Jude is the same name as Judas. This epistle of 25 verses and 613 words was written either by the apostle Judas (not Iscariot, Lk 6:16; Acts 1:13) or the Lord’s half-brother (Matt 13:55). It was probably the latter since the writer seems to distinguish himself from the twelve apostles (cf. “us” in 2 Pet 3:2 with Jude 1:17).
Jude was written during the Acts period to the same people that the other Hebrew epistles are written to. Many read the Body of Christ into Jude 1:1, but what about Jude 1:21 (cf. Rom 8:35-39)? The kingdom saints are also said to be sanctified (Jn 17:17) and preserved (Jn 17:11-12). God will keep them IF they keep themselves in His love by keeping His commandments (Jn 15:1-10).
The theme of this epistle is stated in verses Jude 1:3 and Jude 1:4. The “common salvation” refers to the salvation which was spoken by the Lord during His earthly ministry concerning the “world to come” (Heb 2:3-5).
The tribulation saints must contend for the faith against the apostate teachers that Satan will plant amongst them (i.e., wolves in sheep’s clothing, tares among the wheat). The false teachers will try to add to and take away from the faith that was once delivered unto the saints (Rev 22:18-19). It is “the faith” (i.e., doctrine) that was spoken of by the prophets, Christ in His earthly ministry (Jam 2:1), and His twelve apostles. This is distinct from the “one faith” (Eph 4:5) that was revealed through Paul for the Body of Christ in this present age.
I. Introduction (v. 1-2)
II. Purpose of the letter (v. 3-4)
III. Past examples of God judging apostasy (v. 5-7)
IV. Portrait of apostates (v. 8-19) — about 30 marks to identify them
V. Prevention of apostasy (v. 20-25)
There are many triplets in this epistle:
Sanctified, preserved, called (v. 1)
Mercy, peace, love (v. 2)
Ungodly, turning, denying (v. 4)
The people, angels, the cities (v. 5-7)
Defile, despise, speak evil (v. 8)
Cain, Balaam, Core (v. 11)
Spots, clouds, trees (v. 12)
Fruitless trees, raging waves, wandering stars (v. 12-13)
Murmurers, complainers, boasters (v. 16)
Separatists, sensual, not the Spirit (v. 19)