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.