Selected Studies from Jude Part 3: An Exposition of Jude 17-23 -- By: D. Edmond Hiebert

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 142:568 (Oct 1985)
Article: Selected Studies from Jude Part 3: An Exposition of Jude 17-23
Author: D. Edmond Hiebert


Selected Studies from Jude
Part 3:
An Exposition of Jude 17-23

D. Edmond Hiebert

[D. Edmond Hiebert, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California]

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude 17–23).

Following the opening salutation (vv. 1–2), Jude explained that his letter was prompted by the intrusion of immoral persons into the churches (vv. 3–4). Before beginning his own denunciation of these evil men, Jude assured his readers of God’s judgment on such individuals by citing three examples of His incisive judgment on aggressive evildoers in the past (vv. 5–7). Jude’s sustained denunciation of the present apostates is given in verses 8–16. But Jude’s pastoral heart was concerned with not only denouncing the apostates but also supporting and strengthening the saints amid apostasy. In verses 17–23 he offered three major directives to equip his readers to understand and effectively combat the situation.

Jude called on his beloved readers to have an awareness of apostasy as foretold by the apostles (vv. 17–19), to foster their own spiritual maturity for security amid apostasy (vv. 20–21), and to act savingly toward those who have been contaminated by the apostates (vv. 22–23).

The Exhortation to Awareness of Apostasy

“But you, beloved,” (ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀγαπητοί) marks Jude’s shift from his sustained denunciation of the apostates (vv. 8–16) to his loving exhortations to the faithful members of the chur...

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