Jude 1.24-25 – A Doxology

Today Jude closes his letter with a brief word of praise, a doxology.

24 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, 25 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.

After writing about false teachers, false teaching, contending for the faith, our common salvation, doubt, mercy, love, faith, fear, and the flesh, Jude closes with a directive on where we look to find the balance in all of this.

We know life is tough, don’t we. 

We know that it won’t be all plain sailing, don’t we. 

We even know that when we profess faith in Christ that this isn’t a magic fix to guarantee us a hassle-free, stress-free, trouble-free life, don’t we.

But, we do know that there is One who has negotiated all that we can possibly be faced with (Hebrews 4.14-16). 

This is the to Him that Jude speaks of, Him that can keep us from stumbling, Him that will present us blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, Him who is the only God, Him who is our Saviour, Him is Jesus Christ our Lord.

He presents us to God blameless because of all He did, not because of anything we did. He takes great joy in this, and so does Jude, as he offers glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Point to ponder – Jesus takes great joy in presenting us blameless before the Father, Jude takes great joy in this, do we take great joy in this?

Prayer – Father, we thank you for the finished work of Jesus on the cross that allows us to be brought to you blameless through our faith in Him. Help us to be people who value this above all, and those who see our eternal destination as more important than our earthly station. Amen. 

Jude 1.22-23 – Save Others

Earlier in this short passage we focused on have mercy on those who doubt, now let’s look at the rest. 

22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Here Jude continues his instruction as to how we interact with those stuck under the false teaching of vv.8-13. To those who have doubts of the heart we are to have mercy, but some situations require a stronger response. Jude writes save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. The response is different to show mercy, and the response is stronger too. 

The crux of it all is that we should indeed be others-focused. Looking outwardly to others and the direction they are heading shows that we care and shows we are valuing our brothers and sisters in Christ. If people are being taught a different version of Jesus than is orthodox and shown in Scripture, we ought to be stepping in to lovingly correct them (Ephesians 4.14-16). 

I read recently that “Christians should not abandon a friend flirting with false teaching. They should help him through it in love.

So, if people are flirting with false teaching, be that from an individual pastor who teaches ever so slightly away from Scripture to tickle the ears of those who listen, or if an entire church and movement is founded on principles and teachings that are not explicitly demonstrated in the Bible, we should help them see the truth of the Word of God, but always in love. 

In doing so, as Jude writes, we will save others. Not in that we become their Saviour, but we will redirect them to the One who is. 

Point to ponder – Would I know how to lovingly give correction? Am I humble enough to receive correction?

Prayer – Father we thank you for your timeless and true Word to us that we carry in our Bibles, and we thank you that this Word became flesh and lived here among us temporarily to point us to you. Give us a spirit of humility and the right words if we need to be in this situation, and help us to always keep our eyes fixed on the message of your Word, not the words of those who deliver it. Amen. 

Jude 1.22-23 – Is It Ok To Doubt?

Jude has so far told us to be different to those around us, and to build ourselves up in our most holy faith. Today, what do we do in relation to those who are stuck under the false teaching detailed in vv.8-13? What do we do in relation to those who doubt that Jesus Christ leads to eternal life?

22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

There are a couple of things that come out here – one is to have mercy on those who doubt.

Doubt, inherently, isn’t a bad thing. 

Doubt is human and doubt is universal, says Os Guinness. We live in a broken world and to doubt is sadly just a part of life.

Very simply, all that can be believed can be doubted, and it is no surprise then that our faith, the most holy faith that Jude has written about can be doubted. To doubt means to have two minds, and rather than suppress doubt, we should look into the questions we have in our minds. 

Some doubts come from the will – do I want to follow Jesus?

To this, the Bible has a strong response – James 1.6-8.

Some doubts come from the mind – can this be proven?

To this, the Bible has a softer response – Isaiah 1.18.

Here, Jude is talking, it seems, about doubts of the emotion – how do I feel about all of this?

Coming off the back of talking about mercy and love and eternal lifeJude then says have mercy on those who doubt

Psalm 73 also speaks of the response to doubts of the heart.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

So, is it ok to have moments of doubt? Yes.

How do we interact with those facing emotional doubts about their faith? With mercy

Author Charles Hummel said that a stronger faith can emerge through doubt, and that holiness and faith are strengthened in the fires of temptation. 

It’s ok to doubt, it’s not ok to reject, but it’s ok to ask questions, it’s ok not to know all the answers. There is mercy waiting.

Point to ponder – What do I have doubts about?

Prayer – Father, we know we have moments of doubt. We know we want to follow you, and sometimes we have doubts of the mind or the emotions. We know too that when this happens, your loving kindness and mercy are there waiting for us to strengthen our faith, to uphold us, and to show us that our faith is one of steadfast hope. Thank you. Amen. 

Jude 1.20-21 – We Must

Hot off the heels of the kind of criticism and challenge believers are to expect, and the kind of person this will come from, today Jude hits us with another contrast.

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Straight away we see the contrast, don’t we, but you, beloved. There needs to be a marked difference in your life when compared to the lives of those around you who are not walking with the Lord, who don’t know Jesus, who don’t believe that God raised Him from the dead. This will be our actions, and maybe even more importantly, our reactions. 

Jude tells us to keep yourselves in the love of God, to wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life, and we do this by building ourselves up in your most holy faith and by praying in the Holy Spirit. 

There is such a personal element to this short sentence, isn’t there. David Guzik writes on this, 

“…we are responsible for our own spiritual growth. It means that we cannot wait for spiritual growth to just happen, or expect others to make us grow.”

We must keep ourselves in the love of God, we must wait for the mercy of Jesus, we must build ourselves up in faith, and we must pray in the Holy Spirit.

One of the wonderful things about our faith is that it is lived out in community. The things we must do and the things we are responsible for may seem difficult or even insurmountable some days. This is where a committed, caring, and challenging church family will come into play.

They will be committed to caring for you as you wait for the mercy of Jesus, and they will encourage you and help you to build yourself up in your most holy faith. They will challenge you to do all of those things, and more, all to the ultimate glory of God, and all to the ultimate praise of Him who saved us from darkness to light. 

Point to ponder – Am I an active part of a church family? Am I getting this kind of help? Am I giving this kind of help?

Prayer – Father, help us to be different. Help us to live the love that you showed us when you sent your Son to die for us. Empower us today through your Holy Spirit to build ourselves up in our faith, and to support those around us doing the same. Amen. 

Jude 1.17-19 – Expect This

Building from his description of the ungodly in (vv.14-16), today Jude encourages the faithful.

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

So rather than focusing on self and displaying the character of those in vv.14-16 Jude is encouraging his readers, and us, to remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The men who fellowshipped and followed our Lord Jesus Christ were taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, which means that we take theirs words seriously. The predictions are very similar to what we read in  2 Timothy 4.3-4,

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Jude goes on to say that these people cause divisions, that they are worldly, and that they are devoid of the Spirit.

Now we are contending for the faith, fighting for what we love, wrestling for what we deem important, Jude wants us to know that this kind of stuff is coming. He wants you to know that there will be people in your life that laugh at the teachings of and about Jesus and who just want to live their own life in their own way. Jude wants you to know that this is coming so that you can be better prepared when it does. His warning fits so well with the encouragement of 1 Peter 3.15, wherein we are told to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us.

So, people will coming into your life that don’t believe what you believe about Jesus, they may laugh, they may ask questions, they may step away from you and think you’re crazy, it’s all ok. Jude tells us that this is coming, and as Peter wrote, we should be ready with an answer when it does.

Point to ponder – Am I ready?

Prayer – Father, we thank you again for your Word to us. We thank you that it prepares us for every situation we can possibly imagine, and that it guides us on how to act in them too. Help us to be firm in our faith, and ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us, to your glory. Amen.