But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:20-25
Jude was the half-brother of Jesus who, like James came to faith after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. He is writing here to fellow believers. His purpose is to encourage them and keep them strong in their faith despite the moral and doctrinal apostasy that was creeping into the church. This was during a time when Christianity was under severe political attack from the Roman government. Jude was exhorting the brethren to be watchful and ready to spot bad doctrine brought in by false teachers. What was happening was as persecution grew, false teachers were bringing in non-Christian doctrine, meant to make Christianity more like the surrounding pagan cultures. And because of this Jude is teaching the believers that preparation for such attacks is prayer and study of the scriptures.
He also exhorted them to be at the ready to help their fellow believers who might have their faith weakened by false teachers. In addition, he called them to have compassion on those who were not saved. He used the analogy that saving someone from false doctrine was like saving a person from a burning fire. Jude finishes by reminding his audience that as followers of Christ, we have a sure and firm foundation in Jesus, who alone is able to keep us from stumbling. And through whom we are presented blameless before God as children of God and joint-heirs with Him. We are blameless before God because with our salvation, we received the imputed righteousness of Christ. Therefore, when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin which was washed away by the blood of Christ. Instead, He sees the righteousness of Jesus, which was freely credited to us, through the conduit of our faith in Him.
Just as “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness”, Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23 so we also believed God to salvation, and continue to believe God unto the fullness of our salvation. That means right up to the last breath we take on earth, when He escorts us home and our journey is finished; at which time we will know by sight.
Do you believe this? It serves well to examine ourselves regularly that we may continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2Peter 3:18
Let us not grow weary in doing good. As the years grow long, so our salvation grows more sure and our knowledge more firm. ‘Tis so sweet to have a friend in Jesus!