What does Jude 1:20 mean?
ESV: But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
NIV: But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
NASB: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
CSB: But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
NLT: But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,
KJV: But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
NKJV: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
Verse Commentary:
Again, Jude expresses his love for his readers by calling them his dear friends: "beloved." His advice on the best way to stay strong in the struggle against apostates is to advance in the faith. By this, he specifically means the teachings that the apostles delivered to believers. Prior verses referred to words from men like Peter (Jude 1:18; 2 Peter 3:3), and other New Testament Scriptures emphasize the importance of letting God's Word guide our faith (1 Corinthians 4:6).

Today, this strategy has not changed. For the modern believer, defense against false teaching starts with growing in the knowledge and application of Scripture. In writing to Timothy, Paul insists that God gave the Scriptures to make us wise unto salvation and spiritually mature (2 Timothy 3:15–17). But prayer, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, should also accompany one's loyalty to God's Word. Jude's exhortations in this verse echo the Apostle Paul's instructions to the Ephesian believers: to use the sword of the Spirit, God's Word, in fighting evil forces, and to pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17–18).
Verse Context:
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.
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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