goes on to say that these people (v.4, 7, 8) are in for a shock, woe to them! They have walked in the way of Cain (Genesis 4), abandoned themselves to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 22-25). Simply, these people are jealous, angry, selfish, prideful, arrogant, greedy, self-centred, self-promoting, and did not respect the structures and leaders put in place by God (Numbers 16.3).

Jude then goes on to say that, simply, these people are pointless, useless, and not using what God has given them for His purposes (vv.12-13).

For us, herein lies the point; we are to use what God has given us within the guidelines He has given us, for His glory, for His purposes, and for His people. 

These people lived for themselves and thought they knew best. The ultimate destination of these people is the gloom of utter darkness…forever

Living for self will always end up this way. Being the ultimate authority in our own lives will always end up this way. We can never work our way to God by rejecting what He provided and going it alone. We must rest in the finished work of Jesus to get us there, we must live for God and not self, we must not be like these people, but be more like Jesus; for His glory, for His purposes, and for His people.

Point to ponder – In what area of my life today do I need to stop being these people?

Prayer – Father, we know that this task to live for you and not for ourselves is not something we can simply choose to do and accomplish alone. We know that we need to live this life by faith in Jesus, we know that we need to live this life in the power of your Holy Spirit, so today we pray for faith and filling; faith in Jesus and filling with the Spirit, to empower us to live the life you desire of us. Amen. 

Jude 1.8-9 – The Example of Michael

So far in Jude we have talked about contending for the faith, and being in the fight for the long haul. Today, Jude gives us a contrast and an example from which to draw.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

These people are those referenced back in vv.5-7, those who fall to unbelief and indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire. Here, Jude says that they also rely on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.

Simply, the worldly way of living focuses on self and our desires, uses our bodies to gratify these desires rather than glorify God, rejects the idea that anyone can tell us what to do with our life, and actively and vehemently speaks out against those who offer an opinion contrary to their own. 

In huge contrast to this we are shown the archangel Michael

Archangel is an interesting term, used only twice in the New Testament (here and 1 Thessalonians 4.16), it signifies a chief angel, one of first place, one with authority, one who is head of others. So Michael the Archangel is, basically, the number one angel in the ranks of the heavenly host. He is no doubt powerful and able as leader of heaven’s armies (Revelation 12.7).

Here is the takeaway for us:

look how Michael contends with the devil.

Rather than use his own might and power and strength and ability to fight the battle, to contend for the faith, to fight for Him that he serves, he says 

“The Lord rebuke you.”

It is far better for us to be on the side of God than to try go it alone. Rather than fight for the faith and rather than contend for truth in our own strength and power, we are far better following the example of Michael, who despite having the highest rank among angels, did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgement, but instead called upon the name of the Lord and said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

Point to ponder – How can I follow the example of Michael today and call upon the powerful name of the Lord?

Prayer – Father, we thank you for this example in your Word of where the true power lies. We thank you for this example of Michael who despite having a position of power and prominence, called upon your name when fighting for you. Help us today, and every day, to do the same. Amen. 

Jude 1.5-7 – The Long Haul

Today we see that past status is no guarantee of anything for the future.

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

What a wonderful thing to start this passage with, Jesus saved a people out of the land of Egypt…We see that when God’s people were saved out of Egyptian slavery and bondage, the Lord Jesus was at the heart of the Exodus (Exodus 3.14, 13.21-22).

But, as is sadly common with lots of people, the miraculous, heroic, life-saving acts of God that bring many to the inescapable conclusion that He is real, He is present, and He loves us faded into memories past and we read that these same people were then destroyed because of unbeliefJude gives more examples of unbelief and turning away from a God who has given us so much (vv.6-7), and names angels, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities.

The point is that coming to Jesus for salvation is not a short term thing.

It is not a bandaid to put over a deep wound. 

Ours is a common salvation that brings us into community, that we must wrestle for, fight for, and contend for, for the long haul.

Ours is not a one-and-done salvation, where we simply sit around and wait to either die or see Jesus’ triumphant return. The work needed to guarantee our salvation is done, but our lives here on earth are not. 

Ours is a faith that acts (James 2.14-26), ours is a faith that contends, and ours is a faith that equips us for the long haul. 

The dangers of forgetting who we are and in Whom we are are serious (v.7b), so we must day by day take our faith seriously and seek to contend for it, and strengthen it, at every opportunity. 

Point to ponder – Am I prepared for the long haul of a life lived by faith?

Prayer – Father, we thank you that everything we need is found in Jesus, we know your Word tells us that in Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and we pray today by the power of your indwelling Holy Spirit that we can access this wisdom and knowledge in order to equip ourselves for a life lived by faith. Help us to avoid the pitfalls and traps of forgetting who we are in you. Amen. 

Jude 1.3-4 – Fight for the Faith

Periodically on the internet you come across stories like this, ‘Teen girl uses crazy strength to lift burning car off dad‘.

In times like this, people are fighting for what they hold dear and contending for what they love. Here in Jude 1.3-4, we see the same.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

So Jude actually wanted to write to these believers about salvation (v.3), but instead he writes a short letter urging them to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. He is asking them to fight for what they hold dear, and to contend for that which they love.

The reason is given in v.4, because there are people who pervert the grace of God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude is exhorting his readers, and us, to fight for the faith, meaning the core doctrines and truths of Christianity, the core teachings and truths of the faith that is common to all of us, the faith that brings us into community.

When we see those who teach and live this idea that because of God’s amazing, saving, justifying, sanctifying, and ultimately glorifying grace we can simply live how we like because grace covers it all, Jude encourages and exhorts us to take a stand, to contend for the faith. The same is true of those who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

There are some who may take the truth of God’s grace and turn the grace of our God into lewdness. But this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong or dangerous about the message of God’s grace. It simply shows how corrupt the human heart is. 

David Guzik

Today then, let us fight for the faith, let us wrestle for the faith, and let us contend for the faith.

Let us do this in word – the way we speak of our faith, and the way we lovingly challenge those who speak contrary to our faith.

Let us do this in walk – the way we live our faith. 

Let us fight for what we hold dear, and let us contend for what we love. 

Point to ponder – How can I contend for the faith today?

Prayer – Father, we know that ours is a faith worth fighting for, we know that ours is faith worth loving, and we thank you for how you have shown us that ours is a faith worth dieing for. Help us today to contend for the faith in all that we say and do, for your name’s sake and for your glory. Amen.