The Book Of Jude
James A. Gunn
© Copyright James A. Gunn
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All Writings and Expositions by James A. Gunn are used by permission.
All By Grace
Sola Christus          
Sola Scriptura           
Sola Gratia           
Sola Fida           
Soli Deo Gloria
These notes are not intended to be a transcript but are only a few notes that I used to preach three sermons from Jude.

It is my intention, the Lord willing, to preach three sermons from Jude.

Jude is a letter written to the church at large.  Jude has only 25 verses, but I believe this is the most relevant Scripture to the church in the 21st Century.

For the past eight months we have been studying Jude in our adult Sunday school class.  Eight months on 25 verses! Yes, and even then we could not plumb the depths of this letter from God to the church.  This is what Bible exposition should provide.  What did Jude intend for his readers and hearers to understand?  Then ask, “How does what Jude wrote apply to me?”

Several of you here this morning have been faithful to attend Sunday school and you will hear once again some of the same things we discussed.  

If you remember everything that was said, I will be pleased - and very surprised.

Studies have shown that we retain only about ten percent of what we hear.
Does that mean we need to preach the same sermon ten times?

The reason I feel led to preach these messages from Jude is so that more of this church may be instructed.  I have invested almost a year of my study time in this little book and I believe God has a word for us all.
Some of us need to be warned.
All of us need encouragement {the scriptural word is exhortation}.
And we all need to heed the message from God.

Who is Jude?
What is his burden?
What does the message of Jude have to do with me, with you in Year 2001?

There are a few overarching points to keep in mind as we look at Jude:

Jude is writing to the second generation of the church.
There is a threat to the church that must be dealt with.
If this threat prevails, the church will suffer great harm.
This threat is easily identified

What then is this threat? 

The threat is from unregenerate men {lost men, condemned men} who have
‘wormed their way  in unawares,’ into prominent positions in the church;
they are teaching error and they are living ungodly lives before the church.  Even some of the believers in the church have been seduced by the error of these men.

These men came to be called the Gnostics.  They claimed to have a special way of knowing.  The word “Gnostic” comes from the Greek word gnosis, {knowledge, to know, an intuitive apprehension of spiritual truth}. 

They were elitists, who caused divisions in the church. 

They were Antinomian.  They taught that what you did in the physical body did not matter, thus they “turned the grace of God into licentiousness.”

Watch for a unique characteristic in Jude’s writing.  He expresses things in triplets or triads.  I won’t attempt to point out every example of a triad, but you can easily identify most of them.

My intent is to do a “read and comment” exposition. There is no way to make all the points of discussion we covered in the eight months of Sunday School Bible studies.  We looked at almost every word or phrase and compared it with other Scripture. We went into historical background. That is not what I will do in these three sermons, but with God the Holy Spirit as my prompter, I will preach to you what is brought to my remembrance. The old theological term is ‘unction.’ 
(The word ‘unction’ means anointing.) 

“All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down.”

Jude 1 - 8

1 Jude, {Judah = praise} {Judas}
A bondservant of Jesus Christ,
And brother of James,

A triplet of the Holy Trinity:

To those who are called, {election of grace by God the Father and called by the Holy Spirit}; Sanctified {beloved} by God the Father, and set apart by the Holy Spirit}; And preserved in Jesus Christ: {the Son}

2 Mercy, peace, and love {triplet} be multiplied to you.

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our
common salvation,

The “common salvation” is regeneration. That is the only thing that is “common” among all generations of the true church. It was the doctrine of regeneration that was under attack and while Jude intended to write about that, something else had to be dealt with first.

I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you {urgency!}
To contend earnestly for the faith {body of doctrine; apostles}
Which was once for all delivered to the saints.

It is extremely important to see that sound doctrine cannot change and it has been given to the church once for all in the word of God.

4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men,

These men are known by their fruits, which Jude says are ungodly.

What are they doing?

Who turn the grace of our God into lewdness {licentiousness}.
And deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
{Greek construction: one definite article with two nouns = one person}
Three examples of how God deals with rebellion:

5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this,
{The saints knew the Scriptures, what we call the Old Testament}

First type of rebellion - false profession:

That the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, 
Afterward destroyed those who did not believe {believe the second time}.
{John 3:16, 18 ‘is believing’}

Second type of rebellion – discontent:

6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, {fixed number}
But left their own abode, {no salvation...}
He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness
for the judgment of the great day;

Third type of rebellion - sin against nature:

7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them {none righteous}
In a similar manner to these {these men}, 
Having given themselves over to sexual immorality
{The Greek word is ek-pornea and means beyond immorality}
And gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example,
Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The reprobate mind: apostates

8 Likewise also these dreamers {mystics} note the reverse triad:
{1} defile the flesh, {homosexuals}
{2} reject authority, {fallen angels}
{3} and speak evil of dignitaries {blaspheme dignities} {glorious ones}

The Second Sermon On Jude

Jude 9- 16

Contrast with “these men:”

9 Yet Michael {“who is like God”} the archangel, {Apocryphal writing?}
in contending {disputing} with the devil, “Assumption of Moses”
when he disputed about the body of Moses, {murderer - accuser of the brethren}

Dared not bring against him a reviling accusation {blaspheme},
But said, “The Lord rebuke you!’

Even Michael the archangel would not do what these men are doing!

10 But these {these men} speak evil {blaspheme}
of whatever they do not know;
and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, {a-loga: without reason}
in these things they corrupt themselves.

11 Woe to them! {the worst imaginable condition}

Three more OT examples:

{1} For they have gone in the way of Cain, {rejected grace}
The way of Cain is to attempt to worship God in any way that is contrary to what God Himself has ordained.

{2} Have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, {mercenary; hirelings}
{Revelation 2:14}

{3} And perished in the rebellion of Korah.{Gainsaying; presumption}
{Anti-logia: against reason}

12 These {men} are spots {jagged rocks just below the surface} in your love feasts, {hypocrites} while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. {shepherds, feeding only themselves}

They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; {frauds}
Late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;

13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; {failures}
Wandering stars {shooting stars that burn up, never to be seen again}
For whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, {Apocryphal: 1 Enoch}
Prophesied about these men also, saying,

“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,”  {2nd coming!}

Did you know that Enoch preached about the second coming of Christ a long time before Jesus came into the world?

15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them
of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way,
and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Are they “ungodly” when Jude says they are four times?

Another triad:

16 {1} These are grumblers, {murmurers}

{2} Complainers, walking according to their own lusts; {faultfinders}

{3} and they mouth great swelling words,
flattering people to gain advantage. {flatterers}

The Third Sermon On Jude

Jude 17 - 25

17 But you, beloved, {contrast}
remember the words which were spoken before {rhematon, not logos}
by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: {the apostles’ doctrine}

{Jude links the OT & NT}  Why apostles?  Ephesians 4:11-16.

Former President Jimmy Carter “resigned” from the Southern Baptist Convention.  Why?  Because of the apostles’ doctrine!
{homosexuality; women in pastoral ministry; submission of wives to husband}

I do not believe that Mr. Carter is a wicked man; but he is an ignorant man! In the first place no individual is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Read Luther, Calvin, Sibbes, Whitefield, and Broadus: same message, why?
Acts 2:42-43 apostles’ doctrine, the Bible.

18 how they told you that there would be mockers {scoffers}
in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

19 These {men} are sensual persons, who cause divisions, 
{Not schism, but factions, cliques}
Not having the Spirit. {unregenerate}

20 But you, beloved, {subjective}

Another triad:

{1} building yourselves up on your most holy faith, 

{2} praying in the Holy Spirit,

21 {3} keep yourselves in the love of God, 

Looking for the mercy {how to do it}

of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  {The essence of Christianity}

22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction;
{Discernment needed} {weak / willful}

23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,   {urgent! Lot in Sodom}

Hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. {objective}

24 Now to Him who is able {perseverance of the saints; Cf vs. 1}

to keep you from stumbling, {you don’t have to stumble at all}

And to present you faultless {glorification of the saints}

Before the presence of His glory {doxa: opinion; almost indefinable word}

With {in} exceeding joy { “to be proud of”}
{the joy of God; everything accomplished in Christ; vindication}

DOXOLOGY VS. 25 {vs. 24 is part of 22 & 23}

25 To God our Savior, {glorification of God!}

Who alone is wise, {Christianity is monotheistic; Trinity}

Be glory {doxa; as above; discuss worship}

[One more triad]

And majesty, {megalosune; greatness of highest order}

Dominion {kratos; a display of power}

And power, {exousia; authority & freedom to perform}

Both now and forever.  Amen.
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