Jude (Part 1)

Jude (Part 1)

Let me start here: if you have not read Jude (an introduction), stop now and go read it . . . it will make more sense that way. However, as a reminder to those who did read it let me refresh your memory. Jude is one of four brothers of Jesus and at some point led the Church in Jerusalem. He came to faith after Jesus’ resurrection. This same Jude then pens this letter and it is powerful! As a call to repentance, as a reminder of judgment, and as a warning to stay alert as we contend for the faith.

He doesn’t waste time with small talk, antidotes, or gibber, he is very matter-of-fact. In the verses, we will look at this week, we will see his heart, and his understanding as the brother of Jesus and leader of the Church. Let’s look at verse 5, “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Here is an interesting point, there are a couple manuscripts out there as well as a few versions of the Bible that use “Jesus” in place of “the Lord”. Could these early manuscripts be more accurate to Jude’s point? i think so. Jude had come to an understanding of who Jesus was and was not ashamed of it.

We love grace, i love grace. We preach grace, i preach grace, and it is glorious! However, we mustn’t lose sight of Jesus. Jesus, actively a part of the Old Testament, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, saves us by His cross. He leads us free from the chains of sin, out of bondage and into freedom. As the Israelites out of Egypt and still, subsequently (lit. the second time) He destroys those who did not believe. Folks, there is judgment. There is a hell and it has been preached since the formation of the Church. Do not be led astray. We must continue to contend for the faith in a world that would pervert the grace of God, even some in the Church.

Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that [e]the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, [f]subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after [g]strange flesh, are exhibited as an [h]example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NASB)

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved[c] a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,[d] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV)

Pray with me for insight, for understanding, for fresh revelation into God’s Word. Let the Spirit of God speak to our hearts through these words written by Jude inspired by the Spirit. May we grow in wisdom and faith, as we seek to walk humbly with Jesus, contending for the faith. Until next week . . .

you are loved,

cj

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117, it is just two verses. Yet these two verses are immensely profound in their simplicity. You want to boil things down to the minimum and just look at the core of human existence? Then here you go:

“Praise the Lord, all you nations! Worship Him, all you peoples! Because God’s faithful love towards us is strong, the Lord’s faithfulness lasts forever! Praise the Lord!”

It doesn’t get much simpler than this, Praise the Lord. Worship Him. Because, He is faithful. His love is strong towards us and He is forever faithful. Thus, we should, Praise the Lord! No matter what you are facing, no matter what difficulties or trials befall you, Praise the Lord! In the good and in the bad, Praise the Lord! In the sun and in the rain, Praise the Lord! In life and in death, Praise the Lord! In sickness and in health, Praise the Lord! In the hardest of times and in the best of times, Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord,

you are loved,

cj

The Sheep and the Goats

The Sheep and the Goats

We are living in an increasingly partisan culture. We hear the word tribe often to clarify partisanship, which simply is, groupings. It has always been around for sure. We read about it throughout Scripture. However, it has become hyper-partisan. Everything is a group or sub-group with no limitations on how far one can take it and no one needs your permission to put you in that group. “You like chocolate ice cream so therefore you cannot possibly like vanilla too!” It has been a political paradigm for the most part when we would discuss partisanship, up-until-recently, however, the line is now blurred.

First, i will agree that there are definitely two groups, in fact, Jesus taught on these two groups, He called them the “sheep” and the “goats”. That is pretty much where the groups start and finish, however. Within those two groups are people, with various ideas, understandings, ways of life, social status, economic structure, intelligence and the list goes on…and among the goats, the list is even longer.

Now, Jesus, defined these two groups this way, sheep, equals saved, goats, equal not saved. It is worth noting here that these two groups are separated at the judgment and although there are good reasons to watch our associations it should never be a practice to segregate ourselves. “But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?” Romans 10:14.

Let’s talk sheep. Sheep don’t always get along. Paul split ways with Barnabas because they couldn’t agree on a philosophy of ministry, not a philosophy of salvation to which there was no disagreement. It’s ok. However, that is the exception, not the rule. “44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” Acts 2:44-46. 

Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and don’t do as I say?” Luke 6:46. He also said, “If you love Me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15. He clarified those commandments this way, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40.

For me, here is what it boils down to, Love; Unconditional love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith. (1 Timothy 1:5). We love one another, we sacrifice for one another, we do for one another and we pray for one another…including GOATS! We live the message of Christ out in our love for one another, we tell others about this love by living it out in our actions so that when we say it with our mouths it has a deeper meaning. In the end when Jesus does separate us, the sheep and the goats, we can stand confidently that we did, we lived, and we loved the best we could.