Wednesday 8 April, 2015

Jude 8-16

8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. 11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

This passage lists many characteristics or traits that don’t really correlate to the Christian life. For example; live immoral lives, defy authority, do whatever their instincts tell them, rebellion, complainers and braggers etc. Yet some “believers” amongst us display these things and live a falsehood. Their lives are not truly submitted to Christ and they continue to do their own thing.

The middle section of this passage uses a number of similes to help describe what these false believers are like. Words are not minced here, the most telling being that they do not bear fruit and they are pretty much useless and ineffective. It also says that these false believers will be judged.

So what do I take from this reading? Do I go about trying to spot the false teacher amongst us or worse still am I one! This letter from Jude serves as warning to believers that such folk do the Christian life with us and we are not to be naive to this fact. Let God be the judge and in the meantime live humbly before God. Ask yourself some tough questions; Am I teachable? Do I aim to live as the Bible says? Am I submitted to the leadership God has placed over me? Although these things are challenging they help keep us submitted to Jesus Christ and on track.

Dear God, I recommit my life to you. Help me to follow Jesus example in all I do. Amen.

Written by Ainslie Woods

2 replies
  1. Justin Ware says:

    In reading this passage, I am astounded at the length of the description that Jude takes to record how bad these particular unbelievers are! In quite poetic language, he goes on and on to bring home the very important point: These people are very bad news.

    I personally love to dialogue with people from a broad range of perspectives and belief systems. I have a level of certainty and security in my own faith that allows me to have a discussion with a person may have a very different understanding of Christ to me. Even so, I do find that I will occasionally talk to someone who is not interested in dialogue or discussion, but only interested in pushing their ideas and agenda. They often have cleverly constructed arguments that are difficult to refute and for me spending time with them is exhausting and discouraging.

    I need to be careful to be discerning in whether I do engage with people whose belief system is strongly opposed to that which the Bible teaches. I need to be careful that I am not “casting pearls before swine” as Jesus warns against in Matthew 7:6.

    All the same, I still need to ensure that I am reaching out to those who are lost and not condemning them by my fear of their beliefs!

    Lord, strengthen my faith and my understanding of you and give me discernment regarding who I engage in Faith discussions.

  2. Richard Botta says:

    On the strength of their dreams.

    This passage makes an interesting observation on the authority that some ungodly people appeal to. “On the strength of their dreams” is the authority upon which they make their determinations.

    Christians live under God’s Word as the authority not our latest and greatest dream, idea or opinion. I need to ensure that God’s Word dwells richly in my heart through faith and that it is to this that I set my heart and expectation. While the Lord will give me dreams and visions they are highly subjective and generally personal, open to interpretation. God’s Word is altogether different. While it is interpreted differently by different people it is not subjective like a dream. It was written at a time for a reason and so its meaning is not far from us if we ask.

    I have found that people who stake their life on dreams are generally unsubmitted, more prepared to follow their whim than the leading of the Lord. I need to ensure God’s Word is the foundation of my thinking and life.

    Father enable me to see clearly Your Word and enable me to live under its authority in all aspects of my world.

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