Jude 1:23 Commentary

Jude 1:22 Commentary <> Jude 1:24 Commentary

Compiled by Bruce Hurt
August 11 , 2015

JUDE:
CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH
KEEP YOURSELF IN THE LOVE OF GOD

Jude 1:1-4

Jude 1:5-16

Jude 1:17-23

Jude 1:24-25

Salutation &
Purpose

Exposure & Examples
of the
False Teachers

Exhortation
to the
Beloved in God

Exaltation
of
God

Contend for
The Faith

Their Doom (Jude 1:5-7)
Their Denunciation (Jude 1:8-10)
Their Description (Jude 1:11-16)

Believer's
Defense Against
False Teachers

Doxology

Exhortation

Warning

Exhortation

Benediction

Date: A.D. 70-80 (difficult to date)

Jude's Purpose: Expose the false teachers who had crept into the fellowship unnoticed and encourage the saints to stand firm in the faith and rescue the perishing.

Key Verses: Jude 1:4, Jude 1:20, Jude 1:24, 25

Key Words: Lord (Jude 1:4, 5, 9, 14, 17, 21, 25), Faith (Jude 1:3, 20) Keep/Kept (Jude 1:1, 6, 21, 24), Ungodly (Jude 1:4, 15, 18), Beloved (Jude 1:1, 3, 17, 20), Judgment (Jude 1:6, 9, 15), Remember (Jude 1:17), Angel/Archangel (Jude 1:6, 8, 9), Holy Spirit (Jude 1:19, 20). See discussion of key words, a vital component of inductive Bible study.

The following outline is adapted from J Sidlow Baxter's Outline entitled "Contend for the Faith"

GREETING, Jude 1:1,2.

WHY CONTEND EARNESTLY - APOSTATE TEACHERS (Jude 1:3-16).

  • Their subtle perversions: Two basic denials (Jude 1:3-4).
  • Their certain doom: Three historic examples (Jude 1:5-7).
  • Their impious ways: Three historic examples (Jude 1:8-11).
  • Their utter falsity: six awful metaphors (Jude 1:12-13).
  • Enoch's prophecy: Coming destruction (Jude 1:14-16).

HOW TO CONTEND EARNESTLY - OUR RESOURCES (Jude 1:17-23).

  • Realize that the apostasy has been foretold (Jude 1:17-19).
  • "Build," "pray in the Spirit," "keep," "look" (Jude 1:20,21).
  • Show compassion towards certain who contend (Jude 1:22).
  • Others seek urgently to rescue: but keep pure (Jude 1:23).

JUDE'S DOXOLOGY: Coming consummation. (Jude 1:24, 25)

In all contending for the faith we must "keep ourselves in the love of God," the counterpart of which is that the love of God must be in us. We must love, even while we contend against the errors of apostatisers (Contend without being contentious!). We must love their souls even while we oppose their words and deplore their ways. Sometimes it is delicately difficult to keep these separate, but the love of Christ in our hearts (cf Ro 5:5,) will put wisdom on our lips....There are some who "contend" against us. Endless counter-contention with them is useless. But there are others who need "snatching out of the fire"; they have been deceived, and in one sense or another, i.e. by bewilderment, remorse, doubt or danger, are in the fire. And there an still others on whom we are to "have mercy with fear," i.e. being cautious lest in seeking to bring them back we should defile our own garments. (J Sidlow Baxter)

Jude is the only NT book devoted exclusively to confronting “apostasy,” meaning defection from the true, biblical faith. Jude does not quote the OT directly, but there are at least 9 obvious allusions to it. Contextually, this “epistolary sermon” could be called “The Acts of the Apostates.” - John MacArthur

Application: Fight for the truth! Stand up against error! The book of Jude is the very definition of punchy and pithy proclamations—with its short commands and statements popping off the page like machine-gun fire. But in our day and age, punchy has become rude or unacceptable. In many circles the forcefulness of Jude will not be tolerated, the crowds preferring a softer and gentler side of the Christian faith. But Jude reminds us that there is a time and a place for the aggressive protection of the truth from those who would seek to tear it down. How can you participate in defending the truth from error? - C R Swindoll

OVERVIEW CHART
OF EPISTLE OF JUDE


Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

 Jude 1:23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh: ous de sozete (2PPAM) ek puros harpazontes (PAPMPN) ous de eleate (2PPAM) en phobo misountes (PAPMPN) kai ton apo tes sarkos espilomenon (RPPMSA) chitona

  • save = Ro 11:14; 1Co 5:3-5; 2Co 7:10, 11, 12; 1Ti 4:16
  • snatching = Amos 4:11; Zech 3:2 = "Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"; 1Co 3:15
  • hating = Lev 13:47-59; Lev 14:47; Lev 15:17; Isa 64:6; La 4:14; Zech 3:3, 4, 5; 1Co 5:9, 10, 11; 1Co 15:33; 2Th 3:14; Rev 3:4,18

Amplified - [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

Barclay - Others you must rescue by snatching them out of the fire. Others you must pity and fear at the same time, hating the garment stained by the flesh.

CEV Rescue any who need to be saved, as you would rescue someone from a fire. Then with fear in your own hearts, have mercy on everyone who needs it. But hate even the clothes of those who have been made dirty by their filthy deeds.

Complete Jewish Bible - save others, snatching them out of the fire; and to yet others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained by their vices.

Common English Bible - Save some by snatching them from the fire. Fearing God, have mercy on some, hating even the clothing contaminated by their sinful urges.

Douay-Rheims But others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on others have mercy, in fear, hating also the spotted garment which is carnal.

Easy to Read Version - Rescue those who are living in danger of hell's fire. There are others you should treat with mercy, but be very careful that their filthy lives don't rub off on you.

ESV save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

GWT Save others by snatching them from the fire {of hell}. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives.

HCSB save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

ISV Save others by snatching them from the fire. To others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained by their sinful lives.

Mace of others be compassionately tender, snatching them, as it were, out of the fire: and avoid even the garment of the infected.

NET - save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.

NKJ but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Notice this translation follows the Byzantine text which places en phobo after sozete. Almost every translation other than Darby's, KJV, NKJV, YLT however modifies mercy with with fear.)

TLB - Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.

Wuest - be saving, snatching out of the fire, others on the other hand, upon whom be showing mercy in fear, hating even the undergarment completely defiled by the flesh.

YLT - and some in fear save ye, out of the fire snatching, hating even the coat from the flesh spotted.


THE THIRD GROUP:
FIRE ESCAPE!

As noted in he preliminary comments on Jude 1:22, it should be understood that Jude 1:22-23 are very difficult verses to interpret dogmatically primarily because of which of two major Greek manuscripts one chooses to translate. One manuscript (which is used for NAS, ESV, NIV) translation results in 3 groups in these two verses, whereas the other (NET, KJV) results in two groups. (For more discussion see Technical note) Since I use the NAS, I have chosen to base comments on that translation. The technical discussion of these two verses is beyond the scope of these notes and you are referred to other sources that go into more detail (e.g., Michael Green has a good and not too lengthy or too technical analysis - Jude Commentary - Tyndale).

The second group are described as in fire, and although they are close to be completely misled by the false teaching, there is some hope that they can be rescued from the wrath to come. While clearly salvation belongs to the Lord, He calls on the saints to "bring glad tidings of good things." (Ro 10:15). The Spirit uses the proclaimed Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring about conviction, repentance, belief and regeneration.

Save is an present imperative, a command calling for them to continually have a Spirit enabled "evangelistic" mindset. Save and snatching bring to mind a "spiritual intervention" if you will, much like families do when one of their loved ones is trapped in addiction to some substance of abuse and are in grave danger. The were to have the attitude of a parent who sees their child in the path of an oncoming car and runs to snatch and rescue them from harm's way.

MacArthur writes that "in humility and faith we who would be faithful must be willing to be used by God to save others. God remains the ultimate source of salvation (Ps. 3:8; Jonah 2:9; John 1:12-13; 3:6-8; Eph. 2:8), but we are the secondary means He uses to reach sinners (cf. Acts 2:37-41; 4:1-4; Acts 8:26-38; Acts 13:46-48; Acts 16:13-14). James wrote, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). (2Peter and Jude MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

John Calvin - The word to save, is transferred to men, not that they are the authors, but the ministers of salvation.

Save (4982)(sozo) has the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole.

Hiebert - “Save” calls for an activity which is strictly applicable only to God, but the meaning is that God desires to use His people to effect the salvation of such individuals."

How do we save them? MacDonald says "These we are to save by strong, resolute warning and instruction."

Snatching them out of the fire - Rescue them. This phrase pictures rescuing someone out of great danger (like rescuing someone from a building on fire.) Kistemaker sees this as a rescue of some from "the fire of sin."

Moffatt understands the reference to be to “the fire of immoral temptations set ablaze by these libertine religionists.”

Hiebert favors the "view of Lawlor that those rescued are “believers, weak in the faith” who have become ensnared in the erroneous views and practices of the apostates, and that the fire denotes the resultant “severe chastening judgment.” (Second Peter and Jude An Expositional Commentary)

Others understand the fire to denote the fire of hell, the impending fate of the lost (e.g., Matt 5:22; Mark 9:43, 48). E.g., the ESV Study Bible comments that "They were close to the fire of God's judgment" Another has written that "Jude’s expression seems best understood as denoting the fire of hell awaiting the unsaved." MacArthur adds that Jude "pictured them as having been singed by the very fire of hell, a foreshadowing of the eternal inferno that would one day engulf them if they continued to embrace false teaching (cf. Isa. 33:14; Matt. 13:42)." (Ref)

Douglas Moo writes this "The second group to whom the faithful need to reach out are those who have gone further down the road blazed by the false teachers. In fact, they have gone so far as to be in danger of suffering eternal damnation. This is almost certainly what the word “fire” refers to here; as we have seen, fire is a standard biblical metaphor for hell (see v. 8....). Some Christians (Ed Comment: I find it difficult to call them "Christians" if they are in danger of damnation as that is not true of any genuine beleiver!) in Jude’s audience have been tempted to such a degree by the false teachers that they are teetering on the brink of hell. The faithful Christians in the community need to “snatch” them from it and save them before it is too late." (NIV Application Commentary)

Jude may have drawn his imagery of snatching them from the fire from the OT prophets. Zechariah 3:2 describes "a brand plucked from the fire." In the prophet Amos we read "I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD. (Amos 4:11)

ILLUSTRATION - John Wesley was a young child when there was a consuming fire that struck the parsonage where his entire family lived. John called for help from the second floor. After heroic efforts, John was rescued and from that point on considered himself “a brand plucked from the burning” (Zech. 3:2). This event gave him a sense of God’s providence in his life and produced a deep passion and sense of purpose. His personal deliverance from the flames led to a passion for others and their salvation.

It is spiritually dangerous to stay around apostates and others who steadfastly reject and oppose the Gospel of Christ. If there is opportunity to witness to them, it should be done with the greatest of caution, “snatching them out of the fire,” as it were, and being careful not to get burned ourselves in the process. We should not even listen to “the opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge” (1Ti 6:20). Exposing ourselves to such people and such teaching risks spiritual disaster (cf. 2Jn 1:8-11).

A T Robertson - Firemen today literally do this rescue work. Do Christians? (Comment: A fireman is to physically rescue a temporal life, whereas believers are spiritually rescue an eternal soul! What's the upshot? The church of Jesus Christ should be packed full with spiritual firemen and firewomen. The fireman in the firehouse are always on duty, on high alert to rescue victims. Let me ask you dear reader (and I ask this of myself as I write) - "Are you always on duty, ready, able and willing to throw the rescue line out to those in danger of perishing eternally?

S natching (726) (harpazo) means to snatch up or way, to seize, to steal, to pluck or to pull and to do so suddenly, even with violence and speed and no warning. The idea is to take by force with a sudden swoop and usually indicates a force which cannot be resisted. Snatching denotes forceful and heroic action, hastily and almost violently snatching someone out of imminent danger." (Hiebert) The verb snatching also conveys a sense of urgency.

Warren Wiersbe on snatching from the fire- Apparently these are the people who have left the fellowship and are now a part of the apostate group. They need to be snatched out of the fire! The angels took Lot by the hand and pulled him out of Sodom (Ge 19:16), and sometimes that must be done in order to rescue ignorant (Ed: Recall that there are false teachers distorting grace and so perhaps it is not so much that they are ignorant as that they are duped by the deceivers cf 2Ti 3:13) and unstable believers (Ed: Recall that some like John MacArthur don't see these as believers and I tend to agree. In either case they need rescuing!) from the clutches of false teachers. There is probably a reference here to Zechariah 3:2 and also Amos 4:11. In the Zechariah passage, the “brand” was the nation Israel brought back from the Babylonian Captivity and resettled in their land. God saw the people as a brand saved from the fire. In Amos 4, God was reproving the people for not heeding His warnings and judgments—poverty, poor crops, drought, pestilences, war, and even judgments like those that overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. They were as a brand plucked out of the fire, yet they did not appreciate God’s mercy. (Be Alert 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude- Beware of the Religious Impostors)

The fire - To what does this refer? Most agree that this is most clearly a reference to the everlasting fire of hell, not a popular topic to discuss.

One fairly liberal minister who did not believe in hell nonetheless approved of Moody’s preaching. How could that be? “Mr. Moody never preached about hell without tears.”

UBS Handbook has an interesting not on fire - Fire, on the other hand, can refer to two things: 1. It can be a reference to the fires of the final judgment (as in Jude 1:7), during which time the wicked will receive the punishment they deserve. This is in keeping with the tone of urgency about the future found in the letter. Most commentaries prefer this first possibility. 2. On the other hand, fire can refer to the trials and difficulties that the Christians were experiencing at that time. This also is appropriate, since Jude describes a community of believers that is beset by many problems arising from the presence of godless people among them. (Bolding added)

THE THIRD GROUP:
DANGER AHEAD!

On some have mercy with fear - This group has moved so far from "the faith" that they are even dangerous to the faithful. Hiebert says this group is "so polluted that they can be dealt with only in cautious compassion to avoid contamination by their sins. This is clearly the most degraded of the three classes. They are teetering on the brink of ruin, with meager probability of their being turned back." Despite the depth of their decline from truth, Jude says even they are to shown mercy. The attractiveness of sin should never be underestimated! Even the most faithful saint is not immune to temptations of the flesh.

How do you have mercy to this group? Jude does not really tell us, but some would say you speak the truth of God's Word to them (and the Gospel) while others would say we pray for them, our act of prayer being in a sense a demonstration of mercy. Others would say we don't speak harsh, condemning words to them. However we certainly cannot compromise on the truth but must speak the truth in love. And as discussed below, however we have mercy on them we couple that with an intense hatred of the corruption wrought by their sins, whatever those are (Jude does not say, but some suggest sexual immorality).

Michael Green loosely paraphrases Jude's description of this third group - "they are to have pity upon even the most abandoned heretic, but to exercise great care while getting alongside him lest they themselves become defiled. They are to retain their hatred of sin even as they love the sinner." (Jude Commentary - Tyndale).

Compare - (Gal 6:1) Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

With fear - Literally the Greek is "in fear." The point Jude makes is to be careful when you carry out a rescue operation of your brethren who have been ensnared by the apostates, lest you be "contaminated" by "the contagion of sin while you are rescuing them." (Vincent) Even the most faithful believer can be influenced by evil in the person he is attempting to restore, so "compassionate caution" is necessary (cp Gal 6:1-2).

With fear (5401)(phobos from phebomai = to flee from) in classic Greek means panic, fright, fear, awe, reverence. Phobos is used in an active sense to describe that which causes fear or terror, sometimes the source being God (of His divine works - eg, death of Ananias and Sapphira - Acts 5:5, 11, cp 1Ti 5:20, Rev 18:10, 15, Rev 11:11 = two slain witnesses come to life and ascend to heaven before a watching world!).

As discussed below there are two ways with fear could be interpreted - (1) fear of God or (2) fear of danger. I personally think the context definitely favors the latter, but perhaps both meanings could be intended as they are not incompatible. Moo also favors (2) for the same reason writing "the words that follow “with fear” suggest....that believers are to fear the subtle influence of the false teachers. As they “show mercy” to them, they must at the same time be cautious in their contact with them, fearing that they too might catch the contagion of false teaching." (Ibid)

Plummer - It is quite possible to approach evil with good intentions, and then, through want of proper humility and caution, end in finding it fatally attractive. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

This "with fear" principle can be applied to accountability groups. For example, I have been in men's groups in which the speaker was being far too graphic regarding his sexual sin, and his graphic description led me to feel "dirty" on one hand and to be tempted on the other. We need to share, but we need to do so with a sense of "spiritual decorum," discernment and concern for those who hear our confession.

Warren Wiersbe calls this last group dangerous explaining that "The phrase with fear means “with caution.” In trying to help those who have erred, we must be careful not to be trapped ourselves! Many a would-be rescuer has been drowned himself (Ed: See story of Dawson Trotman below). When an unstable believer has been captured by false doctrine, we must be very careful as we try to help him, for Satan can use him to defile us. In trying to save him, we may be stained or burned ourselves! The principle Jude was laying down was that stronger believers must never think they are beyond satanic influence. Even while serving the Lord and seeking to rescue one of His children, we can become defiled by those we want to help. The Old Testament Jews had to be very careful to avoid ceremonial defilement, and this included even their clothing (Lev. 13:47ff; 14:47; 15:17). If a “clean” person touched an “unclean” garment, then he was defiled."

ILLUSTRATION FROM EBOLA OUTBREAK - As a pathologist with subspecialty in medical microbiology (infectious diseases) as I read Jude's words of warning I thought how poignantly (and tragically) they were demonstrated in the 2014 Outbreak of Ebola Virus in West Africa. In seeking to help the victims of Ebola virus, several healthcare workers contracted this highly contagious virus and died.

ILLUSTRATION OF THE RESCUE TUBE - Have you ever noticed that when the life guards at the pool are seated on the guard tower, they will have in their lap (if they are following regulations) a 3-4 foot firm rubber structure known as a "rescue tube." What's the function? To rescue a drowning victim. One way to do so is to hold the rescue tube out to the distressed swimmer (assuming they are close enough to the edge of the pool), instructing them to grab the rescue tube and slowly pulling the victim to safety.

TRAGIC STORY OF DAWSON TROTMAN FOUNDER OF THE NAVIGATORS - On the afternoon of June 18, 1956, ten people who were attending a Christian conference in upstate New York were speeding in a power boat across Schroon Lake. Suddenly a wave struck the boat, hurtling two of its occupants into the water. The man held the young girl's head above the water while the boat circled back to them. Just as she was lifted to safety, her rescuer sank beneath the waters and disappeared from sight. The man who thus died saving the life of a girl whose name he did not know was Dawson E. Trotman, founder and director of The Navigators, designer of the counseling and follow-up program used by Evangelist Billy Graham. In his thirty years of service for Christ he had been used to bring back into focus for the Christian world some foundational New Testament truths, the influence of which had only begun to be felt during his own lifetime. His close personal friend and co-laborer Billy Graham said, “I think Dawson Trotman touched more lives than any man I have ever known. We today are only representatives of thousands of many races and languages and cultures that have been touched by this great man. .. There could not have been a more dramatic and characteristic way to die. He who spent all of his life in bringing salvation and upbuilding to others...spending his last moments in saving the life of one who could not swim.” (The Pathfinder: A Condensed Life Story of Dawson E. Trotman by Lorne C. Sanny)

Here is another version of the tragic drowning of Dawson Trotman entitled ALWAYS HOLDING SOMEONE UP - The July 2, 1956 issue of the Time Magazine in its opening paragraph of the article entitled “Religion: The Navigator” was as follows – “Dawson Trotman clambered back into a motorboat one day last week after two hours of waterskiing on Schroon Lake, N.Y. He was dog-tired, but before he settled down he asked one of the two girls in the boat, Allene Beck, if she could swim; when she shook her head, he traded places with her so she would be in a safer spot. Minutes later the speeding boat bounced on a wave, and both of them, the 50-year-old man and the girl, shot into the water. He swam to her and held her head above water until the boat could circle back and she was hauled aboard. But as hands reached down to seize Trotman’s hand, he sank out of sight.” Dawson Trotman died by drowning, as he saved the life of another in the throes of death. The caption under his picture in the article appropriately summed up his life as it read “Always Holding Someone Up.” The article also aptly concluded with “He lived to save others” and “His death was just the way he would have planned it.” (Always Holding Someone Up)

Mayor - The faithful are urged to show all possible tenderness for the fallen, but at the same time to have a fear lest they themselves or others whom they influence should be led to think too lightly of the sin whose ravages they are endeavoring to repair. (The Expositor's Greek Testament)

Hiebert interprets with fear as a "reverential awe, springing out of a strong sense of God’s holiness, is the best immunization against infectious evil. The closer to God we live, the less appealing sin becomes." (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary) (Comment - Certainly Hiebert's thought has merit for one would not want a new believer or a spiritually immature believer going into this dangerous setting.)

NET Note agrees with Hiebert explaining that "Joining a fear of God to mercy is an important balance when involved in disciplinary action. On the one hand, being merciful without fear can turn to unwarranted sympathy for the individual, absolving him of personal responsibility; but fearing God without showing mercy can turn into personal judgment and condemnation. The imagery (inner garments) here suggests that the things close to the sinners are contaminated by them, presumably during the process of sinning." (Jude 1)

While Jude could be speaking of the fear of God (as Hiebert and NET Note suggest), the text does not actually say this fear is to be of God. In fact a normal reading of the text would seem to favor another interpretation. The very next word after fear (phobos) is "hating even the garment...") in its context would lead one to conclude that we should fear lest we be contaminated so to speak by this group's sin. And so it could have both meanings - yes, we demonstrate mercy because of a sense a healthy fear of God, but we do so with the realization that if any man thinks he stands, he needs to take heed lest he too fall!

New Living Translation - Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

UBS Handbook on with fear - fear here can mean two things. Firstly, it may be fear of being contaminated by the sins of these people. In this sense Jude is saying that, while they should have mercy and compassion on these people, they should also be aware of the danger of their sins and should guard themselves against being influenced by them. So this fear has in it the elements of carefulness and caution. See, for example, Jerusalem Bible, “there are others to whom you must be kind with great caution.” (Here is the New Jerusalem Bible = "to others again you must be compassionate but wary, hating even the tunic stained by their bodies") On the other hand, fear can mean “fear of God.” In this sense Jude is exhorting his readers to continue to have awe and reverence for God. And since they know that God will punish those who sin against him, their fear of God will prevent them from being influenced by these evil people within their fellowship.

HATE THE SIN
NOT THE SINNER

Hating even the garment polluted by the flesh - The garments (chiton) refer to the undergarments (underwear), which here are pictured as stained or soiled! These individuals had become so corrupt that in a sense even their undergarments were defiled. While we are not to hate the sinner, we ought to feel an aversion and loathing for their sin. God hates sin and so should we! In the OT we note that the clothing of a leper was considered contaminated and had to be burned (Lev 13:47-52).

MacArthur on dealing with those whose garment was polluted by the flesh - Just as no one wants to handle someone else’s dirty underwear and be defiled physically, so we should be extremely wary of getting too close to the spiritual defilement of those corrupted by false teachers. Even in bringing the gospel to committed apostates, saints must exercise great caution and wisdom (cf. Matt. 10:16). (2Peter and Jude MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Spurgeon on dealing with this group with polluted garments - When you have to deal with unclean professors, there must be an abhorrence and detestation of their sin even when there is great gentleness towards the sinner. We must never be such believers in the repentance of the guilty as to be willing to wink at sin; for sin is a great evil in any case, and repentance cannot wipe it away; and though it behooves us to be tender to the sinner, we must never be tender to the sin. (Exposition)

NET Note - “Hating even the tunic spotted by the flesh.” The “flesh” in this instance could refer to the body or to the sin nature. It makes little difference in one sense: Jude is thinking primarily of sexual sins, which are borne of the sin nature and manifest themselves in inappropriate deeds done with the body. At the same time, he is not saying that the body is intrinsically bad, a view held by the opponents of Christianity. Hence, it is best to see “flesh” as referring to the sin nature here and the language as metaphorical. (Jude 1)

Kistemaker regarding the garment polluted - What is Jude trying to communicate? The picture is of undergarments that are soiled by discharges of the body. Jude wants the readers to feel intense aversion, even to the point of hatred, especially when they think about clothes that belong to someone else. Jude is saying to the readers, “Avoid all contact with sin so that it does not contaminate you. In fact, hate sin as you would loathe filthy undergarments stained by human excretions.”

Jamieson on hating even the garment - A proverbial phrase: avoiding the most remote contact with sin, and hating that which borders on it. As garments of the apostles wrought miracles of good in healing, so the very garment of sinners metaphorically, that is, anything brought into contact with their pollution, is to be avoided. Compare to lepers and other persons defiled, Lev 13:52-57; Lev 15:4-17: the garments were held polluted; and anyone touching them was excluded, until purified, from religious and civil communion with the sanctified people of Israel. Christians who received at baptism the white garment in token of purity, are not to defile it by any approach to what is defiled. (Jude - Commentary Critical and Explanatory)

John gives a parallel on Revelation 3:4 quoting Jesus' words to the church at Sardis - "But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." (Rev 3:4-note)

While it is only conjecture, some writers have surmised that this is possibly why Jesus left His grave clothes. He took the sin of man upon Himself and shed the "contaminated" grave clothes at His resurrection. In a possible OT parallel, we see the High Priest on the Day of Atonement removing his linen garments including those that covered his flesh after he had performed the sin offerings for himself and the congregation. This OT practice could be seen as a picture of our Great High Priest offering Himself for our sin and then removing His grave clothes.

Hating (3404)(miseo from misos = hatred) means to dislike strongly, to have a strong aversion to or to detest, all of these representing expressions of hostility of one person (or group) toward another (Mt 5:43, Lk 6:27, et al). Specifically the hatred can be directed toward God (Lk 1:71). Good hatred is described here in Jude 1:23 (cf Heb. 1: 9; Jude 1:23; Rev. 2: 6, 15. Ro 7:15; cf similar hatred of sin, etc in Lxx of Ps 101:3, Ps 119:104, 113, 128, 163, Ps 139:21-22).

Paul Cedar - We are to be like Jesus. He had a reputation for being a friend of sinners, but He hated sin. He came to be our Savior and to rescue us from sin. (The Preacher's Commentary)

Jamieson says "Even hatred has its legitimate field of exercise. Sin is the only thing which God hates: so ought we."

Paul gives a somewhat similar warning in dealing with others involved in sin - "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; [each one] looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted." (Gal 6:1).

Garment (5509)(chiton) is a masculine noun. which refers to a close–fitting inner vest, an inner garment, an undergarment or in some contexts to any garment. At times two tunics seem to have been worn, probably of different materials for ornament or luxury (Mt. 10:10; Mk 6:9; Lu 3:11; 9:3). The high priest rent his clothes (Mk 14:63). In the Septuagint chiton is used of Adam's garment of skin (Ge 3:21). Chiton is used 5x in Genesis to describe Joseph's "varicolored tunic." (Ge 37:3, 23, 31-33) Jesus uses both chiton and himation in (Lk 6:29). In Mk 14:63 the high priest tore "his clothes" referring to an outer cloak, which in this context was equivalent to himation.

Friberg on chiton - tunic, an undergarment worn next to the skin by both men and women, a sleeveless shirt reaching below the knees; more generally clothing, garment; plural clothes

Webster on tunic - a simple slip-on garment made with or without sleeves and usually knee-length or longer, belted at the waist, and worn as an under or outer garment by men and women of ancient Greece and Rome.

Chiton -11x in 10v - NAS Usage: clothes(1), coats(1), garment(1), shirt(2), tunic(2), tunics(4).

Matthew 5:40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.

Matthew 10:10 or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.

Mark 6:9 but to wear sandals; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics."

Mark 14:63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, "What further need do we have of witnesses?

Luke 3:11 And he would answer and say to them, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise."

Luke 6:29 "Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.

Luke 9:3 And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece.

John 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.

Acts 9:39 So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.

Jude 1:23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Chiton - 29v in the Septuagint (Lxx) - Ge 3:21; Ge 37:3, 23, 31-33; Ex 28:4, 39-40; Ex 29:5, 8; 35:19; 39:27; 40:14; Lev 6:10; 8:7, 13; 10:5; 16:4; 2Sa 13:18f; 15:32; 1 Kgs 21:27; Job 30:18; Song 5:3; Isa 3:16, 24; 36:22; 61:10

Isaiah 61:10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments (Lxx = himation) of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe (Lxx = chiton) of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Polluted (stained, spotted) (4695)(spiloo from spilos) means stained, defiled, contaminated or soiled and is found only here and in James 3:6. The perfect tense describes the lasting effect of the pollution on the garment. Jude uses spiloo metaphorically to describe the bringing about of moral impurity which causes disgrace and produces shame. The garment is permanently stained or defiled by their gross sin. Peter uses the root noun spilos to describe the false teachers themselves not their garments, stating that they are as "stains (spilos) and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you." (2Pe 2:13-note)

Here is the other use of spiloo - James 3:6 "And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles (present tense = continually) the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell."

Notice the striking contrast in Jude's description of those in Jude 1:23 who are polluted (defiled, soiled) and those in Jude 1:24-note who are blameless (without spot or blemish).

Schreiner - Such a picture shocks the readers with how polluting and corrupting sin is. Believers are to beware lest their mercy is transposed into acceptance, and they themselves become defiled by the sin of those they are trying to help. The New American Commentary- 1, 2 Peter, Jude)

Michael Green - The Christian worker has the wonderful offer of a change of raiment for the defiled, a robe of righteousness (cf. Isa. 61:10) for the man clothed in filthy rags (cf Isa 64:6), and he must proffer it in love and mercy. But once he begins to revel in the filthy garment, once he tolerates it and toys with it, he ceases to be a useful servant of Christ at all. Once he treats sin as normal and commonplace, he is on the way to betraying the Gospel. For Jude insists, as strongly as John in the Apocalypse, that the man accepted before God is he who has not soiled his garments (Rev. 3:4); and these garments are looked upon both as the standing which God confers on the penitent sinners who ‘have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ (Rev 7:14), and also as that rightness of character which follows in the lives of those who have truly been justified (Rev 19:8).(Jude Commentary - Tyndale).

William Barclay writes of this third group - There are those whom we must pity and fear at one and the same time. Here Jude is thinking of something which is always true. There is danger to the sinner; but there is also danger to the rescuer. He who would cure an infectious disease runs the risk of infection. Jude says that we must hate the garment stained by the flesh. Almost certainly he is thinking here of the regulations in Lev 13:47-52-note, where it is laid down that the garment worn by a person discovered to be suffering from leprosy must be burned. The old saying remains true--we must love the sinner but hate the sin. Before a man can rescue others, he must himself be strong in the faith. His own feet must be firm on the dry land before he can throw a lifebelt to the man who is likely to be swept away. The simple fact is that the rescue of those in error is not for everyone to attempt. Those who would win others for Christ must themselves be very sure of Him; and those who would fight the disease of sin must themselves have the strong antiseptic of a healthy faith. Ignorance can never be met with ignorance, nor even with partial knowledge; it can be met only by the affirmation, "I know whom I have believed." (2Ti 1:12-note) (Jude - Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Flesh (4561)(sarx) in this context refers to the natural or unregenerate man > centered upon self, prone to sin, and opposed to God (Ro 7:18-note). The regenerate man is "controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit" (Ro 8:9-note); but the sinful nature is still in him and he may, according to his choice, "follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature" or "the Spirit" (1Co 3:1,4; Gal 5:16-note). Progressively greater victory (victory = a relative term as true, complete victory will be found only when we are glorified) over the sinful nature will be the habitual experience of the Christian who walks in the Spirit (Ro 8:2,4-note; Gal 5:16-note,Gal 5:17-note).

The NIV is somewhat interpretative translating sarx with the phrase "corrupted flesh."

Green on flesh - Jude uses sarx, the flesh, in precisely the same way as Paul: it means human nature made by God and for God, but which has fallen grievously out of harmony with God, and become an active agency of evil. This principle of evil must be resolutely opposed and rejected, just as, in baptism, the candidate disrobed entirely in order to receive a new garment when he emerged from the water to the new life. Compromise with evil will inevitably lead to defeat. (Jude Commentary - Tyndale).

Jamieson - Three kinds of patients require three kinds of medical treatment. Ministers and Christians are said to “save” those whom they are made the instruments of saving; the Greek for “save” is present, therefore meaning “try to save.” Jude already (Jude 1:9-note) had reference to the same passage (Zech 3:1-3). The three classes are: (1) those who contend with you (accusative case in oldest manuscripts), whom you should convict; (2) those who are as brands already in the fire, of which hell-fire is the consummation: these you should try to save by snatching them out; (3) those who are objects of compassion, whom accordingly you should compassionate (and help if occasion should offer), but at the same time not let pity degenerate into connivance (1828 Webster = "properly, the act of winking. Hence figuratively, voluntary blindness to an act, generally imply consent to it") at their error. Your compassion is to be accompanied “with fear” of being at all defiled by them. (Jude - Commentary Critical and Explanatory)

Bengel - Wretched men must be rescued in one way from the fire, and in another way from the mud. It is sufficient for these last to be treated with mildness, fear only being applied: these, being almost untouched by you, may perceive from this very circumstance your hatred and loathing even of the mere surface of impurity. (even) not only the flesh itself, which they pollute, Jude 1:8, but even the garment.— the spotted tunic) The tunic is the whole outward habit of life, in which we are affected by others. The phrase resembles a proverbial one (Ed: That is a very interesting interpretation!). (Jude-Bengel's Gnomon)

Hiebert on dealing with the group whose garment (was) polluted by the flesh - Christians cannot be merely indifferent to such men, nor avoid them with a “holier-than-thou” attitude. With a deep feeling of compassion for them, they are to act helpfully toward them as opportunity affords, but they must ever be careful not to be brought under the power of the deadly contamination that clings to the practices and surroundings of such individuals. The zeal to win souls must be combined with holy wisdom and prudence. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Adrian Rogers - What do these schools have in common? Harvard, Yale, Columbia, William and Mary, Dartmouth, Princeton. "Well," you say, "They're all colleges." You're right—all universities. Right, but what do they have in common? You say, "Well, they're Ivy League schools." Most of them, but what do they have in common? They were all founded and built for the propagation of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Every one of them had a Bible foundation; every one of them was founded for the preaching of the gospel, the training of ministers, and godly Christian laymen, to spread the gospel across America. What a tragedy! The same thing that has happened to these schools has happened to many once-great denominations. And, the same thing that has happened to many once-great denominations has happened—God help us—to many churches. There has been an apostasy. The word apostasy means "a falling away from the faith," or, "a turning from the faith."


ILLUSTRATION - Dwight L. Moody once saw a man freezing to death on the street in Chicago. Moody could not just talk this man into warmth. He pounded him with his fist and got him really angry. The man began to pound back and then got up and ran after Moody. That got his blood circulating and saved his life. Our loud and outspoken witnessing may make people angry, but at least it may awaken them from their spiritual stupor. Who needs your boldness, your compassion today?


ILLUSTRATION - Those we save, says Jude, are as if snatched from the fire. They must be treated as we would treat a hamburger patty that falls into the hot coals. We must reach in quickly to prevent its further contamination, but we must also guard against personal injury.


ILLUSTRATION - Evangelism is like strong horseradish: people praise it with tears in their eyes. There are other word associations we could make with the concept of evangelism. For some people, evangelism is an evangelical mugging mission, where we go into a phone booth, come out with a big red S on our chests and charge out into a neighborhood, seldom our own, to win it for Christ. For others, it's some kind of evangelical ambush where we lure the honest, unsuspecting victim to some type of an event, lock the doors, and sing twenty-two verses of "Just as I Am." Some people think of evangelism as a bombing mission where, from protective cloud cover at 30,000 feet, we fill backyards with gospel bombs. For others, evangelism is herding fish into the stained glass aquarium where the big fisherman throws the lure from the pulpit. —Joseph Aldrich


ILLUSTRATION - When my wife and I went to Dallas Seminary, we decided we wouldn't live in the "cemetery" housing. Instead, we lived in the high-class, red-light district. If you want to get an introduction to life itself, that's the place to be. We made a commitment to take one non-Christian person, couple or individual, out to dinner once a week. Did we ever get a liberal education. But what fun; we had people coming to know the Lord right and left in that place, because we simply loved them. We opened our home to them. —Joseph Aldrich


ILLUSTRATION - Arithmetic from Hell - A kind of arithmetic has been spawned in the counting rooms of hell. This kind of arithmetic is always interested in reaching the masses but somehow never gets down to a man or a woman. This kind of arithmetic always talks about winning the world for God but doesn't think much about winning a neighborhood for God. That arithmetic makes it valiant to cross oceans and never really crosses streets. - Haddon Robinson


Lottie Moon - Surely there can be no deeper joy than that of saving souls.


Illustration of saving others snatching them from the fire from Jim Cymbala - Jesus didn't just speak the healing word to lepers from a distance of thirty yards. He touched them. I shall never forget Easter Sunday 1992—the day that Roberta Langella gave her dramatic testimony....A homeless man was standing in the back of the church, listening intently. At the end of the evening meeting I sat down on the edge of the platform, exhausted, as others continued to pray with those who had responded to Christ. The organist was playing quietly. I wanted to relax. I was just starting to unwind when I looked up to see this man, with shabby clothing and matted hair, standing in the center aisle about four rows back and waiting for permission to approach me. I nodded and gave him a weak little wave of my hand. Look at how this Easter Sunday is going to end, I thought to myself. He's going to hit me up for money. That happens often in this church. I'm so tired. . . .When he came close, I saw that his two front teeth were missing. But more striking was his odor—the mixture of alcohol, sweat, urine, and garbage took my breath away. I have been around many street people, but this was the strongest stench I have ever encountered. I instinctively had to turn my head sideways to inhale, then look back in his direction while breathing out. asked his name. "David," he said softly. "How long have you been homeless, David?" "Six years." "Where did you sleep last night?" "In an abandoned truck."

I had heard enough and wanted to get this over quickly. I reached for the money clip in my back pocket. At that moment David put his finger in front of my face and said, "No, you don't understand—I don't want your money. I'm going to die out there. I want the Jesus that red-haired girl talked about." I hesitated, then closed my eyes. God, forgive me, I begged. I felt soiled and cheap. Me, a minister of the Gospel ... I had wanted simply to get rid of him, when he was crying out for the help of Christ I had just preached about. I swallowed hard as God's love flooded my soul (Ed: The filling of the Spirit returned to Pastor Cymbala the moment he confessed his sin of indifference to this man's true need! And the same dynamic can happen in our life beloved. Confess and repent. Do it quickly. Don't continue to grieve or quench the Spirit!). David sensed the change in me (Ed: Spirit controlled!). He moved toward me and fell on my chest, burying his grimy head against my white shirt and tie. Holding him close, I talked to him about Jesus' love. These weren't just words; I felt them. I felt love for this pitiful young man. And that smell....I don't know how to explain it. It had almost made me sick, but now it became the most beautiful fragrance to me. I reveled in what had been repulsive just a' moment ago. The Lord seemed to say to me in that instant, Jim, if you and your wife have any value to me, if you have any purpose in my work—it has to do with this odor This is the smell of the world I died for. David surrendered to the Christ he heard about that night. We got him into a hospital detoxification unit for a week. We got his teeth fixed. He joined the Prayer Band right away. He spent the next Thanksgiving Day in our home. We invited him back for Christmas as well. I will never forget his present to me. Inside a little box was one handkerchief. It was all he could afford. Today David heads up the maintenance department at the church, overseeing ten other employees. He is now married and a father. God is opening more and more doors for him to go out and give his testimony. When he speaks, his words have a weight and an impact that many ordained ministers would covet. As Christians reach out to touch everyone, including the unlovely who are now everywhere in our society, God touches them, too—and revolutionizes their lives. Otherwise we would just be circling the wagons, busying ourselves with Bible studies among our own kind. There is no demonstration of God's power because we have closed ourselves off from the need for such demonstration. (Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God's Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People)


Rick Renner's devotional on Jude 1:23 - It's Time for You To Act Fast! - Have you ever known fellow believers who got caught up in sinful lifestyles that had the power to destroy their lives? How did it affect you when you saw them making those harmful decisions? I don't know about you, but I find it heartbreaking when I see someone I love doing things that are self-destructive and harmful to his or her walk with God. Doesn't it affect you this same way? Jude tells us what our attitude should be toward fellow believers who get caught up in the world again. We must realize that these fellow believers are in grave danger of reaping the consequences of sin and that those consequences are very serious. Therefore, we must act decisively when we see this happen to someone we love. In Jude 1:23, Jude tells us, "And others save with fear...." That word "save" is taken from the Greek word sozo. In this particular verse, it is used in the present imperative tense, which means the Greek calls for immediate, fast, and continuous action. This is not a mild suggestion that Jude is making to his readers. This is a strong command to take action and to do it as fast as possible. The word "fear" is from the Greek word phobos. In this particular case, it evokes a fear or a strong dose of respect for something that is life-threatening, dangerous, or alarming. Jude uses this word "fear" to let us know that believers who continue in sin place themselves in a very precarious, dangerous, and alarming situation. This is no game. Sin in the life of a believer is extremely serious. Therefore, Jude commands us to act immediately when we see a fellow brother or sister compromising his or her walk with the Lord. With the full meaning of these Greek words, Jude 1:23 could be translated: "Because of the alarmingly dangerous state that some believers are in, I urge you to take immediate and fast-acting measures to see them delivered and rescued. And if they don't quickly respond, don't stop! You need to keep up your sense of urgency until you are convinced that they are rescued from this precarious situation...." There is no doubt about it! This verse places a heavy responsibility on us to do whatever we can to bring this deceived person back to a place of safety. Jude speaks in a commanding tone of voice to let us know that we don't have a choice in this matter. We must act fast, act deliberately, and be continuous and unending in our efforts until we are certain that these straying brothers and sisters are back in safe territory again. So if you know a friend or loved one who is allowing serious sin to continue in his life, pray for him. Then go to him and express your concerns in love. Love that person enough to speak the truth to him. Act fast on his behalf, and do what you can to save him. Otherwise, he may eventually make mistakes that will bring disaster and destruction upon his life. That's why Jude commands us to take action right now. The possible consequences are too serious to ignore. We must do everything within our power to save and rescue believers caught in the snare of sin as quickly as possible. (Sparkling Gems From The Greek- 365 Greek Word Studies For Every Day Of The Year To Sharpen Your Understanding Of God's Word)


EXPOSING BY CONTRAST - A professing Christian was entangled in an addiction to pornography. He came to me for help, but when he learned that I had never struggled with his particular problem he didn’t think I was qualified. I assured him I didn’t need firsthand knowledge or experience in a sin to know how to overcome it.

I had him read Ephesians 5:8-21-note. Then we discussed the “goodness, righteousness, and truth” of Eph 5:9 and the marks of a Spirit-filled life as described in Eph 5:18-21-note. Before long, my visitor was on his knees confessing his sin and asking God to make him pure.

In Eph 5:11-note, the apostle Paul said that we are not to have “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” But then he went on to say that these sins are “shameful even to speak of” (Eph 5:12-note). Jude even warned that in helping others escape sin we can become trapped (Jude 1:22-24).

So how do we expose sin? We must focus on Jesus, “the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12), and ask Him to enable us to “shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15-note).

It is in Christ’s pure light that the blackness of sin will be exposed and the stage will be set for the repentance that brings deliverance. - Herbert Vander Lugt

Lord, keep us from entanglements
That choke Your Spirit's work within,
So we can then reflect Your light
Into a world that's dark with sin. —Sper

To drive out the darkness, bring in the light

Jude 1:22 Commentary <> Jude 1:24 Commentary

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