Title: “Contending for the Faith”
Text: Jude 3
Intro: There’s a preoccupation and paranoia of terrorist attacks, weapons of mass destruction etc. that exist in our world today. While the threats and attacks are real and do occur there’s another area that should concern us more. Faith in God is being attacked on every side. These attacks aren’t new, scarcely 40 years after Christ’s death, many believers had become lax (negligent; laidback; lenient; limp) in doctrine and practice, and there were many false teachers preying upon them. Jude wrote to encourage Christians in their faith and to warn them of false teachers.
Author: Jude – Gr. Judas; brother of James (mentioned because of his prominence in the Jerusalem church) ref: Matt. 13:55 “the carpenter’s son….His brothers James, Joseph. Simon and Judas-Jude ref: John 7:5 “for even His brothers did not believe in Him”
Date: AD (anno Domini) 65-80 within Jude’s lifetime
Recipients: To those sanctified, preserved and called – no particular location
Occasion and purpose: To warn of apostates or Gnostic teachers (immoral persons that perverted the grace of God, teaching that grace gives a license to sin) v. 4
Prop: Are we Contenders or Pretenders?
Trans: Jude originally intended to write about salvation but pivots to the problem of apostasy that has crept into the church. Jude charges all believers to Proclaim, Protect and Preserve the truth and “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto us”
1. Proclaim – our common salvation (common – koinos; belonging to several)
a. Man’s sin and guilt – our need Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
b. God’s love an grace – our need is met Rom. 5:8 “But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”
c. Forgiveness of sin and the changed life-style that follows the new birth.
Past judgments of false teachers vv. 5-7
1. Doubt – destroyed those who “did not believe” of Israel except Joshua & Caleb
2. Deserted – reserved in everlasting chains under darkness (angels) “refused to maintain their” position of authority. V.9 “Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil….
3. Defiled – those who gave themselves up to sexual immorality (Sodom & Gomorrah)
Trans: Not only are we to Proclaim salvation in the mist of doubting, deserting and defilement, we’re to protect what we believe.
2. Protect – the faith (pistis – the living, divinely implanted principles) v.20 build faith, pray in the spirit.
a. The body of truth held by believers everywhere
b. The Gospel and all it’s implications
c. Contend – epago a combatant, intensive force ref: Lk. 13:24 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate……Struggle, agonize, fight
Present characteristics of false teachers’ vv. 8-13
1. Heart wasn’t right – “way of Cain” selfish, hatred, murder
2. Heart wavered – Balaam’s error; consuming greed Num. 22:32; Balaam’s Doctrine Rev. 2:14 “taught Balak to seduce Israel to worship Baal”
3. Heart rebelled – Korah’s gainsaying Num. 16:1-49; jealous of his first cousin’s Moses and Aaron he publicly charged them of abusing their power.
Trans: Lastly we’re admonished to fight for ourselves and others.
3. Preserve/ can – what was entrusted to us (delivered – paradidomi; a mold which gives its shape to what is cast in it; vv. 21-23)
a. Keep yourselves – in the love of God
b. Have compassion – help those who doubt
c. Save with fear – pulling them out of the fire ref: Lot and his family Gen. 19:15-16
Six graphic metaphors vv. 12-13
1. blemishes at your love feast
2. shepherds who feed themselves
3. clouds without rain
4. autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted, twice dead
5. wild waves of the sea
6. wandering stars
Doxology: “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory, majesty, and dominion”