INTRODUCTION TO JUDE 1

The writer of this epistle describes himself by his name, Jude; by his spiritual condition, "a servant of Christ"; and by his natural relation, "a brother of James"; and inscribes it to persons chosen of God, secured in Christ, and called by grace, Judges 1:1 , whom he salutes, and wishes a multiplication of mercy, peace, and love unto, Judges 1:2 , and then points at the subject matter of his epistle, "the common salvation"; and his view in writing it, which was to exhort them to contend earnestly for, the Gospel; which exhortation was necessary, since some reprobate and wicked men, abusers of the grace of God, and blasphemers of the person of Christ, had got in among them, Judges 1:3 , and in order to deter them from following their pernicious ways, he lays before them various instances of divine vengeance on sinners; as the Israelites, whom God delivered out of Egypt, and yet destroyed them for their unbelief; the angels, who not content with their first estate, forsook their habitation, and are reserved in chains of darkness to the day of judgment; and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha, and the adjacent cities, who for their uncleanness suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, as an example to others, Judges 1:5 , in like manner, the apostle observes, these false teachers, who were filthy dreamers, defiled themselves with such sins, and also despised and spoke evil of civil magistrates, Judges 1:8 , which sin of theirs is aggravated by Michael the archangel not railing at the devil, in a contention with him about the body of Moses, but gently reproving him; by speaking evil of what they were ignorant of, and by their brutish sensuality, in corrupting: themselves in things they had natural knowledge of, Judges 1:9 , and both their sin and punishment are exemplified in the cases of Cain, Balaam, and Korah; being guilty of hatred of the brethren, of covetousness, and of contradiction, Judges 1:11 , and by various metaphors are set forth their intemperance, hypocrisy, instability, unfruitfulness, pride, wrath, and lust, for whom the blackest darkness is reserved for ever, Judges 1:12 , the certainty of which is proved from an ancient prophecy of Enoch, concerning the coming of Christ to judgment, when vengeance will be taken on those men for their ungodly deeds and hard speeches, Judges 1:14 , who are further described by their murmurs and complaints; by their pride, respect of persons, and covetousness; by their scoffs, and walking after their own lusts, as had been foretold by the apostles of Christ; by separating themselves from the saints, and by their sensuality, and not having the Spirit of God, Judges 1:17 , and the apostle having thus at large described these false teachers, by reason of whom the saints were in danger, directs them to the use of means by which they might be secured from them; such as building themselves up in their most holy faith, praying in the holy Ghost, keeping themselves in the love of God, and looking for the mercy of Christ unto eternal life, Judges 1:20 , and he teaches them not only to be concerned for themselves, but for others also, who were in danger from these deceivers; to deal with some in a tender and compassionate way, with others more roughly, expressing an hatred to a filthy conversation, Judges 1:22 , and then the epistle is concluded with a doxology, or an ascription of glory to the only wise God our Saviour, who is able to keep his people from falling into such pernicious principles and practices, and to present them faultless before his glorious presence with exceeding joy, Judges 1:24