Jude 1
(Jude 1:1 KJV) Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
Jude is a small book of the Bible consisting of only 24 verses but its contents images books like 2 John which warns against the incursion of false gospels into a church or a believer’s life. No specific time is given for the writing, but it is theorized that it was written after 67 AD, because its content deals with the apostasy which will be coming into the church. Jude, the Lord’s half-brother is given credit for writing this Epistle. (Mark 6:3 KJV) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. His full name would probably have been Judah.
In this first verse, Jude identifies himself as the servant of Jesus Christ. The word used for “servant” is “doulos” which literally means slave. If Jude was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, he must have also been a humble man who knew his rightful place. He rather identified himself with his earthly brother rather than identifying himself with the Lord and trying to gain some type of notoriety. He had the humility of Daniel as Daniel identified himself as one of the captives who sinned. (Dan 9:5 KJV) We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Daniel uses this phrase four times in this chapter identifying himself with those who sinned. He did not try to exalt himself above others because of his position, which is the attitude that Jude seemed to have.
This first verse gives three views of who the believer is in Christ. The true Christian is sanctified, preserved, and called. First of all, Jude tells us that we are sanctified, and not by anything that we do, but we are sanctified, or set apart, by God Himself. We can see this principle in John 6:37 (John 6:37 KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. The believer is sanctified two ways. First, they are set apart unto salvation as we see in John 6:37, that the Father gives the Elect to His Son. Then after we become saved, we continue to grow in sanctification, as we grow closer to the Lord and farther away from the world. The believer is sanctified by God, first of all, in position. Positional Sanctification means that is who we are in Christ. Our position is perpetual sanctification, being in Christ, of which we can never fall from. The next form of sanctification is Possessional Sanctification which is our day to day growth as we grow in the Lord and away from our desire to sin.
The next word is “preserved.” In the Greek this word also means to “keep or guard” and is used quite extensively in the New Testament. The word is used four times in the Lord’s priestly prayer. (John 17:11-12 KJV) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. {12} While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. This is why the true believer can never lose their salvation. God is the one who is preserving or keeping us. (1 Pet 1:4 KJV) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, If we could lose our salvation, then what would God be reserving a place for? God preserves His children even when we fall. He is faithful even when we are not.
The third word is “called.” This word tells us that we are called by God the Father. We saw this in John 6:37. God calls us and places us into the Kingdom of God. This word “called” comes from the Greek word, “kletos” which carries with it the meaning of “called out, chosen, or appointed.” This word is also an adjective which means it is describing something. It is describing Christians. We are “called Christians.” Basically, the Bible is telling us here that we are called Christians who are sanctified and preserved.
Jude 2
(Jude 1:2 KJV) Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.
In Jude 2, we see the salutation of the writer who is desiring that all three of the great tenets of Grace may be multiplied in the lives of the believers. The word “multiplied” carries with it the meaning of “grow, abound, or increase.” In the life of the believer, mercy and justice met at the cross and mercy won, while the justice of God was satisfied.
(1 Pet 2:10 KJV) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
This is a very important verse in that the majority of Christians, especially in pre-trib churches tend to believe that the physical Jews are God’s chosen people. They also believe that there are two sets of chosen people. This is a totally erroneous belief. God has only one redeemed people and they are the ones who are in Christ. Now take a look at the 1 Peter verse. Notice very carefully what it teaches, …”but are now the people of God…” Did you see that? This verse is telling us that those people who have obtained mercy, the true Christian, are THE people of God. The word “the” is not leaving room for more than one set of chosen people. Christians are “the” people of God and not “a” people of God. The word “the” is known as a definite article which is stating a specific point. If I take two quarters out of my pocket and give you one, that means I am giving you a quarter. If I only have one quarter, I am giving you “the” only quarter I have. A very big difference.
Since we have obtained mercy through the cross of Christ, that gives us peace with God, the war is over and we are reconciled. (Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: We not only have peace with God, but we also have the peace of God. This is the peace that should be ruling our lives, especially during tough times. (Col 3:15 KJV) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. The heart of man is the seat of his emotions and when the peace of God rules in that seat, we are able to accomplish great things for the Lord, even become terminal martyrs. This peace that rules has the ability to completely dethrone any anxiety or fears which may be keeping us prisoner and from serving God to the fullest extent we can. (Phil 4:7 KJV) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This verse tells us that the peace of God is like a shield to the believer. It guards our hearts and thoughts. If our thoughts are running amuck with anxieties and fears, the peace of God can quell those things and we can then begin to serve God without those destructive emotions ruling our life.
Once peace and mercy rule our life, it is easier to be able to love because psychological barriers are overcome. (1 John 4:18 KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. The word “perfect” actually conveys the meaning of a “mature” love. It means a love that is of stable content. The only love that is of stable content, is the love that God directs through His children. Christian love is not to be confused with the emotion of love which couples have for each other or a man has for a 27 inch TV at Super Bowl time. That type of love vacillates, can be lost, or be deceptive. How many times have we heard from our friends, “but I loved him or her, but now I don’t feel anything?”
Christian love is a stable tenet of salvation. Christian love is also a tough entity because unlike emotional love, it buys us more enemies than friends. In your love and desire to see people become saved, how many unbelievers cheer you on and are happy you are telling them they are on their way to hell? It was the love of souls that made many martyrs by ancient Rome and the Roman Catholic Institution. Christian love is an unrelenting force which drives us on to continue to do the work the Lord has assigned to us. Rejection by individuals has no effect on that love, instead it fortifies our desires to see these souls become redeemed. This is why the Lord Jesus tells us to love our enemies because He has given us the power to do so through the Holy Spirit. (Luke 6:27 KJV) But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Don’t think politically when you think of enemies because your enemies are every single unsaved soul. Even those unsaved people in your church are your enemies. If it wasn’t for the divine gift of Christian love to motivate us, we might never decide to get involved with ministry. Thank God for giving love, because someone risked it by telling you about the Gospel. Now go and do likewise!
Jude 3
(Jude 1:3 KJV) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
 In this verse we have the crucial reason as to why Jude is in the Bible. First, Jude writes to these Christians concerning the common salvation. The word “common” does not in any way imply the belief of a universal salvation program to every person. Instead it speaks of the universality of God’s salvation program to His Elect. The word “common” carries with it the meaning of “communal” but it also carries with it the meaning of “unclean,” but that usage of the word is defined by the context of the sentence. Our usage in this verse speaks of the common or communal salvation that all true Christians share around the world. Once a month, in church, we partake in “communion.”
In the balance of the verse there are two main teachings which are important to all Christians. The first teaching is that we “should earnestly contend for the faith.” “Should earnestly contend” is one word in the Greek text. It is “epagonizomai” which carries with it the meaning of “fight or struggle.” A cognate of this word is “agonizomai” which is used in Paul’s Epistles in 1 Corinthians 9:25. (1 Cor 9:25 KJV) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. It is the word “striveth” which is also in the present tense. The Bible is teaching that we are to struggle as in a contest. One enters a contest to win but if they don’t, then, at least, to make a good effort. This is what the Christian is to do, we are to enter the defense and propagation of the Gospel with the intensity that someone enters a mere earthly contest with. When one looks at an athlete, they see a person in good shape but what we do not really see is the struggles and battles that athlete had to endure behind the scenes just to get to the point of competition. How does a Christian earnestly contend for the faith in our day and age? There are two basic ways:
1. We contend according to and with the Scriptures. A Christian can never be a contender for the faith without having their Bible or knowing their Bible. All the incontrovertible evidence of Christianity is in Scripture. If we try to defend the faith apart from the Bible, we are relying upon our physical intellect to do a spiritual battle. This is why many Christians lose their battles because we are drawn into a war of wits instead of sticking to the manuscript.
2. We maintain and hold to all the principles and teachings found in Scripture, even in the face of opposition. This was the underlying strength of the martyrs of the early and medieval church when they tenaciously held to the Scriptures as the final authority. This is why Rome feared the word of God then and fears it now because it exposes their heresy and false dogmas. Once we move away from the Scriptures, we will amalgamate worldly teachings and then actions according to these will follow.
The second main teaching in this verse is “which was once delivered unto the saints.” This tells us that the teachings of Scripture are set and they are never to be altered. We find many alterations in the modern versions which make them a violation of this verse. God wrote only one Bible and never changed it. As Evangelist David Ring says, “God never says OOOPS!” This verse is also a warning to the Charismatic movement since the word of God has been delivered in its final form, there is no more additions via prophecies, visions, or tongues. The Gospel is now a fixed eternal entity and is never to be reworked for any subsequent generation. The idea that we need to dumb down the language of the Scriptures so people can understand it is ludicrous. Even if someone wrote a book called “Salvation for Dummies,” it wouldn’t help the unbeliever become saved unless God applies it to the hearts of those He chooses. Not only does He give us the Bible as being delivered but also the method of salvation is delivered once for all. The only way a person can become saved is if God has already predestined them for salvation. Christ died only once for the ungodly that He planned to make Christians out of. The only method of salvation is through Calvary, not around it by works, tradition, or ceremonies et al. Both the method and the Faith have been delivered once and for all, and can never be altered. Even if the outward principles are altered, the essence can never be touched.
Jude 4
(Jude 1:4 KJV) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Jude 3, we were told that we need to contend for the faith and in Jude 4 we are given the reason why we are to be defenders of the faith. First of all, we are warned that there are going to come into the assembly of the faithful unsaved people with their own evil agendas. That word “crept” means “stealthily.” It does not mean they are going to sneak in the back door and not be noticed. These type of people will come in the front door and will be as friendly as the next person. They might begin to build relationships and when they are firmly entrenched in the church, they will be in a position to spew their heresy and cause major division in the church. Notice the verse states that these people were ordained or appointed to this task of old. This means that those who were not the Elect of God are the unbelievers in the church. A person who is a spiritually dead person is open to accept and propagate any type of false teachings in a church. These people are described as “ungodly” which carries with it the meaning of “impious or lacking reverential awe.” They are the unbelievers in every congregation. The reason they can sneak in stealthily is because they become accepted in the congregation having the form of godliness.
Now the next warning we are given is that these unbelievers will turn the Grace of God into lasciviousness which is really like lewd or lustful behavior. Now that seems strange that the Gospel is going to be turned into a lustful entity. How then could the unbeliever accomplish this? When one looks at the Grace of God as the only means of saving a person, we can see how this can happen. A person is saved by grace plus nothing else. When the Doctrines of Grace are turned into a doctrine of works, then we begin to bring in the fleshly desires. People who think they can “accept the Lord” any time they want are adulterating the true Gospel of Grace. Then when people begin to add “doctrines of rewards” and “name it and claim it,” then the Gospel becomes something the flesh lusts for rather than the spirit seeking regeneration. All one needs to do is look around at many of the Charismatic churches and you will see people lusting after money, health, prosperity and other worldly things. So we see that the Gospel of Grace has been turned into something that can identify with and is pleasing to the flesh. Any time there are Gospel additives in the salvation equation, it makes it a works Gospel. How many Christians are serving the Lord because they covet great rewards in heaven? These doctrines that seem to add to a person’s salvation experience are doctrines of demons. God saves by Grace and it is applied only to His Elect and He does it quietly.
Then these people are denying the Lord Jesus Christ. Now this is another seemingly strange profession this verse makes. If a person walked up to you in your church and said, “we deny that Christ is God,” would you fellowship with that person? Of course not, and Satan knows that too. So instead of denying the Lord Jesus Christ straight out, it is done in subtle ways. Keep in mind, when dealing with satanic diversion or attack, it normally is done “stealthily.” Now let me give an example how this is done today. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross and he uttered those closing words, “It is finished,” it meant that God’s salvation plan was complete and the Elect of God were absolutely sealed. Now how is Jesus denied in this situation? Have you ever heard a preacher or some Christian say that, “God did all He could and now it is up to you to accept?” or “You need to be baptized to be saved.” Basically, these sayings are teaching that the atonement of Christ was incomplete, even though Jesus said, “It was finished,” it still requires some work on your part to complete the process. Do you see the subtle manner in which the completed Gospel, which was once delivered to the Saints, has become an incomplete gospel? The Bible teaches that salvation is all of God, but the people are saying that salvation occurs only if it is “you and God,” by accepting the salvation. This, in essence, is denying the Lord Jesus Christ in the completeness of the atonement. Do you see why the Lord warns us of stealth? Satan does not attack full frontally instead uses trickery and deceit. Now there are going to be cases of people who will out rightly deny the deity of Christ as we probably all have read or heard but they mainly do this in dead churches. But the warning in this verse are to the believers that we are to be on the lookout for those in the congregation who will be guilty of trying to pervert the pure Grace of God into a “palatable Gospel” for anyone to believe.