What battles are you facing?
In law courts we might be fighting over an estate or disputed will.
Someone might be fighting for their life in an ICU bed.
In a counselors office some fighting for their marriage.
Are you a fighter? Do you get up when your'e knocked down? Do you keep going?
Are you a Christian fighter??
Against what? For what?
1. Fighting against [our own] ungodly passions- Who is the real enemy here?
It is easy to say – we don’t have imposters in our church that have secretly crept in. We don’t see ourselves under attack. We don’t need to fight for the faith.
What lies behind these ungodly imposters, these immoral infiltrators, are ungodly passions.
Why do they pervert the grace of God into license for immortality?
They are following their own ungodly passions - just like the OT hall of villainy.
V 7 just like Sodom and Gomorrah...who indulged in immorality and pursued unnatural desire
V 16 They are following their own sinful desires
V 17 Prediction “in the last days scoffers, following their own ungodly passions”
This is what is at the core of these false church people- Following their ungodly evil passions… but with a Christian kind of look to them- “Christianized sinful indulgence.”
We are vulnerable to the influence of ungodly people because they are one way to arouse, awaken our own ungodly desires.
Jude changed the topic of letter. He was compelled to urge them to contend. It spreads like gangrene even to true believers. Danger! Don’t be complacent. Contend! Why? Because we still have to fight ungodly passions that we have dragged over from our old life into the new life in Christ.
Our biggest enemy to fight is not Satan or the world, but the sin that dwells with us- which Satan and the world fan into flame and consume us as followers of Jesus.
Vs23 save others by snatching them from the fire
And seeing people who appear Christian but blatantly contradict God’s teaching of how we are to live- begins the question- maybe it’s ok?
It matters what we believe!! May be it is OK to go to church and then go down to the brothel. These guys seem to be making the point that Christian is compatible with just letting go and no boundaries- how we use the body- indulge your desires. Do we believe them? Do we want to believe them? Ungodly passions can be aroused, and talk ourselves into thinking may be it’s OK.
Our battle is to not feed and surrender to desires that we know are wrong… they seem strong. “I know this is not right my conscience and the Bible, say so, but I want to do this.”
Galatians 5 clearly outlines the battle for every believer- desires of flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, these two are opposed to each other. Only a Christian can be in this situation, because we have the Spirit. A change in what we desire from ungodly to godly is underlies our spiritual growth.
They steal our joy; we lose peace; we dishonour Christ who died to free us from them. The battle rages on. We will fight against ungodly passions. Walk on the belly of our lusts!!
Do we have a fighting spirit? Are we fighters? What are we fighting the real enemy?
2. Fighting with divine provision
Jude calls them in vs3 to contend for the faith - to put up a fight for the faith - it matter what you believe, but not until v17-23 does he gives instructions for the church as to what that looks like.
Fight with Divine provisions- rightly so. Our fight is successful only with God’s provision
i). V 17 Divine prediction- no surprises here- ungodly people as instruments of Satan to damage the faith of God’s people will happen again and again. Don’t be surprised, don’t be unprepared. There is an enemy. There will be a need to contend.
ii) V 20 Word of Christ to build our most Holy faith- focus on the truth , build your faith in the word of Christ. Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. Distorted Word damages our faith. It matters what we believe. Identify the counterfeit. Recognise ungodly desires. Know how to replace them with godly desires.
iii) V 20 Prayer- lightning bolt spliced to our limp wire [Piper] - power, power we don’t have against even our own desires- but is overwhelmingly abundant in order to shoot to kill our desires. We are not devoid of the spirit as they are, pray in the Spirit, the very Holy Spirit who desires are against our fleshy desires. The Holy Spirit who enables us to execute the ungodly desires and deeds.
iv). V 21 Love of God- the focus here is not on our love for God, but focuses on God’s love for us- this church may feel embarrassed and that these immoral people have been in close fellowship with them, God loves them.
Love of God which is unending, forever, sacrificial even when we were enemies and did not love him he loved us. We lose sight of God’s love, don’t remind ourselves with scripture and remembering Jesus dying on a cross- God so loved the world- desire other things.
v) V 21 Hope of Christ’s return. There are two distinct groups of people in Jude, in this world with two different destinies. Jude is very emphatic that those without Christ are condemned/ kept for eternal judgement. Those who are called, loved by God, kept for Jesus- will mercifully be with him for eternity. It may be tough now; it may be exhausting but we keep fighting until the time of our departure like Paul- I have fought the good fight…I have kept the faith. Now awaits him crown of righteousness, which the Lord Jesus will award me on that Day, and to all who have his loved his appearing/ return. Lose hope the fight gets really hard going.
Psalm 60:11-12 Give us help against the foe; our effort is worthless, with our God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down the enemy. Fighting with divine provision, and…
3. Fighting from victorious position
Wouldn’t it be great going into a boxing match or debate or any contest of wills, knowing that you will definitely win. With the Christian life- wrestling and contending as we need to – we fight from position of victory won.
Jude begins and ends with little word- keep/ kept.
This is a unique beginning compared to all other epistles- Romans, John, Ephesians. Jude tenderly writing to this group that have been duped and possibly damaged in some way- not only are you called by God, loved by God, God has kept you for Jesus Christ. No one begins like that. They have been burgled and are feeling vulnerable. Feeling vulnerable as a Christian as a church. They need to hear they are kept- perfectly kept, 100% guarded to belong to Jesus. Guarded by Almighty God- he is our close protection officer.
Psalm 46 - God when voice speaks and earth melts- “The Lord of hosts is… with us. God of Jacob is…our fortress. God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is our fortress…right through this life until we reach the life to come. We are fortressed…by Almighty God.
And he ends with the same word.
God is able to keep you; guard you… from stumbling- losing your way in faith- and to present you blameless in his presence. We are not able. But God is powerfully able
Echo of words of Jesus
37 All whom the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled… 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Jesus wins and will not lose one of us!! Jude wants them and us to hear that. Don’t give up. Keep fighting against the harmful influences on, knowing that God keeps your salvation secure.
Not a Christian? Jude says following your own ungodly desires- doing life your way, and there is eternal punishment kept for you. But there is a way of escape not just the punishment but the ungodly desires, and the estrangement from God- God himself, in his great love, vs 25 is our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. New desire.
You are a Christian? With God’s provision, keep fighting against harmful influences that damage our faith, steal our Joy, lose peace, and dishonour God.
He will be our own desire; our hearts will never tire of God and God alone.
Don’t give up the fight. He won’t give us up, but will keep us. We cannot be lost from him.