Jude (Program #6) – The Basic Structure of the Epistles of Peter and Jude (2)
The epistles of 1 and 2 Peter and Jude have occupied us now for the past nine weeks on this program. And today we conclude the life study of these three short but very significant books in the divine record. But not with the systematic or academically summary but rather by following the spiritual thread that links these three books. Though they are separated in the canon scripture by the three epistles of John in their subject and basic structure they bear a striking similarity and easily warrant being considered as a group.
All three were written against the back drop of the degradation and decline of the church, a time of apostasy. And therefore all three can be considered as an inoculation against the heresies that were damaging the testimony of the church at that time. Yet they also shared a basic structure that is one hundred percent positive and absolutely in concert with the central focus of the entire New Testament. And that is that we would all be brought into the real enjoyment of the Triune God. In order that through His operation in us we would be transformed that we would be built up into His spiritual habitation so that He could indwell us and that we would express Him for eternity.
Jude (Program #5) – The Basic Structure of the Epistles of Peter and Jude (1)
Through the centuries believers and Bible scholars alike appreciated the epistle of Peter for giving us a clear presentation of God’s government. Surely this point is the subject of these books. But woven through out Peter’s epistles as well as the epistle of Jude is a basic structure, a central line of focus that if we neglect will leave us far removed from the reality of living a life that is actually under God’s government. It’s this basic structure of these three books that is our subject for the final two programs.
The short epistle of Jude concludes with a marvelous charge to the believers. A charge that includes, “…building up yourselves upon your most holy faith,” and “praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,” of course the Father, “awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ“, the Son.
The result or issue of this four fold charge is that it will be unto eternal life. Actually some consideration of this passage may give raise to a very meaningful question. Is this really a formula for how to receive the eternal life? Or rather is it a charge to those who already possessed the eternal life, is that how they should have their daily living in the eternal life that they already received? A profound question.
Jude a short book of only one chapter with twenty five verses is known primarily for the classic call in verse three “to contend for the faith”.
Yet in addition to this well known passage it also contains some marvelous utterances that help bring the believers into a rich and glorious experience of the divine life. And even some practical help on how not just to live a godly manner but how to live in the Triune God Himself. Listen to verses 20 and 21 – “But you, beloved, building up yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Jude (Program #2) – Evils of the Apostates and Their Punishment Under the Lord’s Judgment
Jude charges the believers in verses three and four in his epistle, “…to earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who of old have been written of beforehand for this judgment, ungodly men, perverting the grace of our God into licentiousness and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Jude verse 3 says, “Beloved, while using all diligence to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you and exhort you to earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.“