This is the 19th lesson in a series of lessons on the book of Jude. In this lesson I will look at verse 16, and talk about grumbling and boasting.
When we look at verse 16, the first word we see is the word these. Then we see five descriptions. Basically, Jude used five descriptors to describe the people referred to by the pronoun these. In this lesson I’m going to start by looking at the overall context of Jude so that it is clear in our minds who Jude was referring to when he used the pronoun these. Then I will examine each of these descriptions: grumbling, faultfinding, lusting, boasting, and flattering. At the very end, I’ll talk about what Jude wants us to learn from this.
Watch the video or scroll down to read a transcript.
Hi. Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This is the 19th lesson in a series of lessons on the book of Jude. In this lesson I will look at verse 16, and talk about grumbling and boasting.
When we look at verse 16, the first word we see is the word these. These is a pronoun. In order to understand this verse, we have to understand who Jude was referring to when he used the pronoun these.
Next, we see the equative verb are.
Then we see five descriptions. Basically, Jude used five descriptors to describe the people referred to by the pronoun these.
In this lesson I’m going to start by looking at the overall context of Jude so that it is clear in our minds who Jude was referring to when he used the pronoun these. Then I will examine each of these descriptions: grumbling, faultfinding, lusting, boasting, and flattering. At the very end, I’ll talk about what Jude wants us to learn from this.
Let’s start by thinking about the pronoun these.
Let’s go back to the beginning of the book of Jude.
Remember, in verses three and four Jude wrote why he wrote this book. He wrote because certain people had crept into the church secretly. Throughout this letter, he described these people.
In verse eight he said these men were dreamers and blasphemers.
In verse ten he wrote more about their blasphemy.
In verse 11 he issued a warning to these men and compared them to Cain, Balaam, and Korah.
In verse 12 he described these men as being stains, unfruitful, and dead.
In verse 14 he applied a prophecy of Enoch to them.
That brings us to verse 16 where Jude continued to describe these men who had crept into the church secretly. He described them as grumblers, faultfinders, following after their own lusts, speaking boastfully, and flattering people for the sake of gain. Let’s take a look at each one of these.
Let’s start with grumblers.
This is a software program called Accordance. It is a Bible study program. One of the tools in Accordance is a concordance of the New American Standard Bible. A concordance is a reference work that lists every word that appears in a particular writing.
In this case, I searched for the word grumbling. An asterisk is a wild card. I put an asterisk in the word so that I would get grumble, grumbles, grumbler, grumbling, etc.
There are 29 verses throughout the Bible that contain a variation of the word grumbled. Let’s look at some of these references from the Old Testament.
The first one is from Exodus. Exodus tells us about the Israelites leaving Egypt and then spending time at Mount Sinai where they received the Mosaic law.
Ex. 15:24 So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
We see that the Israelites grumbled at Moses.
Let’s scroll down to chapter 16.
Ex. 16:7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the LORD;
Here we see that the Israelites were grumbling against Yahweh.
There are many verses throughout Exodus and also down into Numbers that tell us about the Israelites grumbling against Moses and against Yahweh. We see one in Numbers 14. The book of Numbers tells us what happened when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. This is Yahweh speaking.
Num. 14:27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me?
Let’s scroll down to Deuteronomy. This is Moses speaking to the Israelites.
Deut. 1:27 and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.
Throughout the time period of the Israelites leaving Egypt and being in the wilderness, they were constantly grumbling. Obviously, grumbling is a bad thing.
Now let’s take a look at grumbling in the New Testament. We see the word grumblers in Jude 16.
Accordance also has a Greek dictionary. The Greek dictionary tells us the word grumblers is a translation of the Greek word goggustes.
Goggustes is a variation of another Greek word. And that is the Greek word gogguzo.
There is another word that is a variation of gugguzo, and that is goggusmos.
Let’s go back to the concordance and search for every usage of these three Greek words in the New Testament.
The first usage is in Matthew 20.
Matt. 20:11 “When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,
This was part of a parable that Jesus told. This is the parable where a landowner paid the same wages to people who only worked one hour as he did to people who worked the whole day. The ones who worked all day grumbled at the landowner. This gives us an idea what this Greek word means.
Luke 5:30 The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”
There’s a negative connotation to this word. Generally, grumbling is not a good thing.
John 6:41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”
The Jews were disturbed and offended that Jesus claimed to be the bread that came down out of heaven.
John 7:12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.”
These verses give us an idea of the meaning of grumbling.
Let’s scroll down to Acts 6. This is a bit of a different take on this word.
Acts 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
The word complaint is a translation of the same greek word that is usually translated grumbling. Grumbling is usually a bad thing. However, in this case, if you read the context of this verse, you see that the apostles recognized that there was a legitimate complaint here. The widows of the Greek Jews were being overlooked when the widows of the Hebrew Jews were served food. The greeks complained about that. The apostles acknowledged that they were right. So the apostles appointed seven men to solve this problem. Even though grumbling generally is a negative thing, we see here in this context that it was a way of identifying a real problem that had to be addressed; and the apostles did address it.
Now let’s scroll down to 1 Corinthians. This is a command.
1Cor. 10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
The pronoun them refers to the Old Testament Israelites, referring to a time when they grumbled and were destroyed.
Phil. 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
This is another command telling us not to grumble.
1Pet. 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
We are not supposed to grumble when we give hospitality to others.
Then we get to the verse we’re looking at in this lesson. The pronoun these refers to the people that had crept into the church secretly. These are the people that Jude wrote about throughout his letter and were the cause of him writing his letter. Jude said these men who had crept into the church were grumblers. That is a negative thing. Jude was clearly communicating that it is bad that these men were grumblers.
Now let’s go to the next description, which is faultfinders. Let’s go back to the concordance. The New American Standard Bible reads finding fault. The Greek word that was used there is mempsimoiros. Mempsimoiros is a compound word. It is a combination of memphomai and moira. Moira means fate. This word means complaining of one’s fate. Another way to say it is complaining about your lot in life.
Jude wrote that these men who had crept into the church secretly were people who habitually complained about their fate in life. Obviously, Jude was communicating that that is a bad thing, and it’s something we should not do.
The third description is following after their own lusts. Let’s go back to the concordance and look at the word lusts. That is from the Greek word epithumia. This Greek word was used in 37 different verses in the New Testament. Let’s take a look at some of those.
Rom. 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
Lust has a negative connotation. Obviously, we do not want God to give us over to impurity.
Let’s scroll down to Ephesians.
Eph. 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
The connotation here is that living in the lusts of our flesh is bad. It’s negative. It’s not something we should do.
Let’s scroll down to 2 Timothy. This is a command.
2Tim. 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
This is a command to flee from lusts.
Let’s go to the book of Titus.
Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
This is communicating that being enslaved to lusts and pleasures is bad.
Let’s look at 1Peter.
1Pet. 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
This is another teaching that we are supposed to abstain from our lusts.
Now let’s scroll down to Jude 16, which is the verse we’re looking at today. Jude was writing about these men who had crept in secretly and he said they were “following after their own lusts.” These men that Jude was writing about were doing the exact opposite of what we are supposed to do. As Christians, we are supposed to abstain from following our lusts, but these men who had crept into the church secretly were following after their lusts.
Let’s talk about the word boastfully. When we look at the concordance, we see that the word boastfully comes from the Greek word huperogkos. Huperogkos is also a compound word. It means of excessive weight or size.
When Jude wrote that their mouth was speaking boastfully, he meant they were exaggerating, saying things that weren’t true. They were speaking beyond their place and beyond their knowledge. They were talking about things they knew nothing about. This is also something we should not do.
The last description here is “admiring people for the sake of gain.” In other words, these men who had crept in to the church secretly were admiring people, complimenting people, and flattering people. Now this could be a good thing, but they were doing it for the sake of gain. They had selfish reasons for complimenting people. That is something we should not do.
We have here five descriptions. People who are grumblers, faultfinders, following after their lusts, speaking boastfully, and admiring people for the sake of gain. These five descriptions describe people referred to by the pronoun these.
If we go back to the beginning of Jude, and go to verse four, we see that the pronoun these refers to certain people who had crept into the church secretly.
Why did Jude write these five descriptions? Obviously, he’s communicating we should not be doing these five things.
But if we go back to verse three, we are reminded that Jude urged people to contend for the faith. Contending for the faith does not merely mean contending for the truth of the gospel and arguing for the reality of the existence of God. It is not merely claiming that Jesus is God and that He was crucified, buried, and then rose from the dead. Part of contending for the faith is contending for and fighting for a Christian lifestyle, a Christian worldview, and living life the way God wants us to live. If we have people in our churches who are grumbling, complaining about their fate in life, following their lusts, speaking boastfully, and flattering people for the sake of gain, those are things that need to be dealt with because they contaminate the church. They contaminate our reputation as Christians. When we see people in the church who are doing those things, we need to contend for the faith. We need to address those issues, because we should not allow those things to continue inside the body of Christ.
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