Exhortation to believers verses 20 - 23

 

INDEX
Home
Introduction
Salutation verses 1-2
The Letter's purpose v.3-4
Historical warning v. 5-7
The False teachers v. 8-11
A blemish in the church v. 12-13
Enoch's prophecy v. 14-16
Apostolic teaching v. 17-19
Exhortation to believers v. 20-23
Doxology v. 24-25
Conclusion
References & Bibliography

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Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Jude 1:22 Be merciful to those who doubt;Jude 1:23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Urges and encourages and insists that the believers look after themselves in the things of the spirit in the following four ways:

1. The faithful should be building themselves up in the faith - The Christian builds his life on the foundation of the faith. This means that our faith is not a personal opinion or something manufactured by an individual, this faith was handed down to the church and from the church to the individual. The message that Christ brought is preserved and transmitted within his church. William Barclay talking of the Faith says:
"That faith is a most holy faith. Again and again we have seen the meaning of this word holy. Its root meaning is different. That which is holy is different from other things, as the priest is different from other worshippers, the Temple different from other buildings, the Sabbath different from other days and God supremely different from men. Our faith is different in two ways. (a) It is different from other faiths and from philosophies in that it is not man-made but God-given, not opinion but revelation, not guessing but certainty. (b) It is different in that it has the power to make those who believe it different. It is not only a mind- changer but also a life-changer; not only an intellectual belief but also a moral dynamic."

The way to build upon the foundation that has been laid is through relationships in the local church and by praying in the spirit.

2. The faithful should be should be praying - The sense of what Jude is saying here is that our prayers should be in the Holy Spirit. This has two distinct and acceptable meanings.
a] Praying in line with the will of God as directed by the Holy Spirit
Eph 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

b] Praying in the Holy Spirit or praying in tongues. Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 (NKJ) states:

"For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding." And in 1 Corinthians 14:4
"He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself"

The latter suggests that we build ourselves up in our most holy faith by speaking in tongues.

3. The faithful should keep themselves in God's love - God's love is a covenant relationship with its own terms of communion.

In one sense we are never out of God's love, our position or standing with him not changing but our relationship with him alters because of our attitudes and sin. Jesus explains how we may keep ourselves in the love of God.

John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
John 14:24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

4. The faithful should be focussed on the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ - This not only keeps the Christian humble but also fills him with hope. A hope that is steadfast and certain enabling him to endure all kinds of hardship, knowing the reward that awaits him.

The four verbs building, praying, keeping and looking are the four walls of the impregnable fortress for the believer, enabling him to withstand life's adversities and the enemy's tactics.

Now Jude turns to the work of the believer, which is being a witness by our life, our lifestyle and our words. He makes three distinctions in those who should be helped.

1. Those who doubt:
These are believers who have lost their way, who are wavering in their belief and understanding. We must look at the mercy shown to us when we were lost God loved us and was merciful toward us. Through acts of love, through teaching, prayer and generosity of spirit these wavering doubters can become pillars of the faith.

2. Those who are near:
Near to sin or near to death, I feel Jude is thinking of those who can be snatch from the fire, maybe those who are close to salvation but unsaved. Through acts of love, through teaching, prayer and generosity of spirit these who are close might be saved.

3. Those who are other than the above:
These and the unsaved, those whose eyes have been blinded and whose hearts have been hardened. We must still mix with such people but not be party to their lifestyle. Jude says, "to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh." This can be summed up in with the phrase "love the sinner but hate the sin". Through acts of love, through teaching, prayer and generosity of spirit these who are far off may be drawn near.

 

Introduction / Salutation verses 1 -2 / The Letter's purpose v.3-4 / Historical warning v. 5-7
The False teachers v. 8-11 / A blemish in the church v. 12-13 / Enoch's prophecy v. 14-16
Apostolic teaching v. 17-19 / Exhortation to believers v. 20-23 / Doxology v. 24-25
Conclusion / References & Bibliography

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