Jude 1:19 MEANING

Jude 1:19
Verse 19. - There follows yet another description of the same men, taking up that in verse 16, and generalizing it in harmony with what is suggested by the apostolic prediction. In three bold strokes it gives a representation of them which is at once the sharpest and the broadest of all. This final description, too, at last lays bare the root of their hopeless corruption. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. The pronoun "themselves" cannot be retained in face of the weight of documentary evidence against it. The verb (which is one of very rare occurrence) is held to be capable of more than one sense - seceding, causing divisions, creating factions, making definitions or distinctions. The most natural meaning seems to be that adopted by the Revised Version, they who make separations. So Tyndale; Cranmer and the Genevan have "these are makers of sects," and Luther gives "makers of factions." It may be that they caused divisions by setting themselves up as the only enlightened Christians, and, on the ground of that enlightenment, claiming to be superior to the moral laws which bound others. The term translated "sensual" has unfortunately no proper representative in English. It is "psychical," being formed from the noun psyche, which is rendered "life" or "soul." This psyche is intermediate between "body" and "spirit." It is in the first instance simply the bond or principle of the animal life, and in the second instance it is embodied life. Thus it is that in man which he has in common with the brute creation beneath him, But it becomes also more than this, expressing that in man which renders him capable of connection with God. For in the third instance it denotes the seat of feeling, desire, affection, and emotion; the center of the personal life - the self in man. The adjective itself occurs in the New Testament only in a few passages of marked importance - 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:44, 46; James 3:15; and the present verse. Here it designates the men as men who live only for the natural self - men who make the sensuous nature, with its appetites and passions, the law of their life; natural or animal men, as the Revised Version gives it in the margin. Wickliffe renders it "beastly;" Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Genevan, "fleshly;" the Rhemish, "sensual." The third clause admits of being rendered either "having not the spirit" (in which the Authorized is supported by Wickliffe, Tyndale, and Cranmer), or "having not the Spirit" (so the Revised Version, following the Genevan and the Rhemish). For it is in many passages difficult to decide whether the word "spirit" means the Holy Spirit of God or man's own spirit - that in him in virtue of which he can have fellowship with the Divine, and on which God specially acts; "that highest and noblest part of man," as Luther puts it, "which qualifies him to lay hold of incomprehensible, invisible things, eternal things; in short... the house where faith and God's Word are at home." The rendering of the Revised Version is favoured by the occurrence of the term in the following verse. The Spirit of God was not in the lives or the thoughts of these men, and hence they were creators of division, and sensual. Their pretension was that they were the eminently spiritual. But in refusing the Divine Spirit they had sunk to the level of an animal life, immoral in itself, and productive of confusion to the Church.

1:17-23 Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet prudently reprove each other, and set a good example to all about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was connected with fellowship with them, in works of darkness, keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.These be they who separate themselves,.... Not from sinners openly profane; such a separation is commendable, being according to the will and word of God, to the mind and practice of Christ, and which tends to the good of men, and to the glory of God; but from the saints and people of God; it is possible that a child of God may for a time leave the fellowship of the saints, but an entire and total forsaking of them, and of assembling with them, looks with an ill aspect; nor did they separate themselves from superstition and will worship, and every false way of worship, which would have been right, but from the pure worship, ordinances, and discipline of God's house, by a perversion of them, and as being above them, or unwilling to be under any notice and government; not from errors and heresies, and persons that held them, with these they herded; but from the pure doctrines of the Gospel, and ministers of the word, and made divisions and separations among the churches, for worldly ends, and through pride and affectation of vain glory, as if they were more knowing, more holy, and more spiritual than other men: when they were

sensual; such as gave themselves up to sensual lusts and pleasures; and at best were but natural men, who had only natural and rational abilities, but without spiritual and experimental knowledge: hence it follows,

having not the Spirit; though they might have some external gifts of the Spirit; or he himself dwelling in them as a spirit of conviction and illumination, as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification, as a spirit of faith and comfort, as a spirit of adoption, and as the earnest and pledge of the heavenly glory; they were not under his influence, nor did they feel the operations of his grace, nor had they communion with him: hence they appeared to be none of Christ's, nor could they claim interest in him, and were without life, and so could not persevere.

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