The book of Jude is a letter written in response to false teaching that had somehow crept into the church. Jude writes to exhort the recipients of the letter to contend for the truth and to squash the influence of these false teachers.
Typically when I read through Jude my attention is primarily focused on the idea of contending for the truth. This morning I found that what captured my attention was a combination of promises in which to rest and imperatives to obey. Obviously this letter was written at a particular time to a particular people and for a particular purpose, but it was also written for us. And so, here is what I saw during my time in God’s word this morning.
As far as commands and exhortations go, I like what Jude has to say in the beginning of verse 21. “Keep yourselves in the love of God …”. You don’t have to twist my arm. I’d love to continually abide in the love of God. But how do I do that? Jude offers a few practical things that will help his readers strive toward the state of remaining in God’s love.
- Build yourself up in the faith – study God’s word, serve, gather with the saints…
- Pray in the Spirit – recognizing our need and dependence on God we pray to Him – our ever present help in time of trouble. Even when we don’t know how to pray as we ought, the Spirit intercedes for us.
- Wait for God’s mercy – this speaks to an expectant waiting and encourages us to look forward to our blessed future hope in Christ Jesus. We’re encouraged to not evaluate our present situation in light of what we can see with our physical eyes in the here and now. Rather, we look forward to the future glory that will be revealed to us.
After exhorting his readers with the imperative to keep themselves in the love of God, Jude closes with the really good news.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1:24-25 ESV
What a magnificent promise in which to rest. You see, our safety, security and confidence doesn’t have to rest in how well we build ourselves up in the faith, pray in the Spirit or look forward to God’s mercy. Jesus keeps us and He is able. He is able to keep us from stumbling and He is able to present us as blameless. For His glory and our joy. And it is in that truth that I rest. Amen.