Main point summary
Remembering that some will not believe, you keep yourselves in the love of God by the power of God to the glory of God.
But you must t remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ὑμεῖς δὲ ἀγαπητοί, μνήσθητε τῶν ῥημάτων τῶν προειρημένων ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ,
They 1 said to you,
ὅτι ἔλεγον ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου χρόνου ἔσονται ἐμπαῖκται κατὰ τὰς ἑαυτῶν ἐπιθυμίας πορευόμενοι τῶν ἀσεβειῶν.
u “In the last time there will be scoffers,
following their own ungodly passions.”
It is these who cause divisions,
οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀποδιορίζοντες, ψυχικοί, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες.
v devoid of the Spirit.
But you, beloved, w building yourselves up in your most holy faith
ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀγαπητοί, ἐποικοδομοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ὑμῶν πίστει, ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι,
and x praying in the Holy Spirit,
y keep yourselves in the love of God,
ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ τηρήσατε, προσδεχόμενοι τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
z waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
And have mercy on those who doubt;
καὶ οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους,
save others by a snatching them out of b the fire;
οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες, οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ, μισοῦντες καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς σαρκὸς ἐσπιλωμένον χιτῶνα.
to others show mercy c with fear,
hating even d the garment 1 stained by the flesh.
e Now to him
Τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ φυλάξαι ὑμᾶς ἀπταίστους καὶ στῆσαι κατενώπιον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ ἀμώμους ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει,
who is able f to keep you from stumbling
and g to present you h blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
to i the only God, our Savior,
μόνῳ θεῷ σωτῆρι ἡμῶν, διὰ Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, δόξα μεγαλωσύνη κράτος καὶ ἐξουσία πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ νῦν καὶ εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν.
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
j be glory,
before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Some will scoff, following their ungodly passions. In other words, some will not believe. But you believe. Keep yourselves in the love of God.
Faith implies waiting.
Meditations/Observations: The book of Jude is book-ended with God's sovereign power to keep his people faithful to himself. "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling..." (v.24). "To those who are...kept for Jesus Christ..." (v.1). And yet the main exhortation found in these verses is the command to "keep yourselves in the love of God" (21a). So, are we kept? Or do we keep ourselves? Does God keep us from stumbling? Or do we keep ourselves in the love of God? Yes. God will graciously work to keep his people faithful to himself all their days. Yet God works through ordinary means, like "building others up in the faith" (20a) and prayer (20b). Those who fall away prove they were never truly a part of God's people (1 John 2:19). Those who persevere will have done so through many ordinary means, empowered and made effective through the power of the Spirit by God's grace. The false teachers are devoid of the Spirit (19c). True believers are filled with the Spirit (20b). There are three means by which God encourages his people to "keep themselves in the love of God." If we want to actively pursue contending for the faith of our own hearts (aka keeping ourselves in the love of God), then we should be sure that these things are a part of our lives: (1) building ourselves up in our most holy faith (20a); (2) praying in the Holy Spirit (20b); (3) waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Building up, praying, waiting. These are the means by which we keep ourselves in the love of God. We need to know what these mean. Those who have fallen away have likely neglected these in one way or another. The letter has detailed dangers of people entering the church who will try to pull us away from the faith. These means are what God has graciously given us as means to help keep ourselves faithful to him, secure in his love. Each of these means is centered around gospel truth. We are to build each other up in the faith . We are to keep the gospel at the center of our lives and our relationships. Our conversations, encouragements in the midst of trials, discussions around the dinner table, should serve to build each other up (or strengthen each other) in the faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ found in God's Word. We are to pray in the Holy Spirit. Our lives should be characterized by humble dependence that comes from a Spirit-driven life that understands the grace of God in the gospel. I contributed only my sin to my salvation. I am completely dependent on God for my salvation, and I continue to be completely dependent upon God now. Dependence upon God is maybe most appropriately expressed in prayer. The Spirit leads his people to pray. To pray all the time: with each other, for each other, with our families, with our friends, corporately, individually. God is the only one who can keep us in his love (v.1, v.24). We show we believe that by praying. Praying in the Spirit also seems to imply that we would pray in the way the Spirit has inspired (eg. Paul's prayers). These are the kinds of things the Spirit leads his people to pray for one another (our Sunday PM prayers are often a good example of this). The third gospel-centered means by which we keep ourselves in the love of God is by "waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life." Waiting. How in the world does that help us remain in the love of God? There is a godly patience that comes from deep trust in the gospel. Faith waits. Faith does not demand all of the answers now. Faith believes that there are promises yet to be fulfilled and that God will be faithful to his Word as he has in the past. We keep ourselves in the love of God by waiting, being willing to wait, by not giving up the faith while we have to wait. And we wait with faith-filled lives because we believe God's words to be true (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:12; 2 Peter 3:14; cf. Psalm 46:10). Faith implies waiting. Practical ways to keep others in the love of God follow, an expansion of this command. 3 things: (1) have mercy on those who doubt; (2) save others by snatching them out of the fire; (3) to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. All of this is empowered by the One who ultimately keeps us from stumbling by the power of the Spirit who is in us. He is the cause of our keeping ourselves in His love. He is the fuel of our building up, praying, and waiting. So, to him be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Applications : How do we build ourselves up in our most holy faith? We do this by making God's Word central to our relationships. God's Word is inherently powerful. It builds up. We should trust his Word to be used by his Spirit as we speak it to one another. How do we pray in the Holy Spirit (practically)? Pray with each other whenever we're together. Prioritize this in our small groups. Pray through the member prayer directory. Pray for our church members the same prayers that Paul prays for the churches to whom he writes (listed at the front of the member prayer directory). When we have another member into our home, make prayer a part of what we do. Ask each other over lunch how we can pray for one another. How do we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ? We do this by encouraging one another regularly to be patient it waiting for God's promises to be fulfilled. We do this by reminding one another of God's promises in his Word. We remind each other that faith implies waiting. We have mercy on those who doubt and continue to encourage them to wait/persevere. We exercise church discipline, snatching some out of the fire, to exhort them to continue waiting.
building yourselves up
in your most holy faith
in the Holy Spirit,
in the love
waiting for the mercy
of our Lord Jesus Christ
to eternal life.
And have mercy
by snatching them
out of the fire;
Locative: Source (or Separation?)
hating even the garment stained
by the flesh.
Now to him
who is able to keep you
and to present you blameless
before the presence
of his glory
with great joy,
to the only God, ... be glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all time
and forever. Amen.
I. Opening 1-2 A. Author 1a B. Recipients 1b C. Benediction 2 II. Main Body 3-23 A. Reason for Writing: Contend for the Faith 3-4 B. God Has Punished the Faithless in the Past 5-7 C. Guard Yourselves Against the Faithless Among You 8-13 D. God Will Judge the Faithless and Ungodly, As Promised 14-16 E. Some Will Try to Draw You Into Faithlessness 17-19 F. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God 20-23 1. By Encouragement/Exhortation 20a 2. By Prayer 20b III. Closing: Doxology 24-25