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Summary of Jude's Epistle

By H. A. "Buster" Dobbs

I.  Introduction (1:1-4).
    A.  Letter written by Jude, brother of James (1:1).
        1.  In addition to Judas Iscariot there is another Judas among the 
            12 apostles. He is also called Thaddeaus (Luke 6:16, 
            Matt. 10:3, Mark 3:18).
            a.  The writer of this letter does not call himself an apostle.
            b.  He refers to the apostles in a way that indicates he was not 
                one of them (1:17).
        2.  Jesus' brothers are "James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas" (Matt. 
            a.  The apostle James was killed early in New Testament 
                history (Acts 12:2).
            b.  James, the brother of Jesus, became a believer after the 
                resurrection, was prominent in the Jerusalem church, and 
                the writer of the book of James.
            c.  Jude or Judas, who was a brother of James, is the probable 
                writer of this letter.
        3.  He calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ (1:1).
            a.  He was also the half-brother of Jesus, if he is Judas, the 
                brother of James.
            b.  His recognition of Jesus as the son of Jehovah causes him 
                to call himself the slave of Jesus (1:1).
    B.  The letter is written to "them that are called" (1:1).
        1.  The called are loved of Jehovah and kept for Jesus (1:1)
            a.  We are called by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14).
            b.  When we obey the commands of the gospel, we are 
                beloved of Jehovah and kept for Jesus.
            c.  The called (saved) are kept by Jesus according as they 
                obey the terms of the new covenant.
    C.  Jude prays mercy, peace and multiplied love for the called 
    D.  Warning against false teachers (1:3-4).
        1.  Jude wrote of our common salvation (1:3).
            a.  He connected salvation with "contending earnestly for the 
                faith" (1:3).
            b.  Contend as a combatant in a contest. Earnestly is added to 
                show the intensive force of the contending (1:3).
            c.  Contending earnestly indicates the importance of 
                defending the faith and dangers to it (1:3).
            d.  Jude says the faith "was once for all delivered to the 
                saints" (1:3). A once for all delivered faith means no 
                additional revelation after the 1st century.
        2.  Behavior of false teachers (1:4).
            a.  They creep in (1:4). They "enter by the side," which means 
                to insinuate oneself into, by stealth, to creep in stealthily.
            b.  They creep in privily (1:4). Privily means secretly, 
                covertly, as spies or traitors to accomplish the  overthrow 
                of faith (1:4)
            c.  They were previously written of and will suffer the 
                punishment Jude is about to describe (1:4).
            d.  They are ungodly--without reverence for God--not merely 
                irreligious, but acting in opposition to God's demands 
            e.  They pretend that God is so good he will not punish 
                sinners and "turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness." 
                Lasciviousness means excess, absence of restraint, 
                indecencies, wantonness, filthy like the people of Sodom 
                and Gomorrah. The prominent idea is shameless conduct 
            f.  They deny Jesus to avoid persecution (1:4). Moderns do 
                this by refusing to speak up for Christ and the gospel when 
                the truth is under attack.
II.  False Teachers and False Doctrine (1:5-23).
     A.  Those who teach and follow error will be punished (1:5-7).
         1.  Jude reminds us that God destroyed the people he brought 
             out of Egypt because they did not obey him (1:5).
         2.  Angels who rebelled are in confinement waiting the final 
             judgment (1:6).
             a.  We know little about this though it is also mentioned by 
                 Peter (2 Pet. 2:4).
             b.  Speculation is useless.
         3.  Sodom and Gomorrah are an example of how God punishes 
             the sinful (1:7).
             a.  They gave themselves to fornication (1:7).
             b.  They went after strange flesh (homosexuals) (1:7).
             c.  They will suffer the punishment of eternal fire (1:7).
     B.  The character of some false teachers (1:8-23).
         1.  They are in a deep spiritual sleep because of the intoxication 
             of sin (1:8).
         2.  They claim superior knowledge but defile their bodies like 
             the people of Sodom (1:8).
         3.  They reject authority (1:8).
         4.  The conduct of Michael the archangel (1:9).
             a.  Michael argued with the devil about the body of Moses 
             b.  Michael would not continue to a meaningless argument, 
                 but deferred to the last judgment (1:9).
         5.  False teachers, unlike Michael, revile what they do not 
             understand (1:10).
             a.  What they do understand in their lusts (1:10).
             b.  They are like animals, void of reason, and give themselves 
                 to unrestricted passion (1:10).
             c.  In this they bring about their destruction (1:10).
         6.  They can be bought--woe unto them (1:11).
             a.  They act like Cain who murdered his brother (1:11).
             b.  They behave like Balaam who could be hired to try to 
                 circumvent the will of God (1:11).
             c.  They are like Korah who loved wedges of gold more than 
                 God (1:11).
         7.  They are deceptive and insincere (1:12-13).
             a.  They hypocritically participate in your love feasts (1:12).
             b.  Instead of taking care of the sheep they feed themselves 
             c.  Clouds that do not produce rain are a disappointment and 
                 belie their purpose (1:12).
             d.  Trees that produce leaves but no fruit are worthless 
             e.  These hypocrites are doubly dead and will be torn out by 
                 the roots (1:12).
             f.  They are like waves of the sea that are lost in their own 
                 foam (1:13).
             g.  They are wandering stars swallowed forever by black 
                 holes (1:13).
         8.  Enoch condemned such people (1:14-15).
             a.  Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah (Gen. 5:24-29).
             b.  Enoch saw the gathering cloud and warned the people 
                 that if they did not repent they would be destroyed (1:14).
             c.  He warned that Jehovah would come against the wicked 
                 with a powerful, heavenly army (1:14).
             d.  The ungodly who spoke against God would be punished 
         9.  False teachers murmur, complain and follow their lust 
             a.  Their mouths speak great swelling words--they are glib 
                 and convincing (1:16).
             b.  They show respect of persons for the sake of gain (1:16).
         10.  Remember our words (1:17-19).
              a.  The apostles warned of these things (1:17).
              b.  Mockers will come with mocking, and following after their 
                  own ungodly lusts (1:18, 2 Pet. 2:3).
              c.  They divide, are like animals, and do not follow the 
                  leading of the Spirit through the gospel (1:19).
         11.  You must be different (1:20-23).
              a.  Build yourself up by study and prayer (1:20).
              b.  Keep yourself in the love of God (1:21).
              c.  Look forward to the eternal reward (1:21).
              d.  Have compassion on those who have sinned because of 
                  ignorance (1:22).
              e.  Save others by snatching them out of the fire (1:23).
III.  Conclusion (1:24-25).
      A.  Be faithful to God because he is able to save you and present 
          you in joyful blamelessness before his glory (1:24).
      B.  "To the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
          be glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time, and 
          now, and for evermore. Amen" (1:25).

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