2 Peter & Jude

by Eileen Poh

Day 28

Read Jude 1:17-19

Jude starts the last section of his letter with, ″But, dear friends . . .″ (Jude 1:17). As you read these words, you might think that he has said enough about the false teachers who had secretly slipped in among the Christians, and is now turning to instruct his readers on how to respond. But that is not the case: Jude has more to say about the false teachers.

Those who have the Spirit of God will seek to unite Christians, not divide them.

They should not be surprised that there are false teachers in their midst, he tells them, for the apostles had specifically foretold that there would be scoffers in the last days. That the false teachers would certainly face God's judgment, too, had been prophesied (vv. 4, 14-15). Jude has exposed their false teachings and their true nature (vv. 4, 8-13); now, he has a few more points to add.

These false teachers care only to satisfy their own ungodly desires (v. 18). They follow their own natural instincts (v. 19), which Jude had earlier likened to that of ″irrational animals″ (v. 10). Even though these false teachers may consider themselves spiritual, they do not follow the Holy Spirit because they do not have the Spirit in them (v. 19). And if they do not have the Spirit, then they do not belong to Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:8-10).

Furthermore, the false teachers have caused division among the Christians with their erroneous teachings (Jude 1:19). Their very presence in the congregations causes trouble: they participate in the love feasts (v. 12), gather around them those who are eager to listen to their new teaching, and persuade others to join them. But there are also those who reject their false teachings; hence the divisions in the congregations.

All this makes clear that these false teachers do not have the Spirit of God, no matter what they may claim about their own spirituality and dreams (v. 8). Those who have the Spirit of God will seek to unite Christians, not divide them.

Think through:

What evidence is there in your life that the Holy Spirit is in you?

Read Ephesians 4:1-3. How can you ″make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit″?




About Author

Eileen Poh was a lawyer for some years before doing full-time theological studies. Her doctoral thesis (at King’s College London) examines the social relationships between Christians and non-Christians in Asia Minor in the second half of the first century AD. Eileen lectures in Biblical Studies at Discipleship Training Centre, Singapore. She is married to Philip Satterthwaite.

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