Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jude
Book: Jude
Chapter: 1

The Apostle exhorts to stedfastness in the Faith. (1-4) The
danger of being infected By false professors, and the dreadful
Punishment which shall be inflicted On them and their followers.
(5-7) An awful description of these seducers and their
deplorable End. (8-16) Believers cautioned against being
surprised at such deceivers arising among them. (17-23) The
epistle ends with an encouraging doxology, or words of praise.

1-4 Christians are called out of the world, from the evil
Spirit and temper of it; called above the world, to higher and
better things, to Heaven, things unseen and eternal; called from
Sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to
Holiness; and this according to the Divine purpose and Grace. If
sanctified and glorified, all the honour and Glory must be
ascribed to God, and to him alone. As it is God who begins the
work of Grace in the souls of men, So it is he who carries it
On, and perfects it. Let us not trust in ourselves, nor in our
stock of Grace already received, but in him, and in him alone.
The Mercy of God is the Spring and Fountain of all the good we
have or Hope for; Mercy, not only to the miserable, but to the
guilty. Next to Mercy is peace, which we have from the sense of
having obtained Mercy. From peace springs Love; Christ's Love to
us, our Love to him, and our brotherly Love to one another. The
Apostle prays, not that Christians may be content with a little;
but that their souls and societies may be full of these things.
None are shut out from Gospel offers and invitations, but those
who obstinately and wickedly shut themselves out. But the
application is to all believers, and only to such. It is to the
weak as Well as to the strong. Those who have received the
doctrine of this common Salvation, must contend for it,
earnestly, not furiously. Lying for the Truth is bad; scolding
for it is not better. Those who have received the Truth must
contend for it, as the apostles did; By suffering with patience
and courage for it, not By making others suffer if they will not
embrace every notion we Call Faith, or important. We ought to
contend earnestly for the Faith, in opposition to those who
would corrupt or deprave it; who creep in unawares; who glide in
like serpents. And those are the worst of the ungodly, who take
encouragement to Sin boldly, because the Grace of God has
abounded, and still abounds So wonderfully, and who are hardened
By the extent and Fulness of Gospel Grace, the design of which
is to deliver men from Sin, and bring them unto God.

5-7 Outward privileges, profession, and apparent Conversion,
could not secure those from the vengeance of God, who turned
aside in unbelief and disobedience. The Destruction of the
unbelieving Israelites in the Wilderness, shows that none ought
to presume On their privileges. They had miracles as their daily
Bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. A great number of the
angels were not pleased with the stations God allotted to them;
pride was the main and direct cause or occasion of their fall.
The fallen angels are kept to the Judgment of the great Day; and
shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Consider this in due
time. The Destruction of Sodom is a loud warning to all, to take
heed of, and flee from fleshly lusts that War against the soul,

1Pe 2:11. God is the same holy, just, pure Being now, as then.
Stand in awe, therefore, and Sin not, Ps 4:4. Let us not Rest
in anything that does not make the soul subject to the obedience
of Christ; for nothing but the renewal of our souls to the
Divine image By the Holy Spirit, can keep us from being
destroyed among the enemies of God. Consider this instance of
the angels, and see that No dignity or worth of the Creature is
of avail. How then should Man tremble, who drinketh iniquity
like water! Job 15:16.

8-16 False teachers are dreamers; they greatly defile and
grievously wound the soul. These teachers are of a disturbed
mind and a seditious Spirit; forgetting that the powers that be,
are ordained of God, Ro 13:1. As to the contest about the body
of Moses, it appears that Satan wished to make the place of his
Burial known to the Israelites, in order to tempt them to
Worship him, but he was prevented, and vented his rage in
desperate Blasphemy. This should remind all who dispute never to
bring railing charges. Also learn hence, that we ought to defend
those whom God owns. It is hard, if not impossible, to find any
enemies to the Christian religion, who did not, and do not, live
in open or secret contradiction to the principles of natural
religion. Such are here compared to brute beasts, though they
often boast of themselves as the wisest of mankind. They corrupt
themselves in the things most open and Plain. The fault lies,
not in their understandings, but in their depraved wills, and
their disordered appetites and affections. It is a great
reproach, though unjust to religion, when those who profess it
are opposed to it in Heart and Life. The Lord will remedy this
in his time and way; not in men's Blind way of plucking up the
Wheat with the Tares. It is sad when men begin in the Spirit,
and End in the Flesh. Twice dead; they had been once dead in
their natural, fallen state; but now they are dead again By the
evident proofs of their hypocrisy. Dead trees, why cumber they
the ground! Away with them to the Fire. Raging waves are a
terror to sailing passengers; but when they get into port, the
noise and terror are ended. False teachers are to expect the
worst punishments in this world and in that to come. They glare
like meteors, or falling Stars, and then sink into the blackness
of Darkness for ever. We have No mention of the Prophecy of
Enoch in any other part or place of Scripture; yet one Plain
text of Scripture, proves any point we are to believe. We find
from this, that Christ's coming to Judge was prophesied of, as
early as the times before the Flood. The Lord cometh: what a
glorious time will that be! Notice how often the Word "ungodly"
is repeated. Many now do not at all refer to the terms godly, or
ungodly, unless it be to mock at even the words; but it is not
So in the language taught us By the Holy Ghost. Hard speeches of
one another, especially if ill-grounded, will certainly come
into account at the Day of Judgment. These evil men and seducers
are angry at every thing that happens, and never pleased with
their own state and condition. Their will and their fancy, are
their only rule and Law. Those who please their sinful
appetites, are most prone to yield to ungovernable passions. The
men of God, from the beginning of the world, have declared the
doom denounced On them. Such let us avoid. We are to follow men
only as they follow Christ.

17-23 Sensual men separate from Christ, and his Church, and
join themselves to the Devil, the world, and the Flesh, By
ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to
separate from any Branch of the visible Church On account of
opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or
Worship. Sensual men have not the Spirit of Holiness, which
whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The Grace of Faith
is most holy, as it Works By Love, purifies the Heart, and
overcomes the world, By which it is distinguished from a false
and dead Faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we
pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence,
according to the rule of his Word, with Faith, fervency, and
earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing
expectation of eternal Life will Arm us against the snares of
Sin: lively Faith in this blessed Hope will help us to mortify
our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet
prudently reprove each other, and set a good Example to all
about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference
between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with
tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the
Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of
crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was
connected with Fellowship with them, in Works of Darkness,
keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.

24,25 God is able, and as willing as able, to keep us from
falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his
Glory. Not as those who never have been faulty, but as those
who, but for God's Mercy, and a Saviour's sufferings and merits,
might most justly have been condemned long ago. All sincere
believers were given him of the Father; and of all So given him
he has lost none, nor will lose any one. Now, our faults fill us
with fears, doubts, and sorrows; but the Redeemer has undertaken
for his people, that they shall be presented faultless. Where
there is No Sin, there will be No sorrow; where there is the
Perfection of Holiness, there will be the Perfection of joy. Let
us more often look up to Him who is able to keep us from
falling, to improve as Well as maintain the work he has wrought
in us, till we shall be presented blameless before the presence
of his Glory. Then shall our hearts know a joy Beyond what Earth
can afford; then shall God also rejoice over us, and the joy of
our compassionate Saviour be completed. To Him who has So wisely
formed the scheme, and will faithfully and perfectly accomplish
it, be Glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for
ever. Amen.

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