Today we are beginning the letter of Jude together! We’ll spend two days studying this short letter.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, our passage references a lot of stories from the Old Testament, and some of them may not be as familiar to you! Go ahead and check out this video that helps explain some of what the letter of Jude is all about!
From the very beginning of this letter, I notice that Jude calls himself “a slave of Jesus Christ.” Jude was the earthly brother of Jesus, but he is humble enough to call himself a slave instead of bragging that he was his brother.
Jude’s letter is mainly about defending or contending for “the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people” (Jude 3), and doing so in response to false teachers.
Jude warns his audience that “ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives” (Jude 4). These false teachers lived “only to satisfy their desires” (v.16). They were prideful, selfish, and sexually immoral.
What do we take from today?
God cares about our conduct. Historically, one temptation of some Christians has been to lean towards legalism, a belief that right behavior is what saves us. This is false! However, we face another temptation. The apostle Paul frames it like this:
“Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” – Romans 6:1
The answer: Absolutely not! While it is clear that we are saved by grace through faith, we are not free to sin just because we have received grace from God. In fact, because of the grace we have been given in Christ, we grow in holiness as a response. “God’s kindness is meant to lead [us] to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
As we grow in Christ, we grow in holiness. This is a command of God (Leviticus 19:2). We are to watch for those around us who may be teaching others a false Gospel. We are to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
But how do we do that? Be sure to read tomorrow to find out!
By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice