Jude Series: Jude 22-The Command to Exercise Compassion with Those in the Christian Community Who Are Uncertain (2)

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Jude 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. (NIV)
Jude 22 and 23 form a correlative clause.
Jude 22 contains one command while on other hand, Jude 23 contains two commands.
Therefore, the command in Jude 22 is united with the two commands in Jude 23.
The command in Jude 22 required that the recipients of the epistle of Jude begin to make it their habit of exercising compassion with those who are uncertain within themselves and continue making it their habit of doing so.
Those who are uncertain within themselves are those members of the Christian community in Judaea who are uncertain with regards to the Christian faith.
Specifically, they were uncertain as to how they should respond to the unregenerate Jewish Zealots who were infiltrating their meetings in order to persuade them to join them in their revolt against Rome in order to establish the kingdom of God on earth.
They were uncertain because they did not have the conviction that Jesus Christ would establish the kingdom of God on the earth Himself at His Second Advent and that they were to obey the Roman and Jewish governmental authorities.
They did not have this conviction because they were new or immature believers who were not indoctrinated as of yet with regards to the Spirit inspired apostolic teaching regarding the Second Advent of Christ and the proper conduct with regards to the governmental authorities.
Therefore, this command in Jude 22 required that the mature in the Christian community in Judaea make it their habit of exercising compassion with regards to the spiritually immature in their community who were uncertain with regards to the Christian faith and thus uncertain as to how they should respond to these Zealots.
The first command in Jude 23 required that these spiritually mature individuals in the Christian community in Judaea save those in the non-Christian community by snatching them out of the fire of eternal condemnation.
They would execute this command by communicating the gospel to the non-Christian community so that they might trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and escape eternal condemnation in the lake of fire.
Therefore, this correlative clause in Jude 22-23 is uniting the command in Jude 22 and the two commands in Jude 23.
Thus, it is uniting the concepts of the mature believers exercising compassion to those in their community who are uncertain with regards to how to deal with the Zealots infiltrating their meetings and saving those in the non-Christian community by communicating the gospel to them.
The three commands in Jude 22-23 present the result of obeying the command in Jude 21, which we noted required that the recipients of the epistle of Jude make it their top priority of keeping themselves in the state of loving God because of God’s love for them.
Therefore, a comparison of the commands in Jude 22-23 with this command in Jude 21 indicates that the recipients of the epistle of Jude keeping themselves in the state of loving God because of God’s love for them will “result” in them manifesting compassion to those in their community who are uncertain with regards to the Christian faith.
It also indicates that keeping themselves in the state of loving God because of God’s love for them will “result” in them communicating the gospel to those in the non-Christian community which will result in saving them from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire.
In other words, obedience to these three commands in Jude 22 and 23 is the direct result of obedience to the previous command in Jude 21.
Now, in the command in Jude 22, the verb eleaō(ἐλεάω) speaks of the spiritually mature believers in the Christian community in Judaea exercising compassion towards those who were spiritually immature in this community who are in serious need of such compassion because they are wavering with regards to the Christian faith.
This compassion is divine in character and nature for two reasons.
First, it is the manifestation of the love of God in the lives of members of the Christian community who are obeying the command to love one another.
Secondly, they are obeying this command because they are experiencing the love of God the Father in their lives through faith in the Spirit’s revelation in the gospel that God loved them through the work of both His Son and the Spirit at their justification.
Therefore, the verb eleaō(ἐλεάω) means “to exercise compassion” rather than “to exercise mercy” since the latter has the connotation of withholding judgment whereas the former depicts a desire to fulfill a need.
The present imperative conjugation of the verb eleaō (ἐλεάω) is an ingressive-progressive present imperative.
It is expressing the idea of the mature believers in the Christian community in Judaea “beginning” to make in their habit of exercising compassion towards to those in their community who were uncertain as to whether or not these Zealots were wrong and “continue” making it their habit of doing so.
This is not a customary present imperative which has the force of simply continuing a habitual activity but rather an ingressive-progressive present imperative conjugation because this is a command which Jude has never issued the Christian community in Judaea before.
This is indicated by the fact that Jude 3 makes clear that this problem of these Zealots infiltrating the Christian meetings is a new situation which has recently become a problem.
This is indicated by the fact that Jude 3 reveals that Jude was originally going to write regarding the salvation he shared with the recipients of this epistle but now felt compelled to write them to contend earnestly for the Christian faith.
They were to earnestly contend by obeying those doctrines of the Christian faith which were with regards to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ and the doctrines related to obedience to the governmental authorities.
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