Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jude: The Righteous Church

I want to try a new approach to my book writing here. Rather than blog the actual pages of what I am writing, I want to use the blog either to plan out my writing for the day, to give a point of interest from what I hope to write for the day, or to give you a teaser that might actually motivate you to get the book once it is finished.

So here is my first shot. Tonight I want to plan out my chapter on Jude for the book I am trying to finish up in the next week or so: The Church Moving Forward: Hebrews to Revelation. So here goes.

A Curious Little Letter
  • Who is this Jude? Did Jesus really have brothers and sisters (brother of James, gospels)?
  • We don't really know when this letter was written. Is it post-apostolic (17)?
A Righteous Faith
  • Although we might at first think that Jude is primarily about having the right belief, the right "faith," when Jude clarifies what he is talking about, it becomes clear that he is not primarily concerned about beliefs but about immorality (3, 4).
  • Application: NT did not isolate beliefs from actions.
  • There are sexual overtones to the immorality in question (7, ) but the illustrations have to do with angels (6-7)!
  • They are grumblers, self-indulgent, arrogant, and show favoritism (16). They are inside the church! (see love feast in 12) They create divisions (19). They don't have the Spirit.
  • Application: There are "hidden reefs" in the church. Yes, we need to be concerned about their souls but they are also dangers to the body of Christ.
The Importance of Staying Faithful
  • 5-6 are about Israelites and angels who fell.
  • He would like to write about salvation, but they need a warning instead (3)
  • 24 indicates that God can keep you from falling and present y'all (plural) blameless.
  • God punishes immorality - look at Sodom and Gomorrah (7), eternal fire, a fire whose consequence lasted forever
  • Saving the doubter and the sinner (22-23)
  • Build each other up in the foundations (20)
  • Application: It is essential to remain faithful, although God doesn't want anyone to perish. Note that Jude is not clear about the exact nature of eternal fire.
Some Strange Stuff
  • The bit with angels is strange. Are they Gnostics? They disrespect angels (8-10). They deny Jesus in some way (think 1 John), 4, are they false teachers (11) They have dreams (8).
  • Jude draws on apocalyptic writings that did not make it into the Bible (9, 14)
  • Application: God can speak to us in all sorts of ways and meets us within the framework of understanding we have and takes us from there.

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