Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Exposition of Jude: Part 10 of 25

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

Jude continues to denounced false teachers in Jude 1:10. He seems never to tire of denouncing those who spoil the purity and integrity of the gospel. His zeal in rejecting false teachers is born of his zeal for right doctrine. The more we know what is right, the less tolerance we have for what we know to be wrong.

One mark of the folly of these false teachers is that they "speak evil" (the Greek verb is blasphemeo, the root of the English verb "to blaspheme") of "whatever they do not know." Perhaps Jude is referring to their ignorant rejection of cardinal Christian doctrines like the Incarnation, the sinless perfection of Christ, or his bodily resurrection. Truly, one mark of the fool is that he rejects things he does not understand without ever giving the matter thoughtful consideration.

On the other hand, "these dreamers" (v. 8) gladly embrace the falsehoods that they "know naturally." Jude implies here that the things they know and do according to their unregenerate sin nature they take to be the standard for what is normal and right. In Ephesians 2:3 Paul says that before their conversion the saints too were "by nature children of wrath." Before we are saved what is wrong seems right, and what is right seems wrong. The delusions of these false teachers have brought them into a sub-human state. They behave as "brute beasts." Only those who are in Christ know what it means to be fully human. The things these unregenerate men pursue do not bring them life and health, but "in these things they corrupt themselves."

Jude may sound harsh in his condemnation, but his purpose is gracious. He wants his readers to understand the stark difference between the saved and unsaved, between the sweetness of orthodoxy and the poison of heterodoxy.

  • Are you as zealous as Jude both to embrace truth and to reject error?
  • Is there any doctrine or practice you have questioned without really making the effort to understand it?
  • How does sin make unregenerate men like "brute beasts"?
Note: Previous commentaries can be found under the label "Jude Exposition" below.

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