Jude -25

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Jude -25

This final verse of Jude varies considerably in various Greek texts. Putting the two major texts side by side will reveal this –

To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

…to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Sticking with the text of the NKJV for consistency, Jude begins with, “To God our Savior.” Seven times in the New Testament God is said to be our “Savior.” Likewise, almost 20 times Jesus’ is given the title of Savior. In the Old Testament, it was the Lord (Yehovah) who is called the Savior –

“Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.” Isaiah 45:21

This clearly demonstrates that the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ belongs not to the invention of the church, but to God who authored Scripture. God is not confused, Scripture is not contradictory, and Jesus is God.

In Jude saying, “To God our Savior,” it is an acknowledgment of that. Jesus is fully human and fully God. It is God who authored the plan of redemption. It is He who united with flesh in the incarnation, and it is through the humanity of Christ that the process of salvation was then effected. All of what occurred demonstrates wisdom, purpose, and intent that has been worked out in the stream of time. For this reason, Jude next says of God, “Who alone is wise.”

The simple statement is expanded upon by Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians –

“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”1 Corinthians 1:20-25

Again, the words are also reflected in Paul’s letter to Timothy –

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

The words of Paul continue to closely match Jude’s words when he next says, “Be glory and majesty.” The word doxa, or glory, conveys the idea of God’s infinite intrinsic worth. The word translated as “glory” in the Hebrew language gives the sense of weight or heaviness. Thus, there is the idea of the substance or essence of God which the mind contemplates and then assigns infinite value to what is considered.

The word translated as “majesty” signifies greatness. In the case of God, it is an infinite and majestic greatness because He possesses “Dominion and power,” and which Jude ascribes to Him. Of these words, Albert Barnes states –

“With the expression of such a desire it was not inappropriate that this Epistle should be closed – and it is not inappropriate that this volume should be closed with the utterance of the same wish. In all our affections and aspirations, may God be supreme; in all the sin and woe which prevail here below, may we look forward with strong desire to the time when his dominion shall be set up over all the earth; in all our own sins and sorrows, be it ours to look onward to the time when in a purer and happier world his reign may be set up over our own souls, and when we may cast every crown at his feet and say, ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. – Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God,’ Revelation 4:11; Revelation 19:1.”

To ascribe “dominion and power” to God, as Jude and others do in Scripture, is to proclaim that God’s rule stands far above the broken existence we now experience, and that what we now know will be forever eclipsed by a state of existence that we actually cannot comprehend at this time. It is a statement of faith in the promises of God for His redeemed.

Jude then acknowledges that this dominion and power stands “Both now and forever.” The Greek reads, “both now and unto all the ages.” Jude acknowledges that God’s dominion and power exist right now, even if we do not perceive it because of the wickedness and rebellion all around us. And when those things are removed from His presence, His unchanging kingdom will continue on forever and ever. The ages will come and go, but God’s kingdom will remain.

With this magnificent doxology complete, Jude finishes the epistle with, “Amen.” It signifies “Truth” or “So be it.” The words are words of faith. As we walk through this world, seeing all that is harmful, vile, and opposed to God, and when we proclaim Amen to the glory of God, we are demonstrating faith that He transcends what we now experience. It is thus the acknowledgment of our hope in what He has promised to us.

God has set forth a plan, He has worked in the stream of human existence to execute it for His people, and He has done it through the Person of Jesus Christ. May we never fail to proclaim the praises of God who has done this for us. Amen.

Life application: To recap the highlight of Jude’s words, we will note that the wisdom of God is evident in His creation and also in the glorious plan of redemption that He alone controls as the Savior. Jude ascribed four honorific words –

1) Glory – the manifestation of God’s attributes such as His radiance, splendor, brilliance, and so forth.
2) Majesty – a word ascribed to kings, thus signifying His authoritative reign.
3) Dominion – God’s kingship extends to the entire spectrum of the created order, from one end of the universe to the other. It also transcends the created order, expanding into a realm we will never – even for all eternity – be able to fully perceive.
4) Power – God created and even now sustains the universe. Every aspect of the created order is under control of His mighty hand.

God, being the author of time, space, and matter is outside of our sphere of existence, and He is therefore eternally existent; His glory has no end. Despite the words of woe and caution in his epistle, Jude means for us to be confident that God’s plan is being worked out and that He will satisfactorily lead His redeemed to the new heavens and the new earth that are promised in the book coming up next, Revelation.

Let us hold confidently to the truth that God is in control, and that because of Jesus Christ, we are assured eternity in His presence, reveling in His glory.

Thank You, heavenly Father, for Your precious word. It is good and right to be reminded throughout the pages of Scripture that we are to be constantly on guard against the deceitfulness of man and to rely solely on You and Your word for our life, our doctrine, and our hope. Thank You for our Hope – Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.










Jude -24

Monday, 10 August 2020

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, Jude -24

Jude finishes his epistle with two resounding verses which form a doxology and a benediction comparable in the New Testament to Romans 16:25 and 1 Timothy 6:14-16. His words here begin with a connection to what he just said in the previous verse, “but others save with fear.” While working to bring the light of the truth to others, we are to not allow ourselves to get caught up in the same sins we are trying to rescue others from. As Jude continued saying, “pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

As noted, one can get burned by fire when pulling out another, and one can contract the same infection that defiled another’s garments. Jude’s warning was to be cautious while conducting one’s affairs lest we get caught up in other’s sins. With this understood, Jude begins his marvelous doxology by saying, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling.”

Some translations say “falling” rather than “stumbling.” This is incorrect. A fall implies permanency. To stumble means to get misdirected or tripped up, but it is not considered permanent. This was the point of Paul’s words concerning Israel in Romans 11 –

“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.” Romans 11:11

Jude uses the same word here, ptaió, with a negative prefix attached to it, aptaistos. In the five uses of the word ptaió, each consistently refers to a stumble, but not a fall. The salvation of the person is not in question. Jude says that the Lord is able to keep us from stumbling. The word translated as “keep” signifies “to guard.” In this, if we are willing to rely on the Lord and His word, we will be guarded from any stumbling.

However, and while understanding this, he continues with, “And to present you faultless.” Even if a believer stumbles, we have the surety that we will be presented “faultless.” The word signifies “without spot,” or “without blemish.” Thus, “faultless,” “blameless,” and other such words are suitable to convey the meaning.

The idea here is that for those in Christ, they are purified by Him, and they will be presented in this manner before God. This is possible because we are not only purified by His cleansing blood of atonement, but we are covered by it from that point on. When God sees us, He does not see our misdeeds, but Christ’s perfection. Our sin – past, present, and future – is under the blood. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5 –

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19

God has forgiven past sin in Christ, and no sin is imputed under the New Covenant. As sin is what separates us from God, and as sin is no longer imputed, we can never again be separated from God. This is the idea that is conveyed in Jude’s words. From there, he continues with, “Before the presence of His glory.”

It is Christ who presents those who have come to Him before the presence of God. Christ Jesus is both fully man and fully God. Thus, He purifies us, He keeps us from stumbling, and He presents us faultless before the glory of the Triune God.

The word Jude uses, translated as “present,” is histémi. It means “to make one stand.” Two verses from the psalms will help us understand what Jude is referring to here –

“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?” Psalm 24:3

“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?” Psalm 130:3

Jude says that it is the Lord who will make us stand before God. The psalmist wondered who could stand before the Lord if He marked our iniquities. The answer is “none.” No person whose sin is imputed to Him can do so. But for those in Christ, we may (and we indeed will) be made to stand before the presence of His glory.

In fact, it impossible that it could be otherwise. What Christ has done is fully capable, finished, and forever. Once it is received, it is sealed with God’s guarantee (Ephesians 1:13, 14), and it will come to pass. And, as Jude notes as he finishes this verse, it is “with exceeding joy.” The Greek reads, “in exceeding joy.”

It is a state which we will be in at that moment, and it will continue for all eternity. The word translated as “exceeding joy” signifies ecstatic joy, exaltation, or gladness. What occurs as we come before God will be the highest form of joy that we could possibly imagine – and more so. We will be presented before God without sin, we will understand that this state will be eternal, and we will have the knowledge that God Himself did this for us in Christ. At that time, the love of God for us will be understood in a way that we can only begin to sense while in these fallen bodies.

Life application: Jesus is able to guard us against stumbling in the sense that we could never lose God’s favor once we are saved. This then is speaking of eternal salvation. Just as we may stumble slightly when climbing a mountain (comparable to intermittent sins in this life), Jesus is keeping us from falling over the precipice completely.

Nothing in creation can keep the saved believer from this final good end. It is a promise, a guarantee, and in God’s mind it is already accomplished. The Greek word for “faultless” (noted above) is used in 1 Peter 1:19 when speaking of Jesus – “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Thus, this doesn’t mean we are faultless in and of ourselves then, but because of Christ’s imputed righteousness. When we accept Jesus as Lord, His perfect life is transferred to us so that we are completely innocent before God.

If you attend a church, or follow a teacher on the internet, that teaches you can lose your salvation, you are being instructed by a person who does not know his theology very well. This is a basic point of doctrine. God does not save His people unto eternal insecurity. He saves us despite ourselves.

To say that what Christ has done for us is insufficient to save us and to continue to save us is to –

  • Diminish the glory of what He has done for us.
  • Say that we actually are responsible for our salvation.
  • Indicate that our salvation was never by grace through faith.

Such a doctrine can be termed an “after the fact false gospel.” When the gospel is presented, the idea that one can lose his salvation is normally not ever even entertained. The gospel is given, the salvation is (hopefully) received by faith, and the person is saved unto eternal life – deal done.

Nothing false may have been introduced into the gospel. However, once the person is saved and believes in Christ, if he is then taught that he can lose his salvation and he must perform or perish, a false (but after the fact) gospel has been introduced. That person will remain saved, but his walk will – from that time on – be a sad walk of mistrust in the very blood that saved him in the first place.

Understanding this, you may consider finding a new church to attend, or you might stop watching the teacher who teaches this really bad doctrine. It can only negatively affect your own walk with the Lord. And more, if he cannot get this simple point of doctrine right, how much else has he gotten wrong on the more complicated issues of theology?

Lord Jesus, surely You have done great and mighty things for us. And your word promises that these wonderful works will continue to transfer to us until the day we stand holy, blameless, and without the stain of sin – in Your glorious presence. How can we do anything but praise You?! Hallelujah to the perfect Lamb of God! Amen.













Jude -23

Sunday, 9 August 2020

but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude -23

The previous verse stated, “And on some have compassion, making a distinction.” That same thought now continues with, “but others save with fear.” The Greek reads, “in fear.” The idea is that we are to be in fear, and thus watchful, of being stained by their infection while rescuing them. Without such an attitude of care, we ourselves could be brought into whatever has infected them. With this understood, Jude next says, “pulling them out of the fire.”

In his words here and just ahead, Jude is certainly drawing on Old Testament parallels. This one looks back to Zechariah 3 –

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’” Zechariah 3:1, 2

Another possibility is that of Lot who was literally pulled back inside his house by the angels and then later forced from Sodom in order to flee the destruction which was to come. This is certainly likely based on what it says in Amos 4:11 –

“‘I overthrew some of you,
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning;
Yet you have not returned to Me,’
Says the Lord.”

The Greek word translated as “pulling,” is harpazó, is referring to yanking someone with force, such as if you were to yank someone back from an oncoming car. It is the word Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to describe what will occur at the rapture. The idea here is that one is to be careful to not get burned while pulling another out of the fire. Something that is so easy to do while evangelizing those caught in sin.

Jude next says, “hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” The idea of the garments “defiled by the flesh” goes all the way back to the Law of Moses. The specific “garment” described today is a chitón. It is the inner garment, closest to the body.

The book of Leviticus describes how to handle the effects of leprosy. One of the effects of this disease is that the garment itself could become a carrier and therefore was to be burned in order to prevent its infectious spread (Leviticus 13). Further, to touch any person, or any article touched by a person with a bodily discharge would render the one touching him or it unclean (Leviticus 15, etc.).

This is the symbolism that Jude is using. We are to “save others with [in] fear,” being on guard not to let their infection spread to us while we are involved in their conversion. When it says, “pulling them out of the fire,” it is certainly speaking of the anticipated effects of their life if they remain unconverted – Hell and the Lake of Fire.

As a side note, to understand the New Testament meaning behind the Levitical laws mentioned above – all which point to Christ, His work, or how it applies to us – be sure to watch the Leviticus sermons on YouTube from the Superior Word. What Israel was commanded in their earthly lives points to spiritual truths in our life in Christ. The entire book is a fascinating study into understanding what God has done for us in Christ Jesus.

Life application: In the verse today, we are taught truths that we need to apply to our lives in how we deal with such people. As Christians, we are to –

  1. Work actively to work to bring about a change in the people around us.
  2. Make every effort to divert them from the reckless path which leads to hell.
  3. While doing so, keep free from being entangled in the very sins these people are engaged in.

This verse is a profound call to the Christian to actively engage in battle while being constantly on guard that the battle doesn’t consume us in the process.

Jesus, help us to determine to work daily in bringing about an understanding in others concerning Your holiness and their need to be brought out of the defiled state they are in. We acknowledge our own weakness toward sin, and our dependence on You for protection when we do so. As we tell others about Your salvation in Christ throughout this lost world, please keep us from being entangled in the very sins that we are warning against. Thank You for being with us through this battle. Amen.













Jude -22

Saturday, 8 August 2020

And on some have compassion, making a distinction; Jude -22

For the past two verses, Jude has focused on the individual and what he is to do for himself. Today he changes track and brings in the state of others. The Greek in this particular phrase is difficult and source texts vary in what is said. Even when the same source text is used, there are variations in how to properly translate what is given.

Young’s Literal Translation, using the same text as the NKJV, says, “…and to some be kind, judging thoroughly.”

The NIV, using a text with a variant reading says, “Be merciful to those who doubt.” This seems to make more sense as a stand-alone thought, whereas the quote from the NKJV above needs verse -23 to be understood fully. Either way, the focus is on us as believers to look to others who have doubts about the faith and deal with them compassionately.

Sticking with the text which forms the basis for the NKJV, it reads, “And on some have compassion.” This certainly does not mean to not have compassion on some. It is the obligation of believers to pray for and evangelize even the vilest of offenders (even if it is awful hard to do). What it means is that particular compassion is to be addressed towards those who are lost in bad doctrine, but who obviously want to know the truth (and similar situations). This is certain based on the next verse to come where Jude speaks of pulling them out of the fire.

We are to be attentive to the situation of people and respond accordingly. Some people love the pit of false doctrine they are in. They benefit from it, they have control of others because it, they may have fame and fortune tossed in their direction as a result of it. Jude is calling for discernment in where we focus our attention. When a person who needs specific compassion is identified, he is to be given it. In this, we are “making a distinction.”

This is comparable to the “judging thoroughly” of the YLT noted above. There is little point wasting one’s time on someone who revels in their perversion, unsound doctrine, heretical viewpoints, and so on. To call them out on it, or to even show compassion for them because of it, actually only boosts their desire to double down and promote what they teach even more. They are like the charmed snake that bites at the charmer or the dog that turns and bites the one who feeds it. Therefore, believers are to judge each situation, make a right distinction, and focus their attention on those who are reachable and who may be willing to turn to the truth. Jesus speaks of such discernment in Matthew 7:6, saying, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Life application: There is a giant difference between those who are belligerent and those who simply question out of real doubt. Belligerent people are looking for an argument and will often come to the table acting innocently – “I just want to know…” However, they have already made up their minds and are actually just setting a trap for those who are willing to supposedly guide them. Their innocence turns to attack after attack about the veracity of the Bible, its reliability, etc. True doubters will respond with gratitude and hopeful contemplation, but the argumentative type simply become more bull-headed in their challenges.

This is a very common way of getting people to begin to doubt their own understanding of difficult verses, and so Christians need to be aware of this type of shenanigan. The true doubters may or may not come to Christ, but they will at least maintain a spirit of fellowship and dignity during the seeking process. So, when you talk to others about the Bible, make a distinction between a true doubter and a perverse contrarian.

There is a point where arguing a point no longer serves any function except to waste time and idle away one’s ability to help others who are truly wanting answers. However, it is also good to be careful and not misjudge the one who is truly looking to understand what is presented and who comes back, again and again, looking for an answer. This may be perceived as being argumentative, but this may not be the intent at all. Patience is needed, something that can be hard to provide when valuable time is short. So, be attentive to such things and be ready to make reconciliation when division over misperceived intent arises.

Glorious God, we have faced perverse people who love to challenge the truth of Your word while disguising their challenge as honest seekers with legitimate doubts. We may have wasted time and effort in the process. This is frustrating. And so, we would ask You to keep these people at arm’s length from us so that we can focus on what is truly important – honest seekers with real questions. Amen.










Jude -21

Friday, 7 August 2020

…keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude -21

Jude just gave a couple of exhortations to which he adds on a couple more, beginning with, “keep yourselves in the love of God.”

There are two ways of viewing these words –

  • God’s love toward us, or
  • Our love toward God.

On the surface, it would appear the latter is what Jude is speaking of. We can keep our love toward God, but how can we keep God’s love toward us. However, that isn’t really a valid argument because it isn’t speaking of active love. Instead, it refers to the state – “in” the love. God is love. It defines Him. We move in relation to Him, not the other way around. He is fixed and unchanging. Therefore, it is actually just as likely that this is speaking of our existence in the sphere of God’s love.

This is because the previous clause said, “praying in the Holy Spirit.” In our drawing near to Him in such a way, it would then keep us close to Him and in His sphere of love. A counterargument, however, is that each of the four exhortations in this verse is a duty of the individual – building yourselves up, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves, looking for.

But, again, there is the tense of each verb. Three are present participles, but this one, “keep,” is an aorist imperative verb. And so, again, it appears that this is speaking of the duty to keep oneself in God’s love toward us. Either way, the exhortation comes down to the thought that we are to maintain a relationship with God which is based on love. One thing is for sure, if we love God, we will attempt to actively remain in His love. Both directions are implied in Jesus’ words of John 15 –

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 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.” John 15:9, 10

Jude next says, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” As noted earlier, the verb here is a present participle. It applies to every believer in the church age. We are to be “looking for the mercy.” In other words, this is probably referring to Christ’s coming for His people. It would then reflect Paul’s words of Titus 2 –

“…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13

At that time, the mercy which first began to be revealed at the cross of Calvary will finally be realized in its fulness for God’s people. Just as we are saved, and yet awaiting the completion of our salvation, we have also received mercy, but are awaiting the completion of that mercy which is “unto eternal life.”

Again, at this time we have been granted eternal life, but we are awaiting the realization of that by faith. We watch fellow Christians die, but we believe they will be raised again. We face our own mortality, but we believe we too shall be raised. The word speaks of faith, and so we are to look ahead with faith.

Life application: We can organize this thought thus – “By praying in the Holy Spirit, you will build yourselves up in the most holy faith and keep yourselves in the love of God.” As believers, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit the very moment we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This action is permanent, and the believer is eternally saved. However, living in the Spirit involves continual action.

A believer can never get more of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit can get more of the believer. This occurs as we yield ourselves to God through continual prayer. This doesn’t have to be “on the knees in the closet” prayer. Rather, it is a state of life where we talk to the Lord every moment – thanking Him for each blessing received, petitioning Him for each desire as it comes, and acknowledging His hand in each event that occurs. This is how we keep ourselves in the love of God and how we build up our most holy faith.

In this ongoing mindset, we are always expectant of the “mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ” to take us “unto eternal life.” This then is the goal of our salvation. We live it out with the prayer in our breath, and we look forward to it as we would anticipate the feeling of a cooling rain on the horizon as we stand in a dry land watching it approach. The anticipation of Christ’s return, and the mercy it will bring from this walk of woes, should be our very heart’s desire.

Lord Jesus, turn our hearts to become continuously and permanently in tune with Your will and with Your presence in our lives. May we always remember the words of Paul as he spoke to the Athenians – “…in Him we live and move and have our being.” As this is so, keep reminding us of this fact so that You will be in our hearts and on our lips always. Amen.