Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Jude 1:16-23

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Application of Prophecy to False Teachers - Jude 1:16

Jude applied this prophecy to the false teachers by charging them with ungodliness in three accusations.

Grumblers and faultfinders - Jude 1:16

grumblers and complainers By using these words, Jude compared the false teachers to the Israelites in the wilderness. The Greek words used here remind the reader of the stories of God's people "grumbling" against his authority (cf. Num. 14:27; 16:11; 17:10; Deut. 1:27; Ps. 106:25). Like the Israelites, the false teachers are rebelling against the authority of God over their lives and influencing others to do the same. flatter others The false teachers likely molded their teaching to receive favor from the rich or influential in the church (cf. Jam. 2:1-9). WLC 145.

Encouragement to Believers - Jude 1:17-23

Jude appealed to apostolic teaching that confirmed God's destruction of the wicked. Jude also exhorted his readers to pursue a godly life by relying on God's mercy in Christ Jesus.

Encouragement to Persevere Against Ungodliness - Jude 1:17-21

The church should be comforted that the presence of ungodly people is not a surprise to the Lord. Both their presence and their destruction is part of God's decree. Believers are to be encouraged and remain steadfast.

Remember what the apostles . . . foretold - Jude 1:17

apostles Jude was not an apostle, according to this statement. But this statement does not imply that he was not a member of their generation, as some have argued.

Last times - Jude 1:18

last time This phrase refers to the period between Jesus's first and second comings (Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:12). mockers The false teachers were defiant toward the authority of God and perhaps especially toward the reality of their own judgment at his hands (cf. 2 Pet. 3:3–4). ungodly desires This is the core of Jude's charge against the false teachers.

Divide you - Jude 1:19

cause divisions The false teachers likely taught things that were pleasing to some, perhaps the rich, but not to others (v. 16). They also built themselves up. Division is a sure result of such teaching. They may have even encouraged divisions within the church that would have benefitted them. In doing so, these false teachers were acting against the work of the Spirit and in disobedience to the Scriptures. Instead, they followed their own natural evil desires.

Build . . . holy faith - Jude 1:20

build . . . holy faith The believers are to be vigilant to resist the teaching of the ungodly among them. They should base their lives on the trustworthy message of the gospel. Jude's language suggests that the "faith" is the foundation on which the believers should be built up. Here, "faith" refers to the changeless content of the gospel message delivered by the apostles and prophets (Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:9). pray in the Holy Spirit The false teachers obeyed their natural desires, but the believers should be led by the Spirit in their prayers. WCF 16.3; WLC 75.

Keep yourselves in God's love - Jude 1:21

Keep yourselves Jude's direct encouragements to the believers in vv. 20-21 suggest that real effort is required on the part of the believers to resist the false teaching of the ungodly among them. God is "able to keep" them (v. 24), but he does so by means of their own obedience to these very exhortations. The godly life that Jude is exhorting his readers to pursue is only attainable through the work of the Triune God. In vv. 20-21, Jude exhorts his readers to "pray in the Holy Spirit," "keep yourselves in God's love," and "wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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