1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James, to them that are sanctified b by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called:
(a) This is to distinguish between him and Judas Iscariot. 1:3 1 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the d common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should e earnestly contend for the faith which was f once delivered unto the saints.
(b) By God the Father.
(1) The goal of this epistle, is to affirm the godly as opposed to certain wicked men both in true doctrine and good conduct. 1:4 2 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, 3 ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
(d) Of those things that pertain to the salvation of all of us.
(e) That you should defend the faith with all the strength you can muster, both by true doctrine and good example of life.
(f) Which was once given, that it may never be changed.
(2) It is by Gods providence and not by chance, that many wicked men creep into the Church. (3) He condemns this first in them, that they take opportunity or occasion to wax wanton, by the grace of God: which cannot be, but the chief empire of Christ must be cancelled, in that such men give themselves up to Satan, whom they call Libertines. 1:5 4 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
(4) He presents the horrible punishment of those who have abused the grace of God to follow their own lusts. 1:6 5 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
(5) The fall of the angels was most severely punished, how much more then will the Lord punish wicked and faithless men? 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, g giving themselves over to fornication, and going after h strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
(g) Following the steps of Sodom and Gomorrah. 1:8 Likewise also these i [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, 6 despise k dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
(h) Thus he sets forth their horrible and wicked perversions.
i Who are so stupid and void of reason as if all their fears and wits were asleep. (6) Another most destructive doctrine of theirs, in that they take away the authority of the government and slander them. 1:9 7 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
(k) It is a greater matter to despise government than the governors, that is to say, the matter itself than the persons.
(7) An argument of comparison: Michael one of the chiefest angels, was content to deliver Satan, although a most accursed enemy, to the judgment of God to be punished: and these perverse men are not ashamed to speak evil of the powers who are ordained of God. 1:10 8 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
(8) The conclusion: These men are doubly at fault, that is, both for their rash folly in condemning some, and for their impudent and shameless contempt of that knowledge, which when they had gotten, yet nonetheless they lived as brute beasts, serving their bellies. 1:11 9 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
(9) He foretells their destruction, because they resemble or proclaim Cains shameless malice, Balaams filthy covetousness, and to be short, Cores seditious and ambitious head. 1:12 10 These are spots in your l feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without m fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the n blackness of darkness for ever.
(10) He rebukes most sharply with many other notes and marks, both their dishonesty or filthiness, and their sauciness, but especially, their vain bravery of words and vain pride, joining with it a grave and heavy threatening from an ancient prophecy of Enoch concerning the judgment to come.
(l) The feasts of charity were certain banquets, which the brethren who were members of the Church kept altogether, as Tertullian sets them forth in his apology, chap. 39.
(m) Impudently, without all reverence either to God or man.
(n) Most gross darkness. 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord o cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
(o) The present time, for the time to come. 1:17 11 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
1:19 12 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
(11) The rising up of such monsters was spoken of before, that we should not be troubled at the newness of the matter.
1:22 13 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
(12) It is the habit of antichrists to separate themselves from the godly, because they are not governed by the Spirit of God: and contrariwise it is the habit of Christians to edify one another through godly prayers, both in faith and also in love, until the mercy of Christ appears to their full salvation.
1:23 And others save with p fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the q garment spotted by the flesh.
(13) Among those who wander and go astray, the godly have to use this choice, that they handle some of them gently, and that others being even in the very flame, they endeavour to save with severe and sharp instruction of the present danger: yet so, that they do in such sort abhor the wicked and dishonest, that they avoid even the least thought of them.
(p) By fearing them and holding them back with godly severity. 1:24 14 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
(q) An amplification, taken from the forbidden things of the law which did defile.
(14) He commends them to the grace of God, declaring sufficiently that it is God only that can give us that constancy which he requires of us.