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 Say what you will about Jude, but he knew his Scripture. In his short letter to the church, he systematically went through a handful of events that took place in the Old Testament - more specifically, the Pentateuch - with such alacrity that one could readily tell he hadn’t dodged studying the Scriptures.

He did not live with the expectation of everyone believing him at his word because he was the half-brother of Jesus; he backed the things he said with scripture, as one ought if they are to be believed. He didn’t try to ride Christ’s coattails and insist that people should follow him now that Christ had ascended; on the contrary, he didn’t even mention he was the half-brother of Jesus in his letter. His only mention of family was James, his brother, Christ’s other half-brother.

It’s interesting to note the vitriol with which the Book of Jude and the Book of James are met by some modern-day tellers of tales, even though they were likely the closest to Christ of all His disciples. Jesus was their older half-brother, and if I know anything about little brothers, it’s that they like hanging around their big brother as much as possible.

Even so, Jude doesn’t trade on his half-brother’s name other than to insist that he is a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Coincidently, neither does James, also introducing himself as a bondservant of Christ.

While Jude’s letter was to the general church, James’ letter was to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, but if the Lord tarries, and I have time, once we’re done with Jude, perhaps we’ll get into James because there is a common theme, a continuity and a connection between the two that is undeniably profound.

Yep, all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable, not just the parts you approve of. The fact that you’re uncomfortable with certain passages or entire books of the Bible does not make them any less inspired or profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

Just because you don’t like what it says, or it doesn’t bear witness to your spirit, it does not nullify the Scripture. As an aside, when did the Word of God bearing witness to your spirit become a credible litmus test? It’s the Word of God! How your flesh, or spirit for that matter, feels about it is irrelevant. That some people mistake their flesh for their spirit is another topic altogether, but I digress.

Okay, one more point, and I’ll stop; I promise: your spirit will never tell you to do something contrary to Scripture or insist you reject the written Word in lieu of messages, prophecies, dreams, feelings, or visions. That’s your flesh, all day long, and whatever it’s insisting you reject in the canon of Scripture is likely standing in the way of its dominance. Your spirit will never countermand the Word! It will not extend liberties where God, through His Word, commands self-restraint.

When we do not allow the entirety of Scripture to speak to us, guide us, and instruct us, our spiritual growth will be stunted at best and inexistent at worst. We remain in the same spiritual state in perpetuity because we refuse to be fed by the whole of God’s word and only nibble on the bits we like. It’s like sitting down for a ten-course meal but only eating the amuse-bouche. That’s a fancy way of saying appetizer. You’re welcome.

There is a balance to the Word of God that makes both grace and fruitful faithfulness harmonious and symbiotic. They are not mutually exclusive, and anyone who insists it’s one or the other has not rightly divided the Word of Truth.

Was Jude being prophetic when he saw the attempted perversion of grace? No, it was happening even in his day. In his letter, he says that certain men have crept in, not that certain men will creep in. Two thousand years ago, shortly after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the enemy was hard at work in attempting to pervert and twist the grace of God into licentiousness.

Jude also insists that God will not stand for it. He insists that God will judge righteously and that it wouldn’t be uncharacteristic for Him to do so. I know you’ve been told that God is lovey-dovey, warm, and fluffy, but here are a handful of instances when His righteous judgment was manifest, Jude says.

Jude 5-7, “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

The three examples Jude used to highlight the righteous judgment of God are noteworthy because they cover three different demographics. First, he referenced rebellious children, those who, although the people of God and saved out of the land of Egypt, did not believe. He then referenced rebellious angels, those who did not keep their proper domain but left their abode. Finally, the godless, those who’d always been in rebellion and who had given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.

Even though some may insist upon it, God hasn’t mellowed over the centuries. He will not wink at a sin today that He punished in the beginning. God is not progressive; He is not ever-changing; He is the same yesterday, today, and always. Essentially, Jude is saying if you are considering falling for the hucksters, the false teachers, those who attempt to pervert the gospel of Christ, just remember what God did, and be sure He will do it again, no matter what the deceivers might say.

He is the rock and sure foundation upon which you can build your spiritual house. He is the ever-faithful Father in whom you can invest your hope and faith. He is also righteous and just and will not let this generation slide when He destroyed entire cities for the selfsame sins.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 5 May 2023 | 10:48 am

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