"THE EPISTLE OF JUDE"
Exhortations To The Beloved Jude 1:17-23
1. Up to this point, Jude has established the "need" for his readers to
contend earnestly for the faith...
a. With reminders of God's righteous condemnation of the ungodly
- Jude 1:5-7
b. With a vivid depiction of the ungodly men who have crept in
unnoticed - Jude 1:9-16; Jude 1:19
2. Now Jude provides a series of exhortations designed to make sure
that they stand strong in the faith "once for all delivered to the
saints" - Jude 1:17-23
3. Twice in these verses, Jude addresses his readers as "beloved"
- Jude 1:17; Jude 1:20
a. As an appellation, the term "beloved" is used frequently
in the Scriptures
1) By Paul in Ro 12:19
2) By the author of Hebrews - He 6:9
3) By Peter in 1 Pe 2:11
4) By John - 1 Jn 4:1; Jude 1:7; Jude 1:11
5) And by Jude at the beginning of his epistle in
b. It describes those addressed as being very dear to the
heart of the one using it
4. It is with such love in his heart that we find Jude giving the
exhortations necessary to keep from being misled by the ungodly
[As we consider these "Exhortations To The Beloved",
let us bear in mind that as God's children we too are "beloved"
(beloved of God - Ro 1:7 and that these exhortations are
therefore directed to us as well.
The first exhortation, designed to keep us from stumbling, is to...]
I. REMEMBER THE WORDS SPOKEN BEFORE Jude 1:17-18
A. REMEMBER WHO SPOKE THEM...
1. They were the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ
2. That is, those duly appointed and sent out by Jesus Himself
3. To heed them is to heed the Lord Himself -
cf. Jn 13:20
B. REMEMBER WHAT THEY SAID...
1. That there would be mockers in the last time -
cf. 2 Pe 3:1-3
2. That they would walk according to their own ungodly lusts
- cf. 2 Ti 3:1-5; 2 Tim 4:3-4
[For us today, we must remember what they wrote. This implies
diligent study of the Word of God on our part. The need for
such study is also implied in the next exhortation...]
II. BUILD YOURSELVES UP IN THE MOST HOLY FAITH Jude 1:20
A. TO "BUILD UP" SUGGESTS GROWTH...
1. It is not enough to just lay down one level of knowledge and
2. We must continue to build upon it, as Peter expressed
it: "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ" - 2 Pe 3:18
3. We therefore need to take advantage of opportunities to
study and learn
B. TO BUILD UP "YOURSELVES" SUGGESTS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY...
1. While God, family, and brethren will be there to encourage you
2. You must accept personal responsibility and make the effort
C. "THE MOST HOLY FAITH" IS THAT "FAITH ONCE DELIVERED..."
1. It is that body of doctrine in which our personal faith is to
2. It is that body of doctrine which has been revealed "one time
for all times"
3. Which of course pertains to what our Lord Jesus Christ has
done and will do for us!
[These first two exhortations stress the importance of our
"continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Ac 2:42,
that is, to study diligently and apply the Word of God to
But Bible study alone will not suffice; there is also the need to...]
III. PRAY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT Jude 1:20
A. PRAYER IS THE NECESSARY COMPLEMENT TO THE WORD OF GOD...
1. By the Word of God, God speaks to us; by prayer, we speak to
2. The Word of God is a source of strength and comfort to us; but
then, so also is prayer - cf. Phil 4:6-7
3. Think of prayer and the Word of God as the "two legs"
upon which our spiritual well-being stands; both need to be
well-balanced in our spiritual growth
B. WHAT IS MEANT BY PRAYING "IN THE SPIRIT"?
1. Jude does not elaborate, nor does Paul, who uses the
expression in Ep 6:18
2. But Paul does use the expression "walk in the Spirit"
Gal 5:25, which suggests walking or living according to the
Spirit's direction as found in the Word of God
3. Perhaps "praying in the Spirit" simply emphasizes that our
prayers be in harmony with what the Spirit teaches in the Word
of God, which is akin to what John wrote in 1 Jn 5:14
[Diligent Bible study and prayer are certainly essential to keep
from falling. But as we continue to consider Jude's
"Exhortations To The Beloved", we learn there is more
we need to do...]
IV. KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD Jude 1:21
A. AGAIN, WE SEE THE NEED FOR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY...
1. We are called upon to "keep yourselves..."
2. The word for "keep" is the same word translated
"preserved" back in the first verse
3. So while we are indeed "preserved in Jesus Christ", our
remaining preserved in Christ is affected by our willing
cooperation with God
4. As Peter wrote, we are "kept by the power of God through
faith" - 1 Pe 1:5
a. The power of God is the divine contribution to keeping us
b. Remaining faithful is the human contribution to being kept
B. KEEPING OURSELVES IN GOD'S LOVE...
1. Jesus taught that keeping the commandments is the key to
abiding in God's love
a. It is how we will be loved by our Father - Jn 14:21;
b. It is how we will loved by the Son - Jn 15:9-10
2. This is not legalism, but a simple recognition of the
importance of doing what God (and Christ) commands...
a. Observing the commandments of Christ are an essential
element of recognizing the Lord's authority and keeping
the Great Commission - Mt 28:18-20
b. Keeping the commandments of God is what really matters,
as far as Paul is concerned - 1 Cor 7:19
3. It is also the ultimate proof that we love God and His
children - cf. 1 Jn 5:2-3
[So to Bible study and prayer we must add the actual application of
God's Word to our lives if we wish to keep from falling.
But to avoid turning our efforts to keep the commandments of God into
legalism or thinking that we somehow earn our salvation, we need to
heed the next exhortation...]
V. LOOK FOR THE MERCY OF OUR LORD Jude 1:21
A. WE MUST ALWAYS BE LOOKING FORWARD...
1. Looking forward to "the blessed hope and glorious
appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" -
cf. Ti 2:11-13
2. Looking forward to "the coming of the day of God" -
2 Pe 3::10-12
3. Looking for that "new heavens and a new earth in which
righteousness dwells" - 2 Pe 3:13-14
B. ESPECIALLY AS IT PERTAINS TO ETERNAL LIFE AND MERCY...
1. Eternal life is not something we earn, but is
graciously given in Christ Jesus - Ro 6:23
2. We are saved, not by works of righteousness,
but according to mercy, that we might become heirs
according to the hope of eternal- Ti 3:4-7
3. Thus, the prayer that Paul had for Onesiphorus
should be the prayer that we all have for ourselves:
"The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from
the Lord in that Day" - 2 Ti 1:18
[The final exhortation speaks not so much to what we can do
to keep ourselves from falling, but what we should do to save
others in danger...]
VI. BE COMPASSIONATE, WITH FEAR Jude 1:22-23
A. THE NEED FOR COMPASSION...
1. First, to save ourselves, for mercy will only be
shown to the merciful - Ja 2:13
2. But also to save those who are in danger
a. Compassion is needed to move us to action -
cf. Mt 9:36-38; Mt 10:1
a. Compassion is needed to properly handle those in danger
- Ga 6:1; 2 Ti 2:24-25
B. THE NEED FOR FEAR...
1. Lest we be caught up in the same error of the wicked -
cf. Ga 6:1
2. That we might be motivated to persuade those in danger
of being lost - cf. 2 Cor 5:10-11
1. Here, then, are Jude's final "Exhortations To The Beloved"...
a. Remember the Apostles' warning of the ungodly Jude 1:17-18
b. Build yourselves up in the most holy faith and in the spirit
c. Keep yourselves in the love of God and look for the mercy
of our Lord verse 21
d. Be compassionate, with fear (verses 22 and 23)
2. These exhortations might easily be called:
a. "How To Keep From Falling"
b. "How To Contend Earnestly For The Faith"
-- For that is what Jude is seeking to do in writing these words of
3. Do we not see the need for heeding these same exhortations
a. Do we not face the same danger today?
b. Do we not desire the same blessings promised to the original
recipients of this letter?
4. May these words of Jude to his beloved serve as a guide for us
a. Imagine the blessedness of a congregation in which every member
is heeding these exhortations!
b. Imagine the blessedness of seeing everyone in this congregation
receiving the mercy of the Lord on that Day!
Beloved, are you keeping yourselves in the love of God today by keeping
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