The Story: Here’s how Jude summarizes the severity of the error of these false teachers: They reject the authority of Scripture and the Church, depending on their dreams, passions, and self-interest instead. They prattle on about things they do not understand, appealing to emotion and self-interest rather than sound reason grounded in the authority of God and His Word. They go beyond even where angels would go in pronouncing words of judgment against those who disagree with them. They have taken up the work of teaching for personal gain, even as they continue living the wild and unruly lifestyle of the unbelieving world. And yet they partake of the Lord’s Supper and join in the agape meals that were often held at the same time! They make grand promises but their teaching bears no fruit. They are in danger, not merely of confrontation and correction, but of eternal judgment in the “gloom of utter darkness.” No wonder Jude’s brother warned that not many people should aspire to be teachers, since their words and deeds come under more careful scrutiny by the Lord (Jms. 3:1).
The Structure: We don’t know what Jude’s source was for the story about Michael and the devil. But we can see his sound Biblical theology at work here. His view of the false teachers and the seriousness of this problem is based squarely on his understanding of God’s Word. The Old Testament was for Jude a necessary source of teaching and doctrine. Churches must not allow themselves to drift away from Scripture just because someone has had a “dream” or is very passionate or pragmatic about his teachings or views. Only Scripture is divinely inspired; it must be our final bar of appeal in all matters of faith and life.How would you describe the balance between Old Testament and New Testament in the teaching provided in your church? In your own reading and study of God’s Word?
For a more interactive study of Jude, order Carolyn Nystrom’s 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: 12 Studies, from our online store.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.