Verse of the Month - March 2018
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy (Jude 24 ESV).
One of my favorite moments as a father is when my children are learning how to walk. Their steps, although shaky at first, start to stabilize over time. This gives them greater confidence to take another step. This confidence ultimately carries them to running, and their stumbling bursts forth into vitality. I find this picture of a child learning how to walk a great illustration for the Christian life. For the believer, the road is more often than not filled with difficulty, but the more we walk in the Spirit with our eyes focused on Jesus, the more confidence we find. To be clear, this confidence is not founded in our ability not stumble and fall, but ultimately in God’s ability to keep us upright to the end.
The Letter of Jude is the appeal to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3). I find this exhortation full of encouragement as we see the deterioration of society. Jude’s audience at the time was experiencing various threats to their faith due to the infiltration of false teaching into their congregation. They were being fed the falsehood from ungodly individuals that as recipients of the grace of God they could live in their own ungodly passions. Jude instructs that this idea actually perverts the grace of God (verse 4). Although not in the same form, this lie still permeates the air of today’s culture. Much of the advertising from culture has the aim to get us to chase after our own fleshly desires. The target of Jude for both his original hearers and us today is to encourage and instruct us on the importance of living a life that is reflective of our beliefs. But where is our source of power to do so?
Jude closes his letter with a doxology that is packed full of truth for us as we walk our journey. He directs our eyes to the very heart of the Christian life. The journey of life and the battle of sin can be difficult, but it is important to remember that victory has been won. Our ability to stand blameless before the throne of God is not rooted in us, but in Him who is able. Jesus, the blameless one, did not succumb to falsehood, He never stumbled or fell, nor was he defeated by death. King Jesus bore our sin, paid our penalty, and purchased us for His purposes. He sent His Spirit into our hearts so that we might be able to walk by the Spirit and on the last day, stand in the presence of God with great joy. So now we declare praise “to the only God, our God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (verse 25).