gives five commands for Christian
growth that will help them maintain a lively
Christian life in the midst of an immoral and
• Build yourselves up on your most holy faith.
• Pray in the Holy Spirit.
• Keep yourselves in the love of God.
• Look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life.
• Rescue the perishing.
St. Jude speaks of a "most holy faith" to
contrast it with the unholy teachings of the
The building material is "your most holy
Sometimes we expect God to build us -- and
the Holy Spirit is certainly at work to "edify"
But this building requires significant
cooperation from us.
How do you build yourself up in your faith?
St. Paul reminds us, "Faith comes from hearing
the message, and the message is heard through
the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).
Our faith is built up when we listen to, meditate
on, and put into practice in our lives the
teachings of Christ.
We can do that for ourselves, through reading the
Bible on a regular basis -- and not just reading,
but thinking about, dwelling on, absorbing.
It builds up, edifies, strengthens us in our most
What does this mean?
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave
again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And
by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" (Romans 8:15)
"Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into
our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.'"
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We
do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit
himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot
express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind
of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in
accordance with God's will." (Romans 8:26-27)
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests. With
this in mind, be alert and always keep on
praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)
The Spirit assists us in all kinds of prayers
We are not to pray just rote prayers, but ask
God how to pray and rely upon the help and
guidance of the Holy Spirit to pray
Keep: preserve unharmed or undisturbed.
"God's love" here could be either God's love
for us or our love for God.
This command talks about us keeping up
our part of a love relationship with God.
Consider these verses:
"Because of the increase of wickedness, the
love of most will grow cold, but he who
stands firm to the end will be saved."
"Yet I hold this against you: You have
forsaken your first love." (Revelation 2:4)
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved
you; abide in my love. If you keep my
commandments, you will abide in my
love, just as I have kept my Father's
commandments and abide in his love."
Disobeying Jesus' commands means we are
not abiding in His love.
No doubt there are Christians whose love
has "grown cold," who have abandoned the
love for Jesus they once had.
Worship will nurture this love when it is
conducted with love and full heart toward
Nurture that relationship with Him in your
own private worship as well as in public
You can rekindle the love of God back in
your heart and He'll help.
Although we should live in the present, not in the
past or future, but we must keep alive the flame
of hope in the promises of God for the future.
"The mercy ... that leads to eternal life" looks
back to Jesus' atonement on the cross
Then forward to the great judgment (Revelation
20:11-15) where we are set free, based on the
presence of our names in the Lamb's Book of Life
Beyond the judgment we look to an eternity of
life in the presence of God.
Let us look forward to that mercy and to eternal
We are told to look forward to God's mercy
for us, but in the next verse St. Jude tells us
to be merciful to those who are tempted to
We are to have mercy on those who waver,
who doubt, who don't have stability in their
These waverers are those who have been
influenced by the teaching of the false
Speaking figuratively, their "white
garments" have been stained by their
The garment referred to is the one worn
directly over the skin or "flesh" -- which
hints a both to:
• The physical flesh where sexual sin may have
• And the figurative use of "flesh" to refer to one's
St. Judewarns us that in helping those
who are entangled in sin, we must be
aware of our own spiritual danger, lest we
become accepting sin -- especially the
sexual sin he seems to have in mind here.
When we help those who are caught in
sin, we must do so "with fear" lest we stop
hating the sin that has entrapped the
sinner whom God loves.
St. Jude likens the rescue procedure to
pulling a piece of wood out of a fire that is
already begun to burn it (Amos 4:11;
We have a responsibility, especially towards
our brother and sister Christians, to watch
out for them.
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you
who are spiritual should restore him gently.
But watch yourself, or you also may be
tempted." (Galatians 6:1)
"My brothers, if one of you should wander
from the truth and someone should bring
him back, remember this: Whoever turns a
sinner from the error of his way will save
him from death and cover over a multitude
of sins." (James 5:19-20)
"If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that
does not lead to death, he should pray and
God will give him life...." (1 John 5:16)
St. Judecloses his brief letter with an
amazing description of God's
commitment toward us.
The wonderful message of the Christian
gospel is found in three parts:
• He will guard you against falling.
• He will present you before judgment without
• He will present you with tremendous joy.
First, God will guard you against falling.
Are you afraid that the devil will be too
strong for you? God is stronger.
The apostle John writes, "You, dear
children, are from God and have
overcome them, because the one who is
in you is greater than the one who is in
the world" (1 John 4:4).
God is guarding you. He is a hedge of
protection around you (Job 1:10).
He instructs his angel to "encamp"
around you and deliver you from your
enemy (Psalm 34:7), to guard you in all
your ways (Psalm 91:11).
As the invisible horses and chariots of
fire surrounded Elisha, so God is
protecting you (2 Kings 6:17).
God's guard around you is no small thing.
You can rely upon Him.
Second, he will present you before his
glorious presence at the judgment without
Here it carries the figurative sense:
"pertaining to being without fault and
therefore morally blameless."
The longer I live, the more I realize that I fall
I am much more aware of my own
imperfection than when I was a young man.
"For he chose us in him before the
creation of the world to be holy and
blameless in his sight." (Ephesians 1:4)
"Christ loved the church and gave
himself up for her to make her holy,
cleansing her by the washing with water
through the word, and to present her to
himself as a radiant church, without stain
or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy
and blameless." (Ephesians 5:25-27)
"Do everything without complaining or
arguing, so that you may become
blameless and pure, children of God
without fault in a crooked and depraved
generation, in which you shine like stars in
the universe...." (Philippians 2:14-15)
"But now he has reconciled you by Christ's
physical body through death to present you
holy in his sight, without blemish and free
from accusation...." (Colossians 1:22)
“So then, dear friends, since you are looking
forward to this, make every effort to be found
spotless, blameless and at peace with him." (2
Of the 144,000 "...who had been redeemed
from the earth. These are those who did not
defile themselves with women, for they kept
themselves pure. They follow the Lamb
wherever he goes. They were purchased from
among men and offered as firstfruits to God
and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths;
they are blameless." (Revelation 14:3-5)
He will bring you before his presence
with tremendous joy.
There's a passage in Zephaniah that
expresses this well:
• "The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
He loves you that much! Can you bring
yourself to imagine that God himself
delights in you -- you personally?
This scripture teaches that He delights in
you as does a mother with her babies, as a
grandfather constantly showing off pictures
of his grandchildren.
He loves you with an intense and emotional
So when you finally appear before his
glorious presence, he is utterly delighted to
see you there and will shout with joy.
This is the Gospel we declare: that our God
guards us, forgives us, and delights in us --
and with all who will draw close to Him
through Jesus our Savior.
St. Jude now concludes with a doxology,
words of praise to God.
Observe that he calls God "our Savior.“
Sometimes we reserve this title to Jesus the
Son, but God the Father is very much our
Next, Jude offers five words that describe
God's greatness – wisdom, glory, majesty,
power, and authority.
Following this, he offers praise through
"Jesus Christ our Lord."
Finally, he encompasses all time with the
• Before all ages,
• Now, and
Our God is great in so very many ways
But to us He shows his greatness in His
restraint, the undeserved mercy he has
shown us and in His inexplicable delight
in us, His love which springs with no
reason from the heart of God and knows
Yes, to Him be glory, majesty, power and
authority through Jesus Christ our Lord --