“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 20-21
Jude’s passion for the Church is so evident throughout his book. Landing as the fourth smallest book of the Bible, (25 verses/ 613 words), I love how Jude uses even the smallest platform to guard the Church from false doctrine seeping in. Such a pastor’s heart. He screams warnings at every turn to guard against even one wolf devouring the sheep. After painting a vivid picture, clearly depicting not only their appearance but also their manifestations, Jude highlights several prophecies intended to remind his readers that indeed, there will be those in the church who bring division. Because they do not have the Spirit, their fruit stems from a sinful nature focused on self. The first 19 verses parallel the annoying high pitched shrieking of an alarm shouting “Danger! Danger! DANGER!”
Interesting how emphatic Jude is about identifying the issue. He does not offer statements which are “politically correct,” nor does he call for a “sweeping under the rug.” The very fact that Jude changed his primary objective in the first verses (he wanted to write about a common salvation experience but was compelled to urge for a contending for the faith) emphasizes the perilous situation.
This brings us to verse 20, where a major shift occurs. For the previous verses, the author has focused on godless men in the Church. However, verses 20-21 focus on the reader, who are identified as dear friends. These verses appear to be the pinnacle of the entire book. They answer the question What should WE do? Those of us who have the Spirit.
who aren’t being sourced by self.
who are seeking.
who are running after Jesus.
who are the Church.
Build [epoikodomeōI – used from the building up of a structure where foundation is laid and it needs built up] yourselves up in your most Holy faith. ….How do I do this?…
Pray [proseuchomai –prayer which focuses on the manner or instrument, not so much the content] in the Holy Spirit.
Keep [“tereo” -a careful guarding, as in a prisoner and warden] yourselves in God’s [agape] love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
In prayer several weeks ago, I was asking the Lord for direction. Do you ever experience seasons His voice seems quieter than others? This was one of those moments. I desperately needed for Him to guide me. To give me a tangible next step. To throw up a burning bush. This is the reply I received.
Oftentimes, as Christians, we feel as if we need to be “doing” big things to actively achieve results. Why have we made it so complicated? I was reminded that the greatest defense against division is to build ourselves up in the faith by praying and carefully guarding, resting in God’s agape love. Not only are they simple commands but they are necessary. Don’t lose sight of the praying and guarding. It’s the only way to build yourself up in the faith.
Let’s press in together friend.