Read..Pray..Love..

(Today’s post from Joshua Jones)

Jude 17-25

eat bibleYesterday, Adam addressed the first section of the Epistle of Jude. Jude initially set out to write a letter on the “common salvation” but the Holy Spirit prompted him to write about apostasy in the church and about the battle against the forces of evil in the world. In the first section of Jude, we saw Jude laid out the consequences of false teaching and apostasy. God will bring judgment to those people who lead his church astray. It will be just, and it will be swift.

Today, we wrap up the short letter from Jude. After warning the believers of the consequences of apostasy, he gives them instructions on how to stand strong. These instructions are good for today’s church as well.

In order to stand strong against these attacks of the false teachers, the church has to:

Remember Gods word. (17-19).

From the very beginning, Satan has attacked the Word of God, “Genesis 3, “Did God really say?” Once we begin to question God’s word, we are vulnerable to Satan’s other attacks.

  1. Remember who gave the Word. (vs 17) The Lord had many disciples, but only a few apostles. In order to qualify as an apostle, a believer had to be a witness of the resurrection of Christ. The apostles lived with Christ during his ministry, learned from Him and were sent by Him into all the world to carry the good news of salvation. Wherever there is authentic, the counterfeit will
  2. Remember what they said: (vs 18) They prophesied that mockers would come who would deny the Word of God. They walk after their own lusts; they do not want God to tell them how to live.
  3. Remember why they said it. (vs 19) The apostles wrote to tell the truth of God’s Word and warn against the hypocrisy of the false teachers. They wrote to unify the church and lead people to true fellowship with Christ.

Build your Christian Life.

The Christian life must never stand still; if it does, it will go backwards. The apostates were (and still are) in the business of tearing down the Church, but each Christian has a responsibility of building up, first his own spiritual life, then his local assembly. Jude outlines how the believer is to build their life around Christ as the center.

1) Read the Word of God. This is central to the Christian faith. It is impossible to be a strong, fruitful Christian that can stand up to the attacks of the enemy without being in the Word. By studying the Word of God consistently, we can know what it teaches, and identify the false teachings around us.

2)  Remain in prayer. Jude states that we are to continue “praying in the Holy Ghost”. The Word of God and prayer go together. If all we do is read the Bible, we will have a great deal of light, but not enough power. We will be filled with head knowledge, but not empowered to do anything with it. If we pray unceasingly, but we do not spend time in the Word, then we will have overwhelming zeal, but no knowledge of God.

3) Jude adds one more factor into the structure of Christian life: abiding in God’s love. He writes in verse 21: “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” The more time that we spend with God, the more we get to know Him, the more we will love Him. However, this love is more than just an overwhelming feeling. There has to be obedience. We grow in our love for God as we listen to His word, obey it, and delight in doing what pleases him. The more that we grow in our love for God, the more we will look with hope towards his coming, which is the second half of verse 21: “waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.            

Jude wraps up his letter with a beautiful doxology. This ending to his letter reminds us that God is worthy of our devotion. As we go about our day today, I pray that this truth resonates in your soul:

“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.”

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