Verses 22-25–Conclusion of Jude

(Verses 22-25)

Jude now gives us his last admonition before he gives his closing benediction.  He now reminds us believers of our duty toward those around us, and especially those who have been influenced by the troublemakers in the church. The exhortations contained in these verses refer to the conduct of believers toward those who are exposed to seduction by the “ungodly men” (asebeis), verse 4,  not toward the false teachers themselves

“And of some have compassion, making a difference:
There really is no break in Jude’s flow of thought between verses 21-23.  No true believer can really escape these instructions concerning personal witness

“And of some have compassion,”
  Literally:  “And truly pity some”

The idea is that they were to approach them in the gentlest manner, appealing to them by such words as love would prompt. Others were to be approached in a different manner, indicated by the phrase, “save with fear,” The ones to whom pity (Greek–eleeite) was to be shown referred to here, and in whose conversion and salvation tender compassion was to be employed, appear to have been the timid, the gentle, the unwary; those who had not yet fallen into dangerous errors, but who might be exposed to them; those, for there are such, who would be more likely to be influenced by kind words and a gentle manner than by denunciation. The direction then amounts to this, that while we are to seek to save all, we are to adapt ourselves wisely to the character and circumstances of those whom we seek to save.

           OF SOME:  (hous)-Those who have been bewildered as to truth and duty, or seduced in terror and sin.  Those who are perverted by these seducers, erring only through infirmity, and in lesser points. 

1.     Some that are wavering in judgment, staggered by others' or by their own evil reasoning, endeavor more deeply to convince of the whole truth as it is in Jesus.
2.     Some snatch, with a swift and strong hand, out of the fire of sin and temptation.
3.     On others show compassion in a milder and gentler way; though still with a jealous fear, lest yourselves be infected with the disease you endeavor to cure.  See, therefore, that while you love the sinners, ye retain the utmost abhorrence of their sins, and of any the least degree of, or approach to, them.–John Wesley’s Notes

Understand this important point:  although reproofs are to be given to backsliders, yet must  they be given in compassion, and with holy grief.

HAVE COMPASSION:  (eleeite)–Treat with lenience, and endeavor to reclaim, in a mild and gentle way, by the winning method of persuasion.  In v. 15 this same root word is rendered as “convict”. 

We are to show compassion on such when they are in doubt when they are in doubt; or when they contend with you; or when they separate from you. The first seems best, though the second also makes excellent sense, and has verse 9 in its favor. This, then, is the first and least hopeless and convicted of error and reclaimed:

          “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:  if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matt. 18:15; Titus 1:13).
        “This witness is true.  Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).
        “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins”  (James 5:20).

    “…of some have compassion. That is, of such who have gone astray, being drawn aside; who are simple and ignorant, and out of the way; who sin through infirmity, and the force of temptation; and who are tractable and open to conviction, and whose mistakes are in lesser matters of religion; as also such who are convicted and wounded in their consciences for their sins and mistakes: and to these compassion is to be shown, by praying with them, and for them, with ardency and affection; instructing them in meekness; giving friendly and brotherly reproofs to them; expressing on all occasions a tender concern for their good; doing them all the good that can be done, both for their souls and bodies: and good reason there is why compassion should be shown them, because God is a God of compassion…”–Gill’s Exposition

“Making a difference:”
  Literally:  “making a distinction”

         Jude makes two sorts of offenders, or misled brethren, who might be restored; and that they might, they should be dealt with in different ways, and suitably to their respective conditions and circumstances; the former, who might be discouraged with roughness, should be handled with more tenderness and compassion.
        Make a difference between them and others that are more guilty and stubborn.  This means making a distinction between them, not in regard to your desires for their salvation, or your efforts to win them, but to the manner in which it is done.  This means using some more tenderly, others more severely, as the nature and circumstances of their case appear to be.  The general meaning of this exhortation is supposed to be that “You are not to deal alike with all those who have been seduced by false teachers; i.e., you are to make a difference between those who have been led away by weakness and not thinking, and those who, in the pride and arrogance of their hearts, and their unwillingness to submit to wholesome discipline, have separated themselves from the Church, and become its enemies.”
         To be able to do this is one of the highest qualifications to be sought by one who endeavors to save souls, and is indispensable for a good minister of the gospel. The young, the tender, the delicate, the refined, these  need a different kind of treatment from the rough, the uncultivated, the hardened. This wisdom was shown by the Savior in all his preaching; it was eminent in the preaching of Paul.    

“And others save with fear, pulling {them} out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

            “And others save with fear,”
            Literally:  “But save others with fear”

            Meaning by using appeals adapted to produce fear. The idea seems to be that the arguments on which they relied were to be drawn from the dangers of the persons referred to, or from the dread of future wrath. Instilling in them the fear of a sinner’s hell is often used toward such. It is undoubtedly true, that while there is a class of persons who can be won to embrace faith by mild and gentle persuasion, there is another class who can be aroused only by the terrors of the law. Such may be won by meeting them with sharp admonitions and severe language; by denouncing the awful judgments of God, which threaten them; or by inflicting on them church censures in a terrible manner (by using church discipline); by declaring the terrors of the Lord, and of hell, and of everlasting damnation: Every method is to be employed, in its proper place, that we “by all means may save some.”
          Many a one could have been saved from wrong thinking or actions if someone had only spoken to them in time.  We may hesitate to speak, but there are times when silence is just an act of cowardice on our part and as a result of this, great harm has been caused.  One of the saddest statements to be heard from one is, “I might have never been in the mess I am in now if some-one (perhaps meaning you, Christian) had only spoken to me.”      

         “pulling {them} out of the fire;”
         Literally:  “snatching {them} out of the fire”

         Just like you would snatch a person out of the fire; or as you would take hold of a person who was walking into a volcano. Then, a man would not use the mild and gentle language of persuasion, but by word and gesture show that he was deeply in earnest.
         There are those who must be argued out of their error while there is still time.  We must be prepared to speak at all times. These are those who have to be snatched from the fire.  There are those to whom we must show pity and fear, often at the same time.  All us believers must realize that there are those who are flirting with falsehoods. The cults are very active spreading their demonic false teachings.  Many hearers of these cultic teachings are on the brink of committing themselves to such erroneous doctrines, but they have not yet taken that final step into these errors.

            “hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
            Literally:  “hating even the garment having been stained from flesh.”

Jude may here be referring back to the regulations of Lev. 13:47-52, where it is told that the garment worn by a person discovered to be suffering from leprosy is to be burned.  Like you would despise a garment that had been stained by body fluids taken from a decaying, putrefying smelling body or even stained with dried blood.  The old saying that “we must love the sinner but hate the sin” still stands true.  Keep in mind, however, that  before a man can rescue others, he must himself be strong in the faith.  He must first have his feet firmly planted on dry land before he can throw a life preserver to a man who is about to be swept away in the under tow.  He who would win others for Christ must himself be sure of Him, (be well grounded in the faith) and those who would fight the disease of sin must themselves have the strong antiseptic of a healthy faith.  Remember:  he who would cure an infectious disease runs the risk of infection himself.  Any physician can tell you that.  Christians in their conversing with erroneous or vicious persons, whom they are attempting to recover, should take great care that they themselves not become corrupted nor debauched by them; they being only to deal with them as physicians, not as companions.


 “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present {you} faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, {be} glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen.”

            “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling”
            Literally:  “Now to Him being able to keep you without stumbling”

After having just written of the trouble makers of  his own warnings, denunciations, and exhortations in the church which have been most severe, Jude turns in joyous, exulting confidence to Him Who alone can make them effectual,  “to keep you, or, guard you.”  To keep us from turning truth and duty into error and sin. In all efforts for our own good and that of others we should depend for success wholly upon the grace of God, Who is able to save us from sin and to keep us from falling back into it.  To the one Who alone can preserve you from the contagion of sin, and preserve you from falling into any kind of error that might be prejudicial to the interests of your souls, and thus to present you faultless.  Keep you from stumbling into any of these errors or sins mentioned in this epistle.  This phrase might also read, to Him being able to keep you “unfallen.”

            WHO IS ABLE:  (dunammenôi)–Literally:  “being able.”  Three times in the N.T. we find praise given to “the God who is able.”  In Rom. 16:25 Paul gives praise to the God Who is able to strengthen us.  In Eph. 3:20 Paul praised the God Who is able to do far more than we can ever ask.  Here Jude gives praise to the God Who is able to keep us from slipping.

            TO KEEP:  (phylaxai)–Literally: “to guard; protect; guard against.”  The phrase “to keep from falling” means here to preserve from falling into sin, from yielding to temptation, and dishonoring their Christian faith. The risk of falling or stumbling, as it rather means, is great. Only the omnipotence of God can “keep” them from it or protect them against it, the word for “keeping”  being one which expresses the idea of “guarding.”

             FROM FALLING:  (aptaistous)–This Greek word occurs nowhere else in N.T.  It literally means, “without stumbling” as of a horse; then “without falling into sin, or blameless.”  It is only God Who, amidst the temptations of the world, can keep us from falling; but, blessed be His name!  He can do it, and if we trust in Him He will do it!

“to present {you} faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,”        
Literally:  “to set {you} before His glory without blemish with exultation;”

            That is, in His own presence, when he shall be revealed in all His glory.

      PRESENT: (stêsai)–This literally means to “set one up” or “make one stand.” 

      FAULTLESS:  (anômos)–This is generally used as a sacrificial word; and it is basically used of an animal that is without spot or blemish and by so being is fit to be sacrificed to God.  When we do submit ourselves to God, His grace can make our lives nothing less than a sacrifice fit to be offered to Him.  This word is the same which is rendered “unblamable” in Col. 1:22–“…you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in {your} mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable (anômos) and unreprovable in His sight” (Col. 1:21-22).                                                                                     

When a Christian does stumble, it is not because God has failed him, for He is able and willing to keep us upright in our Christian walk.  Know this:  if we honor the Word of God, and meditate on it day and night (“chew the cud”–Psalm 1:2) it becomes the walking staff in our hand.  We stumble when we fail to do this.

        GLORY:  (doxês)–What is being referred to here is the glory that of the last day, when Christ, to whom all judgment is committed, returns to execute that judgment in His own glory and that of his Father.

           “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and {in His}
Father’s…” (Luke 9:26).

            “looking for {that} blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

          “the presence of His glory”
           Literally:  “before His glory”

Where nothing can stand that does not resemble Himself, with exceeding great joy, in finding yourselves eternally out of the reach of the possibility of falling, and for having now arrived at an eternity of happiness.

          “with exceeding joy”
           Literally:  “with exultation”

With “exultation" as of those who leap for joy.  With the abounding joy that they are redeemed; that they are rescued from sorrow, sin, and death, and that heaven is to be their eternal home. Who now can form an adequate idea of the happiness of that hour?

            “To the only wise God our Savior”
            Literally:  “To the only wise God our Savior”

          Paul uses a phrase much similar to this in I Tim. 1:17–“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God…”  The word, “wise” (sophôi) is omitted in many of the best manuscripts.   
         Jude is not here referring to the Trinity of Persons (the Godhead) in general, nor the Father in particular; but to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truly God, though not to the exclusion of the Father and Spirit; and is the wisdom of God, and the author of all wisdom, natural and spiritual; and is the only Savior of His people.

SAVIOR:  (sôtêr)–Who has by his blood washed us from our sins, and made us kings and priests unto God the Father.  Sôtêr is used of God the Father eight times in the N.T., six of them in the Pastoral Epistles. Although the word “Savior” may be appropriately applied to God as such, because He is the great Author of salvation, it is commonly applied to the Lord Jesus Christ.  That it should be applied here to the Lord Jesus no one can certainly deny.

            {be} glory and majesty, dominon and power”
            Literally:  {be} glory and majesty, might and authority”

This phrase, “glory and majesty,” was also used by Paul and Peter.

    “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, {be} honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen” (I Tim. 1:17).

     “…that God in all {things} be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever” (I Pet. 4:11).

      “To Him {be} glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen”  I Pet. 5:11).

                        GLORY:  (doxês)—To Him be ascribed all light, excellence, and splendor.

MAJESTY:   (megalôsunê)—And majesty; or, magnificence, (Hebrews 1:3 8:1): it seems to signify the height and excellency of God’s glory. 

        The four words are brought together as expressing the aggregate of the Omnipotence of God. In all our affections and aspirations, may God always be supreme; in all the sin and woe which overtakes us and overwhelms us here below, may we always look forward with strong desire to the time when His dominion shall be set up over all the earth.  
        In all our own sins and sorrows, let us always look onward to the time when in a purer and happier world His reign may be set up over our own souls, and when we may cast every crown at His feet and say:

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created all {things} and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

    “And after these {things} I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia, Salvation and glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God’” (Rev. 19:1).  

           DOMINION:  (exouousia)–All rule and government in the world and in the Church, in earth and in heaven.  The  Greek word rendered as “dominion(exouousia) expresses the “power of authority.”  It is common in the Scriptures to ascribe power, dominion, and glory to God, expressing the feeling that all that is great and good belongs to Him. and the desire of the heart that he may reign in heaven and on earth.

           POWER:  (kratos)–This Greek word literally means, “might, strength, power, dominion; mighty deed.”  All energy and operation to everything that is wise, great, good, holy, and excellent.

            “both now and ever.  Amen”
            Literally:  “even now and to all the ages.”

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