Chapter 1:20-25 (ESV) - But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Question to consider: How do we build ourselves up in the faith?
Much like his brother James, Jude ends his epistle with an appeal to the church to live as the body of Christ and to love and support one another as we are daily being conformed to the image of Christ. This begins with a foundation in our most holy faith, the faith once for all delivered to the saints. We gather together to receive God’s word and Christ’s body and blood, praying together as the saints in the Holy Spirit.
When people struggle in their faith, we are there as a church to build each other up. When people wander off into sin, we are there to snatch them out of the fire. This is done through Law and Gospel. We need to hear the Law in order to continually see our need for Jesus. It keeps us from getting prideful or thinking we deserve the mercy of God. We also need the reassurance of God’s grace through Christ, for we are all like Joshua the High Priest who stood before God dressed in garments stained by the flesh. Though Satan was there to accuse him before God, God rebuked Satan and clothed Joshua in righteousness (Zechariah 3).
Ultimately, Christ is the one who is able to keep us from stumbling and brings us to eternal life. As the apostle Paul said, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Everyone has a deep longing for a righteous king to end the wars and evil in this world. Jesus is that king, and Jude recognizes that He deserves all glory, majesty, dominion, and authority. Though we may not always see it in a world that is filled with sin and discontentment, Christ who reigned before time began, is reigning now and will reign forever. Those who live under the reign of King Jesus are citizens of heaven and His ambassadors here on earth. While we look forward to His return, we are busy using the gifts and abilities He has given us to let His will be done in the world.
Dear heavenly father, help us to keep our eyes on King Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. May we develop a deep love for Your church and show mercy and grace to each other as we spur one another on to love and good works. We pray for Christ’s soon return to put an end to sin and death. Amen.