Adam did not err before the Fall, nor did Christ ever err, and they were fully human.
The divine side of Scripture guarantees purity from error in the human side, just as the divine nature of Christ protected the purity of His human side. Yes, the Bible uses round numbers, hyperbole, figures of speech, symbols, and phenomenological language. But these are usual for human language and are not errors.
God is truth and cannot lie Tit. What Scripture says, God says. This is not to deify the Bible, as we are falsely accused of teaching. Rather, it is but to recognize what God says about His Word.
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To believe the Bible is to believe God. To believe God is to agree that God is and speaks truth John But let God be true and every man a liar Rom. To judge it is to condemn oneself. God tells us to test all things I Thess. By what? By the Word of God, as the noble Bereans did in Acts Anything that contradicts the Bible is automatically wrong Isa. We err if we do not know the Bible or if we contradict it Matt. God curses those who preach false gospels contrary to the one true Gospel Gal.
Sola Scriptura — Scripture alone is our final authority in all areas, such as faith and practice. It carries with it the very authority of God Almighty Himself. In Matt. They appealed to their tradition; Jesus rebuked them by appealing to Scripture. Church tradition must be subject to the Bible, otherwise it nullifies Scripture. Roman Catholicism repeats the same error as the Pharisees with their tradition.
They say that the Church gave us the Bible, therefore the Church is in authority. But this is wrong. That includes all creeds, confessions of faith, catechisms and church constitutions. Men can and do err, but God cannot err. The Bible is therefore over the authority even the delegated authority of people who exercise some degree of influence and authority. While Scripture tells us to obey parents, preachers and politicians, we must obey God and not them if they ever go against the Bible Acts The words and books of theologians must be weighed by Scripture, as well as all sermons and Sunday School lessons.
Any preacher, priest, pope or rabbi who sets himself up as an equal authority to God is automatically a false prophet, for the true prophets themselves were under the authority of the Word of God. No exceptions. Thus, all philosophy, psychology, logic, reason, science and opinion are subject to the truth and authority of the Bible. Because of common grace, Man may learn and teach some truths. But if they contradict Scripture — whether implicitly or explicitly, whether in doctrine or in method — then they thereby condemn themselves as false.
This applies to our own thoughts as well. Even Adam before the Fall was subject to the spoken Word of God. He fell into sin when he rebelled against that authority. We dare not trust our fallen minds, which are prone to err. The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. He never contradicts Himself, for that would be contrary to His nature as the Spirit of Truth. Some groups need to remember this in their zeal for the work of the Spirit.
All spiritual feelings, impressions and intuitions must be subject to the Word. We dare not invent exceptions because we feel that the Spirit is leading us — otherwise we are no different from the fanatic who murders his neighbor with an axe because he said that God told him to. The Holy Spirit never contradicts what He says in the Bible.
The Bible alone is our source of all spiritual authority. We must trust in God and His Word, even when we do not understand it. We must not lean on our own understanding or inclinations Pro. We ought to read it, study it, believe it and obey it. Our attitude to the Bible is to be the same as our attitude to God, for it is His Word. This means we are to love it, even as we love God. Love God, love His Word. We Should Study the Bible.
God gave us the Bible to read and study. It is a textbook to study, not a picture-book to browse through. There is a big difference between simply reading a book and seriously studying it. One is leisure, the other is work. God wants us to study our Bibles, not use them for pressing flowers. To study the Bible is to research it to discover its meaning. Eisegesis is twisting the Scriptures to suit our preconceived notions 2 Pet. When we study the Bible, we should set aside wrong presuppositions and preconceived ideas.
We need to be teachable. We should pray before and during Bible study, and rely on the Holy Spirit in us to teach us what He says in the Bible. Faith comes to us by the Word of God Rom. Without faith, we can understand the Bible only in a natural way, not a supernatural way.
Studying the Bible profits us nothing unless it is mixed with faith Heb. Search and you will find. Dig deep and you will find new treasures of gold hidden in this field.
Alas, some Christians have not even read the entire Bible yet. Others try to read it through every year. It takes work, but the Holy Spirit enables us to understand cf. I John A lacksadaisical attitude betrays low respect for the Bible and little faith in God. But serious Bible study is work which brings rest. Though the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, it is still understandable through reliable translations not to mention the scholarly study of the original languages.
We may profit from preachers and teachers who explain the Bible to us Acts The Bible is for everyone. Though some parts are harder to understand than others 2 Pet. Even a cursory study of the Bible will yield great results. We study the historical setting of Scripture human author, original readers, date, geography, manners and customs, archeology, etc , as well as the normal meaning of the language its lexical meaning, grammar, syntax, context, etc.
We should study all of it, not just our favorite parts. Read both testaments. Use a concordance and cross references to compare Scripture with Scripture. It has great variety. All Scripture is inspired and deserves our study. Just as God used many human authors, so he used their backgrounds and a variety of literary styles. In these, we find prayer and praise to God, and wisdom in dealing with life.
Then other books are mainly laws Exodus-Deuteronomy, parts of others. Some laws are straight-forward commands or prohibitions, while others are case laws. Then other books are mainly prophecy, recording direct messages from God, including accurate predictions of the future. Lastly, there are the epistles of Paul and others. All these styles form a wonderful harmony. One important principle of Bible study is knowing and noticing that Christ is the center of Scripture. The Old Testament is filled with prophecies, types and symbols of the coming Messiah Gen.
Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. Some are explained in the New Testament see Luke , , Acts And sandwiched between the Old Testament predictions of the future and the New Testament explanations of the past, we find the four Gospels which describe the person and work of Christ in a special way. Since it is a book about Christ, the Bible is therefore a book about how we may be saved from our sins through Him. It makes us wise unto salvation 2 Tim. Some parts of the Bible more directly discuss salvation, such as the four Gospels, Acts and Romans.
But all parts of Scripture fit into this comprehensive entity. Thus, the Bible was given to us that we may know how to be saved and how to have the assurance of salvation John , 1 John We can also use it to tell other people the Gospel of salvation. The Bible is frequently compared to food. We ought to thirst for it like a baby thirsts for milk I Pet. The basic message of the Bible is like milk; the additional details are like meat Heb. We need both. The Bible is the means that God uses to nourish His children. It gave us the new birth and sustains our new life. We grow spiritually anemic when we ignore it.
So, we need to regularly read and study it, and meditate on it like a cow chews the cud. The more we do, the stronger we will grow spiritually. We study the Bible to learn about God. When we study it, we always need to find what God wants us to do in light of that passage. It teaches us how to live for God and helps us resist Satan and temptation, worship God in the way acceptable to Him, and witness in the world. It encourages us through its many promises, aids us in prayer, points out our sins and assures us of forgiveness, strengthens our faith, answers the basic questions we have for guidance, and so much more.
So let us diligently read it, study it, believe it and obey it cf. The Bible is a Unity. Though it has many individual books in it, the Bible is a unity. It is both one book and many books. It has unity and diversity. It is basically one book, The Book. Though it has many human authors for its parts, it is primarily one book by God Himself.
God used the many authors over a period of approximately years to write the Bible progressively, each building on what has already been given. Since it is an infallible unity, all parts agree. The individual authors and books ought not to be seen as contradictory, but complementary to each other. The most obvious and significant division in the Bible is that it has two large sections known as testaments.
A testament is a covenant, or holy contract between God and Man. The first is the Old Covenant. It makes up about three-fourths of the Bible, of which about a third is by Moses. It revolves around the special covenant which God made with Israel, described in the first 5 books. The rest of the O. The N. The O. Psalms is the longest, then Isaiah. Some books are in pairs 1 and 2 Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and several of the epistles , only 1 is a set of three 1,2,3 John.
Luke and Acts form a unique pair. There is occasional overlap of content and matter Samuel-Kings-Chronicles, the 4 Gospels, etc. The books of the Apocrypha are not part of the Bible. Though Romanism accepts them, neither the ancient Jews nor Protestants have ever accepted them. Nor are any of the books of the Pseudepigrapha in the Bible, such as the Book of Enoch. And of course, not the Book of Mormon, or other pretended books. The canon is closed. Other authors wrote only a single short book.
Some books are anonymous such as Hebrews. All books were written by men, though two books are entirely about women Ruth and Esther. The human authors were prophets, priests, kings, apostles, shepherds, generals, a doctor, court officials, and other occupations. Hebrew is a Semitic language written from right to left, each word based around three consonants, with a grammar and vocabulary very different than English, but much in common with other ancient languages. Parts of Daniel and Ezra, and a few words and verses elsewhere, were written in Aramaic. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the ancient near east until superceded by Arabic.
It was very similar to Hebrew. There are a few Latin words, too, and also a few Egyptian and others in Job. The actual original parchments and papyri have long ago perished, but the inspired Word has been preserved by God through the ages. Jesus promised that His Word would never pass away Matt. We call this Providential Preservation.
There are no lost books, sentences, words or even letters. Nor will any yet be found, otherwise they would have been lost until now. Scripture is the means of salvation and the main means of revelation in this age. Its very nature requires its preservation. Satan has tried to destroy it, but the Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers. There are over 5, Greek manuscripts and over Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible, plus ancient translations and quotations.
Since the Bible is a complete unity, it is very serious to tamper with it. God warns against this in Rev. Some English translations are based on the minority of ancient manuscripts which are faulty. They tend to subtract portions such as Mark A few ancient manuscripts tend to add to the real text, such as the Codex Bezae.
But the vast majority of manuscripts agree almost in complete detail, so it is wisest to stick to the middle and neither add to on the right side or subtract from on the left side. Nor may we substitute other words. This is known as the Septuagint. Other Greek translations followed. The Jews also produced paraphrased translations of most of the O. Most were done after the time of Jesus. The Samaritans translated the Pentateuch into their language, with alterations.
Some were better than others, and all are useful for study by scholars. There have been more translations of the Bible into English than into any other language. First there were bits and pieces by Bede and medieval monks. Then John Wycliffe translated the Bible from the Latin in the 14th century. The 16th century saw many other fine translations, especially the Geneva Bible. The Authorized Version of , known as the King James Version, has been the most popular one in history, even with its various slight revisions.
The New King James Version is a slight revision and is very good. The New International Version is now the best-selling translation. There have also been Jewish and Catholic translations. Overall, over translations have appeared. The Bible is the Book of God. It was inspired by God, written by God through the instrumentality of various human authors, and is primarily about God. It talks about Man, salvation, animals, the cosmos and other topics, but mainly about God.
Its ethics come from God. Its stories tell how God has worked in history. Its songs sing to and about God. Specifically, it is a book about Jesus, the only mediator between God and Man. Praise God for His Word. God is. He is there. He is the real God, the God who really exists. God is God. He exists eternally without origin or change. He self-exists. He has necessary existence, not conditional or contingent existence.
He has perpetual existence in and of Himself. He has pure existence, compared to whom everything else is but a shadow. God not only exists, He lives. A stone exists, a person lives. God is the living God, as opposed to the false and dead gods of pagan religions. He is life itself, self-life. He has life in Himself, not from another. He is the source of all life. He has aseity, or life in Himself John , He has permanent and perpetual life. God is pure life. Therefore He is immortal. He had no birthday, therefore no father or mother; He has no death-day, therefore no undertaker.
God is the creator of everything else Gen. Creator of all, created by none. He is the first cause of everything else, but caused by nothing. God is certainly not the creation of Man. Man did not create God by imagination, nor by projecting himself to the cosmos, as atheists suggest. Nor is God self-created. He simply exists and lives of Himself. The Creator is not the Creation. Idolatry worships the Creation rather than the Creator Rom. He is separate from His Creation. We are not part of God.
God is everywhere, but is not everything. He has a separate and divine substance that is fundamentally different from the universe. Monism is also wrong to suggest that all things are one, i. Romans 1 and Psalm 19 state that God has made His existence known to all men. He is a fool who tries to deny this Psa. Therefore, there are no real atheists or agnostics. They already know God exists. They are merely lying in order to try to run from God. We merely build upon what God has already revealed about Himself in Natural Revelation by bringing Special Revelation.
See Acts Indeed, a God whose existence needed to be proved would not be the true God. It is an insult to God to attempt to prove His existence, for that doubts the fact that He has already made His existence known. Man already knows God exists, but he must acknowledge this openly in order to come to know God personally Heb. He is God. But God is personal. Not exactly like we are personal, but more than we are. Specifically, as we shall see later, God is actually Tri-personal in the Trinity. God is a He, not an It. God is also a He, not a She.
He is personal in that He speaks, feels, thinks, remembers, recognizes, etc. God is Incomprehensible but Not Inscrutable. God has told us He exists and also gives us the privilege of knowing Him personally. God is knowable. Agnostics and Deists are wrong to say God cannot be known. Yet we can never know everything about God. Finite Man can never know all about the infinite God, not even in eternal Heaven. It would take a second God to know God fully.
His attributes are beyond full knowledge Eph. God is incomprehensible to us Job , , , Isa. There will always be something about God that only God knows Rev. Nor will we know God as God knows Himself. Man in sin does not know God 2 Thess. The basic message of Ecclesiastes is that life has no meaning, only vanity, without knowing God. God created Man to know Him, and Man has a dreary existence without knowing God.
God has allowed Himself to be known personally. This is only possible through Christ Matt. Knowing God is eternal life John , in contrast with meaningless existence. God is perfect Matt. He is complete in every way. He needs nothing. He does not need to be fed. He does not need Man. He lacks nothing in any way. He has perfect life and existence, and does not grow. He is absolute perfection. Therefore, God is perfectly happy in Himself. God is not lonely. He did not create Man because He was lonely. There was perfect happiness, fellowship and love within the Trinity. Nothing outside of God is ever perfect in the sense God is perfect.
Yet we find a degree of perfection when we are in the right relationship with God as we ought to be, lacking nothing, Happy at last. God is Essentially Different from Us. There are two truths, which must be kept in balance. On the one hand, God created us in His image Gen. Therefore we resemble God in part. God thinks, we think. God feels, we feel. Specifically, we are to imitate certain attributes of God, which we call the Communicable Attributes. We are to be holy, truthful and loving, for God is holy, truthful and loving. We do not nor ever can have self-existence, infinity, eternity, immutability, omniscience, omnipotence or omnipresence.
These are Incommunicable Attributes. God is not of the same quality as Man. We greatly err in supposing that God is altogether such a one as we are Psa. Even our similarities with God point to the essential differences we know, God knows; but we know by learning, God knows all things already perfectly, and so on. God exists as only God exists, which is to say God alone is God.
God cannot be defined. To define is to limit, but God cannot be limited. Specifically, when we speak or think about God, we cannot fully grasp Him. Therefore, we cannot define God. Yet we can still speak and think of God in part. That means we can describe God. To be precise, God describes Himself to us. He reveals part of Himself to us description , but not all of Himself definition. He condescends to describe Himself to us in human analogies, such as metaphors like fire, a fortress, etc. He also uses anthropomorphism, or speaking after the manner of Man.
God does not literally have arms, legs, a head, etc. He even compares Himself at times with animals wings of a hen, an eagle, a lion, etc. But God is not an animal, nor a Man. God also uses anthropopathy, or describes Himself in terms of human emotions such as love, grief or anger. But the emotions of God are far greater than ours. So, Biblical descriptions are valid.
Philosophic definitions always leave something to be desired e. God told Adam to name all the animals, but did not allow him to name God. Names carry a kind of identifying definition in them. Just as God swears by Himself because there is no one higher, so He describes Himself best by analogy with Himself. God is self-defined, He gives several names in Scripture. Some are used many times, others only rarely. Each is a short description of Himself.
Often they are used together. And there is a name of God which only God Himself knows Rev. It is the plural of a variety of short Hebrew words, such as EL Ex. See Gen. There is a corresponding term in the New Testament in Rev. This is the most personal name of all, more a personal name than a title.
Sometimes it is shortened to YAH Ex.
It speaks of God as the One who Is. It is His covenant name. It means lord, master, ruler, owner. Coming to the New Testament, we find several names as well. It was used in ancient Greek literature. This is the word in the Greek O. It means lord, master, owner. In Greek it could mean sir or master when speaking of a dignitary. There is only one God and only one Lord I Cor. God is Lord of all. Two other similar words are used in the N.
God, then, reveals Himself in a variety of short names that describe Himself to us. This is because God is true. He is the true God, in contrast to the many false gods. He is the real God. He is also Truth itself. He speaks truth. Indeed, God cannot lie Titus He always keeps His promises. His Word is inerrant and infallible.
He does not deceive.follow link
Enduring Word Bible Commentary Jude Chapter 1
He is trustworthy and, dependable, solid and sure. He likens Himself to a rock. There is only one God, and He is Lord over all. But that does not mean that He is to be identified with the gods of non-Christian religions. Romans 1 says that they worship idols of all sorts. Some are physical images of stone or wood. All pagan gods are idols Psa. They are all false gods, not the true God. For example, Allah is not Jehovah. Even the Canaanites worshipped a false god named EL.
What then are these false gods? On the one hand, negatively, they are no-gods, non-divinities, nothings. On the other, they do have an identity. They are demons in disguise. See I Cor. Pagan religions are merely denominations of one world-wide Satanic religion. Vishnu is a demon, Krishna is a demon, Baal is a demon, Isis is a demon, etc. The Jews give lip service to the one true God, but in rejecting Christ they fall short of knowing the one true God. Through Christ alone we know God. The Trinity is the Mystery of Mysteries.
The doctrine of the Trinity is the greatest mystery in the Bible. It is revealed, but not fully revealed. Nor will it ever be fully comprehended by Man even in Heaven. It is vastly deep and high, and inspires holy awe in those who approach it rightly. But it has been rejected by many cults, some liberals, and even some Pentecostals, such as the United Pentecostal Church, not to mention Jews and Moslems.
Bible Questions for the Church of Christ
There is no perfect analogy to the Trinity in Creation, so the doctrine is taught by Special Revelation and not by mere Natural Revelation. Yet no one place in Scripture discusses it at length. It is learned by comparing text with text. Still, some places are of particular importance in setting forth the Trinity, such as the Baptism of Jesus Matt. All three members of the Trinity are sometimes mentioned together, such as 2 Cor. The first truth of the doctrine of the Trinity is that there is only one God. The Lord our God, the Lord is one. There has always been only one God and will always be only one God.
The doctrine of the Trinity does not teach that there are three gods. The unity of God disproves polytheism that there are many gods, such as in Hinduism and henotheism one favorite god among many others. All Members of the Trinity are Equal. The Bible also teaches that there is something plural within God. They share the same one divine nature, the same substance of deity. Thus, all are equal, for one infinite being cannot be larger than another infinite being.
There is no hierarchy or subordinate natures within the Trinity. Each one is fully God and has all the attributes of full deity. Each one is God and with God John The Son is equal with the Father John , Phil. The latter reflects and reveals the first. The Members of the Trinity are Not Identical. The three divine members share the same nature, but have distinct persons.
They are not three in the same sense that they are one, so there is no contradiction here. There is only one Father, one Son, and one Spirit Eph. It was the Son, not the Father nor the Spirit, who became a man. It was the Spirit, not the Son nor the Father, who came at Pentecost. The atonement was presented to the Father, not to the Son or the Spirit. Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17, not to Himself.
The Father spoke to Jesus at His Baptism; this was no ventriloquism. Some groups reject the idea of the Trinity but accept the deity of Christ, saying there is no difference between the three at all. But it is not Biblical Trinitarianism. Scripture repeatedly speaks of God as the Father. This one is not just Father of Christians, but the Father of the Son. He was Father to the Son from all eternity. The Father received the atonement from the Son, who represented Man.
Later we will discuss the deity of Christ more fully. Over Bible verses prove the deity of Jesus Christ e. He was worshipped as God. There are three divine persons, but only one is Son. The Son is Eternally Begotten by the Father. The distinctive feature of the Second Person of the Trinity is that He alone is eternally begotten. He is God the Son within the Trinity. This eternal begetting is indicated in John , 18, In theology, it is called Eternal Generation.
It is eternal; there was never a time that He was not the Son. Some Evangelicals deny this. But Jesus was Son before the Incarnation. In fact, the Incarnation is the historical or Economical display of the eternal or Ontological nature of the Trinity. Just as a human father has the same nature as his son e. The Father alone begets the Son. There is no divine mother, no, not even the Spirit. There is only one Holy Spirit Eph. He is personal, for He speaks, feels, thinks, is grieved, has joy, etc.
He convicts of sin, regenerates sinners into saints, indwells believers, etc. But first of all, the Holy Spirit is God. To lie to the Spirit is to lie to God Acts , and to blapheme the Spirit is unforgivable. The Spirit is God Isa. He is every much eternally God as are the Father and the Son. All three are equal in power, glory and majesty.
It is not the same as the eternal generation of the Son, which comes from the Father, not the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son. It is difficult to ascertain just what this procession is. It is akin to eternal breathing, thus an eternal spiration. This was reflected in the Spirit coming in a special way on the Day of Pentecost.
He reveals the Father and the Son, and stays in the background. He brings the elect to Christ, who brings them to the Father. All in all, the members of the Trinity work together for their mutual glory, which is a display of their perfect unity and diversity. God fills all time and dwells in the realm of eternity Isa. He is the Ancient of Days Dan. He is not only older than the universe, He is eternal. He never had a beginning. He is from everlasting to everlasting Psa.
He is, was and always shall be Rev. We cannot fully grasp just what eternity is, though, for we are not eternal. We are limited by time; God is not. God is eternal in His love and other attributes. He gives eternal life, which is not merely endless life but eternal in its quality.
God is not limited by time; neither is He limited by space. He is infinite. He is omnipresent, or present everywhere at the same time. He is immense. God is not only big; He is sizeless. There is no place where God is not. He is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. The entire universe cannot contain Him Acts The universe, therefore, is not infinite, but God is. He is everywhere, but especially in Heaven. Also, He is imminent, or near all of us.
He is also transcendent, or high above us Isa. God is spirit, not a spirit John This refers to His being, not the Holy Spirit. God has no material body. His substance is pure and uncreated spirit. He is invisible to us now, but one day we will see Him. Being pure spirit, He is one in being, not having parts.
The attributes of God are not parts of God, but qualities of His whole being. The Mormons are wrong to say God has a physical body. No, but God the Son became a man and took on a fleshly body John God is perfect, and therefore never changes Mal. There is no shadow of change in His being James He is immutable. Nor can He change for the worse, for that would mean He is not perfect.
He is not growing, either.
This does not mean He is stagnant, though. He is perfect in life. And God does not change His mind or decrees. He is the same yesterday, today and forever Heb. Everything else changes, but not God Heb. God is holy. He is absolutely pure. He is absolutely morally pure.
It is not that He became pure by purification, but is pure by nature. He is totally just. His will is Law for all His creatures, but there is no higher law to which God is subject. Also, because we are not holy, God is angry. He is filled with wrath and fury, far more than we can imagine. God is so holy that He cannot break His own Law. It is the height of blasphemy, then, for any mere sinful creature to accuse God of doing anything wrong. Being angry against sin, God will punish all unrepentant sinners in eternal Hell.
We can never be as holy as God, but should strive to obey Him in all things without hesitation or question. God is King of Kings. He is the absolute ruler of the entire universe. He is the just totalitarian potentate of everything, and is subject to nothing and nobody. He is absolutely free and independent. He does whatever He wants to Psa. He owns everything and does whatever He wants to with it.
He rules as King over all Psa. He is the supreme judge, above whom there is no appeal. Therefore, no one can accuse God, for He is the potter and we are the clay Rom. Is it not His right to do whatever He wants to with His universe? God is omnipotent, or all-powerful. He is God Almighty. He has all power and strength. He has all life and energy within Himself, and supplies life and energy to His universe. Being omnipotent, there is nothing too hard for Him to do. He never grows tired, nor sleeps. Even when He ceased creating all things, He was not resting.
Search verses, phrases, and topics e. John , Jesus faith love. Other Searches. Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness. Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.
These shorter letters of the New Testament are often neglected, but the neglect of this important letter says more about us than it does about the Book of Jude. Jud The author and the readers. A bondservant of Jesus Christ : Jude was a blood relative of Jesus, but he considered himself only as a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke of this relative unimportance in passage such as Mark and Luke Without a doubt, Jude valued the fact that Jesus was his half-brother and that he grew up in the same household as Jesus.
But even more valuable to him was his new relationship with Jesus. To Jude, the blood of the cross that saved him was more important than the family blood in his veins that related him to Jesus. And brother of James : James was an important leader of the church in Jerusalem and the author of the New Testament letter that bears his name.
Both James and Jude were half-brothers of Jesus. To those who are called : Jude wrote to Christians. Jud Jude gives a warm and typical greeting. Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Yet it is substantially the same. He looked for multiplication instead of simple addition. Jud The call to defend the faith. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
But something happened — Jude found it necessary to write a different letter. The letter of Jude is essentially a sermon. In it, Jude preached against the dangerous practices and doctrines that put the gospel of Jesus Christ in peril. These were serious issues and Jude dealt with them seriously. We should be happy that Jude was sensitive to the Holy Spirit here.
What might have only been a letter from a Christian leader to a particular church instead became a precious instrument inspired by the Holy Spirit and valuable as a warning in these last days. It is common in the sense that we are saved in common , in community. We all come to God the same way. An individual Christian may not know it, understand it, or benefit by it, but to be a Christian is to be a part of a community. To be a Christian means you stand shoulder to shoulder with millions of Christians who have gone before. We stand with strong Christians and weak Christians, brave Christians and cowardly Christians, old Christians and young Christians.
We are part of an invisible, mighty army that spans back through the generations. Those who are in Christ are more near of kin than they know of, and their intense unity in deep essential truth is a greater force than most of them imagine: only give it scope and it will work wonders. Exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith : This was the great need that Jude interrupted his intended letter to address. The verb translated contend earnestly is in the grammar of the ancient Greek in the present infinitive , showing that the Christian struggle is continuous.
We contend earnestly for the faith because it is valuable. If you walk into an art gallery and there are no guards or no sort of security system, you must draw one conclusion: there is nothing very valuable in that art gallery. Valuables are protected; worthless things are not. Exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith : If we emphasize the word you , we see that this was something that Jude wanted each individual Christian to do. There are many ways that every Christian can contend earnestly for the faith.
We contend for the faith in a positive sense when we give an unflinching witness, distribute tracts, make possible the training of faithful ambassadors for Jesus, or when we strengthen the hands of faithful pastors who honor the Word of God in their pulpits.
These are a few among many ways that we can contend earnestly for the faith in a positive sense. We contend for the faith in a negative way when we withhold support and encouragement from false teachers. We contend for the faith in a practical sense when we live uncompromising Christian lives and give credit to the Lord who changed us. Obviously, faithful missionaries and evangelists contend earnestly for the faith. But so does the Sunday School teacher or the home group leaders, who is faithful to the Scriptures. People like this contend for the faith just as much as a front-line missionary does, and each one of us should contend for the gospel wherever God puts us.
Contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints : Here, Jude tells us what we are contending for. There is a lot of earnest contention in the world but usually not for the right things. The faith once for all delivered to the saints is something worth contending for.
We must contend earnestly for the truth. Acts ; Romans ; Galatians Of course, we distribute this truth again and again. But it was delivered by God to the world through the apostles and prophets once Ephesians God may speak today, but never in the authoritative way that He spoke through the first apostles and prophets as recorded in the New Testament. Its content will be more fully understood, its implications will be developed, its predictions will be fulfilled; but it will never be supplemented or succeeded or supplanted.
For all means that this faith is for everybody. Instead, most people want to believe in the faith they make up as they go along and decide is right for them. My faith has carried me a long way. Christianity is based on one faith , which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jud We need to contend for the faith because there are dangerous men among Christians. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Certain men have crept in unnoticed : In part, this is what makes them so dangerous — they are unnoticed. No one noticed that they were dangerous. These certain men probably claimed to be more Biblical than anybody else was. Who long ago were marked out for this condemnation : These certain men have a destiny — the destiny of every false teacher and leader.
They are marked and destined for this condemnation , and it is enough to say that they are ungodly men. They are ungodly simply in the sense that they are not like God and no matter the outward appearances, they disregard God. They were unnoticed by men, but not by God. The Lord is not wringing His hands in heaven, worrying about those who deceive others through their teaching and through their lifestyles.
They may be hidden to some believers but as far as God is concerned, their condemnation was marked out long ago. Their judgment is assured. The truth will win out; our responsibility is to be on the side with the truth. Who turn the grace of our God into lewdness : These certain men had received something of the grace of God. But when they received it, they turned it into an excuse for their lewdness.
The idea behind the ancient word lewdness is sin that is practiced without shame, without any sense of conscience or decency. Usually the word is used in the sense of sensual sins, such as sexual immorality. But it can also be used in the sense of brazen anti-biblical teaching, when the truth is denied and lies are taught without shame.
Jude probably had both ideas in mind here, because as the rest of the letter will develop, these certain men had both moral problems and doctrinal problems. These words of Jude show that there is a danger in preaching grace. It simply shows how corrupt the human heart is. They do this by refusing to recognize who Jesus said He was, and therefore they also deny who God the Father is also.
We are not told specifically how these men deny the only Lord God. It may be that they denied Him with their ungodly living or it may be that they denied Him with their heretical doctrines. Probably both were true. Jud The example of the people of Israel. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
They were already taught this example, but they needed to hear it again and to apply it to their present situation. The Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt : Jude reminds us of what happened in Numbers God delivered the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. They went out of Egypt and without unintended delays came to a place called Kadesh Barnea, on the threshold of the Promised Land.
Therefore almost none of the adult generation who left Egypt entered into the Promised Land. Think of what God did for the people of Israel in this situation, and then how they responded to Him. They heard the very voice of God at Mount Sinai. They received His daily care and provision of manna in the wilderness.
Yet they still lapsed into unbelief, and never entered into the place of blessing and rest God had for them. Afterward destroyed those who did not believe : Those who doubted and rejected God at Kadesh Barnea paid a bigger price than just not entering the Promised Land. They also received the judgment of God. The warning through Jude is clear. The people of Israel started out from Egypt well enough. They had many blessings from God along the way. This example gives two lessons.
First, it assures us that the certain men causing trouble will certainly be judged, even though they may have started out well in their walk with God. But so did the children of Israel, and God afterward destroyed those who did not believe. The final test of our Christianity is endurance. Some start the race but never finish it. Jud The example of the angels who sinned. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;.
Jude speaks of the angels who sinned, who are now imprisoned and awaiting a future day of judgment. Angels who did not keep their proper domain : There is some measure of controversy about the identity of these particular angels. We only have two places in the Bible where it speaks of angels sinning. First, there was the original rebellion of some angels against God Isaiah , Revelation Secondly, there was the sin of the sons of God described in Genesis Genesis is a controversial passage all on its own.
It says, Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. Jude helps us answer this question. Did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode : This offence was connected with some kind of sexual sin, such as the sexual union between rebellious angelic beings the sons of God in Genesis and the human beings the daughters of men in Genesis We know that there was some sexual aspect to this sin because Jude tells us in the following verse, Jude 7 : as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.
False Ideas About Jesus Christ
The words in a similar manner to these refers back to the angels of Jude 6 , and the words gone after strange flesh refers to their unnatural sexual union. We know some things about this unnatural sexual union from Genesis 6. We know that this unnatural union produced unnatural offspring. We can add another piece of knowledge from Jude 6. This unnatural union prompted God to uniquely imprison the angels who sinned in this way. They are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. As for the specific details of this unnatural union, it is useless to speculate.
Perhaps it happened through a unique form of demon possession and the fallen angel worked through a human host. He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day : God judged these wicked angels, setting them in everlasting chains. Apparently some fallen angels are in bondage while others are unbound and active among mankind as demons. By not keeping their proper place, they are now kept in chains. Their sinful pursuit of freedom put them in bondage.
In the same way, those who insist on the freedom to do whatever they want are like these angels — bound with everlasting chains. True freedom comes from obedience. If angels cannot break the chains sin brought upon them, we are foolish to think that humans can break them. This reminds us that these angels who sinned with an unnatural sexual union are no longer active. With His radical judgment back in the days of Noah, God put an end to this kind of unnatural sexual union. First, it assures us that the certain men causing trouble will be judged, no matter what their spiritual status had been.
These angels at one time stood in the immediate, glorious presence of God — and now they are in everlasting chains. If God judged the angels who sinned, He will judge these certain men. Secondly, it warns us that we also must continue walking with Jesus. We must keep walking and be on guard. Jud The example of Sodom and Gomorrah. As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Sodom and Gomorrah were blessed, privileged places. They were situated in a blessed area: it was well watered everywhere Having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh : Jude refers to the account in Genesis 19 , where the homosexual conduct of the men of Sodom is described. Ezekiel tells us of other sins of Sodom: Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
Sexual depravity was not their only sin, but it was certainly among their sins, and Jude makes this plain. The sins described in Ezekiel show that Sodom and Gomorrah were indeed prosperous, blessed areas. But despite their great blessing from God and material prosperity, they sinned and were judged. Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire : In Genesis 19 , Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with fire from heaven.
Far worse than what happened in Genesis 19 , they suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. First, it assures us that the certain men causing trouble will be judged, no matter how much they had been blessed in the past. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah were once wonderfully blessed but eventually suffered the vengeance of eternal fire , so will it be with these certain men. Jud The character of these dangerous certain men. Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
When Jude pointed out that these certain men reject authority , it meant that they wanted to be in authority. Therefore they rejected the authority of God and they rejected those God put in authority. Today, our culture encourages us to reject authority and to recognize self as the only real authority in our lives.
We can do this with the Bible, by choosing to only believe certain passages. Or we can do it with our lifestyle, by making our own rules and not recognizing the proper authorities God has established. In the darkest days of Israel, society was characterized by a term: every man did what was right in his own eyes Judges Today, this is the pattern of all the world and especially Western civilization. These dreamers : It is possible that Jude meant that the certain men were out of touch with reality. It is more likely that he meant they claimed to have prophetic dreams which were really deceptions.
Speak evil of dignitaries : Probably these dignitaries were the apostles or other leaders in the church. Their rejection of authority was connected with their speaking evil of dignitaries. Jud Michael the archangel as an example of someone who would not speak evil of dignitaries. Michael the archangel Michael is among the angelic beings faithful to God, who are the servants of God and man.
The devil is among the angelic beings rebelling against God, who are the enemies of man. There are invisible, angelic beings all around us. There are ministering spirits sent by God to assist us, and demonic spirits who want to defeat us. To the devil, we are time bombs, ready to wreck his work — bombs that he would like to defuse and make ineffective. Or, if they believe he exists, they think of him in funny images from the Middle Ages.
Back then, miracle plays were a chief form of entertainment. They were sort of a pageant where religious stories were acted out on stage. The audience learned to look for one character that was always dressed in red, wore horns on his head, and had a tail dangling behind him. His shoes looked like cloven hoofs, and he had a pitchfork in his hand. The audience was amused by this silly characterization of Satan, and got the idea that he was sort of a comical character. Michael the archangel : This angelic being is mentioned by name in four passages of the Bible: Daniel 10 , Daniel 12 , Revelation 12 and here in Jude.
Every time Michael appears, it is in the context of battle or readiness to fight. It is Michael the archangel — another high ranking angelic being. There can be properly only one archangel , one chief or head of all the angelic host. Nor is the word devil , as applied to the great enemy of mankind, ever found in the plural; there can be but one monarch of all fallen spirits.
When he disputed about the body of Moses : This is another obscure reference by Jude. The last we read about the body of Moses is in Deuteronomy : So Moses, the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows the grave to this day. He may have received a unique revelation from God. But according to teachers in the early church, Jude referred to an apocryphal book known as the Assumption of Moses , of which only small portions survive. Others have thought that Satan wanted to desecrate the body of Moses, and claimed a right to it because Moses had murdered an Egyptian.
We know that after his death, Moses appeared in bodily form at the Transfiguration Matthew with Elijah whose body was caught up to heaven in 2 Kings 2. First, we see that Michael was in a battle. This proves to us that Michael is not Jesus, as some heretical groups have thought. Jesus rebuked the devil in His own authority, but Michael did not. Significantly, Michael dared not bring against him a reviling accusation.
Michael did not mock or accuse the devil. If Michael dared not bring against him a reviling accusation against the devil , how much more should these certain men not speak evil of dignitaries. Jud More of the bad character of the certain men. But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. But these speak evil : In contrast to Michael, who would not even speak evil of the devil, these certain men spoke evil, especially when they rejected authority and spoke against dignitaries.
Their evil speech was made worse by their ignorance. Since they also spoke against dignitaries and rejected authority, these certain men did not know about true spiritual leadership and authority — so they found it easy to speak evil against it. Whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves : These certain men pretended to be spiritual, but their only knowledge was really natural. Even what they knew naturally , they still used to corrupt themselves with an unspiritual mind. Brute beasts can be smart or clever in an instinctive way, but they obviously do not have spiritual knowledge.
It was the same way with these certain men. Jud a The certain men have gone in the way of Cain. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain,. Each of the sons of Adam and Eve brought an offering to the Lord. Cain being a farmer brought an offering from his harvest. Abel being a shepherd brought an offering from his flocks. Many people assume that because Abel brought a blood sacrifice and Cain brought a grain sacrifice, that the difference between the two offerings was sacrificial blood.
But the real difference was between faith and unbelief. Hebrews makes this plain: By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. But his sacrifice was offered without faith, and therefore it was unacceptable to God. You can give to God whatever you have or whatever you are, but you must offer it in faith.
The way of Cain : Genesis says that after God rejected his sacrifice, Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. He became angry because he knew he was rejected by God. In a fit of anger Cain murdered Abel, and then he lied about it to God. The way of Cain : Jude says that Cain typifies a way that the certain men follow in. It is the way of unbelief and empty religion, which leads to jealousy, persecution of the truly godly, and eventually to murderous anger.
There is no greater curse on the earth than empty, vain religion; those who have a form of godliness but denying its power 2 Timothy No wonder Paul added, and from such people turn away! Many Christians are afraid of secular humanism or atheism or the world. But dead religion is far more dangerous, and sends more people to hell than anything else. These certain men were in the way of Cain , which is the way of dead religion. Jud b The certain men are in the error of Balaam. Have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit,.
During the time of the Exodus, Israel advanced to the land of Moab, after defeating the Amorites. The first delegation from King Balak arrived and God told Balaam to have nothing to do with them. After the first visit another, more prestigious delegation came with great riches.
Balaam wanted to go with them and God allowed him to go. Balaam lusted after the riches and prestige offered to him and God gave him over to his own sin. God warned Balaam to turn back when he was on the way to see Balak. Yet his heart was set on the rich reward King Balak promised and he continued on. Balaam even ignored a talking donkey, sent to warn him to turn back. Balaam knew that he has done wrong. In Numbers , he said to God I have sinned Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back. He continued on, refusing to see that when God says no, we must take it as a no.
Instead, God gave Balaam what his sinful heart desired. When he was unsuccessful in cursing Israel, Balaam advised Balak on how to bring Israel under a curse. Instead of trying to have a prophet curse Israel, he should lead her into fornication and idolatry and then God would curse a disobedient Israel. Balak did just that, sending his young women into the camp of Israel to lead Israel into sexual immorality and idolatry. Therefore Balaam was guilty of the greatest of sins: deliberately leading others into sin. Worse yet, he did it for money.
Greedily in the error of Balaam for profit : The greedy error of Balaam was that he was willing to compromise everything for money. The certain men Jude warned about had the same heart. Many Christians would never deny Jesus under persecution, but might deny Him if offered a large sum of money.