What does Jude 1 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
The Book of Jude stresses the urgency of opposing false teaching. The writer, Jude, was an apostle and a half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was also a brother of the apostle James (Jude 1:1). He had planned to write about the salvation he and his readers had in common, but the threat of apostates—those who had rejected the truth and had turned away from God—persuaded him otherwise. Instead, he chooses to warn his readers about these apostates, and to help them understand that apostates will ultimately face divine judgment for their immoral lifestyle and evil teachings. He carefully distinguishes true believers from apostates by identifying true believers as "called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:1). He also identifies them as his "beloved," or "dear friends" in some translations (Jude 1:3, 17), and encourages them to keep the faith and to minister to others (Jude 1:21–23). He assures them that God is able to preserve them and present them before himself faultless and with great joy (Jude 1:24).

Jude's brother James was head of the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–2, 12–21). He wrote the book of James to expose hypocritical faith and to show what real faith is and how it works. Like Jude, James refers to himself simply as a servant: He was "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ" (James 1:1).
Verse Context:
Jude 1:1–4 begins this letter by identifying the writer and his readers. The author is a brother of James and a half-brother of Jesus Christ. In this introduction, he extends his personal greetings to his readers and explains his reason for writing to them.
Jude 1:5–16 describes the nature, errors, and fate of false teachers plaguing the Christian church. Jude's readers seem to have been acquainted with Israel's history. This passage references Old Testament events to help explain the apostates' sins, the danger they pose, and how the Lord will punish them. Jude references the unbelief of Israel after the Lord delivered them from slavery in Egypt, rebellious angels, the ungodly people of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the dangers of allowing such people to mingle with other believers.
Jude 1:17–23 lays out Jude's plan of action for recognizing, resisting, and defeating apostates. Prior verses were devoted to explaining how, and why, these false teachers were dangerous. Those who followed their examples were bound for eternal judgment. Here, Jude provides a means to avoid these liars, as well as their fate.
Jude 1:24–25 is the closing signature of this letter. In these verses Jude encourages his readers and ascribes praise to God. These statements continue the general theme given in prior verses: to avoid sin, with the purpose of exalting Christ.
Chapter Summary:
Jude's brief letter describes men at their worst and God at His best. Believers are already on the victorious side! Those who mock God's truth and who follow their own desires all while claiming to be Christians, are the most dangerous kind of unbelievers. These persons pose a danger to themselves and to any Christians they might influence. In response, Christians need to focus on understanding the truth of God's written Word and submitting to His will.
Chapter Context:
Jude is a single-chapter letter which reflects earlier warnings about apostates and their false teachings. Other passages of Scripture describe evil men who taught that Jesus was not fully human or fully God (1 John 2:22; 4:1–3), that God's grace allowed them to live immorally (2 Peter 2; Romans 6:1, 15), that Jesus blood was not an adequate sacrifice (Galatians 1:6–9; Hebrews 3:12–19; 10:19), and sinners gain a right standing in God's sight by keeping the law of Moses (Galatians 5:4, 7–9). Jude's letter combats false teaching and exhorts readers to remain faithful to the Lord.
Book Summary:
The book of Jude is a letter written by a half-brother of Jesus, likely later than AD 66–67, which was after 2 Peter was written. Its placement immediately before the book of Revelation is appropriate. This letter warns about false religion and evil men, whom Revelation describes as maliciously affecting political and religious conditions.
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