Setting

Key Verse

(1:20-21)

Did You Know...?

1. Contend (3): “‘To contend’ or ‘struggle’ translates epagonizesthai, a word that occurs only here in the NT. However, related words do occur in the NT… The basic meaning of this word is that of the intense effort in a wrestling match (cf. agonizomenos in 1Cor 9:25). The verb form is a present infinitive, showing that the Christian struggle is to be continuous….” [ref]
2. Lewdness (4): “means lustful, immoral sensuality and debauchery (see Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3).” [ref]
3. “Yet Michael the archangel” (9): “Jude is probably citing a story given in the apocryphal book Assumption of Moses. In so doing, Jude is not recognizing the book as having canonical status, but he is recognizing the event as being factual. The same principle applies to his quote of the book of Enoch in verses 14- 15.” [ref]
4. Love feasts (12): “…the closest celebrations of believers—meals (indicated by the words eating with you), which were probably followed by the Lord’s Supper.” [ref]
5. Clouds without water (12): “Empty clouds promised rain to needy farmers but delivered nothing (Prov 25:14).” [ref]
6. “Enoch prophesied” (14): “Bible scholars are not in agreement as to whether Jude is here quoting from the apocryphal Book of Enoch or referring to an unrecorded prophecy of the Enoch of Genesis 5.” [ref]

Outline

  • Address and greeting
    (1:1-2)
  • Purpose and occasion
    (1:3-4)
  • Warning
    (1:5-19)
  • Past judgment
    (1:5-7)
  • Description of ungodly men and future judgment
    (1:8-19)
  • Appeal
    (1:20-23)
  • Doxology
    (1:24-25)

General Analysis

  • 1.

    Do a background study and write a brief description on each of the following Old Testament examples. a. Israelites (Num ch. 13-14; 1Cor 10:5-10) b. Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen ch. 18-19) c. Cain (Gen ch. 4) d. Balaam (Num ch. 22-24; Num 31:15,16) e. Korah (Num ch. 16) f. Enoch (Gen 5:18-24)

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  • 2.

    Identify the sins of the ungodly men depicted in this book.

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    4, 8, 10, 11, 16, 18, 19.

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  • 3.

    What prophecies does Jude cite in the epistle?

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    The prophecy of Enoch (14,15) and the prophecies of the apostles (17,18).

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  • 4.

    What does this epistle say about God’s work in the believer and the work we need to do on our part?

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    It is God who has called, sanctified, and preserved us (1). He gives us mercy, peace, and love (2). He is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (24). He is our Savior (25). We need to contend earnestly for the faith (3). We need to remember the words spoken by the apostles of our Lord (17). We must keep ourselves in the love of God, building ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (21).

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Segment Analysis

  • 1:3-4

    1a.

    What is “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”?

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    It is the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ through the apostles concerning the gospel of salvation and our Christian walk (Mt 28:20; Acts 2:42; Rom 6:17; Gal 1:23; 2Tim 1:13; Heb 2:1-4; 2Jn 5,6,9,10).

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  • 1b.

    How can we “contend earnestly” for this faith?

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    The word “contend” can be translated “struggle.” 20-23 elaborates on the meaning of contending earnestly for the faith. It means abiding in God’s love and mercy and growing in the faith; It also carries a sense of engaging in a spiritual battle to save the lost and strayed. In order to prevail in our struggle against sin and preserve the faith, we need to rely on God to live a godly life that conforms to the message of the gospel (Phil 1:27; 1Tim 6:11,12)

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  • 2.

    Explain the sins of the ungodly men according to verse 4.

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    The ungodly men misused God’s grace as a license to indulge in sexual immorality. They deny God by disobeying his commands and living in sin (Tit 1:16).

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  • 1:5-19

    3.

    What point is the author making by citing the three examples in 5-7?

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    Just as God executed judgment on the sinners and the rebellious angels in the past, He will surely execute judgment on the ungodly (15).

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  • 4.

    The Israelites were “saved” but were “destroyed” afterward. What does this historical example teach us?

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    We cannot afford to be over-confident. We must be careful not to repeat their sin of idolatry, sexual immorality, and complaining (1Cor 10:5-12). We must hold firmly to the faith we had at first, lest we turn away from God (Heb 3:7-19).

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  • 5a.

    What is the teaching behind the story of Michael the archangel and the surrounding verses (8,10)?

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    If even the archangel, who has great authority, dared not accuse the devil, who was obviously in the wrong, how can we slander authority and even things we don’t know about?

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  • 5b.

    How does this teaching apply to us today?

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    Sometimes our lusts make us defiant and arrogant, not heeding to instructions and warnings. Sometimes we like to criticize or ridicule leaders, including those in the church. We should be careful not to become a slanderer and bring judgment on ourselves (Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; Tit 3:2; Jas 4:11; 1Pet 2:1).

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  • 6.

    What are some present-day equivalents of “the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, and the rebellion of Korah”?

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  • 7.

    Explain the following metaphors. a. Spots in your love feasts b. Clouds without water (cf. Prov 25:14) c. Late autumn trees without fruit d. Raging waves of the sea (Isa 57:20) e. Wandering stars

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    a. They carouse in their own deceptions (2Pet 2:13). They do not belong to the fellowship of love because their wickedness marks them out for judgment (Psalm 1:5).
    b. These false teachers cannot bring any edification to the believers. Their boasting is empty.
    c. The are without the life of God.
    d. They are restless, and cannot receive God’s peace.
    e. Wandering stars (planets or shooting stars) cannot serve as guide for navigation. Likewise, the ungodly cannot lead anyone to God but is doomed to destruction.

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  • 8.

    What will the Lord judge the ungodly men of (15,16)?

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    Ungodly deeds (walking according to their lusts) and ungodly words (grumbling, complaints, boasting, flattery).

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  • 1:20-23

    9.

    Take note of the sentence structures and how they contain main imperative verbs (commands) and qualifying “ing” verbs (NKJV; This distinction is not found in some translations). a. How do we keep ourselves in the love of God (20,21)? Explain your answer. b. Explain the exhortations in 22 and 23. How can we apply this to ourselves today?

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    a. 1. By building ourselves up in the most holy faith. We need to be strong in the faith and press on to spiritual maturity (1Cor 16:13; Phil 3:12-15; 2Pet 1:3-11).
    2. By praying in the Holy Spirit (Eph 6:18). God pours out His love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). We need to devote ourselves to watchful prayer (Col 4:2; Mt 26:41) and pray without ceasing (1Thess 5:17). The Holy Spirit will fill us, intercede for us, and strengthen us (Eph 3:16; 5:18; Rom 8:26- 27).
    3. By looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus. We need to confess our sins and humbly pray for God’s faithful guidance while we eagerly wait for the day of His appearance (Tit 2:13). We also need to trust the mercy of our Lord while we endure sufferings (Jas 5:11).

    b. For those who waver in the truth, we need to show our compassion and bring them back (Job 6:14). For those who are drifting into sin, we must rescue them as if snatching them from the fire (cf. Zech 3:2; Prov 24:11), while being watchful ourselves so we are not tempted (Gal 6:1)

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  • 10.

    How do the commands in this paragraph help the believers deal with the problems that the author was warning them of?

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    True believers cannot be idle when ungodly men are at work. We need to make progress in our faith while saving the lost. Since the faith has been “delivered” to us, it is our duty to contend for the faith and not let evil affect or prevail over us.

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  • 1:24-25

    11.

    How is the doxology an encouragement to believers in the midst of an ungodly generation?

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    The Bible assures us that it is God who works in the believer and keeps him unto salvation (1Thess 5:23,24; 1Pet 5:10; Phil 1:6). Despite the presence of ungodliness, believers can find assurance in God’s mercy and faithfulness.

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