Apostasy According To Jude -- By: William F. Kerr

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 02:4 (Winter 1959)
Article: Apostasy According To Jude
Author: William F. Kerr

Apostasy According To Jude

William F. Kerr

©Baptist Publications, Inc., 1959


While there is considerable disagreement among teachers as to the Jude who wrote the book, there need not be any reason why one should reject the traditional view that it was written by Jude who was the brother of our Lord. He identifies himself as Jude, the brother of James, and James had identified himself in his letter as the brother of Jesus. This leads us to say that this last letter of the General Epistles was from the pen of one who shared .the home of our Lord in Nazareth. But, like his brother James, he evidently did not come to know Christ until after the resurrection.

1. The Servant

Jude introduces himself in a rather unique way and one which displays a genuine humility. The title of servant is not an unusual one in the New Testament. It was chosen by most of the apostles to describe their relationship to Christ. While in the ancient world it signified a slave and thus meant one who had no possessions of his own and so could have no plans or ambitions of his own and therefore no will of his own, yet it was a word dignified by its application to Christ. He was the servant of God—the bond slave—one who surrendered His will to do the Father’s will. As Paul says, Christ “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). Such condescension! From that moment on the word servant or slave was endowed with a meaning that it never before possessed. It would now mean that the Creator of the universe, the Lord and Master of all things, was not ashamed to be called a servant and thus His followers in true humility, like unto His, could also be called servants—His servants. This means, of course, that we surrender our will to His, our plans and desires to His. For out of servanthood should come an exaltation to be His co-rulers and co-heirs.

As the term is used by Jude, it has an even deeper significance. It portrays a humility born of the Spirit of God. He was related to the Saviour and could have claimed a superiority to the other leaders of the church, but did not do so. Perhaps that is why it is significant that he did not appreciate those apostates who admired men’s persons for their own profit (v. 16). How much farther ahead the church would be if we but hid ourselves behind the cross of Christ and sought through self-denial and selflessness to exalt Him only.

2. The Saints

Jude addresses himself to the saints of God who have three characteristics: they are the call...

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