Jude 20,21, Well-Built Christians

August 30, 2017

 

 

Jude 20,21: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.”

Whenever you encounter a “but” it marks a change of direction and should always cause  to ponder what the writer is contrasting.

Jude now seeks to turn their minds from all the error and from all the distraction that he has been describing towards the triune God, Who alone is God. They are to pray in the Holy Spirit, keep themselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Compare for this combination of the three members of the Godhead together.

Verse 20a: “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith…”

You cannot build until you secure a solid foundation. That foundation is not to be created; it is already provided in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:11 ERV, “The foundation that has already been built is Jesus Christ, and no one can build any other foundation.”

All other foundations are crumbling clay or shifting sand. Shallow conversions make shallow Christians. I trust that you have dug deep, and laid your foundations well.

2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

A little boy was walking with his dad watching a new high-rise building going up. He asked, “Daddy, why are they digging so deep in the ground?” The dad’s reply, “Son, you can’t go high till you dig down deep.”

Matthew 7:24,25 NLT, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”

We must be built upon the solid foundation which is Christ! When we join our weakness with His great strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our poverty to His wealth of grace, our sinfulness to His perfect righteousness, only then can we begin to build our Christian house! The best part of a true Christian is the unseen part, as the vital part of a tree is its root, so the innermost graces that lie, as it were, in the very depths of a Christian soul, next to Christ are the most precious and powerful and enduring portion of the man.

A  building is not finished when the foundation is laid. Our salvation is only the beginning, then we are to build ourselves up on our “most holy faith.” God’s building materials are readily available to us, the Word, the church, Christian friends and prayer.

Paul, praying for the Ephesian elders, says it is His grace that builds a sure foundation. Acts 20:32, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

Verse 20b: “Most holy faith…” This phrase is found only here in Scripture. Holy means separate or set apart, so the faith we are to be build up in is a faith that is set apart. In the context of this letter, the faith Jude refers to is in verse 3: “The faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

PBPGIFWMY, “Please Be Patient! God Isn’t Finished With Me Yet.” Often times when we look in the mirror and deep into our own soul, and we don’t like what we see. It is then that we need to recall the great truth that God isn’t finished with us yet.

Verse 20c: “Praying in the Holy Spirit…”

Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Ephesians 6:18, “ praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

Jude had just described people devoid of the Spirit. We are to pray out of hearts and souls that are indwelt, illuminated, and filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to pray submissive to, filled with, attentive to, and utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”

“Mark the grand characteristic of true prayer-In the Holy Spirit. The seed of acceptable devotion must come from heaven's storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God can go to God. We must shoot the Lord's arrows back to Him. That desire which He writes upon our heart will move His heart and bring down a blessing, but the desires of the flesh have no power with Him.  Praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in fervency. Cold prayers ask the Lord not to hear them…The Holy Spirit is the author of faith, and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God's promise. O that this blessed combination of excellent graces, priceless and sweet as the spices of the merchant, might be fragrant within us because the Holy Spirit is in our hearts. Romans 5:5, ‘Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’” –Spurgeon

Verse 21a: “Keep yourselves in the love of God…”

“Keep” in Greek is, tereo, to watch over, to guard, to  keep.”

Jude is not telling his readers to do something in order to receive the love of God. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” It is vital that we believers know that God loves us so much we can trust Him with our lives. The false teachers do not have the Spirit , so they have no love for God, nor do they understand God’s love for them. And neither do they care about other people, but only about themselves.

And Jude is not telling his readers that they need to do something to keep God loving them. 1 John 4:16,  “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

Romans 8:37,38, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We know that God loves even the ungodly, so Jude doesn't mean for the believer to live in such a way to make yourself lovable to God. Instead, to keep yourselves in the love of God means to keep yourself in harmony with God's ever-present love.

Romans 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

“This is a vitally important principle, and it means to remain in the sphere of God's love, or the place of His blessing Romans 5:5 8:39; John 4:16). On a practical level, it means that we must stay obedient to God, since divine blessing is promised only within the sphere of obedience. As Jesus told the apostles: Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:9-11; cf. 1 John 2:5) On the other hand, if we become disobedient, we move from a position of blessing to a position of chastisement (Hebrews 12:3-11). –John MacArthur

To stay in a position where God can shower all of His love on us. Keep yourselves in the place of blessing. God will never stop loving us, but if we harbor sin in our lives, we make it impossible for God to give us His fullest blessings. Psalm 66:18, “ John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

 

Verse 20d: “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

“Looking for” is “Waiting anxiously,” the Greek word is prosdechomai: “To expect, to wait for. We are to live with eternity in view as we eagerly anticipate the Lord's return. Titus 2:13, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

This is in the present tense, so there is a sense of expectancy. It describes a believer in whom the Spirit of God has stirred an attitude of eager expectancy and readiness to welcome the return of their Bridegroom at His Second Coming. God want us be waiting expectantly so that we will be living victoriously when our King returns! Life is short. Death is sure. Eternity is long.

We know beyond any doubt that Jesus is coming again. Twenty-three times in the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, That’s one in every thirsty verses! For every reference to Jesus’ first coming there are eight that point to His return. J One thing is sure, If there were only one verse in the Bible that states that he is coming again, we would have to believe it, Jesus Himself said in John 14:3, ”I will come again.” Jesus’ coming was never intended to be a subject for speculation; it was always intended to be a reason for anticipation and motivation. If we are looking for Him, we will be living for Him!

“Mercy” in Greek is elios, “compassion, kindness, and showing love for others in kind actions.” Lamentations 22,23, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

“The English word mercy appears three-hundred-forty-one times in the Bible. The four Hebrew and three Greek words associated with this mercy appear a total of four-hundred-fifty-four times and are also translated as ‘kindness, lovingkindness, goodness, favor, compassion, and pity.’ Of the sixty-six books of the Bible, only sixteen do not use one of these words for mercy.” –Henry M. Morris

Psalm 136, in the King James Version, repeats the words “For His mercy endureth forever,” in each of the 26 verses. The New King James Version uses the word, “lovingkindness” for mercy 26 times.

“Mercy” is God’s love in action. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave…”

Ephesians 2:4-6, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

“Eternal life.” Simply means that all who are “in Christ” are never going to die


John 3:16 NLT,  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Romans 6:23,  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 John 5:13, “ These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life…”

Our eternal life is a supernatural gift from God! Ephesians 2:8,9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Our eternal life is only found in Jesus Christ.

John 1:4, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

And in  John 14:6 Jesus said, ”I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Therefore, Eternal life is first and foremost the life of the Son of God. It is God's life.

Eternal life is not something we have by nature. It cannot be created, invented or manufactured, it is a supernatural act from God the Father, through Christ the Son. Eternal life is God's own life, living in you.

Most people think of eternal life as living forever in heaven. But it's more than that. Eternal life also is a here-and-now thing. Our eternal life began when we trusted Christ as Savior and Lord. And in this new life “in Christ” we are living in “heavenly places” now! We can live in heaven on the way to heaven!

Ephesians 2:6, “And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” 

Ephesians 1:18-20, “That you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”

How can you know you are living in “heavenly places?” How can you know that you will spend eternity with God? How can you know for absolutely certain that you are a child of God? What assurance can you have that you will go to heaven when you leave this life? Can you be certain that you are safe? How can you know? Many have said to me that you can’t be sure you’re saved, you can’t know you’re going to heaven, you can’t know that Jesus lives in you. Well I’m here to tell you, you can know, be assured, be absolutely confident that your future is secure.

Jesus is the only way to God. This is the hardest one for many people to believe. There are no other “paths” to God or “ways” of salvation. While this “many paths to God” theory is popular in the minds of many and even some modern-day churches, it is a lie designed to keep people from the truth of Jesus Christ.

“Jesus said, I am THE WAY, (so there is no other way) THE TRUTH, (so there is no other truth) and THE LIFE; (so there is no other life) no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

This is why it is so important that you understand that to simply be a good person, go to church, believe in God, and do your best to serve Him is not what it means to be a Christian. It is impossible to be a God follower without accepting God’s son Jesus. Jesus is the way…the only way to salvation for mankind. It was Jesus who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and it is Jesus that we must accept and come in to relationship with if we are to be called by His name…”Christians,” which means “followers of Christ”.

You must receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. “But to as many who received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Each person must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Written below is a very simple prayer of salvation. It may be very similar to a prayer you have already prayed, but for some of you, this is your actual time of decision. If you have already prayed this prayer and know you are a Christian, then just read it over once and pray for those that may be praying this prayer for the first time. But if this is your moment of salvation, then simply stop right where you are at this moment, and pray this prayer to the Lord. He is waiting with great anticipation. Only pray these words if they truly represent the desire of your heart and your decision to follow Christ:

Dear Lord God, I need You in my life. I acknowledge that I have sinned and I come to You right now confessing that sin, and asking for your forgiveness. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe You are the Son of God and that You died for me, and rose from the dead and are alive today. I open the door of my heart and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Please take control of my life from here forward and make me the kind of person you want me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

 

 

 

If you need more information please contact me at pastorbigjohn@sbcglobal.net

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English  bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB). Contemporary English Version (CEV).

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