Friday, November 19, 2021

Jude 24

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To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. ~ Jude 24

Today, we come to the next to the last verse in the incredible book of Jude. The final two verses make up a doxology which is the combination of two Greek words: doxa means praise and logos means word. A doxology is a word of praise. 

Now, the writer of this book, Jude, was not one of the twelve original disciples, but was, in fact, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Jude did not come to the Lord Jesus as Messiah until after the Lord Jesus had overcome sin and death by raising from the dead. And, after Jude experienced the inspiration of the dead rising to life, he was used by God and inspired by the Holy Spirit, to write this important epistle. The conclusion of this letter is the high point of the entire book of Jude. 

In today's passage we read, "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy."

To me, the most precious part of our salvation is the doctrine of eternal security, also known as the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. It is that biblical truth that says once we are saved, we are saved forever. If the Lord did not save us we would be damned. If we could lose our salvation, we would. If any part of our salvation depended upon our performance, we would have absolutely no hope to be rescued from the eternal flames of hell.

Through the perfection of the Lord Jesus, believers are positionally perfect in God's sight. And, even though we have this sure hope, daily we are tempted to be frauds or to hide the reality that we are still sinners. Daily, we are tempted to live a deception about who we really are apart from the Lord Jesus. We are wretched in ourselves. But, in Christ we are white as snow. Consequently, we are prone to self-righteousness. Often, our limited understanding of these truths, runs us off into the spiritual ditch of life.

Now, most of Jude's letter has been about the apostates. Jude is about those who have fallen away from the faith. And, in the end of this book apostasy is contrasted with the God who keeps the humble from becoming apostate. The way of the proud is not to be the way of the humble. The believer in Christ is not a casualty because the One who saves is the One who sustains and keeps. This is all possible because we had nothing to do with our salvation. All we did was to cry out for it and receive it. 

Now that word, keep, in v.24, is a military term. It means to guard, or to watch over. And, the picture that God paints for us in this one little verse is: He is, 24/7, standing guard over each believer. He stands guard over us to ensure our eternal safety. 

In John 10 we read, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. Neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand." 

Now, sheep are not known for persevering. Sheep are not great survivors. In fact, sheep without a shepherd don't make it. The care of sheep is totally dependent on the quality of the care provided by the shepherd. Sheep are helpless. If a sheep is unattended, they often fall down and roll over onto their side. And, when they roll to their side, they can't get up. And, if they try to get up, they find themselves on their backs with their feet straight up in the air. This is called being cast. A cast sheep gets on its back and eventually has its circulation cut off. As a result, it stops breathing, and it dies. Sheep are pretty helpless. And, if a sheep is going to persevere, if it is going to endure, it has to be kept by a shepherd. And that's the point! 

"My sheep hear my voice. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand." 

Now, the first part of today's verse is positioned on earth and the second part is in heaven. "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy."

The goal is to present us faultless in heaven before the perfect God. Notice it does not say we are faultless. It says he'll present us faultless. Even though our sin has been removed from us as far as the east is from the west, we, will never be able to say that we are sinlessly perfect. But, Christ makes the believer legally perfect before God. The Lord Jesus took our sin, and God treated the Lord Jesus like us, deserving of His wrath. So, through the payment the Lord Jesus made on the cross, God has pronounced us righteous, and, one day the Lord Jesus will present us before God the Father as faultless. 

The word Jude uses in Jude 24 translated faultless is also translated as unblemished. In Hebrews 9:14 we read, "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Right now, believers in Christ are unblemished to God. We are treated as if we were blameless because Christ bore our sins and we’ve been given His righteousness. And God treats Christ on the cross as if He lived our lives so He can treat us as if we lived His. 

In Zephaniah 3 we read, "The Lord your God in your midst, the mighty one will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing." 

That's the joy Jude is talking about in Jude 24. "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy."

It was this joy that enabled the Lord Jesus to endure the cross. In Hebrews 12:2 we read, "...who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame." The moment we believed, the Lord Jesus presented us before God the Father as faultless, and He did it with joy as He sang over us. 

So the purpose of salvation isn't just to rescue us from hell, it's also to present us perfect in heaven. Each believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a salvation trophy that brings Him joy. This is why we should work ardently to turn back the efforts of the false teachers who teach apostasy.