Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finishing on a Positive Note – Jude

“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

~Jude 24-25 (NRSV).

One thing we have to love about the latter New Testament writing is it’s earnestness for truth and lambasting of false teaching.

Jude is a letter of harsh warning; he doesn’t mince his words, and many have found them too unpalatable to bear, besides its proximity to Revelation.

But the warnings here are as rich as they are real.

Watchful are we to be for insurgences into the holy dwelling called “the church,” for what has been set aside as sacrosanct should be protected from dilution, disease and dissolution.

The Big Message

We’re to contend quietly, still persistently, in our faith, which is entrusted to us—once for all (Jude 3). We do this beyond the decadently shrill yelps of those around us with different ideas; this is done in cheerfulness and patience.

We’re entrusted with the big thing of life—the message of the Gospel—and we do not dilute it, subject it to communicable foreign bodies, or ban people from being part of it.

Jude’s Personal Benediction

Those in the true family of God—which is not some exclusive club as the false teacher might portray it—find sanctuary in the concluding words of Jude. He’s already dealt with the scum who slate the Gospel, or bend it, for their own purposes. They do not believe. They’re dreamers and philanderers of the spiritual life.

Jude finishes on a constructive note, carrying forward the strains of earlier, as he prays that the readers won’t fall—that they’ll properly depend on Christ and the Spirit’s power.

Jude holds the Godhead up above all things in these final words, recognising both the saving and eternal nature of the Almighty.

Perhaps most of all, Jude shows us that though there are many things not right with our world, we can always conclude in a note of thanks and praise for all that God is, was, and will be, forever.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

No comments: