Jude wants his readers to really understand and live for the gospel. . He’s calling them to persevere, not just “because,” but because they know why to persevere.
2 Timothy 3:1-17
It’s not enough to tell a child not to hit their sibling; you need to teach them why hitting their sibling is wrong all the time. You need to help them understand the deeper meaning. In the same way, Jude wants his readers to really understand and live for the gospel. He’s calling them to persevere, not just “because,” but because they know why to persevere. Someone will only run as far as they believe, and most people don’t believe much.
Jude calls the 1st Century church (and God’s calling us today) to build themselves up in their most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep themselves in the love of God, and wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ. Think about what this entails.
God uses Jude’s letter to 1st Century Christians to help all Christians prepare for being lights in the midst of darkness. Jude explains what that darkness is, and then provides a wick, oil, and fire to keep your lamp burning brightly – to keep you shining forth.
Consider the following questions for yourself or your small group discussion:
1. How do you respond to the world? When you hear the news and look around you, do you respond in anxiety? Apathy? Disappointment? Worry? Anger? Why do you respond that way?
2. Jude defines the false teachers by saying that they cause divisions and are devoid of the Spirit. You could, then, say that Christians should be people filled with Spirit who are are always seeking unity. How can you grow in being “filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18) and a seeker of unity? Read Ephesians 4:1-16.
3. Jude first calls Christians to build themselves up in their most holy faith. Building anything takes planning, resources, time, and help. What things in your life can you do to help this process? What things do you need to stop?
4. Jude then calls Christians to pray in the Holy Spirit. For most people, prayer is difficult. Jude, however, tells us that we ought to pray in the Holy Spirit – not in ourselves. When you pray, understand that the Spirit’s doing a greater work than you know. Take time to pray on your own for about 5 minutes.
5. In order to persevere in the midst of this world, we’re also called to keep ourselves in the love of God. It’s incredible how difficult this can be. The world is constantly telling us it loves us. We often take that love, despite the fact that it’s deception. What worldly “loves” are you dwelling in? How can you better dwell and stay in God’s love?
6. We’re also called to wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ. Our culture today struggles with patience. The idea of waiting is crazy, yet God wants us to wait for Christ. Why would Jude even need to say this? Because he knows how weak our attention spans are. The idea of remaining steadfast, immovable, watchful, and patient for Christ’s second coming is hard. That’s why we need constant reminders. How can you be reminded of this more? How can you remind others?