Summary, Part 4 (final) TWO CONCLUDING QUESTIONS [39:13]. 1. If you have not yet come to Christ for rest, why wait any longer? Christ commands it. Have you no sin to be pardoned? Have you sufficient rest? Have you no sense of unholiness? Have you all the time in the world? Waiting is flirtation with the Devil; it is a death wish. Heed the fearful warning of Heb 4:1. 2. Beloved brethren, are you resting in Christ? Are you still suffering the angst of the problems of this life? If so, come to Christ afresh. Many Christians live beneath their privileges. Do you have unconfessed sin? Could you bear it if Christ approached you at this moment? He will never leave you. If He seems distant, it is because you are distant from Him.
Summary, Part 3 2. Mere knowledge of Christ. Many knew Him during His ministry even followed Him without accepting His invitation. Many even call the unsaved to Him without knowing Him themselves. 2. WHAT THE PROPER RESPONSE IS. 1. Trusting Him for salvation: believing His gospel with spiritual desperation and thirst and abandoning any hope of saving ourselves. 2. A commitment to love Him supremely, and this means a comparative hatred for everything else, even one‚Äôs own life (Lk 14:26). This does not mean hating everything else, but rather loving Christ so much more than anything else. IV. THE PROMISE GIVEN TO ALL WHO ACCEPT THIS INVITATION: ‚ÄúAND I WILL GIVE YOU REST‚ÄĚ [33:58]. Christ gives deliverance from many things: God‚Äôs wrath, the fatal attraction of the world, the fear of the law, the enslavement of the Devil, crippling anxiety, the fear of death, and the dread of damnation and Hell.
Summary, Part 2 b. They are not those who are sick and afflicted. Most in this category know nothing of their spiritual malady. 2. They are certainly not those who think they are better than most people. Jesus‚Äô original audience included many self-righteous individuals. Salvation is not an award. These people tend to despise God‚Äôs people. 3. They are not those who are seeking a boost for their sagging self-esteem. This is contrary to salvation, which begins with repentance. And it is contrary to sanctification, in which one gets smaller as God gets bigger. B. WHAT THE WEARY AND HEAVY LADEN ARE: THEY ARE SENSIBLE SINNERS. They are weary of the sense of their own sin. They know who they are and they know how much they need their savior. The unsaved may hate and regret the consequences of their sins, but not the sins themselves. ‚ÄúWeary‚ÄĚ means worked to the point of exhaustion, and ‚Äúheavy-laden‚ÄĚ means the oppressive weight of a burden. Together, they refer to one who can find no relief and can do nothing for himself. III. THE RESPONSE REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION: ‚ÄúCOME TO ME‚ÄĚ [23:47]. He simply beckons us. He doesn‚Äôt ask us to jump through any hoops. A. WHAT THE PROPER RESPONSE IS NOT. 1. Church requirements. Many come to church without ever coming to Christ.
Summary, Part 1 In Mt 11:28, we learn of an offer that sounds too good to be true for something we desperately need (cf. Jn 6:37). He made the offer after rebuking Israel for rejecting His ministry. I. THE ONE WHO ISSUES THIS INVITATION: ‚ÄúCOME TO ME‚ÄĚ [starting at 5:52 of the audio]. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, who left glory to give Himself for sinners. Humans and their religions mimic this promise falsely. A. JESUS IS ABLE TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. All His promises are ‚Äėyea‚Äô and ‚Äėamen‚Äô in Him. B. JESUS IS WILLING TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. Jesus was willing to heal the leper in Mt 8:3. C. JESUS IS FAITHFUL TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. He keeps His promises. He is the faithful and the true. We can weigh our souls on them. The nature of this offer is that of a gentle savior, but also the command of a sovereign king. He is not just asking; He is exercising His divine right and office to command us to repentance. To disobey is rebellion and eternal damnation. II. THOSE WHO ARE ISSUED THIS INVITATION: ‚ÄúALL WHO ARE WEARY AND HEAVY-LADEN‚ÄĚ [12:57]. A. WHO THE WEARY AND HEAVY-LADEN ARE NOT. 1. They are not those who are necessarily down and out. a. They are not the poor of this world. People can be weary and heavy-laden without being financially destitute.
Summary, Part 5 (final) VII. THE DEACON‚ÄôS REWARD (v. 13) [44:00]. A. The necessary prerequisite for these rewards. Christ honors deacons who serve well. B. The particular identity of these rewards. 1. A high standing. Taking additional steps in standing: in dignity, respectability, and influence in the church. 2. Great confidence. He takes delight in the blessings of doing a good job. C. The spiritual sphere of these rewards. In the faith that is in Christ Jesus, who came to give and to serve.
Summary, Part 4 V. THE DEACON‚ÄôS WIFE (v. 11) [34:21]. The church as the right to scrutinize the candidate‚Äôs marriage. A. Her identity. This specifically refers to the wives of deacons. B. Her characteristics. 1. She must be dignified. She must be a serious woman characterized by gravity and must carry herself as such. 2. She must not be a slanderer. The Greek word here for ‚Äėslanderers‚Äô is ‚Äėdiabolous‚Äô, from which we get ‚Äėdevil‚Äô. A slanderous wife is that bad. 3. She must be temperate. She must be self-controlled. 4. She must be faithful in all things. She must guard herself from temptation and be willing to do good. VI. THE DEACON‚ÄôS HOME (v. 12) [40:30]. A. A deacon must demonstrate marital fidelity. He must have only one woman in his heart and bed, and they must be the same woman. B. A deacon must demonstrate prudent family management. 1. Ruling his children well. He must love and discipline his children in the Lord and carry weight in their consciences when they‚Äôre older, as a godly influence. 2. Ruling his house well. Pandemonium must not characterize his home. It should be pleasant without being permissive, and structured without being stifling.
Summary, Part 3 F. A deacon must be sober (1 Tim 3:8c). He does not need to be a teetotaler, but he cannot be a drunkard. One who serves his own lusts cannot serve others and cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. G. A deacon must be financially content (1 Tim 3:8d). A covetous man is an idolater, and he neither can enter the Kingdom of God. He must be a man of trust. H. A deacon must be consistent regarding the truth (1 Tim 3:9). 1. By continually believing the truth: holding to the mystery of the faith. The truth must have a grip upon him. 2. By continually living the truth. He holds the faith with a clear conscience. He lives consciously in the eye of God. His qualifications do not necessary include success in business, leadership, popularity, or charisma, or seniority. IV. THE DEACON‚ÄôS EXAMINATION (v. 10) [30:11]. A. The necessary prerequisite of testing (1 Tim 3:10a). The church has the responsibility of evaluating candidates. It is not a formal examination, but a holy scrutiny. B. The subsequent result of testing (1 Tim 3:10b). ‚ÄúLet them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.‚ÄĚ C. The practical reason for testing (1 Tim 3:10c). To confirm that he is beyond reproach.
Summary, Part 2 C. The men chosen by the church were officially ordained in their office by the leaders of the church (v. 6). Notice three characteristics of this: that the prayer of the apostles flowed from Jesus Christ, that the laying on of hands symbolized the chain of church authority, and that the laying on of hands highlights the sacredness of their work. III. THE DEACON‚ÄôS CHARACTER (Acts 6:3, 1 Tim 3:8-9) [13:55]. A. A deacon must possess a good reputation (Acts 6:3). He must be known as an honest man of integrity. B. A deacon must be full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3). His salvation must be evident; he must be known to be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh, and he must demonstrate Its gifts. C. A deacon must be full of wisdom (Acts 6:3). This is not to be confused with conventional wisdom, but rather is filled with biblical wisdom. He must show an obvious love of God‚Äôs people, especially the poorest and neediest. D. A deacon must be dignified (1 Tim 3:8a). He must be a serious, sober man, not a frivolous, trivial one. E. A deacon must not be double-tongued (1 Tim 3:8b). Paul here means one who says one thing to one person and another to another person: handling people evenly. Deacons must be men of their word.
Summary, Part 1 I. THE DEACON‚ÄôS NEED (OR THE CHURCH‚ÄôS NEED FOR DEACONS) (ACTS 6:1-6) [starting at 4:23 of the audio]. A. Deacons are needed to take care of the church‚Äôs temporal necessities (v. 1). The Hellenist Christians were feeling neglected. B. Deacons are needed to enable the elders to carry out their pastoral duties. Though not beneath their dignity to serve, the disciples saw that their preaching duties had suffered (vv. 2, 4). II. THE DEACON‚ÄôS SELECTION (Acts 6:3-5) [8:48]. A. The leaders of the church articulated the essential qualifications necessary for the church‚Äôs choice of deacons (v. 3). They must be men, they must have observable spiritual qualifications, and they must be qualified for certain duties of the church. B. The members of the church then selected men who possessed those essential qualifications for their work (v. 5). The whole congregation approved of the counsel of the elders, chose the men necessary to serve their needs, brought them to the apostles (seven of them, perhaps one for each day of the week).
Summary, Part 5 (final) PRACTICAL OBSERVATION [48:45]: beware of any teacher who denies the abiding authority of the Ten Commandments as the Christian‚Äôs rule of life. Rom 6:15, Titus 2:11-14 are strong refutations of this idea. ii. THEY DENY CHRIST‚ÄôS PERSON AND WORK [50:16]. They deny four aspects of His person and work: His absolute sovereignty, reducing His divinity; His lordship, denying His divine honor and distinction; His saving mission, denying His holiness; His messiahship, robbing Him of His prophetic, priestly, and regal offices. iii. THEY TEACH RELIGIOUS PLURALISM [53:42]. ‚Äú‚Ä¶and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.‚ÄĚ Cf. Acts 4:12. CONCLUSION. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Is He your sovereign, lord, savior, and master? Is he prophet, priest and king? If you have not the whole Christ, you have not Christ.
Summary, Part 4 4. It is ungodliness to not trust in God‚Äôs absolute sovereignty in all things. To do this robs God of His rightful honor. b. THEIR PRACTICE [41:12]. They ‚Äúpervert the grace of our God into sensuality...‚ÄĚ There is no higher crime than this. As theological error leads to practical error, heretical doctrine paves the way for a wicked life. Jude charges them with the following: i. THEY TEACH ANTINOMIANISM: ‚Äúagainst law‚ÄĚ. It teaches that God‚Äôs law has no authority for the Christian, who lives in grace. This leads to licentiousness: living without moral restraint. Wherever this word is used in Scripture, it describes the behavior of godless pagans living out of the flesh and not out of the Holy Spirit. In Jude‚Äôs day, Gnosticism was already taking form. One of its leading doctrines was an absolute dichotomy of body and soul; that the body could engage in wickedness without harming the soul. They supplemented this with the false conclusion that since all things belong to Christ, all things are good; therefore, all things should be enjoyed.
Summary, Part 3 5. Heresies and errors do not happen by chance, but are according the certain preordination and foreknowledge of God. Nothing comes to pass apart from or against God‚Äôs will. Though God ordains evil, He is free from sin. Though He decrees sin, He does not cause it. Sin is a violation of His moral law, which is His revealed will, yet He decreed it from His secret will. 4. THEIR PORTRAYAL AND PRACTICE [33:04]. a. THEIR PORTRAYAL. They are ungodly persons, ‚Äėunworshipers‚Äô of God. There was no fear of God before their eyes. See verses 15 and 18. PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS [35:43]: 1. Ignorance is a part of ungodliness. 3 Jn 11 ‚Äď what we think about God is the most important thing about us; it demonstrates whether we are godly or ungodly. Though the Samaritans worshiped what they did not know, Jesus condemned them. God only accepts worship in TRUTH. Cf. 2 Thes 1:7-8. Ignorance of God is not innocent. 2. It is ungodly to not depend upon God. Trust and dependence on God are the essence of godliness. Self-trust and self-esteem rule out God. Trust and dependence in something other than God is idolatry. 3. It is ungodliness to trust in providence without trusting in the God who provides all things. Chance, luck, ritual, and material things should not command our trust.
Summary, Part 2 So Jude is not speaking here of some stated prophecy (which is only a revelation of God‚Äôs eternal decree), but of the fact that God decreed all that comes to pass. b. THEIR CONDEMNATION [20:07]. What is this condemnation? God decreed that these men would rise up and test the church. They are fully responsible because they do it willingly. Their damnation is just. Yet God‚Äôs people can find blessing in this: the forewarning of His word, which furthers our sanctification. PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS [25:35]: 1. Observe that the objects of God‚Äôs decrees are not only men‚Äôs ways, but men‚Äôs persons. Many Christians deny the latter since they deny the doctrines of election. 2. Observe from the words ‚Äėordained‚Äô or ‚Äėforewritten‚Äô that God has His books and registers in which the being, behaviors, and eternal state of all men are recorded. These are the books of Rev 20:12. Recorded is all we do (Jer 17:1), say (Mal 3:16), and think (1 Cor 4:5). 3. Observe that in all those things that pertain to the judgment of sinners, God does nothing rashly, but proceeds by foresight and foreordination. He does everything purposefully, according to His will. 4. No man ever perverts God‚Äôs truth but to his own loss. Men‚Äôs sins find them out.
Summary, Part 1 We continue in part II. JUDE‚ÄôS CONCERN FOR HIS CHRISTIAN READERS (vv. 3-4), section C. JUDE‚ÄôS CONCERN FOR HIS READERS LED HIM TO IDENTIFY DANGEROUS APOSTATES THAT HAD ENTERED THE CHURCH (v. 4), and move along this week to point 3. THEIR PREDICTION BY GOD (v. 4) [starting at 6:12 of the audio]. As dangerous as these teachers are, they should not surprise us. They were marked out by Scripture long ago.
a. THEIR ANTICIPATION. ‚ÄúBeforehand marked out‚ÄĚ comes from a Greek word meaning ‚Äúwritten beforehand‚ÄĚ. It is an interesting word. It is a perfect tense participle, meaning that though it was stated in the past, it applies today. It is also in the passive voice, meaning that the writing was accomplished due to an outside force or guidance (cf. 2 Pet 1:21). Commentators struggle with two questions here: when was this marked out, and who uttered these condemnations? Many suggest that it came from biblical books that predate Jude, but that falls short of the obvious answer: that God decreed it before time by His own counsel, as He decreed everything else (Eph 1:11, 2 Thes 2:13, Prov 8:22, 2 Pet 2:1-3). In Rom 9:22, Paul poses the question that supports this truth.
Summary, Part 4 (final) APPLICATIONS [36:57]. 1. We cannot be faithful to Christ and to His church if we do not contend for the faith, the gospel, and the common salvation. Christian faithfulness is not for the faint of heart. Acceptance of the truth is the trying need of the hour. Contending faith is neither contentious nor focused on secondary matters (Bible versions, eschatology, etc.) 2. Contending for the faith involves committing ourselves to Christ and to the essential truths of His word no matter the consequences. Those who don‚Äôt stand for something fall for anything, and this includes plenty of Christians.
Summary, Part 3 (final) 4. They attract those not satisfied with the old paths of biblical Christianity, but instead have an itch for novelty [34:27]. They think outside the box of divine revelation, and they attract the modern counterpart of those at Mars Hill. But their novelties are simply old heresies; they are simply ignorant of church history. 5. They work hard at making orthodox pastors appear ignorant and backward in an attempt to turn their people‚Äôs affections away from them. 2 Cor 10:10 ‚Äď ad hominem arguments the wolves used against Paul at Corinth. 6. They give the highest acclaim and honor imaginable to others who hold their opinions. Misery loves company. They not only attack the godly, but uphold the heretic. And they actually use the Bible to support themselves (cf. Rom 16:18). TWO CLOSING ADMONITIONS [40:36]. 1. Just because such men insinuate themselves into Christ‚Äôs churches does not mean that God‚Äôs people should abandon the institution of the local church. They are to be exposed and driven out. We don‚Äôt throw all our money away just because there is some counterfeit out there. 2. We should be watchful and on our guard against such men in our day for they are many and dangerous. A little poison can kills, and a little lie can damn.
Summary, Part 2 2. CONSIDER THEIR PENETRATION INTO THE CHURCH [16:25]. ‚ÄúCrept in unnoticed‚ÄĚ is derived from a Greek word that means ‚Äėto steal in‚Äô. These men in Jude entered uninvited. They were never ones who shared the hearts of God‚Äôs people, but rather were only pretenders. Good men do their deeds in the light, but evil does them under the cover of darkness, be it literal or moral (cf. 2 Pet 2:1). PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS [26:18]. 1. We should expect that false teachers will conceal their heretical views for a time until they gain converts to their unorthodox doctrines and perverse practices. 2. These false teachers may not be easy to detect and identify at first because they may sound quite orthodox. They imitate the voice of Christ, the one His people hear. Just as their guilt by association, there is also justification by association. 3. Many find them appealing because they preach doctrines that are pleasing to fallen human nature. They advocate unrestricted carnality (cf. 2 Pet 2:18, Is 30:10).
Summary, Part 1 II. JUDE‚ÄôS CONCERN FOR HIS CHRISTIAN READERS (vv. 3-4). C. JUDE‚ÄôS CONCERN FOR HIS READERS LED HIM TO IDENTIFY DANGEROUS APOSTATES THAT HAD ENTERED THE CHURCH (V. 4) [starting at 4:18 of the audio]. 1. CONSIDER THEIR PERSONS. a. JUDE‚ÄôS REFERENCE TO THEM AS ‚ÄúCERTAIN PERSONS‚ÄĚ UNDERSCORES THE AGGRAVATION OF THEIR SIN. He didn‚Äôt name names here. They weren‚Äôt demons, they were men. They were to be their brothers‚Äô keepers, not their injurers. b. JUDE‚ÄôS REFERENCE TO THEM AS ‚ÄúCERTAIN PERSONS‚ÄĚ EMPHASIZES THEIR DANGER TO CHRISTIANS. They are wolves in sheep‚Äôs clothing. They won‚Äôt announce what they really are. PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS [9:30]. 1. Sin has made man a harmful creature. Man has become his own enemy. Sin makes us brutes. 2. We should not be content to be mere men, but godly men. Our greatest aim for success is to be successful Christians. That is our calling. 3. We should beware those who are but natural men and not spiritual men. Ministry does not make a minister. Seminary education, eloquence, and skill can actually enhance one‚Äôs ability to do harm. 4. Satan delights to use men to carry on his evil work among men. Ultimately, they are of their father, the Devil.
Summary, Part 3 B. JUDE‚ÄôS CONCERN FOR HIS READERS LED HIM TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT OF HIS LETTER (v. 3) [27:00]. 1. HE FELT KEENLY HIS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO ADDRESS ANOTHER MATTER. He could not do otherwise and remain true to Jesus Christ, his brethren, and his readers. 2. HE WAS COMPELLED TO EXHORT HIS READERS TO CONTEND FOR THE CHRISTIAN FAITH [30:14]. ‚ÄúWhich was once for all delivered to the saints.‚ÄĚ a. CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH INVOLVES A DETERMINED, STRENUOUS CONFLICT. See 1 Tim 6:12, 4:7. The Greek word for contend means to agonize, to fight. 1) This conflict will be arduous. 2) This conflict will be continuous. You engage yourself in it. 3) This conflict will become very severe. Many of our fighters become martyrs, as have many who did nothing more than stand in the faith. 4) This conflict should be universal. It is to be engaged by all Christians.
Summary, Part 2 a. HE EMPHASIZES THE SAMENESS OF SALVATION FOR ALL CHRISTIANS: ‚ÄėOUR COMMON SALVATION‚Äô. Salvation is in the one sense uncommonly wonderful, but all who receive it receive the same salvation; we have the same Father, bear the same Holy Spirit, grow in grace, and continue to glory. b. HE IMPLIES THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION FOR ALL CHRISTIANS. We always need to be reminded of the wonders of our salvation (cf. 2 Pet 1:12-15). APPLICATIONS [22:08]: 1. Understand how important it is for you to thoroughly understand the doctrines of Scripture, especially the doctrine of salvation. Many Christians‚Äô understanding of the gospel is actually their Achilles‚Äô heel. Doctrine doesn‚Äôt divide: truth unites, error divides. 2. Therefore do not disdain, but instead appreciate the re-emphasis of crucial truths you receive from this pulpit. If Jude and Peter needed to repeat the truth of the gospel to their people, what makes us any different? Yes, some learn a biblical, exegetic message because it hits hard, but it should. And a Christian understands that and is grateful for it.