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November 1, 2021 2:00 am
The book of Jude is devoted to apostasy (the abandoning of the truth), and its namesake, Jesus' brother, calls believers to stand for God's truth. In the message "A Call to Battle," Skip shares how you can get ready for this fight.
This teaching is from the series Fight for the House.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Jude sat down to write a sweet little note of encouragement. But he ended up writing about false teachers that come in the church, and what this book reminds us of at first blush is looking over the book is that Christian are not on a playground.
We are on a battle the battlefield. We are called to that the church has always experienced opposition from the world and even corruption inside the church. That's why Jesus brother Jude wrote an important letter about defending the faith. Connect with Skip Heitzig today as he begins a series called fight for the house about how you can stand up for God's truth begin want to invite you to be a part of a life-changing journey. Lenny and I are taking a group to Israel in 2022 and we want to invite you to join us will visit places like Nazareth, the Jordan River. The Dead Sea and Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and the garden to NSS to flyby look at the itinerary. Find out more about the firstname.lastname@example.org/see a B. Thank you, Skip.
Now let's get into today's teaching where in the book of Jude. As we begin our study with Skip Heitzig. Most Christians would agree that fighting is what is not what we are called to primarily we follow a Savior who said I am gentle and lowly in heart. The problem is we may think he was always like that.
We might think that Jesus never raised his voice that Jesus would never embarrass anyone it would never call anybody out, but he just sort of stood there with a smile on his face, his hand on the head of little kids. Maybe healing birds from time to time just speaking in a gentle, soft, loving voice. I've even noticed that great artists in history have depicted Jesus sort of the way they for the most part. Picture and paint a Jesus who is wistful week are even effeminate. However, there was a side of Jesus that was contentious. The Jesus that took tables in the temple, and overturned them and took out a whip and drove people out of the temple. Now that Jesus of the one who said brood of vipers translated you bunch of slimy snakes that Jesus are the one who said to his detractors, whitewashed tombs filled with dead men's bones and all corruption, the one who said you are out of your father the devil and his deeds you do the same Jesus who said to the religious leaders when you want to convert you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves is that Jesus that the book of Jude brings into the forefront. It is Jesus with a backbone budget is a small book is only 25 verses in only 613 words but though it's a small book. It's a small book that packs big punch. I look at the book of Jude, sort of as a fighters manual for the believer.
He was not Jude's intention originally to write this letter.
As you will discover, Jude sat down to write a sweet little note of encouragement.
But he ended up writing about false teachers that it come in the church, and what this book reminds us of just first blush this looking over the book is that Christians are not on a playground, but we are on a battleground battlefield. We are called to that. In fact, the whole atmosphere of the book of Jude has sort of a military tone to it. Even militant tone from the language that is use the grammar. The brevity of the commands, the sort of bullet point directives that Jude gives throughout this book. In fact in verse three he uses the term exhorting. This is what I'm doing is that I'm exhorting you and that's a word that describes a general giving orders to an army. So let's read the first four verses of Jude. This is our summons to war our call to arms Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called sanctified by God the father and preserved in Jesus Christ.
Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you, beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation on godly men who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Did you know that Jude is one of the most neglected books in the New Testament. Most preachers don't touch it or they don't preach a sermon series from it. It's it's filled with all these kind of Old Testament analogies and references and there's a lot of judgment and condemnation and warning in this book and I've even notice that it's hard to find a good commentary on the book of Judah collected a few of them, but most commentators those who write books on the books of the Bible don't have a lot of stuff on the book of Jude. Most Christians know it's there, but they don't really know what it's about. And certainly they don't croak much from it.
I dare you to find somebody who will say my life verse is found in the book of Jude. But all that we really know about it is probably the favorite verse of Christians which is verse 24. It's the benediction at the end of the book versus now in him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to great benediction, but that's about it.
But the book of Jude was written about apostasy ever heard the term apostasy to apostatized or an apostate, it's a it's a word that means those who defect from truth.
They defect from the true faith or they never really had the true faith, but they pretended to be a part of it. You could call them nominal Christians. Christians in name only, who slip in as you will see a notice they might ask. Well, what's the big deal about that.
Why write a whole book or a little letter, even about that.
Will that is the question written answer in the next few weeks and today I want to show you for components to this call to battle women were to look at the Army. The hostility, the artillery, and the enemy. Let's consider those four components.
First of all, the Army and we find out in verse one and two Judah bondservant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called sanctified by God the father and preserved in Jesus Christ, mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.
That's the Army. It includes Jude the author Jesus Christ. The commander and us. The troops, so let's just begin with Jude McCall Jude the ADC. The aide-de-camp in military parlance, he is the assistant to the commander. He is the one who is going to give the command of the commander to the troops. He is the one writing the letter he is bringing the summons calling us to war. Now he is called Jude in our English translations. But here's what you may not know English translations have altered the original name of Jude for obvious reasons. As you will see momentarily and given him the nickname not really the name that is written in Greek. In the Greek translation. It doesn't say Jude.
It says in Greek U.S which is the name Judas Judas there's lots of different people in the New Testament by the name Judas but there's only one we remember that's Judas the traitor Judas Iscariot, but it is not that Jude is the wrote this book. However, but that's a name that, for obvious reasons. Instead of saying hey here's the book of Judas because people in the world who are want to read a book I want to find out about how to be a traitor. So they've given him soften the name Judah people don't name their kids Judas of you notice I've ever met a Judas before will name our kids Paul, Peter, other biblical names, but but not that one. You will name your dog Judas but the Jude or Judas that wrote this book is a different one than Judas Iscariot. By the way, let's just throw that out. Isn't it ironic that the only book in the New Testament that speaks about falling away from the faith, defecting, apostatized in is called the book of Judas just an interesting thing to note that the Jude Road notice who he is. He's a bondservant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James, so that narrows it down of all the people named shooter Judas in the New Testament there is only one that we know about whose brother was named James and that is Jude, the half-brother of Jesus literally related to Jesus Christ. Both James and Jude. Judas, in this case were related physically to Jesus.
That is, Joseph and Mary were his parents.
Jude's parents and James whereas Jesus had Mary as his mother, but was conceived in the womb by the Holy Spirit, half-brother of Jesus we meet them in Matthew chapter 13, the text says, coming to his hometown. That's Nazareth. He began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed where did this man get this wisdom in these miraculous powers.
They asked isn't this the carpenter's son was in his mother's name Mary and artist brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. That's who we believe wrote the book of Jude Jude, the half-brother of Jesus. So verse one then speaks of a transformation that it happened in Jude's life, for he says Jude a bondservant of Jesus Christ. He wasn't always a bondservant of Jesus Christ infected you know that Jude and James and the other brothers half-brother's did not believe in Jesus. While Jesus went through his ministry. Three and have your ministry in the air they thought Jesus was nuts. They thought he was delusional. They thought the lights were on but nobody's home.
They thought he was one taco sort of a combo plate. Whatever delusional metaphor you want to use a they thought that about Jesus were told as much in Mark chapter 3 as the crowds gathered in Capernaum in Jesus.
It says was unable to eat when his family heard about this. They went to take charge of him, for they said he is out his mind.
They thought he was bonkers and believe in him know I'm bringing this up and I'm underscoring it because I want those of you with unbelieving family members to be encouraged by the even Jesus Christ had family members who were unbelievers.
So the question is what happened to Jude to make him a believer and is an interesting he doesn't say Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, says Jude, a bond slave of Jesus. What what happened what what transformed him from an unbeliever to a bond slave of Jesus.
A very profound event known as the resurrection see when your half-brother dies and then gets up from the dead. That'll do it. That's enough.
And when that happened, he became a believer so we find him in the book of acts chapter 1 it says they all met together that is in the upper room continually for prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus. Several other women and the brothers of Jesus.
Jude was in that upper room. The resurrection is what brought him to faith so remember this never give up on those you love never quit praying for your family members never stop having hope for that unbelieving family member. You never know when the grace of God is going to break through and grab that heart have something happen in the be a transformation such Jude Jude is the ADC the aide-de-camp in this army.
The commander is Jesus Judah bondservant of Jesus Christ; the commander because that is how he is depicted in Revelation chapter 19 that's his second coming is depicted as a commander. He comes on a white horse John who wrote the book said he comes with the armies of heaven. He pictures him with a sword to strike the nation so his battle ready. John further says he judges and makes war. And he even has the bloodstains of his enemies on his uniform. So this is not gentle Jesus, meek and mild.
This is giant Jesus mighty and riled.
This is the warrior Christ. This is the second coming, so he is the commander of this army and the troops were the recipients of this letter and by proxy us today for he says in verse one to those who are called sanctified by God the father sanctified means set apart and I like this preserved in Jesus Christ. So God called us to himself. He set us apart for himself and he will protect us by himself, your preserved just latch onto that word for a moment preserved in Jesus Christ means to carefully guard or protect what they what it's nice to know before you're going into battle that you're going to be preserved second day you call me to fight here within the commander says yeah but I want you to know the odds are so in our favor. We are so gonna win this battle hands down the ultimate big victory is already ours you're going to be preserved others and be skirmishes along the way. Hence, the book of Jude. But you will be kept you will be preserved and noticing God's Army. There are some great military benefits. Mercy and peace and love multiplied so you're in the Army now is not a question is who the question is not, will I be a soldier. The question is will you be a good soldier we be a faithful soldier will you be a loyal soldier you and are part of this army. So that's the Army.
Let's look at the second component of this battle, the hostility that really takes us to verse three that's a the heart of this whole introduction, beloved, I like it.
It begins that way. Loved ones.
People that I love because he's in a talk about some really heavy hard-hitting thing so he wants them to know they are deeply loved by him, beloved or beloved while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Some I think you need to know the first few verses of this letter are the nicest part of this letter. Just remember that because it's it's going to sorta go downhill from here. As far as niceness is concerned, single up till the terms of Revelation but the first few verses are like the nicest part beloved and then the very end of the book is going to get nice again there's that benediction but you just kinda hold on to that.
So what he saying is this bursary I originally sat down to write you a letter of encouragement about our common salvation following Jesus and celebrating being saved but it didn't come out that way. I'm giving you rather a call to arms to get into a fight. Warren Weathersby wrote the Holy Spirit led him to put down his harp and the sound the trumpet know I can relate to Jude. Jude is saying. I'd much rather tell you about something else I'd rather write to you. Something really sweet and encouraging. I didn't, but I'd rather I mean I relate to that.
I much rather preach encouraging sermons I would would much rather talk about heaven. I'd much rather do a series on family relationships and love within that relationship by I would much rather do another series on give peace a chance and talk about the peace of God love all those subjects.
Nobody likes to talk about fighting.
I'd much rather do a series on the acts of the apostles than on the acts of the apostates but he said I found it necessary. Notice that I found it necessary to write to you exhorting the word necessary literally means pressured it means to compressor to squeeze the idea is to to have pressure. Come upon you. So the idea that I get.
As he sat down to write something really sweet, but the Holy Spirit kept applying the pressure until he wrote this and what is this what is he calling us to exactly what he tells us in verse three to contend earnestly or vigorously for the faith. What is that mean you know it contend means it means to fight the same put up a good fight for the faith. The new living translation puts it this way defend the truth.
The JB Phillips translation translates it put up a real fight for the faith. The new English Bible says join the struggle in the defense of the faith. The message translation by Eugene Peterson puts it, fight with everything you have in you. So you get the picture you get the idea is calling us to fight. I give you one more translation. The NSV ever heard of the NSV. The new Skip version.
I'll put it this way. Put on your boxing gloves get in the ring.
Don't be afraid of your opponent. Let's take a task. Let's do this. Let's get involved in the fight. Now the word contend happens to be an athletic term and athletic term phenomena say the Greek word, and you're going to try to listen really carefully and see what that sounds like so the Greek term is at Dragon it so my McGettigan at agon needed so my agony agonize. We get the English term agonize from that so picture an athlete. Since the athletic term running the Olympic whatever he's running or she's running in and just careening with the muscle to the point of agony to win. That's the idea of contend vigorously or earnestly. You'll never fight God's battles from a sofa. You'll never contend for what really matters to the point of victory by just cruising in your La-Z-Boy all day. You have to decide to get up as part of the house and join the fight is it what it wait wait wait, what are we fighting for what's is all about what he tells you that put up a good fight for contend earnestly for the faith.
What is that the faith is a term construction term in the New Testament refers to the body of Christian truth is given in the New Testament the body of Christian truth.
That's good fight with the message from the series fight for the house use a resource that will nourish your soul with God's amazing truths.
Here's what Norm Geisler said about the tactics, there is no better block to include Christians to think clearly. Dear Skip, I think you need to engage in active spiritual warfare. You'll never fight God's battles for myself, you'll never contend what really matters.
Just cruising in your La-Z-Boy oil you have to decide to get out as part of the house and join the fight become a contender for the House ethics message theories through the computer skip. I think these teaching theories on the ring and guard against teaching banks to connect more people to the truth of God's word and you get $35 or more to gain tactics by Gregory couple to speak the truth about Christianity with confidence increase, in hundred 92 port connector skip.com now and quick we want to invite you to follow Skip on social media to get important updates and biblical encouragement. Just follow Skip on Facebook, twitter and Instagram all the latest from Skip and from this ministry that's asking at Skip HDI Tuesday I come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzigs of shares about a powerful tool you have. Skip presentation of connection communication changing truth ever-changing time