Jude 1:9
But even the archangel Michael, when he disputed with the devil over the body of Moses, did not presume to bring a slanderous judgment against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Sermons
An Angelic Example for Human ImitationT. Croskery Jude 1:9
The LetterR. Finlayson Jude 1:1-25
Reasons for Resisting Evil MenJ.S. Bright Jude 1:5-16
Abuse of Natural KnowledgeW. Perkins.Jude 1:9-10
Archangel Versus DevilT. Davies, M. A.Jude 1:9-10
Aversion to Religion and its SourceW. Muir, D. D.Jude 1:9-10
Ignorant SpeechW. Jenkyn, M. A.Jude 1:9-10
Scepticism Corrupting ItselfJ. Allan.Jude 1:9-10
The Condemnations of IgnoranceT. Manton.Jude 1:9-10
The Sin of Ignorant RailingS. Otes.Jude 1:9-10
Jude then refers to an extraordinary incident not recorded in Scripture, but evidently contained in the old Jewish traditions respecting a contest of Michael the archangel with the devil.

I. THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL - WHO WAS HE?

1. He appears as "one of the chief princes" who stood up for God's people against the Persians (Daniel 10:13).

2. He appears as fighting. "Michael and his angels" against the devil and his angels (Revelation 12:7).

3. He is probably the archangel whose voice is to be heard at the period of our Lord's descent to judgment. (1 Thessalonians 4:16.)

4. He is probably at the head of the good angels, as the devil is represented as at the head of the evil angels.

5. High as he is in rank, he is most active in dutiful service to God.

II. THE STRIFE BETWEEN MICHAEL AND THE DEVIL. "But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment."

1. The incident here referred to occurred necessarily after Moses' death.

2. The dispute did not arise, as some think, from the effort of type devil to prevent the concealment of the body of Moses, whom God buried that no man might know the place of his sepulture. The reason usually assigned for the secrecy of the burial is that the Israelites might have worshipped the body of their great lawgiver. But there is no evidence that the Israelites ever at any time showed a disposition to worship dead men's bones. Their inclination was rather to worship the powers of nature.

3. An ingenious and plausible explanation has been given of this strife in this wise.

(1) We know that Moses and Elias appeared together at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:29-33). They are called "two men." Elias was certainly in the body - a glorified body, no doubt. Does not the similarity of statement imply that Moses was likewise in the body?

(2) This would imply that Moses was raised up after his burial, but before he saw corruption, and was taken to heaven like Elijah and Enoch. God buried him, and the archangel watched over him that he should not see corruption. But why should the devil interfere with the archangel's watch? Is it that the devil has "the power of death" (Hebrews 2:14)? Is it that he has an interest in the corruption of our bodies, as the completion of that physical death which enters into the wages of sin? The contest may have arisen from the effort of Michael, on the one side, to secure the body of Moses from corruption till the moment when he, with his angels, would carry it into heaven, and from the effort of the devil, on the other side, to inflict the last stigma of death upon the great Israelite. This explanation seems more plausible than any other that has been suggested of this mysterious conflict between the heads of the principalities of the spirit-world. The conflict suggests that:

(a) Sin and holiness must necessarily come into conflict wherever they encounter each other.

(b) Michael overcomes the devil. "He that is for us is far greater than all they that be against us."

III. THE DEPORTMENT OF MICHAEL IN THIS STRIFE WITH THE DEVIL. "He durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

1. It would have been inconsistent with angelical perfection to rail against the devil.

2. There is no cowardice in Michael not daring to sin.

3. What is wrong for angels cannot be right for men to do.

4. Michael left the decision of the strife absolutely in God's hands.

5. ]PGBR> God's power restrains that of the devil.

6. The thought that we have a God into whose hands we may commit our cause ought to make us patient, forbearing, and forgiving. - T.C.







Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil.
We can hardly suppose that the interview between Michael and Satan was communicated to St. Jude by the Holy Ghost, because such a novel revelation would have rather startled his readers than illustrate the truth he was setting before them. To treat it as a fable without foundation in fact would have weakened the argument of the apostle. Some think that the reference is to Zechariah 3:1. — "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan," etc. But there was no reference then made to the burial of Moses, and the similarity in the expression is too slender a foundation to connect the two. mentions an apocryphal book called Αναληψις τοῦ Μωσέως, which was extant in his time. That the apostle quoted from that book is not improbable, although there is nothing in the narrative before us to warrant the belief. Then there is the other supposition that among the traditions held by the Jews there was one relative to a controversy between the two chiefs of the opposing angels about the burial of Moses. As these traditions were largely taught in those days, it may be that the apostle simply reads a lesson to the false teachers from their own teaching. They brought railing accusations against the apostles, which even an archangel dared not, as the higher and final judgment awaits all. The apostle therefore conveys but one lesson by his reference to the dispute about the body of Moses, viz., that the final judgment is reserved in God's own keeping.

1. The text teaches that there are two orders of spirits in conflict concerning matters affecting the human race. Not only angels are ministering to the necessities of the saints, and devils using influence to destroy them, but the corner of the veil is lifted up in the text, that we may mentally see the battlefield on which these powerful spirits meet to contend for their side. The fact administers to the strength of our faith.

2. The text teaches that controversy must be confined to its proper limits. Michael was right, but he did not go further than controversy. However certain one may feel that he is contending for the truth, he must not utter imprecations on the head of his adversary.

3. The text teaches that judgment belongs to the Lord alone. The term rebuke implies far more than correction or admonition: it means to censure. Here we take it to indicate that God only has the power of final decision. Omniscience, impartiality, and power belong to Him.

4. The text teaches also another valuable lesson, viz., that the strongest side of controversy is an appeal to God. Bring your adversary into the presence of his Maker and leave him in the Divine balance.

(T. Davies, M. A.)

The sentence immediately preceding represents the persons described in it as defiled with gross immoralities, as despising the dominion that would have restrained them, and treating in contemptuous language the most dignified of the powers which had been set up in defence of purity and good order. The text is meant to apply, more or less directly, to all these views. But you will not fail to notice that it begins with what in the previous statement is last mentioned, and exposes the crime of "evil-speaking," when the malignancy of its revilings is turned against the sacred institutions of moral authority. And surely it may be allowed that this end is answered with a peculiar degree of force, owing to the extreme case of forbearance which the text sets before us. It represents two spirits of high order, but of opposite character, engaged in controversy. The one, in his designs, ever actuated by a base and malevolent principle. The other, the special messenger and servant of God, ever employed in advancing the purposes of truth and righteousness. Wrong is altogether on the one side. Right, without a sinister motive to tarnish it, is altogether on the other. And in setting these before us, the apostle would lead us to mark the quality of that resistance alone, which, even in these circumstances, the pure spirit felt himself justified in making. Was it distinguished by violence, by the opprobrious and furious language of rage? Was the accusation (so justly to be brought by the archangel) a railing accusation? The reverse in every respect. In accusing, he mixed not abuse with his just condemnation. His reverence for God and his regard to the solemnity and holiness of truth kept him back from it. His cause was good and required not adventitious support. His own nature was pure, and would have been essentially defiled had the evil passions in another been resisted by the indulging of similar passions in himself. Above all — God is the Judge "unto whom vengeance belongeth" — and therefore to God the appeal must be made. Hence, by every motive, the "archangel" abstained from bringing the "railing accusation against" his adversary. Now the apostle's peculiar argument, as introduced in application to the persons whom he had such cause for reprehending, stands thus: — If no boisterous or reviling language was employed in controversy even with a fallen and perverse spirit — the acknowledged foe of God and goodness — it was said simply, yet still with dignity, "The Lord rebuke thee" — if thus the archangel committed himself to God and left the final decision to be passed by the supreme authority; in such a cause, and with such an adversary, if "Michael" thus proceeded, say how aggravated must be the guilt which "rails against" sacred things themselves and vilifies all whose influence is employed for their support? It has been found, in the greater number of instances, that where men carrying on any controversy are fully possessed of their subject, and have the clearest knowledge of its nature, they will have a collectedness proportioned to their knowledge. This remark may form the tie by which we may associate the tenth with the ninth verse. The persons who are there rebuked were "speaking evil of those things which they knew not." Having their understandings darkened they saw not the beauties of righteousness. Becoming, through their immoral lives, obdurate to the sense of what was pure, they brought themselves to contemplate iniquity without aversion. Having their inclinations turned in a direction the opposite of what the law required them to follow, they gathered hostility to the curb of the commandment. By persisting in criminal courses they formed in themselves an utter disrelish of the habits of godliness. In this state they "spoke evil" against its sanctions. The dominion of civil power they stigmatised as tyranny. The dominion of the religious principle as the trick of priesthood. The dominion of conscience as prolonging the sway of superstition and perpetuating the influence of childish terrors. But they "spoke evil of those things which they knew not." How otherwise, except in a state of the grossest ignorance, could they have ventured to deduce from the blessed doctrines of grace the occasions, the incentives, or the cloak for immorality? Is there one portion of the Christian plan of salvation that does not bear, with the mightiest influence of moral power, against the love and practice of iniquity? Can there be a purer law than what the gospel reveals for enforcing righteousness? Above all, what motives to righteousness are derived from the Cross of Christ! I ask, then, if in these circumstances it proceeds not from ignorance the most culpable, that any should venture to draw from the doctrine of Divine grace an inference which is even in the slightest measure favourable to sin? — And yet the persons whom St. Jude was confuting did so. Surely, therefore, they were "speaking evil of things they knew not," or of things the nature and tendency of which they refused to acknowledge. But still, I must bring you back once more and in doing so I would connect the last clause of ver.10 with all that precedes it to the real source of this perverseness. The origin of the whole, we must repeat, was moral pollution. The speaking evil of the sacred things, of which these men refused to acknowledge the sanction and the use, arose from their "corruption in those very things" with which they were familiarly and fully conversant. They knew (led as the inferior creatures are by instinctive propensities) the use of the appetites. "The natural man," according to the language of St. Paul, is thoroughly qualified to "discern" that. But among all who are "unrenewed in the spirit of their minds," and to whom consequently a spiritual discernment belongs not, how is it that the objects of this natural knowledge are most frequently employed? Are they not oftener abused than rightly employed? The desires and propensities of nature are wilfully corrupted. The lawful desire of personal good degenerates into selfishness. The allowable desire of human esteem swells into the insatiable longing after "the praise of men." The sensualities of the world are chosen as the chief good. The vitiated heart grows impatient under restraint. By a thousand acts of hostility does the "carnal" mind show itself to be "enmity to God," till the foe of the "Cross of Christ" chooses the lowest desires as his ruling divinities, glories in his shame, and is at last altogether sunk in earthly things. Thus it took place with the persons whom the apostle was called to withstand. Having corrupted themselves in what they knew the use of, by means of their natural senses, they were soon led to oppose those things of which they had no spiritual discernment, or for which, at least, they had no relish — and hence they were prepared to "despise the dominion of righteousness" and to "speak evil" with "railing accusations" of the supporters of that dominion however dignified their office and venerable their authority. Would that the condemnation which the Epistle conveys were considered by the multitudes who still labour to bring contempt upon religion and morality, whose hatred to the Christian truth is even greater than their opposition, and whose invective is as coarse as their arguments are weak! Mark the bearings of their character their likings and their aversions — in order that you may be convinced how utterly unworthy of reception are the objections which they utter against the purity and the majesty and the usefulness of Christian truth. Fix in your minds this principle — that aversion to so precious a system of moral "dominion" as Christianity is, arises, and must arise chiefly from "corruptions" of the heart.

(W. Muir, D. D.)

But these speak evil of those things which they know not
1. None are so ready to speak as the ignorant.

2. Ignorance is the cause of opposing the ways of God. Did men either see the deformity of sin or the beauty of holiness, they would neither delight in the former nor dislike the latter.

3. How great is the sin of speaking evil of those things the worth whereof we do know! All sin against light borders on the sin against the Holy Ghost.

4. We should speak against known evils, and for what we know to be good.

5. Corrupt affections blear and darken the judgment. He who will be disobedient in heart shall soon have a dull head.

6. It is our duty to forbear speaking against anything which we understand not.

(W. Jenkyn, M. A.)

There are few who are not desirous of arriving at an accurate conception of their personal appearance generally, and more specially of the lineaments which distinguish the face or countenance. When such a view as this is presented to our thoughts we may very appropriately note it as a matter of regret that there is not more anxiety to reach the means of forming correct notions of the true characteristics and condition of our immortal part, or imperishable souls. Beauty or deformity affecting the person or body is a very small matter compared with what beautifies or deforms the never-dying spirit. What special medium ought to be used for obtaining such portraiture is a problem easily solved, for Jehovah hath provided a looking-glass for the purpose; and that looking-glass is His own imperishable Word.

I. The charge as here preferred against the system lies in the two statements, that it leads men to speak evil of things which they know not; and to corrupt themselves in what they know in common, or naturally, with brute beasts. These were at least conjoined in the parties herein condemned; and we are safe in holding it as all but universally true that wherever there is a thorough spirit of infidelity there will be found in combination less or more of the evil speaking and the evil acting thus denounced. Many begin with indulgence in wild infidel speculations, and then proceed to the indulgence of wild infidel practices. Or, reversing this order, they give themselves up to less or more profligacy, and then systematically adopt atheistic theories, for the sake of helping to quiet the remonstrances of their own conscience. In the one case the mind is made the instrument of corrupting the body, not less than itself; and in the other the body, through its appetites and passions, is made the instrument of aiding to corrupt the mind. If the intellectual and moral faculties get debauched by the adoption of infidel sentiments, these may soon lend their aid, to a ruinous extent, in promoting the strength of the animal passions; and then the miserable victims may fully realise the striking sentiment of the text, in corrupting themselves in what they know naturally as brute beasts. On the other hand, if the gross animal or brutish passions take the lead, every faculty of the soul may be reduced to a state of utter degradation. It is said of the Lord Rochester, who was so well known for a time as a prominent sceptic and libertine, that as a prodigal son, after he had come to himself, he laid his hand upon the Bible and emphatically remarked, "The only grand objection to this book is a bad life." A bad life is, indeed, blasphemy reduced to practice; but, as already intimated, a bad life is sure of conducting to the acceptance of more and more theoretical and systematic infidelity; and therefore, as a natural consequence, must lead its victims to speak more and more "evil of those things which they know not." Hence in seeking to put you on your guard against the encroachments of anything like religious scepticism, we are more than justified in bidding you, were it for this reason alone, avoid all kinds of sinful indulgence — all whereby you may thus corrupt yourselves.

II. Although it is admitted that there have been false teachers — teachers of very erroneous doctrines — and very wild speculators otherwise, against whom no heavy charge could be made as to immorality; it is nevertheless true of rejectors and impugners generally of Revelation, that, going the length of speaking evil of those things they know not, they do not stop there, but proceed to corrupt themselves in what they know naturally as brute beasts. Let it be noted as a very striking proof of this that in the Middle Ages, as they are called, and towards the beginning of the Reformation, the morals of the popish clergy themselves were in the most corrupt state, when their false and ruinous teaching was as then the least unchecked. At the time when they took full and unlimited scope in teaching the Scripturally denounced devil-doctrine of forbidding to marry, they were never more than then given up to licentiousness; so that whilst in setting themselves in opposition to God's Word, they were speaking evil of things they knew not, they were in what they knew naturally as brute beasts corrupting themselves, and to a fearful extent. By little short of daring challenges to high Heaven even, they profanely advocated, as a cover for their libertinism, that in priests or any other ecclesiastics concubinage was holier than marriage! It is often for the express purpose of reaching such acting, and seeming to have an excuse for it, that false or infidel sentiments are adopted, just as Mahomet — the false prophet — added an additional chapter to the Koran, when be meant to sin farther by adding another wife to those he already had. Much in this style Scriptureless speculators try to make a new sceptical chapter to themselves, that it may be used as a ladder whereby they may reach some forbidden fruit. Conscience, they find, requires some little bribing to quiet its remonstrances, in respect of the sensual course they wish to pursue; and thus far they prepare the way by putting a new chapter or a new verse into their self-revealed speculative Bible, or infidel chapter. We thus discern one of the causes leading to the ignorant speaking about the truths of God referred to in the text: and another, which is as fruitful of mischief, lies directly in pride of intellect, or the supreme conceit men are apt to have of their own supposed superior wisdom and discernment. The principle so much acted on through this species of intellectual conceit, that nothing can well be accepted or believed save it be thoroughly understood, if pushed to its full logical consequences, would leave little to be accepted at all, since there is less or more of mystery in everything, and which no human being can reach and comprehend. To the atheistic materialist matter is his god, but yet he does not understand this his own god. No wonder then, since that which he daily sees, and handles, and lives upon, gets after all so much beyond his comprehension, he should find something greatly transcending all his powers, in attempting to comprehend the nature of the uncreated and eternal existence of the Supreme. But what is more specially noticeable and worthy of our serious consideration is the fact that very often the loudest and most persistent declaimers against Revelation are not merely in much ignorance with regard to its general spirit, but even of the very letter of its contents. Sometimes what they seem to know of these has not been acquired by closely examining the sacred page itself, but from their taking up and retailing what infidel writers before them had stated in order to condemn and ridicule. It is of the highest importance to notice that the Scriptures very frequently allude in one form or another to man's tendency to fall into error and consequent danger, through the conceit he may have of himself or mental powers, and hence justly says, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool." Nor is any one more liable to exemplify this than the mere sciolist, or superficially learned. It is even very frequently obtrusively illustrated by parties who may be said to have scarcely any learning or knowledge at all — for oft they pretend to be oracles of wisdom — and truly may the Spirit say of any such an one, as in speaking by Paul, "If a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Mere natural or unassisted human reason will not, as thus so clearly stated, lead any one to receive the things of God. Left simply to its own resources, and without any superior controlling or guiding power, it is certain to proceed in speaking evil of them, but neither to intelligently or spiritually discern their true character, or receive them as principles of action. If, instead of Divine Revelation, or "the things of God," men take as their text-books such wretched infidel productions as Paine's "Age of Reason," we must look for the reproduction of Paine's ribaldry and profligacies; and hence the sad realisation of the black picture furnished in our text — speaking evil of those things which they know not, and whist they know naturally as brute beasts, in those things corrupting themselves.

(J. Allan.)

There be three kinds of knowledge incident unto the creature.

1. Natural knowledge, arising from the instinct of nature common to man and beast, and consisting in the senses of sight, taste, touching, etc., by the benefit whereof the beast itself can discern what is food fit for itself, and what is not; what is profitable, and what is hurtful for it; unto which is joined a natural appetite, by the benefit of which the creature can choose or refuse his food and meat in season.

2. The second is reasonable knowledge, proper to man, and is nothing else but the light of understanding, whereby he reacheth far higher, and discerneth meat, drink, apparel, and rest, to be God's good gifts, and knoweth the civil use of them; with the which is joined election of will, whereby he can choose or refuse the civil or uncivil, honest or dishonest use of them.

3. The third is spiritual knowledge, not proceeding either from natural instinct or reason itself, but from the enlightenment of the spirit of God, and it hath sundry fruits. First, it enableth men to know these things in their right causes, as that these gifts of meats, drinks, and such like proceed from God, not as He is God of nature only, but as by grace in Christ, so they become pledges of His special mercies. Secondly, this knowledge causeth men to know them in the due measure of their goodness and excellency, rightly discerning them from spiritual blessings, so as the heart shall not be set upon them in the first place, but upon the other as of far higher esteem. Thirdly, it instructeth men in the right use of them, namely, when it worketh this persuasion in their hearts, that till their persons please God, they can never use them well. What is the thing, then, condemned in these seducers? The sin condemned is, that in the use of the creatures of God they are not guided by reasonable, much less this spiritual knowledge; but only by nature, sense, and appetite, as the beast is. Secondly, from the reprehension we are taught to labour for spiritual knowledge, whereby we might be led into the right use of these temporal things; for then and not before shall we use them as pledges of God's mercy in Christ. Thirdly, in that they are said to be guided only as the beast which is without reason, that is, by nature, sense, and appetite; note the practice of the devil which is to keep men in their natural knowledge, and will not suffer them to attain to that which is spiritual; yea, and which is more, he corrupteth also that natural knowledge which men have. The second point is the sin itself, and property of it — "In those things they corrupt themselves." This sin of intemperance causeth men in the abuse of meat, drink, and apparel, to corrupt themselves; here, then, are two things to be spoken of, wherein the whole nature of intemperance is sufficiently comprised. First, of the abuse of the creatures; secondly, of his corruption that thus abuseth them. Concerning the former, the abuse of the creatures is four ways: first in excess, when men use them beyond their calling, or that which nature requireth. Secondly, in curiosity, when men are not content with ordinary meat, drink, apparel, but devise new fashions of apparel, and new kinds of ways of stirring up and whetting of appetite. Thirdly, in affection, when men so addict themselves to meats and drinks, as they cannot be without them. Fourthly, in time, when these good creatures are used unreasonably (Ecclesiastes 10:16; Isaiah 5:11). The second point is, how intemperate persons in these things corrupt themselves; namely, four ways: first, in regard of their bodies, upon which by their sin of intemperance they call sundry sicknesses, yea, and hasten their death. Secondly, they deface God's image, making themselves worse than the beasts themselves. Thirdly, they destroy their souls; for no drunkard or riotous person shall inherit heaven (1 Corinthians 3). Fourthly, they overthrow their families in wasting their substance to the maintaining of their intemperance, and so bring ruin to the places where they live.

(W. Perkins.)

As fire lieth not long in the stubble or in the flax, but the flame breaketh out, so hatred lieth not long in these men's hearts, but breaketh out in evil speeches, and many times. They will speak evil of things they know not. As an image is not seen in water that is troubled, no more is truth in a mind that is malicious, but it sendeth forth with violence all manner of evil speakings. Yet the world is as full of evil speakers as Nilus of crocodiles, as Sodom of sulphur, and Egypt of lice. Can the wound be cured, so long as the iron remain in it? Can the iron be cold, so long as it is in the smith's forge? Can the river cease running so long as the fountain floweth? And can the tongue refrain from evil speaking so long as hatred boileth in the heart? And as the water turneth the wheel, so the heart the tongue. They rail in their ignorance on things which they know not. The birds have no such enemy as the owl; nor the mariner no such enemy as the mermaid; so the learned no such enemy as the ignorant. Saint Peter, speaking of the epicures and atheists of the world, saith, "They knew not, and that willingly." And Paul said of the Gentiles, that they walked "in the vanity of their mind, having their cogitation darkened, and being strangers from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them." As there be degrees in sin, so is there a gradation in ignorance. It is a sin to be ignorant in that we should know, but a greater to be ignorant in that we are bound to know. A man without knowledge is as a workman without his hands, as a painter without his eyes. Only the wise man is a right man; and the man of understanding is only wise. But to proceed, if it be a sin to rail in ignorance, how execrable is it when it is in knowledge! Then it is a double sin. But pride planted it, and envy watered it; they sinned in knowledge, not in ignorance; they said that they knew God as well as God knew Himself. But, to return; most men rail in ignorance; they are like unto Herpasta Socrates, the fool, that having lost her eyes did not believe that she was blind, but thought the house to be dark. So we are blind, and yet will not see it; it is nothing to name the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the twelve Articles of Faith, the two sacraments, but to understand them. Men are not ignorant for want of teaching, but for want of learning; we will not learn. Nay, Jude chargeth them further, that they abused themselves, in that they knew not. Like the Doctors of Ephesus, of whom Paul reporteth thus: "They would be doctors of the law, and yet understand not what they speak, neither whereof they affirm." And also in that they knew; for, saith Jude, "Whatsoever things they know naturally, as beasts, which are without reason, in those things they corrupt themselves"; so that every way they are vile and miserable, as Revelation 3:17. Some things they knew naturally, as beasts that know sweet from sour, good from evil, meat from poison. Where let me distinguish of knowledge, that there is a natural knowledge and a spiritual knowledge; the first of these the apostle calleth the wisdom of the flesh; the second, the wisdom of the spirit. Lastly, he compareth them to beasts; for in many things the wicked are as beasts, if not worse; by creation little inferior to the angels; by conversation much inferior to brute beasts. Let us then no longer live beastly, lest we perish with the beast, but live Christianly, that so we may see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

(S. Otes.)

I. TRUTH IS USUALLY SLANDERED OUT OF IGNORANCE; because men do not understand the ways and things of God, therefore they do condemn them. It is the devil's cunning to keep us at a distance from truths, and therefore burdeneth them with prejudices, that we may suspect rather than search, and condemn that out of ignorance which upon knowledge we could not choose but love and profess; and it is man's perverseness and pride to speak evil of things above his reach, and to disprove that which he has not attained unto or cannot understand.

II. BLOCKISH AND STUPID MEN ARE MOST BOLD IN REPROACHING. A fool's wrath falleth very heavy, because it falleth with all its weight, there being nothing to restrain and stop it (Proverbs 27:3). What ado have we in the ministry with young heady professors, that have more heat than light!

III. MEN OF CORRUPT MINDS ARE USUALLY SENSUAL, and sensual men are usually men of corrupt minds; an unsound heart is best sheltered under unsound doctrine, and carnal delights blunt and weaken the edge and intension of the mind, so that they are very liable to mistakes. Therefore, on the one side, we should labour to keep the mind right and sound in the faith; fish stink first at the head; when the judgment is poisoned, the taint is soon conveyed to the affections. On the other side, "add to your knowledge temperance" (2 Peter 1:6). That is the best knowledge that endeth in temperance, or begets a holy moderation in the use of sensual pleasure; if we cannot govern our affections, we "know nothing as we ought to know"; nay, otherwise, your knowledge will be corrupted by your affections; many errors take their rise and beginning from evil manners and filthy lusts.

IV. WICKED MEN, LEFT TO THEMSELVES, DO BUT ABUSE AND CORRUPT THAT NATURAL GOODNESS AND KNOWLEDGE WHICH THEY HAVE IN THEM. Natural abilities are soon depraved with evil habits.

V. SIN WHERE IT REIGNETH TURNETH A MAN INTO A BRUTE BEAST (Psalm 49:12). If we had the head of a horse, or the face of a swine, or the hoofs of an ass, how should we be looked upon as monsters; but to have the hearts of the beasts is worse; to be like them in the inward man is more monstrous in the sight of God. The beasts know their stint and measure; a horse or a dog will not be drunk, etc. Sin doth not only make a beast of you, but a devil of you (John 6:70).

VI. IT IS A SIGN OF A MAN TURNED BEAST TO FOLLOW THE PASSIONS AND LUSTS OF CORRUPT NATURE. Why? For then the government of reason is renounced, and all is yielded up into the hands of lust and appetite. In men reason should have the chief governance, and exercise a coercion and restraint over our affections. I shall take occasion here to show you how many ways a man turneth beast.

1. By an addictedness to sensual pleasures and delights.

2. When, in the use of these delights, we keep neither modesty nor measure, this is but like swine to wallow in our own filthiness; a beast can do no more.

3. When men live by appetite rather than reason and conscience, feeding without fear, and nourishing the body, but taking no care to refresh the soul.

VII. SENSUALITY DOTH BUT MAKE WAY FOR CORRUPTION; you may counterpoise the temptation to the sin with the punishment; usually secret sins and sweet sins meet with a heavy punishment; secret sins, that do not betray us to shame, may yet beget horror when we think of what will ensue: and sweet sins, that entice our affections, to prevent them we may counterbalance one affection with another, delight with fear.

(T. Manton.)

Links
Jude 1:9 NIV
Jude 1:9 NLT
Jude 1:9 ESV
Jude 1:9 NASB
Jude 1:9 KJV

Jude 1:9 Bible Apps
Jude 1:9 Parallel
Jude 1:9 Biblia Paralela
Jude 1:9 Chinese Bible
Jude 1:9 French Bible
Jude 1:9 German Bible

Jude 1:9 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Jude 1:8
Top of Page
Top of Page