When it comes to small books of the Bible that pack a big punch, there aren’t many that could contend with Jude. This short letter, written by the brother of Jesus, is packed full of historical references as he brings an all out attack on false teachers and the destructive path they leave behind them.
Oftentimes when a preacher brings up false teachers and false teaching, the response from others is something to the effect of: “Why can’t we just talk about the gospel? Why do we have to be divisive and bring things like this up?” Well, Jude’s initial desire was to talk about different and more positive things – namely, about the salvation that Jude and his audience share. However, the context in which his audience lived was so full of influential false teachers and teachings that Jude could not just ignore them. He was compelled, instead, to contend for the faith once delivered.
Since Jude’s time, the Christian church has wanted to talk only about the salvation in which we share. However, since Jude’s time, the Christian church has also found itself in contexts where false teachings and teachers are so influential in the lives of believers that it’s irresponsible of leaders and preachers to just ignore them.
Our context is different than Jude’s, and the false teachers and teachings that influence the lives of believers are different. We wish we could talk about nicer things, but we feel compelled at this time to urge our church to understand and contend for the faith entrusted to us.
In Jude 1, we are told that Christians are those who are “kept” in the love of God, but in Jude 21, we are urged to “keep ourselves” in the love of God. What gives? Which is it? How can these work together?
What does Jude 20-21 say will help us to keep ourselves in the love of God?
Describe some examples of things that you currently do or could do to “build yourselves up in your most holy faith.”
How important is it for those who profess faith in Jesus to continue believing in him until they die? What’s at stake if they turn away? What was at stake for Israel when they turned away from God’s Word, refusing to enter the Promised Land?
Does the danger in falling away from belief in Jesus frighten you? Why or why not? How should we respond to a warning like what’s in Jude 5?
What’s the point in the three stories that Jude puts together in verses 5-7? What is he trying to emphasize?