Jesus Saves

Save—to keep safe or to rescue from harm or danger (22-23) Jude now writes about three groups of people who have been confused or captured, by false teachers. They are the doubting their faith, they have been deceived and defiled. And Jude says to rescue them. Jude 22-23~And have mercy (ἐλεέω eleeō) on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (ESV) Let’s consider three steps of helping people who have been hoodwinked by the enemy.

Step—1 With the doubting, we are to be compassionate. Jude’s first group is immature believers who false teachers have confused about the truth. The world has a number of people who are fledglings in the faith. Without knowledge, application and good spiritual guidance, we can all be led astray. So Jude writes, And of some have compassion, making a difference (22). (ἐλεέω eleeō) Compassion means to show kindness by assistance. It’s being kind in word and deed, making a difference in their lives. This means we help them clear up their doubts. Is there any here today who have played the Thomas in life. Sure we have all had our doubts. Like a wolf attacking a flock of sheep, false teachers look for those who are easy prey, the spiritually weak and immature who hang at the edge of the heard, AKA the community of faith. However, those who are spiritually mature and strong are to have compassion on people being led astray, by showing mercy (ἐλεέω eleeō). 1 Corinthians 16:14~Do everything in love. (NIV) We are to lovingly assist those who struggle with doubts, helping them understand the truth of God’s Word, which will expose the deceit of false teachers. Be compassionate.

Step—2 With the deceived, be helpful. This group consists of unsaved people who have been deceived by false teachers. Therefore, Jude writes in Jude 23~save others by snatching them out of the fire…(ESV) This fire refers to eternal hellfire. But how do we rescue the unsaved who are being led by false teachers into the fire of hell? We do this not in ourselves but by using God’s Word to refute false teaching! We should to ever underestimate the power of God’s Word in conjunction with the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 55:11~It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. (NLT) The way to rescue unbelievers who are deceived by false teaching is to get them into a Bible believing and Bible teaching community of faith where God can unfold His Holy Word. With the doubting, be compassionate; with the deceived, be helpful.

Step—3 With the defiled, be careful. Jude’s third group is comprised of the unsaved who have not only been deceived by false teachers but who also promote the deceit they were taught. These people are often well-versed in corrupt theology and know how to counter scriptures that reveal the error of their ways. To them, Jude writes in Jude 23~…to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment (χιτών chitōn) stained by the flesh. (ESV) (χιτών chitōn) translated garment literally means undergarment. Whether it is called grippers, whitey tities or our unmentionables. Jude says show mercy with fear because they are spotted. 

No, he is not saying someone hit a deer, but that there are many bodily functions abounding in dirty underwear. Your mom was right, our dirty unmentionables are dangerously infected with all kinds of bacteria and germs. Left too long they cause a whole host of issues that you can learn about in health class. So, Jude some 2000 years ago says to be very careful when dealing with people who have been contaminated or spotted, by false teachers, because false teaching is very contagious. Listen to the warning Paul issues in 1 Corinthians 10:12~So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (NIV) 

What step will you take today in your Authentic Living, during the last days?



Connect

As we continue our study of Judes powerful and economically precise epistle, we are encouraged to Remain (20-21). To avoid being led astray requires that we continually build Jude 20~But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (ESV) This is done by Biblical application. Jesus tells us that we are to remain in Him. John 15:4~ Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (NIV) When the branch is connected, life-giving sap flows through the vine. This is indicative of the Holy Spirit. Though unseen, moving on, in and through our lives, His sweet flow produces life and bears fruit. 

If you’ve ever felt spiritually dry or disconnected from God, maybe you are weary from doing the good that God created you for Galatians 6:9 This could be that something has hindered you from your quiet time, perhaps you have lost your focus on God, or something has banded your life, like a rope or chain on a tree than cause abnormal or stunted growth. Notice that Jude also describes Authentic Christians as praying in the Holy Ghost (20b). This means our prayers are prompted and directed by the Holy Spirit. The result is we will always pray according to God’s will. 

Jude 21~keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (ESV) Keeping ourselves in the love of God doesn’t mean we keep our salvation by our own efforts because that would contradict what is taught in the Bible and later in verse 24. Keeping ourselves in the love of God means that we consistently live for the things God loves. So what does God love? 

Scripture is filled with things God loves and delights in, but perhaps the best place to unpack His love is Proverbs 6:16~There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: (NIV) Solomon goes on to share haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts devising wicked plans, feet running to evil, a liar, and strife spreader. From this list, we look to the opposites to see what God loves. God loves a gaze with humility. God loves a tongue that speaks the truth. God loves hands that protect the innocent. God loves a heart that devises good and righteous plans. God love a trustworthy witness. God loves a believer who spreads peace. God loves when we do good and live right.

Even Jesus commands us to continue, or Remain, in God’s great love. John 15:9~As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (NIV) But how do we do that? How do we Remain in God’s Love? Jesus answers this question in John 15:10~If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. (NIV) Again, God loves when we do good and live right, or according to His holy word. When we obey God’s Word, our works, our fruit, our lives, will abide in God’s love. To be sure there is no confusion about what saves us, Jude writes, Jude 21~… waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (ESV) It is not our works that save us but the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:9~Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (NLT) Authentic Living in the last days requires us to Remain in Jesus Christ as we learn to walk in the Spirit. Why not take a few moments to ask God for guidance and opportunity. Guidance for the steps you will take and for the opportunity to be an encourager to those you meet.



We Need You

What do you remember? As Jude writes, he asks us to Remember in verses 17-19. Knowing the deceit of false teachers, Jude writes, Jude 17~But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV) The apostle Paul, even as early as during his missionary journeys, warned the Ephesian elders of false teachers who would come. Acts 20:29~I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. (ESV) Our Lord also warns us saying in Matthew 24:11~and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (NIV) 

Jude reminds us of the apostles’ warning: How they told us there would be mockers in the last time (18). The last time refers to the period in which we live, the time between Christ’s resurrection and His Second Coming. During this time, people will ridicule the Second Coming and will walk after their own ungodly lusts (18). Jude has already described these people in verses 4 and 15-16. Reminding us to Jude 19~It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. (ESV) They try to promote themselves as superior, causing divisions and separating believers from those who faithfully preach and teach the inspired Word of God. Our mission at Mt. Gallant is to lead people to Jesus and help them become dedicated followers of Christ. If not in our local community, then in another Bible believing and preaching faith practicing church. Only Authentic Christians can properly interpret the Bible. 

Why? Because Authentic Christians live by the Spirit, Jesus says in John 16:13~But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. Leonard Ravenhill wrote: Preaching is a spiritual business. A sermon born in the head reaches the head, but a sermon born in the heart reaches the heart. Unction cannot be learned, but only experienced through prayer. Unction is like dynamite–it pierces, sweetens, softens. When the hammer of logic and the fire of human zeal fail to open the stony heart, unction will succeed. Authentic Christians have a spiritual unction that enables us to know the truth and thereby recognize false teaching. Authentic Living in the last days requires us to Remember the predictions about false teachers and live in a way that all people will know that you live according to God’s holy word.

Today, take time to place your whole life under the blood of Jesus Christ and ask God to reveal how you can help others remember the amazing gift we have been given in Jesus Christ. While doing this allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to pray for the needs of our community and friends. And be sure to get the unction of the Lord, who will guide you and provide you the words necessary for those you meet. With all thy getting, get unction. Leonard Ravenhill.