Book of Jude Part 19 (series: Lessons on Jude)
by John Lowe
Immersed in Christ’s sustaining love, believers can look to the future with bright and joyous confidence because they know how things will turn out. Jesus Christ is the source and goal of their faith: " Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2 ). In John’s gospel, Jesus repeatedly informed both His followers and His detractors that this was the whole purpose for the Father sending Him into the world. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self, do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:24-30).
There is no viable reason for the Christian to live in fear—fear of heresy, fear of ridicule, fear of the future, or fear of this earthly life. Instead, Christians rest securely in the hands of a loving God Who gave His Son, Whose power and authority holds our future. Then, everyone will know the truth as He ascends the throne and as the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ
A. Exhortation by Warning. 20–21.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
The believer’s resource, of course, is to stay close to the Lord and live in unbroken fellowship with Him. But how is this done? Jude gives four steps.
The first is building yourselves up on your most holy faith, that is, the Christian faith. We build up ourselves on it by studying and obeying the Bible. Constant familiarity with the word guides us positively in the way of righteousness, and warns us against the perils along the way. I firmly believe, “Men may belittle doctrine, but it is faith that produces character and not character that produces faith.”
The second step is praying in the Holy Spirit. This means to pray as guided by the Spirit, in accordance with the will of God as revealed in the Bible or as privately revealed by the Spirit in a subjective way to the believer. It is in contrast to prayers which are recited mechanically or spun off without any real spiritual involvement.
Third, keep yourselves in the love of God—by building up yourselves on your most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Ghost; for without this we shall soon lose the love of God.
Finally, we must be looking for the mercy of our Lord—For although they were to build themselves up, and to pray in the Holy Ghost, and keep themselves in the love of God, yet this building, praying, and keeping, cannot merit heaven; for, after all their diligence, earnestness, self-denial, watching, obedience, etc., they must look for the MERCY of the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring them to ETERNAL LIFE.
But ye, beloved (esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love).
building up yourselves on your most holy faith. Building up yourselves refers to having the most holy faith—the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, and the writings of his apostles, for your foundation; establishing, all your expectations on these, and seeking from the Christ who is their sum and substance; all the grace and glory you need.
The apostle Paul wrote this to the Colossians, "Building up" Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). A Christian must be permanently rooted in Christ and firmly anchored in Him. This is what God does; through the process of sanctification. This is a continual process; we being built up constantly like an ever-expanding building.
Stablished in the faith. This means to make firm or stable.
Abounding. The natural consequence
praying in the Holy Ghost--Holding on to the Divine influence which you have received, and under that influence making prayer and supplication to God. The prayer that is not sent up through the influence of the Holy Ghost is never likely to reach heaven. “Praying always with all prayer and *supplication **in the Spirit, and ***watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication ****for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess 5:17) as you engage in battle. Keep the lines of communication open with the Captain of our salvation:
(Josh 5:13–15) "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”
(Heb 2:10) “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
“Supplication” refers to making specific requests.
**"Praying in the Spirit" does not mean that we pray for the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who prays in us, through us, and for us (Rom 8:26–27).
(Rom. 8.26, 27) “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. The great consolation we have during this period of waiting for the Lord’s return is the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who helps our infirmities which is better translated in the singular. We have one great infirmity while waiting for the Lord to return to us, and that is we know not what we should pray for as we ought. The only thing our Lord’s disciples asked Him to teach them was how to pray. Each believer encounters that same difficulty in knowing how to pray and for what to pray. Consequently, God has given His Holy Spirit to make intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Even when we do not know what to say to God, the Holy Spirit interprets our innermost feelings and intercedes in our behalf. These inarticulate sounds are heard by God when intercession is made for us by the Holy Spirit.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit. The Scriptures frequently speak of God as One who searches the heart (cf. I Chr 28:9; Ps 139:1, 23; Jer 17:10; I Cor 4:5; Heb 4:12–13). As the omniscient eye of God searches even the inarticulate groanings of Our hearts, the Spirit of God makes intercession for the saint of God. Thus, intercession is made for us not only by God the Son, who sits at the right hand of God the Father, but also by God the Spirit who dwells within the believer.
**“Watching” means we are to be on guard, vigilant, wide awake (Mt 26:41)
(Mt. 26.41) “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Man’s regenerated spirit may have good intentions, but it must control his body (cf. Rom 12:1) in order to gain spiritual victory.
***"For all saints" is an admonition for believers to pray for all Christians.