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12: Keep Yourselves in the Love of God (Jude 1-25)
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12: Keep Yourselves in the Love of God (Jude 1-25)


The epistle identifies the author as “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James” (1). “Jude” is an English form of “Judas”, the Greek form of “Judah.” The James of Jude 1:1 is most likely the James of Jerusalem, leader of the Jerusalem church, who was also known as “James, the Lord’s brother” (Gal 1:19; 2:9,12; Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1Cor 15:7). If this assumption is correct, then Jude, the brother of James, would also be the brother of the Lord (Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3).


The identity of the author and knowledge of Jewish background that the letter assumes suggests that the intended recipients were Jewish Christians. The author seems to be writing to a local church or a group of churches which false teachers were attempting to penetrate.


Probably between 60 to 65 A.D.


1.   From the epistle itself, we can know something about the conditions at that time and the purpose for writing this epistle. Identify and record your observations.

Unique Characteristics

1.   Jude borrows from many Old Testament examples of wicked men and the judgment that fell on them to show that the false teachers, whom the Lord had already prophesied about, are likewise marked out for condemnation. He uses strong words and images to depict the vile character of these false teachers and the severity of their punishment.

Central Verse

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (1:20-21).

Modern Relevance

As the apostle Paul had predicted, many will turn from the truth in the last days. They will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2Tim 3:4; 4:3,4). The prevalence of pleasure-seeking and moral relativism has corrupted the minds of people today, including many professed Christians. The epistle of Jude is a call to contemporary believers to stand up for the truth and be strong in the faith while we fulfill our mission of bringing the gospel to the world.










Key Words/Phrases

Did You Know…?

1.         Contend (3): “‘To contend’ or ‘struggle’ translates
epag-onizesthai, a word that occurs only here in the NT. However, related words do occur in the NT… The basic meaning of this word is that of the intense effort in a wrestling match (cf.
ag-onizomenos in 1Cor 9:25). The verb form is a present infinitive, showing that the Christian struggle is to be continuous….” 9/388

2.         Lewdness (4): “means lustful, immoral sensuality and debauchery (see Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3).” 1/1904

2.         “Yet Michael the archangel” (9): “Jude is probably citing a story given in the apocryphal book Assumption of Moses. In so doing, Jude is not recognizing the book as having canonical status, but he is recognizing the event as being factual. The same principle applies to his quote of the book of Enoch in verses 14-15.” 2/110

3.         Love feasts (12): “…the closest celebrations of believers—meals (indicated by the words eating with you), which were probably followed by the Lord’s Supper.” 16/921

4.         Clouds without water (12): “Empty clouds promised rain to needy farmers but delivered nothing (Prov 25:14).” 4/755

4.         “Enoch prophesied” (14): “Bible scholars are not in agreement as to whether Jude is here quoting from the apocryphal Book of Enoch or referring to an unrecorded prophecy of the Enoch of Genesis 5.” 2/110

General Analysis

1.   Do a background study and write a brief description on each of the following Old Testament examples.

1a. Israelites (Num ch. 13-14; 1Cor 10:5-10)

1b. Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen ch. 18-19)

1c. Cain (Gen ch. 4)

1d. Balaam (Num ch. 22-24; Num 31:15,16)

1e. Korah (Num ch. 16)

1f.  Enoch (Gen 5:18-24)

2.   Identify the sins of the ungodly men depicted in this book.

3.   What prophecies does Jude cite in the epistle?

4.   What does this epistle say about God’s work in the believer and the work we need to do on our part?

Segment Analysis


1a.       What is “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”?

1b.       How can we “contend earnestly” for this faith?

2.         Explain the sins of the ungodly men according to verse 4.


3.         What point is the author making by citing the three examples in 5-7?

4.         The Israelites were “saved” but were “destroyed” afterward. What does this historical example teach us?

5a.       What is the teaching behind the story of Michael the archangel and the surrounding verses (8,10)?

5b.       How does this teaching apply to us today?

6.         What are some present-day equivalents of “the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, and the rebellion of Korah”?

7.         Explain the following metaphors.

7a.       Spots in your love feasts

7b.       Clouds without water (cf. Prov 25:14)

7c.       Late autumn trees without fruit

7d.       Raging waves of the sea (Isa 57:20)

7e.       Wandering stars

8.         What will the Lord judge the ungodly men of (15,16)?


9.         Take note of the sentence structures and how they contain main imperative verbs (commands) and qualifying “ing” verbs (NKJV; This distinction is not found in some translations).

9a.       How do we keep ourselves in the love of God (20,21)? Explain your answer.

9b.       Explain the exhortations in 22 and 23. How can we apply this to ourselves today?

10.       How do the commands in this paragraph help the believers deal with the problems that the author was warning them of?


11.       How is the doxology an encouragement to believers in the midst of an ungodly generation?

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Publisher: True Jesus Church