Sunday School Material 5-30-10: Temper Judgment with Mercy

(Jude 3-7, 19-21, 24-25; 5/30/10)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that ungodly people make it necessary for believers to build themselves up in the faith. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to build ourselves up in the faith, so we can be what God is calling us to be.

Body:
Read Jude 3-4
I. A Warning.
Jude explains the urgency of his writing. There were ungodly people causing trouble among the believers. The trouble makers were known for using grace as a license for sin and denying the lordship of Jesus.

Applications –
- Encouraging godly living.
Notice in vs. 3 or our Sunday School material the writing to and urging of the believers to contend for the faith or to fight to live godly lives. Jude understood that after a person gets saved, they cannot be left to fend for themselves.

They need regular reminding and encouragement to fight off the influences of the ungodly and to live by God's will for their lives. In like manner, the church must be busy edifying each member, so that each member can make the church stronger.

There is a reason for such an emphasis on application oriented teaching, preaching, and even written teaching notes from the Pastor. Let's work on learning and encouraging one another to live faithful lives. As important as worship is, learning and encouraging often takes place at a higher level in Bible study and Sunday School.

- Ungodly living. Notice in vs. 4 of our Sunday School material that some ungodly people had crept into the congregation and were causing trouble. They are known for using grace as a license for sin and for denying the lordship of Jesus Christ. We should remember that saved people are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit convicts believers to live right. If a person can sin without conscious, it is only because that person doesn't have the Spirit of God nor salvation. As for the lordship of Jesus Christ, such is made clear in the scriptures.

However, the greatest evidence of our understanding His lordship is not in what we say but in how we live. Let's make sure we don't live like ungodly people who use grace as a license and who don’t live under the lordship of Jesus.

Read Jude 5-7
II. A Review.
Jude reminds his readers of what they used to know. God has punished sin on several cited occasions. Sexual sins were a big problem with Sodom and Gomorha.

Applications –
- Punishment causing sin.
Notice in vss. 5-7 of our Sunday School material that God punished the sins of others as an example and warning to others. God punished His people who He delivered from Egyptian slavery, because they did not obey Him. God punished the angels who disobeyed Him and followed after Satan.

And God punished the people in Sodom and Gomorha because they too did not obey Him. These things were written in the Bible and cited in Jude as a warning to all who read them today – God punishes sin. Let's work on our sin problems, so we can experience God's blessings, instead of His punishments.

God has blessings like peace, joy, and hope to add to food, clothing, and shelter, as well as life and loved ones. God's blessings are more pleasant than His wrath. In His wrath, He can take all of the above away and send pain, anxiety, and depression.

- Sexual sin. Notice in vs. 7 of our Sunday School material that Sodom and Gohorha were punished because of sexual sins. Fornication is when an unmarried person has sex outside of marriage. Going after strange flesh includes homosexuality among men and women. In spite of Hollywood's and other people's attempts to normalize homosexuality, it is still sin in God's eyes.

Let's make sure that we strive to get rid of our sexual sins. Just condemning homosexuals and fornicators is not enough. The church must learn how to speak the truth in love, instead of homophobia. We must provide support for those who want to live right but are struggling.

Read Jude 19-21
III. An Exhortation.
Jude says the trouble makers are known for their sensuality (i.e., earthly, instead of heavenly, level of reasoning) and lack of Spirit. Jude urges his reads to build themselves up in faith. They are to pray in the Spirit and stay in the love of God. They are to look for mercy.

Applications –
- Faith building.
Notice in vss. 20-21 of our Sunday School material the urging of the readers to build themselves up in the faith. This calls for praying in the Spirit, staying in God's love, and looking for God's mercy. To pray in the Spirit is to pray according to God's will and trusting God's will to be best for us.

To stay in God's love is to obey God, so He can shower us with His love and blessings. In order to obey God's word, you need to prayerfully study it. To look for God's mercy is to have our hope in our resurrection and eternal life with the Lord.

Let's work on building ourselves up in our faith. We can contend for the faith, if we keep our faith and faithfulness strong.

Read Jude 24-25
IV. A Doxology.
Jude gives a beautiful doxology (i.e., a form of praise). God present us without fault. Consequently, He deserves all of the praise.

Applications –
- The awesomeness of God.
Notice in vss. 24-25 of our Sunday School material that God is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless to Himself. God is able to do this with joy, and we who are kept from falling and presented will have great joy. God is our savior, in that it was His plan and His Son's death that led to our salvation.

Because God is such a great God, He deserves to be glorified, treated as royalty, treated as the One with dominion and power, and treated as the One who will be just as awesome as He is today for eternity.

When we gather for worship with this kind of understanding, instead of us having to spend so much time getting us enthusiastic about worshipping Him, we should find ourselves trying to calm one another down. Let's worship and live like God is as great as the text teaches that He is. The core of obedience is to love God, ourselves, and others.

Conclusion: Based on our Sunday School material let's work on building ourselves up in the faith, so we can be what God is calling us to be. God has much for those who obey His will.

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