Remarks on the Epistle of Jude

Jude  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
If you get the character of Antichrist in the epistles of John, you get the opposite element in Jude. "They went out from us." It is open apostasy. Denying the Father and the Son is antichristian; denying that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:2222Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)) is apostate Judaism. That is not the case with Jude. There I get, not the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, but Christendom-Christians looked at as general profession, and the corruption is in that. It is "crept in" (v. 4), not "went out" (1 John 2:1919They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:19)). They did not deny the Lord but they turned His grace into lasciviousness (v. 4).
"To convince all that are ungodly among them" (v. 15). Even when He executes judgment it is still "among them;" it takes every character of evil up to the very end. Enoch prophesies of these who have "crept in." They denied the character of Christianity, without denying Christ; as in Philippians, they were " enemies of the cross of Christ." The judgment is on those who have got in, though of course there will be a judgment on others.
Denying the only Lord (δεσπότης) God " (v. 4) is the comparison of a master and a slave in the market whom he has bought, but who will not own him. The earliest evil hears its fruit to the end-it ought to have been purged out-but as to its fruits, they remain to the end. Cain is natural religion; Balsam, ecclesiastical corruption, and Core, opposition to Christ's royalty and priesthood. We. have to look not only for open infidelity, but to moral persons moving on amid Christianity and "gainsaying."
"Looking for the mercy" (v. 21) is striking. You cannot get into an evil that you do not find Christ for you in it; you cannot give up your Isaac without getting him in resurrection. If in trial we look to God, we receive fresh revelations. The disciples gave Him up as a living Christ, and they got Him as a glorified Christ. The mercy throws the soul on the patient goodness of Christ, and of which goodness, if we are spared the evil, we are the expression. If I feel that I belong to a system that has all gone wrong, I feel myself east on the mercy of God. Do not get out of the place where the sense of divine love can keep you in the sense of divine holiness. (See 1 Thess. 3:12, 1312And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12‑13).) If I walk with God, there must be holiness. Christ Himself is the perfection of good in the midst of evil. Elijah goes to heaven in the midst of apostate Israel. In that case we have an Elisha. This mercy keeps the tone of the heart right. There must be real faithfulness, not pretension; but we must be looking on to the end, when things will be right; but now things are gone so wrong that I want mercy at every step.
One single beautiful word I would add. " God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Christ has come of a woman and come under law, He has come into a place of ruin where the law has made transgressors. The Pharisees separate themselves (v. 19); they set themselves up.