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17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Apostle Peter warned his readers to be discerning about false
teachers and heresy; Jude does the same. In fact, Peter may have been
drawing upon Jude in his second letter (compare 2 Peter 2 with Jude
Jude gives a number of markers for discerning
heretical teachers and leaders. These include: a twisting of God's
grace that leads to disregard for holy living (v.
4); a refusal to acknowledge Jesus as the only sovereign Lord (v. 4);
a selfish pattern of putting themselves first (v. 12); boastful
arrogance (v. 16); and being divisive and opposing the unity of the
Spirit (v. 19).
Response and Action:
need to recognize godly teaching and leadership. It is essential for
the life and mission of my church family that our leaders follow the
Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who is able to keep us from falling.
order to live by the truth, I will build myself up in Christian
faith. I will pray and look to the Holy Spirit for guidance and
integrity. I will look to the Scriptures and the teachings of the
Apostles for direction and doctrine. In my Christian community, I will
oppose teaching and leadership that ignores Scripture or fails to
follow in the way of Christ. In all circumstances, I must be merciful
and redemptive toward others as I endeavor to be a voice for the
pursuit of truth and sound doctrine.
God, help me to know and live by the truth. Help me to be a student
of the Scriptures. Help me to follow Jesus with all my heart, soul,
mind, and strength. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, give
me the honesty and integrity to recognize your will and your ways.
Deliver me from pride, selfishness, and unholiness. Grant me the faith
and the perseverance of Christ Jesus, who is able to keep me from
falling and present me without fault before your throne with great joy.
To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!
Spiritual Formation Verses:
2 Peter 1:19-21
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will
do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about
by the prophet's own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its
origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried
along by the Holy Spirit.
Basic Christian Leadership: Biblical Models of Church, Gospel And Ministry
by John Stott