INTRO: The little book of Jude is a very straightforward letter addressing the very real threat of false teachers, their characteristics, their agendas. But it is also a little book which gives some practical advice to Christians who find themselves having to contend for the faith. Indeed, the counsel he gives is wise and suitable for Christian people who are seeking the ultimate end of their salvation. The two verses I have read give four major points of wise counsel.
I. BUILD UP YOURSELVES
A. The contrast is with those who are tearing down
1. the deceitful teachers have that aim!
2. 2 Tim 2:16-18 - Gal 5:7,8
3. we must always be aware that not all have a godly agenda
B. Building ... yourselves I(Personal responsibility)
1. a construction term which suggests building a house, etc.
2. building is an orderly, progressive process ... ongoing
3. note 1 Cor 14:3 and the words which accompany edification ... building involves instruction (14:19), exhortation, comforting
C. Most holy faith
1. whether the faith or personal faith, we build upon ... a foundation is laid ... a structure goes up on foundation
2. most holy ... the fruit of the faith is holiness
3. again, a note of contrast with unholy behavior
A. At what time in a Christians life does he not need prayer?
1. prayer signals dependence upon God
2. it admits that I cannot do this alone
3. it praises God for His being the Source of all blessings
4. Eph 6:18 notice that in v.17 is the word of God - the word and prayer ... both so essential to building
B. The urgency of fervent, sincere prayer
1. prayer must acknowledge the influence of the Spirit of God in our lives
2. so, prayer is far beyond rote or mechanical or ritual
3. in fervent, sincere praying, a godly person comes boldly to the throne of God (Heb 4:16)
4. in fervent, sincere praying Gods will is acknowledged
III. KEEPING YOURSELVES IN GODS LOVE
A. Keep ... guard
1. each Christian must guard against his leaving the love of God
2. there is a vigilance so necessary in our lives
3. it is precisely this vigilance which may well be lacking in so many Christian lives ... which keeps us from becoming prey to mediocrity
4. Eph 6:18 and watching thereunto with all ...
B. But how do we keep ourselves in Gods love?
1. remember, this is something we do
2. so, would it have to do with our careful, sincere obedience?
3. note 1 Jno 5:3 with 2:3-5 - esp Jno 15:10!!
4. I suggest that personal vigilance in the matter of our being conformed to His will is absolutely necessary
IV. LOOKING FOR THE MERCY OF JESUS
A. Yes, there is mercy we obtain, enjoy here and now
1. 1 Tim 1:16 I obtained mercy
2. the mercy we receive in baptism, i.e. remission, is certainly here and now
3. the mercy we receive in seeking forgiveness as a Christian into whose life sin comes is here and now
B. But Jude refers to eternal life
1. anticipation is a strong motivator
2. the anticipation (come quickly, Lord Jesus) of eternal life should help keep us in Gods love!
3. note Col 3:4 with 5 mortify ... it is the anticipation of His coming which gives determination to mortify
CLOSE Simple counsel to remember. Wise counsel upon which to act. Loving counsel to appreciate.
Cecil A. Hutson
05 May 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)