Title: Hey Jude!
Text: Jude 1:1-2.
CIT: The who, what, and why of Jude.
Theme: An introduction to the Book of Jude.
One of the most successful rackets in the world today is “counterfeiting” especially “counterfeiting art.” That is right ahead of selling “genuine antiques.” Some of the finest art galleries and private collections have been invaded by paintings that are beautiful, cleverly done but worthless counterfeits. Publishers have also had their share of hoaxes, purchasing “genuine” manuscripts that weren’t so genuine after all.
Counterfeits are nothing new. Satan, the deceiver, has been hard at work ever since the deception of Eve in the Garden of Eden counterfeiting every move of God. First,
• Satan has planted false Christians. In Matthew 13:38, Jesus in explaining tares:
“The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.”
• Satan has also planted a false Gospel. In Galatians 1:6, Paul writes:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
• He has also developed even a false righteousness. Paul in writing to the Romans wrote:
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.
• One day Satan will present the world with a false Christ. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians:
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Several books of the New Testament contain warnings about counterfeits. Books about false teachers, false doctrine, and even false Christ. The Book of Jude is such a book. Its entire contents is devoted to the subject of false teachers and how to overcome them. Jude was compelled to write this book of warning because of the danger God’s children faced.
If there was danger in Jude’s day, it has been multiplied a thousand fold today. False teachers, false religions and cults are everywhere today. For this reason, it is imperative we heed the warning of this little book. So, this morning I want to begin a study of the Book of Jude.
Today’s study will focus on the background of Jude and his introduction or salutation to those whom he wrote. I want us to gain an understanding of three items from these first two verses. First,
I. Who Wrote The Book (Jude 1a).
Jude, a bond servant, a slave of Jesus Christ, and brother of James
The author of this little book is called “Jude or Judas”. Judas was a popular name in the first century because of Judas Maccabaeus, a leader of Jewish resistance against Syria just one hundred years earlier.
It is ironic that God chose someone named Judas to write a book about apostasy.
• When you think of falling away from the revealed truth of God,
• When you think of someone who was a professor but not a possessor,
• When you think of the worst hypocrite the world has ever known,
What name comes immediately to your mind? Judas! But God in His grace chose a man named Jude to write an epistle about apostasy. Well, who was this Jude? First,
a. He was a Servant of Jesus Christ.
The word “servant” or “doulos” is an interesting word. Literally it means “bond slave.” This is nothing like the servant we think of today. A bond slave was someone who was purchased out of the slave market, and who is in complete subjection to his master. He had no mind of his own, had no will of his own, had no way of his own. This is how Jude described himself, “a bond slave of Jesus.”
This is the description Paul often used for himself. I believe it is the description God wants all of His children to be known by. How about you this morning, are you a “bond slave” to Christ? God calls on each one of us to submit to His leadership, His Lordship over our lives. Then, Jude describes himself as.
b. The Brother of James.
There are number of Judases mentioned in the Bible. Any one of them could have written this epistle, but I believe the Jude who wrote this epistle is the half-brother of Jesus. The author describes himself as the brother of James. In the Gospels you find that Jesus had four half-brothers. One of them was named James and another one was named Jude. This Jude is the person who wrote the book.
I think it is interesting that Jude doesn’t say anything about being Jesus’ half-brother in this book. You see, he didn’t depend on his earthly relationship with Jesus for a reading and acceptance of his book, he depended upon the fact that he was a bond slave of Jesus. This was the most important relationship in his life. It should be the most important relationship in our lives. Next, I want us to see:
II. To Whom The Book Was Written (1:1b).
To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:
These words describe to whom Jude wrote. To understand this section better, lets ask and answer several questions. First:
a. Who Are The Called?
In the Greek language, a word was placed at the end of the sentence for emphasis. This is where we find the word “called.” It has three areas which is used by the Greeks.
(1) It was a word used to summon a man to duty, to responsibility.
(2) It was a word for an invitation to a feast, a happy occasion.
(3) It was a word used for calling a man to judgment.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 Paul gives us this description of the called:
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul said those who are called are the ones who have first,
• Heard the Gospel message, and
• In whose hearts the Holy Spirit has done His work of convicting of sin and
• have receive salvation in Christ.
Are you one of the “called” this morning?
• Has the Holy Spirit shown you your sin in respect the holiness of God.
• Has He shown you that you have no hope without Christ and need a Savior?
That Savior stands waiting today, to forgive your sins and give you God’s gift of salvation. Won’t you receive Him. Second,
b. Who are the Sanctified?
The word here is “agapao” or “beloved.” It is a participle in the perfect tense, speaking of a past complete act having present, and permanent results. If you read the Gospels, Jesus said those are beloved of God the Father
(1) Are those who believe that God sent Jesus into the world,
(2) Who have believed in Him,
(3) Who have committed themselves to Him,
(4) And, who keep His word.
Let’s review these two points again because there is a lot here. The called and beloved in God the Father are those:
• In whose hearts the Holy Spirit has done the work of wooing them to come to salvation,
• Those who have responded to His call and believe that God sent Jesus into the world to be the Savior,
• Those who have committed their lives to Him, and keep His words.
The last question is:
c. Who Are The Kept?
The word “kept” is an interesting word also. This word is in the perfect tense, which describes something that happened in the past and which is still happening. It is a continuous action. It literally means “continual tender, loving, watchful, care.” Think of that, continuous, tender, loving, care! Now that is something to praise God about.
Is that the relationship you have with God this morning? If you are a Christian it is! Have you heard the call of God in your life? Have you responded and came to Him? If not in a moment we are going to give you that chance, but first, one more thing:
III. The Wonderful Promises (1b-2).
To those who are called, beloved by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:
Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
In his letter Jude is going to be pointing out some terrible things that are happening in both his day and ours. But before he describes the bleak, dark picture of our contemporary world, he has a message from God for those who have accepted Jesus. Because we are called, because we are beloved of God, and kept in Jesus Christ; God’s children are the recipients of God’s choicest blessings: mercy, peace, and love.
God in His mercy does not give us what we deserve, death. Instead, He gave our punishment to His only Son on the Cross. Because of Christ’s work on the Cross, believers enjoy peace unspeakable and full of glory. They also experience God’s love.
The Cross is God’s personal demonstration of His love for you. But, this love is not experienced, this peace is not experienced, this mercy is not experienced until you trust Jesus as your Savior.
Because there are counterfeit Christians, a counterfeit Gospel, a counterfeit righteousness, and even a false Christ, it is imperative we get the right message about the right person, and receive Christ. Have you done that?
In a moment we are going to be singing a song of invitation. This is your invitation to answer the call of the Holy Spirit on your life.
This is the invitation to rededicate your life to the work of the Gospel.
This is an invitation for you to follow God's leadership in whatever He wants you to do. You might need to follow the Lord in baptism, or unite with this church by letter, whatever God is leading you to do you are invited to come.
Myron Baptist Church 10/12/96
FBC, Hughes 11/09/08