Notes on Jude, should they be of any interest to anyone.
v3 – wanted to write about common salvation … but instead must urge them to contend for the faith
v4 – how have people crept in ‘unnoticed’? is the church not alert? Who are these people – they are those who ‘pervert grace’ into sensuality (hints of licence to sin – Romans 5/6 ish?) – ah, but they also deny Christ (and would it be easier to spot the latter? presumably not – otherwise they wouldn’t be unnoticed and Jude wouldn’t have had to write to them – so what would this look like?)
v5 – they used to ‘fully know’, but now need to be reminded. What does it mean to ‘fully know’?
v5 – Jesus saved a people out of the land of Egypt …. hang on, Jesus wasn’t born until the New Testament was He? Or is this saying something about the Trinity?… hmmm.
v5 – ‘a’ people – n.b. not ‘the Hebrews’, or ‘the Israelites’
v6 – angels who did not stay within their own position of authority – little glimpse into rebellion in heaven?
v8 – back to the people – what do they do? they – rely on their dreams (defile the flesh, reject authority and blaspheme the glorious ones)
v9 – Michael contending with the devil over the body of Moses – he doesn’t pronounce a blasphemous judgement (what would one of these be? – could it be rebuking the devil with his own authority? The immediate contrast here seems to be ‘but said “The Lord rebuke you”‘ … suggesting that if he had not rebuked in the Lord’s name it would be blasphemous. How else would he have rebuked him – presumably by some other name – this would contrast nicely with v6 – staying in their own position of authority)
v10 – back to the people – the people are blaspheming all that they do not understand – they are like unreasoning animals, understanding instinctively.
Pause for thought – they are relying on their dreams (v8), they are like unreasoning animals (v10) and they understand instinctively (v10)(as opposed to in a reasoned manner?) – everything seems to be internally generated (and not relying on the Word … indeed they deny Him).
v11 they are compared to Cain, Balaam and Korah – need to look these up.
v12-13 – not very nice picture of the people – waterless clouds (presumably useless, as clouds should mean rain?), fruitless trees, dead, uprooted, wild waves (dangerous?), wandering stars (umm… you can’t navigate by them?)
v14 -16 – more pictures of the ungodly, and judgement foretold – the ungodly sinners speak harsh things against the Lord. They also grumble, are malcontent, follow their own sinful desires, they boast and show favouritism to gain advantage.
v17-18 – encouragement to the church – this is to be expected – these are the last times when scoffers will come.
v19 – these people are worldly, cause divisions and they do not have the Spirit.
So, what should the church do?
v20-21 – build yourselves up in the faith, pray in the Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy that leads to eternal life.
v22-23 – have mercy on those who doubt (so don’t jump on everyone who does not understand everything…?), and save others by snatching them out of the fire (sounds a little more assertive), to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh (sounds a little like -touch with quite a short bargepole, but be careful, the dog might bite).
Interesting that it doesn’t say here – avoid them all completely – instead is this what ‘contending’ for the faith looks like?
v24 – Doxology starts with “now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling” – presumably because this contrasts with those who are doubting/in the fire/have flesh-stained garments?
Other thoughts: context is within a church – not contending for the faith in wider society.