Hosea 10:1-14:9, Jude 1:1-25, Psalms 127:1-5, Proverbs 29:15-17
Today is the 8th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is a great to be here with you as we move into our second week of this month. And here we are at the beginning of the week so it’s a shiny sparkly threshold that we walk through and the week is out in front of us and that will write the story of our lives on that week and it will all boil down to our thoughts, words, and deeds. And, so, often at the beginning of the week we’ll…we’ll consider that and walk into a new week together. And we are in the holiday season, obviously. And, so, we’re in the season of Advent on the Christian calendar. So, this is the second Sunday in Advent. And, of course, as we mentioned in the past, Advent is this season that we celebrate leading up to Christmas that allows us to put our hearts in the correct posture. Advent means arrival. So, we’re working toward the day that we commemorate the arrival of the Savior on Christmas, but we have to remember that there was a time before the Savior arrived and that the people were expecting a Savior to come and longing for this kind of restoration. And we also acknowledge that even as they were waiting and the Savior did come, we find ourselves in the same place of longing for His return, His Advent, His arrival. So, lots of you when you go to church, you know, there’ll be an Advent wreath, maybe a candle lighting ceremony. Today is the week that we week that we consider faith, that the way of the Lord was being prepared and that we are a part of that story in preparing the way of the Lord. So, this is the second Sunday in Advent. So, that’s where we are in the year. Now let’s move our hearts and minds toward the Scriptures for today. We will read from the Common English Bible this week, we’ll move back into the book of Hosea in the Old Testament and then we get to the New Testament we have new territory to go into, the book or letter of Jude. But first, Hosea chapter 10 through chapter 14.
Introduction to the book of Jude:
Okay. So, we have come to the book or the epistle or the letter of Jude and we’ll read the entire letter today in the same way that we read through the like, second and third John and some of the other shorter letters. And Jude may sound familiar. Many biblical scholars accepted the idea that second Peter actually imitates Jude’s letter and if that’s true, then Jude’s letter would predate second Peter and then would be dated somewhere in the mid 60s A.D. Now if that’s not the case and second Peter and Jude don’t say…don’t share similarities, then the letter could have been all the way to the end of Jude’s life, which could put it later, somewhere like 80 A.D. But aside from when this letter may have actually been written, who is Jude other than a song that the Beatles wrote a song about? That has actually been a question throughout church history, and it continues to be examined among scholars all the way until now. If you want to look for consensus then the majority of traditional scholars agree that Jude, who wrote this letter was the brother of James and Jesus the Lord. But even though he was a brother he wasn’t an apostle. He didn't…he didn’t move around with Jesus during His ministry and believe in Jesus during His ministry. And it’s not completely clear who Jude wrote this letter to. He says he’s writing to all who have been called by God the Father who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ. So, I mean, that…that…that would be anybody like that could be anybody who believe…who has ever believed in Jesus ever. So, we can certainly say that…that it applies to us. But if we go back to the similarities between second Peter and Jude, if second Peter does in many ways mimic Jude then Jude was probably writing to the same people Peter was writing to, which…which would be displaced believers who were fleeing persecution or those who had been exiled in generations past when the kingdoms fell to Assyria and Babylon. Now here’s what’s interesting about Jude, Jude had been planning on writing a totally different letter than the one he wrote and he says this in his greeting. He wanted to write a letter about the salvation that was shared among all who believed but instead he had to write about defending the faith that was entrusted by God to his people. And the issue that he was trying to address was a false teaching that was running around about God’s grace and this issue is addressed in many other letters in the New Testament. Here’s what was going on. He teaching of grace, like unmerited favor, something that we cannot earn or deserve but has been bestowed upon us by God, that understanding has always been core to the Christian faith but somewhere twisting the concept and making grace a license to do whatever they wanted with whoever they chose because the rationale was that sin no longer had claimed to them, they were free to sin and righteous before God. And, so, they could never earns God’s grace anyway. So, they can do whatever they want. So, Jude opposes this teaching throughout this letter and it’s not as if this is an action problem. It’s not as if were not still dealing with this exactly as they were and will see that Jude is clearly going to warn his readers and us away from that path because it’s not true. And Jude warns, warns that this kind of things going to happen, it was predicted, it’s happening, it will still happen, and it’s right. It’s still happening today. And, so, the followers of Jesus must build one another up to the power of the Holy Spirit. So, will read Jude’s letter in its entirety today and to just have our bearings and point out where we are, this is, this is one of our final stops. In fact this is the final stop before we move into the final book of the Bible. And, that will be taking us in completely different directions. So, this is the final letter that will read this year and let’s remember what all these letters have told us because the letters have told us of radical grace and that it’s true but accessing it can only happen in a covenantal relationship. It matters what we do, it matters what we say, matters what we think because these things create our lives and our actions are truly speaking into the world what we actually believe about God and what we actually believe toward one another. And, so, we begin the letter of Jude.
Father, we thank You for a brand-new week. And as we continue to move through this season we invite Your Holy Spirit to lead us into a posture of contemplation that…that…that in spite of the busyness and in spite of all the festivities which are fantastic and wonderful, that we can maintain our center, that we can maintain our connection to the leading of Your Holy Spirit, that we don’t get distracted and taken out in this season, but rather we stay focused upon it, that You would come for us, that You would not abandon us, and we thank You for that. Come Holy Spirit into this week we pray. In the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian enjoy this second Sunday of Advent I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.