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.“
The apostle Peter tells us in chapter 3 of his second epistle that the day of the Lord will come as a thief and that we should expect and hasten the day of God. The apostle Paul on the other hand refer to today as “man’s day” in 1 Corinthians 4:3, where man is put in the place of judgment. But the day is coming where the Lord will judge and that day is called the day of the Lord or the day of God in 2 Peter chapter 3.
No doubt we have all heard and said that one day to the Lord is like a thousand years. Actually, this is a rough quotation from 2 Peter 3, a chapter that speaks both of the Lord’s second coming and the righteous and just judgment that will occur at the time of His coming. Of course, to us it seems as if the Lord has delayed His coming already for two thousand years, but to Him, it’s just a couple of days. Actually Peter tells us that this delay is not motivated by the Lord’s indifference or because He is arbitrary about the timing, but rather because He is long-suffering towards us. That means He is mercifully granting us more time, more time to be mature and to be prepared for His coming so that none will unnecessarily perish.
2 Peter chapter one is one of the most profound chapters in the New Testament. It is full of solid, nourishing words conveying the central thought of the entire New Testament teaching. In this chapter, Peter touches both life and truth as he speaks concerning the precious faith that we all have received. He also strongly points us to the sure word of the Scripture. But then in chapter two, he turned dramatically back to God’s governmental judgment, a major theme of his first epistle. But here the righteous judgment of God that Peter described in great details is not general or vague but rather it is intensely focused on the false teachers who had begun to permeate the church and lead God’s people away from the very item that Peter had poured out in chapter one.
The apostle Peter had a strong reaction to the apostasy that were spreading into the church near the end of his life. In fact he wrote his two epistles largely as an inoculation against the heretical teachings that were gradually corrupting the faith of the saints. Especially regarding the matter of the Lord’s second coming in glory.
In 2 Peter, he first gives an eye-witness account of seeing the Lord Jesus revealed in glory as a foreshadow of His promise return . Then he points the believers to the word of God, specifically the Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ, as he says in chapter 1:19 “and we have the prophetic word made more firm, to which you do well to give heed as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;“ But after these two strong encouragements he goes on to speak of the coming judgment of the righteous God especially on those false teachers who were defiling the saints and leading them astray.
The book of 2 Peter continues the thought of his first epistle; God’s governmental judgment. But it also stresses God’s divine provision for His people to enable them to live under such divine ruling. The first chapter of 2 Peter describes this provision in its various aspects such as the divine power and all things pertaining to life and godliness, the divine promises and even partaking of the divine nature.
These provisions are all on the side of life. But Peter also details provisions on the side of the divine truth. First we have the testimonies of the apostles themselves who were actual eye-witnesses of the glory and majesty of Christ. Second we have the prophetic word shining as a lamp in a dark place to enlighten us until the morning star rises in our hearts.
Second Peter chapter one is one of the most weighty and profound passages in all of scripture. Phrase after phrase in these few verses convey the progression and development of the divine life as it germinates, matures and comes to full growth.
Along this long progression or path all of the attributes of God divine life become the virtues that developed and are ultimately expressed through us. Of course while God supplies the divine power according to Peter which enables us to escape the corruption of the world that work through lust and to become partakers of the divine nature, there are some basic conditions that we need to meet, such as having a full knowledge of all the divine things pertaining to life and godliness. And in addition we need to add all diligence to co-operate with the divine power operating within us. The result of this marvelous development is that God is expressed through us and we in turn are supplied a rich and unshakable entrance into God’s kingdom.