The Book of JUDE
James J. Barker
BUILDING UP OURSELVES ON OUR MOST HOLY FAITH
- Most of my messages from the book of Jude have been rather bleak. This is because the epistle of Jude contains strong warnings about apostasy.
- But though the apostates will continue to plague us right up to the second coming of Christ, there is no need for us to be disturbed.
- HA Ironside wrote, “Dark and gloomy as the picture has been drawn for our warning by the pen of inspiration, there is yet no cause for despair…however the power of Satan may be manifested and error seem to be about to vanquish truth. The saint of God needs to daily build himself up on his most holy faith” (Jude).
- The apostle Paul said, “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (I Tim. 4:7, 8).
- Jude says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith…” (Jude 20).
- Back in verse 3, Jude begins by saying, “Beloved…ye should earnestly contend for the faith.”
- Now he concludes by saying, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith…” (Jude 20).
- “Faith” in both verses refers to the Christian faith – that extensive body of Bible doctrine taught in the Bible.
- The apostates attack this most holy faith. We are to build ourselves up on it (Jude 20). There are other contrasts as well.
- Apostates “have not the Spirit” (Jude 19). We are to be “praying in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20).
THIS INVOLVES PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST (JUDE 20).
- If we are not praying in the Holy Ghost, then we are praying in the flesh and that is a waste of time.
- Romans 8:26 says “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.”
- Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
- This means effectual prayer. We pray specifically for a need and we believe God will answer our prayer.
- This means fervent prayer – not cold, lifeless, wishy-washy prayer. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
- This means believing prayer. Our Lord said in Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
- James 1:6, 7 says, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
- This means continual communion with God. First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
- This means praying according to God’s will – not selfish prayer. James 4:2, 3 says, “ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
- When we are led by the Spirit of God, and are filled with the Spirit of God, then we will be “praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).
- Then we can be confident our prayers will be answered. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
THIS MEANS KEEPING OURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD
- This does not mean that God will ever stop loving us. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
- God not only saves us; He keeps us (Jude 24). Jude 1 says we are “preserved (kept) in Jesus Christ.”
- First Peter 1:5 says we “are kept by the power of God through faith.” God keeps us. And we need to keep ourselves in the love of God.
- When the prodigal son ran off and wound up in a hogpen, his father never stopped loving him. But the prodigal son did not keep himself in the love of his father.
- HA Ironside says keeping ourselves in the love of God means “to keep in the conscious enjoyment” of the love of God.
- The love of God is very enjoyable. How sad that many Christians tend to forget this.
- Our Lord said in John 15:9, 10, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
THIS MEANS “LOOKING FOR THE MERCY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST UNTO ETERNAL LIFE” (JUDE 21)
- Beloved, we are to be eagerly anticipating the return of our Lord.
- The same Greek word translated “looking” is elsewhere translated “waiting.” Our Lord said in Luke 12:36, “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding.”
- It is the same word the apostle Paul uses in Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
S. Maxwell Coder, in his book, Jude, The Acts of the Apostates, says, “These wonderful verses begin with an inward look at the developing of Christian character; we are to be building. They continue with an outward look at everything and everyone for whom we should intercede; we are to be praying. Then they look upward at the One who loves us and who has made us His children; we are to keep ourselves in the love of God. They conclude with a forward look at the return of our Saviour and the dawn of eternal life in His presence; we are to be looking and waiting for the final great manifestation of His mercy.”