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5. Kept in His Love: Jude

Those who are kept by God keep themselves for him

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.

-Jude 1:24

God’s grace demands life-change. A life characterized by disobedience is evidence that one has possibly never understood or accepted God’s grace in the first place. However, the audience of Jude found themselves confronted with a strain of corrupt teaching that asserted God’s grace was a license to sin, a free out.

Jude, the half-brother of Jesus and traveling missionary, wrote to this group of Christians to set them back on firm ground. His purpose is stated clearly at the beginning of his letter: “Contend earnestly for the faith!” (Jude 3). Jude is driving these Christians to remain strong in their devotion to God.

Looking to the source of the corruption, Jude calls out its proponents for carelessly writing off God’s commands that simply don’t feel good to them. Jude highlights their wayward moral choices, specifically regarding money and sexuality, and he confronts their misguided narrative: “If God is just going to forgive me, I’m going to live however I want.”

This type of corrupt thinking exists all over our landscape today. We are constantly facing pressure, both outside and within us, to slack in our faithfulness to God.

Jude reminds Christians that God is not ambivalent to sin. He highlights historic examples where God brought judgment on those who rebelled against his authority.

Given the gravity of faithful obedience, how are Christians to contend for their faith? Jude says in verse 21, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God.” In other words, remain firm by:

praying - staying connected to God through conversation - and

abiding - keeping yourself in the love of God.

Most significantly, Jude’s letter provides the motivation to remain firm in Christ. Why should Believers want to stay connected to God or abide in him? Because of who God is.

At the beginning of his letter, Jude states, “To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ (Jude 1).” Who is God and what has he done?

God has called you.

He has made you his “beloved.”

God is keeping you secure and safe in Jesus.

At the end of his letter, Jude concludes, “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 (Jude 24).” Who is God and what has he done?

God’s grasp on you is strong.

He is protecting you from falling from his grace.

God is maturing you to deepen your capacity for abundant joy.

And throughout his letter, Jude uses a variety of metaphors to contrast the character of the corrupt teachers with the nature of God. Who is God and what has he done? The teachers are compared to dangerous, hidden reefs that cause shipwrecks, but God is a rock of refuge. Unlike the teachers who are described as self-centered shepherds, God is the Good Shepherd who cares for and tends to his sheep. The corrupt teachers are like a vaporous mist, lacking dependability or commitment, but God is a pillar of cloud, steadfastly leading his people.

Those who are kept by such a God keep themselves for him.

RESPOND: Take a moment to contend for your faith by grounding yourself in the loving hold of God.

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