Have you ever been spared from something disastrous? If you have, you know the feeling of relief, gratitude and appreciation of what you’ve been spared from. In Jude, the first half of the book speaks at length to the coming judgment for those that rebel against Christ. In this second half of the book, we see that we’re kept by Christ and preserved from the wrath that we deserve. Because we’re kept by Christ we contend for the faith and we worship God.
- We Remember What God has Said: v.17-19
Jude begins by reminding the church of a host of items that we need to remember. We first are to remember that we are beloved. This is a reminder of our standing in Christ. Even if you have failed miserably this week, God’s love for you hasn’t flinched! Second, we are to remember the truth of God’s Word. As Jude speaks of the predictions of the apostles, it’s a reference to God’s Word. We are by nature forgetful, and even the miraculous work of God is something that we can forget. So we need to be reminded of God’s Word and what it says to us. Third, we are to remember that there will be detractors. Jude makes clear that there will be those that will scoff and mock our decision to follow Jesus. We must use discernment and be ready for this reality.
- We Embrace the Purpose of Contending for the Faith: v.20-23
Here, we see ways in which we are to contend for the faith. While most of the book focused on why we contend, this part is focused on how we contend. First, we contend for one another. There’s a host of ways that this is done: we build ourselves up in faith, we pray in the Holy Spirit, we keep ourselves in God’s love and we wait for God’s mercy. It’s imperative that we see this primarily in the context of the church corporately and not simply ourselves individually. Second, we contend for those on the fringe. In verses 22-23, Jude exhorts the church to take on the noble work of contending for those on the edge. We do this by having mercy on doubters, warning others of judgment, and pointing others toward Christ’s cleansing work.
- We Glory in God’s Salvation: v.24-26
The book finishes with a doxology that is second to none! This rich conclusion serves to further amplify the distinction between wrath and God’s mercy and grace. We see the preserving work of Christ as He keeps us from stumbling and presents us blameless. This is a wild truth: sinners are given the righteousness of Jesus and stand before God blameless! This is only because of the finished work of Jesus. In response, Jude breaks out in worship of God, ascribing to Him glory, majesty, dominion and authority! God help us that this would be true of us as well!
In closing, we asked a few questions to help us think through all that God is doing in this text. Below are the final questions:
- What is it that God wants you to remember today?
- In what ways do you need to be challenged to contend for the faith?
- In what ways do you need to be challenged to extend mercy to those on the fringe?
- Are you trusting in Christ to keep you?
- Can you say as Jude did “to our God be glory, majesty, dominion and authority,” and mean it?