Saturday, 2 May 2020 Jude 17-25
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. -Jude 20-21
Though this book was written in the 1st century, with today’s world filled with the type of “false teachers and ungodly people” described in this book, makes the topic extremely relevant to our generation. It reminds us of the punishment that the ungodly are heading for, citing examples from history like Sodom and Gomorrah and like angels who deserted their dwelling place, being kept in everlasting chains for punishment to come. On the other side of the coin, this epistle encourages and exhorts the “called ones” to be in the Love of God and to keep themselves for Christ, aptly, in difficult times like ours, where sin being glorified, has become a way of life and many rampant sins are being legalized by governments. The key verses (Jude 20-21) list 2 things to keep ourselves in the Love of God while acknowledging the all-prevailing grace of our Lord. They are “Building up ourselves in our faith” and “Praying in the Holy Spirit.” Building up ourselves in our Faith: As the Bible commentary by “MacLarren” beautifully illuminates, because of our faith in Jesus Christ we submit to Him completely and it has in it a tendency to produce holiness. This becomes the foundation on which we build our faith through our acts of faith and sacrifices, which makes our character beautiful from the Christian perspective. Also because of our trust in our Lord, we receive from Him the power to build up a character, a never-ending process, as long as we live. Praying in the Holy Spirit: “Many a time our prayers become mere utterance of our own desires, but the prayer which is breathed into us by that Divine Spirit will brood over our chaos, and bring order out of confusion, and light and beauty out of darkness. It is like air injected into a grate where the fire is half out and makes it flaming again vigorously.” This is the kind of prayer we need, to keep ourselves in the Love of God.
In verse 21, the Apostle points out the truth of the real “Blessing” yet to come to the believers who keep themselves in the “Love of God” - Eternal Life with our Lord. The truth about the eternal life is that it is given to us solely by the mercy of our Lord, (not by the building up we do in our faith or our excellent character or our prayers) but by the ransom, He paid for us with His life when He was on the earth as a human.
One who is sincere in “building up his/ her faith” and “praying in the Holy Spirit” and looking towards the mercy of the Lord will be always in the Love of God and the Triune God, who created the universe by the power of His “word” will be with him always. (John 14:23 & John 16:13). Most familiar of the Psalms, 91 or 23 are just two of the numerous examples in the Bible describing the blessings and promises covenanted to such a believer here and in eternity.
Thus those who are in the Love of God are real “powerhouses” and are given the additional task of saving others from hell’s fire and leading to the Lord while even the slightest of temptations should be guarded against (Jude 22-23). While we do this faithfully we have the great assurance that He who is all-powerful, who “measured out the heavens with a span” will keep us from stumbling, keep us unblemished and exceedingly joyful (Jude 24) for eternity with Him, one thing that really matters, more than even the riches of the whole world.
Think on: Jesus said: “I give them eternal life, they will never be lost, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28)