Jude 20 – 23
Jude continues in his encouragement of the brethren by using for the second time the phrase, “But you, beloved”. This phrase carries with it a feeling of love and concern. It is here where He is encouraging the “beloved” to be different than those who tear apart and teach false doctrine. There are five action phrases that Jude encourages his “beloved” readers to consider and employ as we contend for the faith. Let’s look at the five phrases:
- “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith” – This phrase has the implication that our faith is to never be stagnant but should be ever growing. It is not acceptable to ever feel that our level of knowledge and understanding has met the quota. We must always be looking for ways to build upon it. Peter encourages us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). We need to be taking every opportunity to study, learn and apply our faith in our lives. Only you can make the decision to grow and build upon your faith.
- “Praying in the Holy Spirit” – Prayer is absolutely a necessary component of the Christian life. We know it is by the Word that God speaks to us and it is by prayer that we speak to Him. Prayer and the Word of God are the two legs by which our spiritual lives must stand and both need to be well balanced for our continued spiritual growth. For us to pray in the Spirit we need to make sure our prayers are in harmony with what the Spirit teaches in the Word of God. In the same way that we should “walk in the Spirit”, (Galatians 5:25) that is to walk in our lives according to the what the spirit teaches we should also pray according to what the Spirit teaches.
- “Keep yourselves in the love of God” – Again Jude instills in us the need for personal responsibility in our spiritual lives. We are to keep ourselves in the love of God. Only we can do this for ourselves. I can’t do it for you and you can’t do it for me. Keeping ourselves in the love of God is exactly what Jesus taught in John 14: 21 & 23 that we keep ourselves in the love of God when we keep obeying the commandments of God. By keeping the commands of God it proves that we love God (1 John 5:2-3).
- “Waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord” – No one likes to wait, but here we are told to wait anxiously. But it is not like we are waiting in line or waiting for our favorite show to start back up. Here we wait on the edge of our seat knowing the outcome of the mercy that God gives to us. A mercy with which we are absolutely dependent. We are looking forward to the return of the Lord; we are looking forward for His revealing appearance (Titus 2:11-13).
- “Have mercy” – Not only are we to wait on the mercy of the Lord but we are to extend mercy to others. Compassion is to be extended but not the same compassion to everyone. We have to make a distinction; to some who are struggling and doubting we extend love and mercy, to the “certain men” that he has addressed in this letter they should be extended mercy with fear. Fear that we would not also fall into the same trap they have fallen for. Paul says “if anyone is caught in any trespass” that we “who are spiritual are to restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to your self, so that you too will not be tempted”. Mercy for all but be careful.
Hey Jude! You challenge me today with these 5 actions. I gotta a lot a growth ahead of me!