Although written nearly two thousand years ago, how relevant is Jude! False teaching still abounds inside the church. Paige tells how when she was ten, her older brother got her to watch “When A Stranger Calls,” the story of a babysitter who gets repetitive calls from a deep-voiced stranger asking:
“Have you checked the children?”
When the police trace the call they tell her it is coming from
INSIDE THE HOUSE!
How like the true story Alyssa Childers tells of her own pastor inviting her to attend a special class he was teaching for select members of his congregation that would be like getting a seminary degree. It turns out it was to lead them away from orthodox Christianity to progressive Christianity — progressing beyond the blood, beyond the cross. This teaching was coming from inside the church!
Jude uses vivid metaphors to describe these teachers:
What I have seen in many churches is that the lie is hidden amidst truths — making the lies indeed “hidden reefs.” Many churches emphasize the 2nd greatest commandment, to love our neighbor, but loving God is forgotten. Yet unless we know how deeply God loves us (as demonstrated by the blood, the cross…) we do not have the power to love our neighbor. This is “diluted” Christianity that has no power: clouds without water. Her closing example was wonderful — when we understand the depth of God’s love and love Him back — it’s everything and affects every part and every hour of our life. As Lewis said:
Our study on Jude will last through Saturday, March 19th, and then we will return to Sundays, having three weeks to celebrate the holiest time of the Christian calendar.
To prepare your heart for the truths we must cling to, here is Rich Mullens with Creed:
Thursday: Definition of Who We Are as Believers
Icebreaker: In the opening of Dee’s blog and in Paige’s lecture, she references the movie “When A Stranger Calls.” What point was being made? Why must we be aware of this? Have you ever experienced this threat “inside the church?” Explain.
Listen a little more than fifteen minutes when she tells you to underline “the faith” in verse 3.
Paige’s opening reference to 1 Corinthians 9:5 was fascinating to me, first because I had really never noticed this reference to the Lord’s brothers, and because of a recent discussion I had with a Catholic sister who believes Mary was a perpetual virgin and therefore Jesus did not have brothers, but brothers in Christ. I imagine those who hold to this view still hold to that interpretation with this verse — but take a look at it.
1. What does 1 Corinthians 9:5 say and how do you interpret “the Lord’s brothers” and why?
2. Read Jude 1-2
A. How does Jude describe himself in verse 1? Comments?
B. What do you learn about yourself as a child of God from verse 1?
C. What does Jude pray we will realize according to verse 2?
3. What else stands out to you from this opening?
Friday: Duty and Danger Reported
Listen for about another 15 minutes through the John Piper quote.
4. Read Jude 3-4
A. What kind of letter did Jude want to write, but what did he need to write and why?
B. Find everything you can about people who have and still do secretly slip in among us to advance false teaching.
5. What was her point about underlining “the faith?” What is he talking about?
6. Faith told a story about a disgruntled ex-attender of her church who complained that all the pastor talked about was Jesus. Her point? How often do the pastors and the teachers in your church talk about Jesus and what He has done for us?
7. Paige said we are more likely to get upset when our own reputation is attacked when Jesus or gospel truths are attacked. Thoughts?
8. Comment on the C. S. Lewis quote: “Christianity if true is of utmost importance, if false, of importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
9. What was her point with her story of the scary movie: “When a Stranger Calls?”
10. She quoted John Piper: “Whenever the promised security of God is used to justify going a-wall, we must expect a traitor in the land.” Can you give an example of this and why it would signify a “traitor?”
Saturday: Finishing Danger Reported
Listen for about another ten minutes until she goes through the story of the young woman coming to her and saying “Tell me something true.” She closes with a quote: “Real faith always gives us more reason for obedience, not less.”
11. This section brought so many illustrations to my mind, of those who truly may be Christians but justify sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage or outside of God’s definition of marriage) or spending extravagantly, or being racist by twisting Scripture. Can you think of an example where you were deceived or deceived yourself so you could do what you want? (Paige said this section is more a “life” denial than a “verbal denial.”
12. According to verses 4 and 17, what are some of the characteristics of false teaching? (This reminded me of Paige’s lecture in James on selective obedience.)
13. She had our culture is different, but our faith is not. Standards have changed for modesty, humor, lust…She said the great danger is not walking away but changing the truth, reading and talking to people so you can justify doing what you want. Where are you or your children particularly challenged by this culture? Give an example and then put it up to the plumbline of Scripture. How should this help you decide what God would have you do? Be specific and personal.
14. What was her point with the young girl who came and said “I’m done — tell me something true.”
God Hunt Sunday
15. How have you experienced, as Brennan Manning puts it, “the risenness of Christ” in your life this week?
Monday: Destruction Recounted & Diagnosis Revealed
Listen up to “Thirdly you’ve got the diagnosis – it all sounds sort of crazy and Old Testament to us.”
16. Read Jude 5-18
A. Jude gives 6 scriptural examples of people who were not living according to the truth they had been given and experienced judgment. (Verses 5-7 and 11) List them. (For those on my blog – -we will go more deeply into this later in the week.)
B. Then Jude gives two apocryphal examples in verses 8-10 and 14-15. What are they? How did Paige explain “apocryphal?”
Both the Jewish Torah and the Catholic Bible have a separate section called the “apocrypha” which, in biblical literature, refers to works outside an accepted canon of Scripture, or books that were known from the beginning as sacred. The history of the term’s usage indicates that it referred to a body of esoteric writings that were at first prized, later tolerated, and finally excluded.
C. What metaphors are given in verses 12-13 to describe false teaching? Take one and meditate on it and share what you see.
D. What are we to remember from the apostles’ teaching? (17-18)
17. What stood out to you from Paige’s teaching on this section?
Tuesday: Discipline: But You!
Listen to the end, but I’ll divide the questions into two days.
18. How would you answer Paige’s question: “What are you doing in your life with the Lord right now that you were not doing two years ago?
19. Read Jude 19-22 and list the things we are to do to persevere.
20. Are you “residing in His love?” Give a specific example if you are.
21. She quotes Piper who says we talk about a prayer life but what about a life prayer? What is the most important thing we can ask for ourselves? Is this your most frequent prayer?
22. What stood out to you from her section on how we are to respond with mercy?
23. Meditate on what many consider to be the most beautiful doxology in Scripture. What do you see?
24. What was her closing example? Point?
25. What is your take-a-way and why?
Thursday through Saturday (Optional — but hope the bloggers will continue!)
26. Look again at Jude 5-7 and comment on how their disobedience led to judgment.
A. Israelites delivered from Egypt (Numbers 14:26-35)
B. Rebellious angels (Luke 10:18 and 2 Peter 2:4)
C. Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:23-26)
27. Look again at Jude 11
A. What is the way of Cain? (Genesis 4) How was he judged?
B. What was Balaam’s error? (Numbers 22 and Revelation 21:8)
C. What was Korah’s rebellion? (Numbers 16:1-40)
28. Where do you tend to take God lightly and rebel? How could you pray for your heart here? Could this be a life prayer?