A recent book about backpacking in Canada warns us to purchase accurate maps before hiking in remote areas. Several travelers have died by following hastily printed maps with erroneous data.
Doctrine is the roadmap of life, and the New Testament writers vigorously warned against following faulty teachers. The tragedy of such heresy is the theme of the small book of Jude.
Jude grew up in the carpenter’s family of Joseph and Mary. He was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus. He became a leader in the early church and apparently wanted to write a book about what he called “our common salvation.”
But the spread of false doctrine caused him to change subject matter and appeal to God’s people to stay alert, to contend for the truth, and to keep themselves spiritually and theologically strong.
This brief letter divides into three parts.
- The first section exhorts God’s people to contend for the faith.
- The second section warns against destructive teachers.
- The final part urges us to stand firm in truth and love.
According to Jude, we’re to explain and defend the Gospel as best we can while humbly rooted in the knowledge, love, and practice of the truth.
In today’s world, heresy spreads with the click of a button or the turn of a knob. We must follow Jude’s call to be built up in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and to contend earnestly for the integrity of the faith entrusted to the saints.
God’s people must defend the doctrines of the faith by preserving biblical truth, battling heresy, and humbly standing up for the Good News.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).