Jude says apostates have crept into the community. He describes their effect and gives examples. We are to build ourselves up in the Holy Spirit.
VERSE 1. Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:
servant. The Greek word is hdoulos. It could also be translated as bondslave.
to those who are … James describes his recipients in three ways:
called. This refers to the past. The Holy Spirit had already called them to eternal salvation.
sanctified by God the Father. That is, loved by God the Father” (NIV translation). This refers to the present. God the Father’s love for them is present-tense continuous.
kept for Jesus Christ. This refers to the future. They can be assured that they will be kept among the people of Jesus Christ at the end of time.
VERSE 2. Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.
VERSE 3. Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
contend earnestly for the faith. This is what we are about at Explore the Faith!
VERSE 4. For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.
crept in secretly. Deceivers creep into a community. They do not announce their arrival. Once inside the community, they stir up dissension and make trouble.
ungodly men. They are false teachers.
VERSE 5. Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn’t believe.
Egypt. Jude cites the army of Egypt as apostates. They did not believe in the One God. They were destroyed in the Red Sea.
VERSE 6. Angels who didn’t keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place, he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Angels. Jude cites the fallen angels as apostates from the realm of the One God.
deserted their own dwelling place. This alludes to the heavenly entities who had come to the earth to have sex with human women:
Genesis 6:1-4. When men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them, 2 God’s sons saw that men’s daughters were beautiful, and they took any that they wanted for themselves as wives. 3 The LORD said, “My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; so his days will be one hundred twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God’s sons came in to men’s daughters and had children with them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
VERSE 7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are shown as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude cites the people of these two cities as apostates.
gone after strange flesh. This alludes to the heavenly entities who wanted to have sex with human women (see verse 6 above).
VERSE 8. Yet in the same way, these also in their dreaming defile the flesh, despise authority, and slander celestial beings.
their dreaming. That is, “dreamers.” These are the apostates mentioned in verse 4 above.
VERSE 9. But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”
Daniel 10:21. But I will tell you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth. There is no one who holds with me against these, but Michael your prince.
Jude 1:9. But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”
VERSE 10. But these speak evil of whatever things they don’t know. They are destroyed in these things that they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason.
whatever things they don’t know. Apostates speak boldly, even though they have no idea of what they are talking about. They proceed from ego, not facts.
VERSE 11. Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah’s rebellion.
VERSE 12. These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you, shepherds who without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
feed themselves. Apostate leaders only care about themselves. They do not feed their sheep. Instead, they feed themselves on their sheep.
VERSE 13. wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
VERSE 14. About these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones,
VERSE 15. to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
VERSE 16. These are murmurers and complainers, walking after their lusts—and their mouth speaks proud things—showing respect of persons to gain advantage.
VERSE 17. But you, beloved, remember the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
spoken before by the apostles. That is, something that was commonly included in early preaching
VERSE 18. They said to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts.”
VERSE 19. These are those who cause divisions and are sensual, not having the Spirit.
VERSE 20. But you, beloved, keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
building up yourselves. We are to build ourselves up in the faith. How do you do that?
praying in the Holy Spirit. Prayer is an essential element of building ourselves up in the faith.
VERSE 21. Keep yourselves in God’s love, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
making a distinction. This section describes two types of people. Both need us Christians to tell them about Jesus Christ. But how we reach out to each is very different.
On some have compassion. The first type of people are “sheep.” They will be grateful for whatever we offer them. They will not try to destroy us. We can treat them with gentleness and compassion.
VERSE 23. and some save, snatching them out of the fire with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.
snatching them out of the fire. The second type of people are “not sheep.”
Elsewhere Jesus describes them as swine and snakes. They will not be grateful for anything we offer them. They will try to destroy us.
We cannot afford to treat them with gentleness or compassion. We can pity them, but we must be on our guard.
VERSE 24. Now to him who is able to keep them from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in great joy,
VERSE 25. to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Sirach 1:8. There is one wise, greatly to be feared, The Lord sitting upon his throne:
Romans 16:26. to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
Jude 1:25. to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.