Monday, November 22, 2021

Jude 25

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... to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. ~ Jude 25

Today, we end our study of Jude. We began our study of this powerful little book with with an eye on the One who called us, who loved us and who keeps us in the faith. Jude’s letter begins and ends with the assurance that God is decisively the One who has saved the willing. Everything began in our lives the day we willingly placed our trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus as our Savior. 

Today's text is a doxology, literally, a word of praise. And, Jude's purpose in including this doxology isn't just to give us a nice ending, it's not just to give us a liturgical form or an ecumenical shtick. Rather, Jude desired to assure us, his readers, God is the long pursued longing of our hearts. This is why these final two verses are all about God. Jude doesn't close this book with the spotlight on the apostates, if he had done that, we would be left confused. If he had not ended with the sufficiency of God in our lives, he would have undermined the whole purpose of this book.

Now, in v.25, Jude puts the word God next to the word Savior. He wrote, "... to the only God our Savior." We know the Lord Jesus is our Savior, He is regularly called our Savior throughout the Bible. And, here, Jude puts God next to Savior to show us the Lord Jesus is God. He could not be our Savior if He were not God. If the Lord Jesus is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. In 1 John 2:2 we read, "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 

A created being, which the Lord Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world, die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.

Jude himself was one of the half brothers of the Lord Jesus. And, Jude did not believe the Lord Jesus was the Savior, at first. It was after the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus that Jude became convinced that his half brother was the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world. 

Think with me. Jude watched the Lord Jesus grow up. He  watched the life of his brother unfold. And then, when his brother started His ministry, Jude heard His about His sermons and the miracles He performed. And yet, he didn't believe in the glory, majesty, power and authority of the Lord Jesus as God.  

After the display of the divine qualities of the Lord Jesus, through His resurrection, Jude trusted the Lord Jesus as his Savior. As a result, it became the desire of Jude to render to God, glory, majesty, power and authority. Of course, it was not needful to the Lord Jesus that His siblings rendered such to Him. He would have done what He did with or without their support.

The born again believer recognizes these four attributes belong to God. These attributes of God were required to save us and to keep us for eternity. Without these four attributes, we would be doomed. This is the point of this book. And, when we come into a personal relationship with God, as a result of His Spirit coming to dwell permanently in our spirit, we naturally desire for Him to be our Lord and to get the glory. We do this because we have come to see Him, to truly see Him for who He is, and we render back to Him His glory, majesty, power and authority. This is how He keeps us for eternity.

Jude came to understand the importance of believing, "Now to Him who adopts dirty, abandoned, rebellious children into his family — to Him belong compassion and boundless mercy." The attributes that we ascribe to God are the ones that account for the actions we praise. The degree of glory, majesty, power and authority it took to save us is immeasurable. We have no human measurement for such. 

So, Jude establishes first and last the decisive work of God in keeping those made alive to Him. And, in between, Jude warns against the false teachers "who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality." These apostates were not called and they were not loved and they were not kept. The evidence that they weren't is that they didn’t crave Christ, they craved much, much less. They didn’t prize the God of grace; they prostituted the grace of God.

When we were His enemies, God granted us spiritual life. When we were dead to Him, and we had no spiritual life, it was then His Spirit acted upon us. And, we became alive to God in our spirit. This spiritual life that we have is not ours intrinsically. It is not ours autonomously. We have this life to the degree that we have the Holy Spirit in us, and to the degree that we are in Christ. This new life we have in Christ was impossible for us. Think of it, it required the glory, majesty, power and authority of God to accomplish it. To Him be the glory, majesty, power and authority for ever and ever, AMEN!