October 22, 2020

Hey, Jesus-Follower, Don't Be Afraid!

Jude

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Greeting

Jude, a servant1 of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for2 Jesus Christ:

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Judgment on False Teachers

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved3 a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,4 serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs5 at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They6 said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment7 stained by the flesh.

Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time8 and now and forever. Amen.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[2] 1:1 Or by
[3] 1:5 Some manuscripts although you fully knew it, that the Lord who once saved
[4] 1:7 Greek different flesh
[5] 1:12 Or are blemishes
[6] 1:18 Or Christ, because they
[7] 1:23 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
[8] 1:25 Or before any age

Hey, Jesus-Follower, Don't Be Afraid!



Key Verse | Jude 1:20-23

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Bio | Nicole Sims

Hey, friends! I think my husband, Chris, secretly plans for our family of six to become a band with each child playing an instrument. My contribution is strictly music appreciation, so bear with my songwriting attempts today! I have been part of the Watermark community since I was in college, and the teaching helped me learn to study and apply the Bible and to know the authentic Jesus. One way I currently strengthen my faith is by teaching biblical truths to three-year-olds in Watermark's Flight School (Wednesday-morning Bible study for children whose mothers attend Women's Bible Study).

Central Truth

There have always been and always will be those who are destructive to the faith by teaching others to follow another gospel. But we need not fear. We guard the faith by focusing on the truth and getting closer to the authentic Jesus as revealed in the Bible.

Devotional | Jude

Raise your hand if you always hear the Beatles song in your head when you turn to this book. I do! Let's use the song to help us summarize this one-chapter book:

Hey, Jude! Thanks for the note.

You may have...

Raise your hand if you always hear the Beatles song in your head when you turn to this book. I do! Let's use the song to help us summarize this one-chapter book:

Hey, Jude! Thanks for the note.

You may have noticed, false teachers crept in. 

(We'll) remember to focus on our true faith,

And we will let Jesus make it better.

(Maybe I should let Chris be the only songwriter in the family!)

Remember those popular books that guessed how end-time events such as the tribulation might play out? Being immature in my faith when I read them, I feared that I would be led astray by false prophets in the end times. In Jude, we see that we don't have to be "left behind" to face false teachers—there have always been and always will be false teachers. They are false teachers because they "pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4) And God takes it seriously. They are destined for condemnation. Jude points to Old Testament examples of false teachers: Cain (Genesis 4:8-16); Balaam (Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Revelation 2:14); and Korah (Numbers 16:1-35).

We needn't fear we won't recognize false teachers. Those of us who desire to stay in the true faith have a game plan right in Jude 1:17-25: build up your faith, pray, keep yourself in the love of God, wait for Jesus, have mercy on those who doubt, share the gospel faithfully, and hate the sin that stains sinners. 

Much like focusing on an authentic piece of art helps to identify a counterfeit, we can identify the true faith by reading the Bible, being in Bible-loving community, praying, being patient with one another when we doubt God, and repenting of sins. That will give us confidence to keep singing our song of praise to the Lord. 

It's so much better than a bunch of na-na-na-nahs (sing with me):

To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Be glo-ry, maj-es-ty, do-min-ion, and authority! (Jude 1:25)

(Thanks for bearing with me!)

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. Cain, Balaam, and Korah departed from the true faith in different ways. Read about each of them using the citations above and Jude 1:11. Which of their departures most entices you?

2. Are you confident in your ability to recognize false teachings? If not, take the Bereans as your example (Acts 17:10-11). They heard the word preached and received it with eagerness but also examined the Scripture daily to see if what they'd heard was true. Equipped Disciple classes or Training Day sessions are also great supplements as you start aligning yourself with God's teaching.

3. Teaching God's Word to three-year-olds is a challenge in understanding and summarizing the key takeaways of Bible reading. How would you explain to a three-year-old the main ideas from your time in Jude today and how you plan to apply them? Keep this as your takeaway for today, and try to find a way to share it with others God puts in your path.

4. Are there false teachings from which you need to repent? Judge your practices and beliefs against the Bible and confess to your community group or to another Jesus-follower the ways you have departed from the true gospel. Ask them to hold you accountable to renewing your mind so that you will know God's will (Romans 12:2).

8 Comments available

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

Jesus tells some people at judgement “I never knew you” not “I knew you once but you wandered away”

The wandering away was because the hearts weren’t reborn and made new with new treasures. It should be a wakeup call to seek salvation for some.

Sherah Willeford about 1 month ago

My son, Lincoln, was blessed to be one of your students. He learned so much in your class! It was really sweet watching my three year old fall more in love with the Lord! Your ministry is huge! It was such a blessing for me to be able to go grow in the Word and fellowship during Bible Study knowing he was so loved and cared for. I thought your song was pretty clever. Thank you for a great devotional and thank you for blessing our family so much.

John Hall about 1 month ago

So creative Nicole, keep writing.

Greg Jones about 1 month ago

Q3 Hey dude…uh…I have sad story…uh…I’ll try to make it better…what’s that?..Cheerios color sheet and markers that wash off your skin!..hey dude that’s better better better

Na na nana na na nana na na hey hey

I love that question. I’ve sat at many tables with many children for many years. I’ve sat with the kids of kids I sat with before.

I know this, many, maybe most of the kids I’ve sat with over years have left the church. It’s the new norm my church performs better than the national average but we’re not immune.

Hey Asia, is that a new dress?..it is! Is that a new favorite dress?..What’s that Gabriel? I don’t know, did you catch a fly ball in a real game? Well tell me about it dude!

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

Thanks, Nicole, for your devo and for serving in Flight School. Loved your DQ about teaching 3-year-olds. My husband teaches the Bible lesson to 2-year-olds every Sunday morning; he tells his volunteers, “Hey, I understand–this is about establishing patterns. I don’t really think they’re going to remember the story.” Especially with no post-Covid Goldfish to keep them seated during the lesson!

The opening to Jude gave me goosebumps. Jesus’ little brother referred to himself as His slave, and then wrote that his big Brother was the one who led the Israelites out of Egypt and put demons in eternal chains. I can’t even begin to imagine the power in the lightbulb moment when Jude and James realized that their own Brother was the Yahweh of the Old Testament in the flesh!

Jude’s doxology is my favorite in the whole Bible, and I had to create it in calligraphy: https://suebohlin.com/artwork_45.php

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

Before I get too smug, I review this list and see much of my past; and some hints about how it close I am to slipping back into these behaviors.

I link to the sins of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21

The second list is the entirety of verse 20-23 and is a GREAT reminder of how my heart should be oriented.

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

They feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

“In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

Wow.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

In this passage I see a set of dichotomies.

The first is a (lightly edited) list of words and deeds that describe the ungodly:

They pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

They did not believe

The angels who did not stay within their own position of authority

They indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire

They rely on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones

They blaspheme all that they do not understand

They walk in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion

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