The Missouri Baptist Convention has published a new resource called The Last Apologist: A Commentary on Jude for Defenders of the Christian Faith. The 275-page book is available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon, and in print from the MBC. But we also want to make each of the 16 chapters available online. This post features the last portion of Chapter 6: Who Are Those Guys? How Apologists Identify False Teachers.
For certain men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4)
A doctrinal gem often overlooked in Jude is a reference to the deity of Christ. In verse 4, Jude describes “certain men” who are guilty of “denying our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Immediately after this warning, he offers examples from Jewish history, beginning with the rebellion of the Israelites in the wilderness: “Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: the Lord, having first of all saved a people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe” (v. 5).
Note that Jude calls Jesus “Lord” in verse 4, and then he refers to the “Lord” of the Israelites in the very next verse. The Lord who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and then destroyed the apostates can be none other than the Lord Jesus.
In fact, many of the earliest manuscripts of Jude actually say “Jesus” instead of “the Lord” in verse 5, and this is most likely the original meaning. Several modern translations, including the New Living Translation (NLT), English Standard Version (ESV), and the NET Bible all refer to “Jesus” rather than “the Lord” in this passage.