Would you please explain the meaning of the verse "and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" in Jude 23?
Paul , Jamaica
In this epistle Jude has four groups of persons in view: first, those to whom the letter is written, the dear saints of God; second, the "ungodly persons" of verse 4; followed by the "some" of verse 22; and finally the "others" of verse 23.
The "ungodly persons" have turned the grace of God into vile and intemperate behavior and deny the only Master and our Lord Jesus Christ. Such are apostate and fall into the category of 2 John 10-11.
The "some" includes simple people, who we might describe as those who blindly follow the ungodly persons, who allow themselves to be caught up with them. Upon such we have compassion, and seek to present to them the wonderful news of the gospel.
The "others" of verse 23, are those who are more clearly identified with the ungodly persons of verse 4. These have clothing -"garments spotted by the flesh," which displays their "works of ungodliness" and their denial of the Person of our Lord Jesus. Such people need very careful handling. We are required to be wise. There are grave dangers and any approach in a spirit of self-confidence may have serious consequences for us. The saint of God must use much discernment to distinguish between these various persons and, in the realization of the horror of judgment to come and the wickedness of the flesh, "save" or present the good news of salvation, in the light of present danger and our own known weakness. The gospel is to be preached unto all, but in the preaching we are to be aware of our own weakness and not allow ourselves to be drawn into debate and argument, but to present the gospel in its simplicity and urgency and leave the work of conviction and conversion to the Spirit of God.