Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jude #2 ユダの手紙 第2回

Last week we started looking at the book of Jude, this 25-verse letter to believers Jude felt was in danger of falling from the Faith. He told them to struggle well in the Faith and to persevere until the end—as in a race.  We ended our time last week with an illustration of early Greek Olympic Games; The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique.  The winner was not the runner who finished first.  It was the runner who finished WITH his torch still lit.  J. Stowell, Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 32.
The goal of each Believer of Jesus should be to desire to run all the way until the end with the flame of our torch still aflame for Him.    イエスを信ずる者それぞれの目標は、最後まですべての道を走り遂げようと望むべきです。
Would that be grand?
Truth is that so many do fall away.  So many don’t finish well.  Truth is that many gave up on the race because they got tired of running well. And Jude sees it happening right in front of him and he cries out to the Believers: Be Careful!
Be careful of faults teachers of the Faith.  And this passage shows whom they are and how to spot them.  They don’t wear a red outfit and carry a pitched fork.  They sneak in among us. In fact, when you read the passage—as we will do in a few seconds—in the eight verses that deal with those people, you will see words like THEY, THEM and THEIR all over.  Ten times with THEY, seven times with THEM, and six times with THEIR.  Let’s read starting from verse 1-16.
People like Michael, Moses and Enoch are spoken of here.  Little-if anything-is said about the Archangel: found four times in books like Daniel, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Jude 1:9 and Revelation 12:7 but only twice is he known as archangel. 
Let’s look at the use of the pronouns.  Them, they, their …彼らを彼らは...彼らの
Their dreams, Their own bodies, These people, They do understand, Destroy them, Woe to them! These people, They are clouds, They are wild, Their shame, These people, They follow, They boast, (they) Flatter others, Their own advantage …  And then you come to this triad:
Let’s quickly look at these men and what they did to deserve such recognition in Jude’s letter.
First, with Cain: Genesis 4:1 notes the birth of Cain.  Eve said of him: “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”
    Cain worked the soil. He brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. V5 but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. V6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? By V8, Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Still later in Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did.
   The Way of Cain is the way of evil.  As found in 1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
*     Their misplaced devotion in sacrifice of the Lord- duty, anger
*    Taken-actively rejected the teachings of the Lord
*    The WAY of Cain-killing his brother and trying to hid that sin

    Now, those who rushed for profit into Balaam’s ERROR. 
    We need to go to Numbers 24-31 to find this man’s story.  It seemed that he was some sort of a prophet, a man who practiced foretelling, or divination. We really learn more of this strange man from Deuteronomy 23, Joshua 13 and 24 and from Nehemiah, Micah, Peter and John’s Book of Revelation.  In short, he looked to the wages of his trade more than the integrity of God’s plan.  He loved the wages of wickedness and taught HOW to entice God’s people to commit sexual immorality.  These are people who leave the straight way and wander off to follow this way of destruction. 
*    turning a deaf ear to the teachings of the Lord
*    Rushed headlong into the error.  Letting all good judgment fail
*    Balaam’s error-wandering off the right path.

    Which leaves us with those people who have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.  Korah was a leader in Israel.  He was one of the chief worshippers at the Tent of God.  He, in short, grew too big for himself and lost the focus of what he was supposed to be doing.  I can well imagine that this way is slowly taken.  May not be done with malice of thought or in a hurtful way but over time, it becomes self at the center. 
*    reject God’s authority
*    loose life
*    rebellion against the Lord only brings complete separation from God

    A very interesting triad of self-centered concerns.  Tending to concentrate selfishly on your own needs and affairs and to show little or no interest in those of others.  Another word is narcissistic: self-admiration—self absorbed, vain. 

    From Cain, Balaam and Korah, we can see that each wanted to be lifted up and set aside for self-glory.  That is not what the Christian Faith supports!  The Gospel is to see people free from the burdens of sin.  There is Power in the Blood.  What is the Gospel?  AB Simpson:
Here is the Gospel: ここで福音書は、次のとおりです。A.B. Simpson is reported to have said that the  Gospel: "Tells rebellious men
o          that God is reconciled (no conflict), 神と和解すること
o          that justice is satisfied, 正義は全うされる
o          that sin has been atoned for, (compensated for) 罪は贖われた(補償
o          that the judgment of the guilty may be revoked, (withdrew) 有罪の判決が取り消される可能性がある(取り下げ)
o          the condemnation (sentence)of the sinner cancelled, (voided) 罪人の有罪(判決)の取り消し(無効
o          the curse of the Law blotted out, 法の呪いは消滅
o          the gates of hell closed, shut forever 地獄の門は永遠に閉じた
o          the portals of heaven opened wide, forever天国の門は、広く永遠に開かれた
o          the power of sin subdued, (pacified) 罪の力は沈黙し(平定)
o          the guilty conscience healed, 罪悪感は癒され
o          the broken heart comforted, 壊れた心は慰められ
o          the sorrow and misery of the Fall undone! 落ち込んだ悲しみと不幸は回復する! 
THAT is what the Gospel has done! M. Cocoris, Evangelism, A Biblical Approach, Moody, 1984, p. 29.
In closing: the last two phrases: 17-23 “But, dear friends… and But you, dear friends.”  
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 people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying 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.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
 We will deal with these next week as well as other verses.
24 To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.