Hello again, and welcome back to our 4-week study of the book of Jude! Four weeks is quite a long time to spend studying such a small book of the Bible, but I hope you’re finding this to be true along with me:
There is no end to the wisdom and knowledge that can be found within God’s Word.
Right when you think you’ve got something figured out, His Word proves once again to be alive and active, and it speaks something new to you and me. It’s just that good. Every minute spent digging into the Word of God is a minute well spent. So, let’s get back into Jude…
Jude’s letter paints a very clear picture of what a world full of depravity looks like. Several times throughout this short letter, Jude describes the “ungodly” person, and it ain’t pretty. Here are just a few of the words used to characterize the ungodly or those whom Jude is warning his readers about:
Dangerous, irreverent, fruitless, dead, shameful, wanderers, slanderous, rejecting authority, defiling, harsh, discontent, grumblers, arrogant…
Wow, that’s a mouthful of distasteful words. I wouldn’t even want to be characterized by one of those words, and yet, the list goes on. As I read through the book of Jude again today, I couldn’t help but find myself wrestling with what I imagine is a struggle for many other believers as well.
How do I remain godly in such a godless world?
It sure isn’t easy. Every single day, we have multiple things pulling at us, tempting us, trying to get us to veer off course. It takes grit and determination to stay in the game. It takes heart. It takes lots of faith. Yet, the answer to this question is found right within this small book of Scripture, and I want to spend our time together today unpacking it.
“Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24-25
After writing 23 verses of urgent warning, Jude concludes his letter with these words of hope and truth. Our godliness is directly linked to our relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no other way for us to be set apart, or “holy,” in this world outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We can’t muster up righteousness on our own. We inherit Christ’s righteousness when we receive the free gift of grace that He offers us through His death, burial, and resurrection. We can’t live a good enough life. We can’t do good enough things. He already did what needed to be done on the cross, and we as His children have the opportunity to reap the benefits of His sacrifice.
Jesus Christ is the only one who is able to keep us from stumbling into the immorality of this godless world, and the one thing we CAN do is choose to honor and glorify Him with our lives. Did you catch that invitation in verse 25? Jude magnifies and exalts Jesus as he closes his letter. He gives honor, glory, and praise to whom it’s due. That’s the key, right there.
How do we glorify God with our lives? With our speech? With our deeds? With our thoughts? How do we praise His name? Jude reminds us that there is a way to avoid stumbling, and it’s linked to a life of praise to the ruler over all, Jesus Christ our Lord. Is this how we live?
In last week’s post, I asked you to consider how you defend or uphold the truth of the Gospel. One way you and I can do that is by living our lives in such a way that brings glory and honor to Jesus Christ. Friend, I want to be among those who are standing “in the presence of His glory, without blemish and with great joy.” I want you to be with me. Let’s keep running this race of faith, fixing our eyes on the one who authored it. He is so worthy of every single step.