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A Driving Force [10-29-23]


October 29, 2023

Jude

“A Driving Force”


Let’s look at where we’ve been these past several weeks. Once again, Jude 1-4:

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

As we saw last week, as Jude clearly spelled out in verse three, contending for the truth was a driving force behind his short letter.


Here’s the foundational point we ended on last week:

     Will you be serious-minded about knowing God’s Word? Be equipped to spot the ungodly. They claim to teach something new, or something that has remained hidden until now. Be clear. All has been made plain in God’s Word. The truth has been fully revealed in Jesus Christ. There’s no new interpretation or understanding. There’s no recent discovery that is going to change the meaning of God’s Word. Let’s fortify one another against false teaching.

Listen to Jesus’ final word on this, from Luke 18:1-8:

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


Remember, Jude changed the original intent of his letter when he realized people needed to be warned against heretics who brought false doctrine into the church. Contending for the truth was his driving force. And here’s the most important thing you need when contending for the truth. You need the courage of your convictions. You need to know, without hesitation, that you rest safely and securely in God’s grace and mercy. You were given the gift of faith. Nothing can steal you away from God’s electing grace.


I love this observation from Charles Spurgeon:

“YOU ARE A SEEKER, AND I AM GLAD YOU ARE; BUT IF YOU WILL 

NOT PUT YOUR TRUST IN JESUS, AND LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN AT THE CROSS WHERE HE OFFERED GREAT SACRIFICE, IT IS NO MARVEL IF YOU CONTINUE TO SEEK IN VAIN.”

In order to be settled, secure, and confident in our faith, we have to know wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ called you to believe in him from before the foundation of the world. We are saved through Christ and Christ alone. He called us. He saved us. That is the only way to hold fast in a world bombarding us with false teaching.


I love how one Bible commentator put it:

“We are called, loved, kept, and blessed in the midst of an escalating {abandonment of true faith}.”

  • John MacArthur

In other words, we won’t fall victim, even as false teaching escalates. God has given us the gift of faith. It is not dependent on us. God’s call to us is our security. We are called and loved and blessed. God’s call keeps us from stumbling. Because of His call, we are able to stand in the presence of His glory. Because of His call our sin is forgiven. Because of His call, no matter what we experience of go through in life, we have great joy. Jude is all about the security of the believer. Amen?


“To those who are called,” Jude wrote. That is such a beautiful truth. That calling has nothing to do with anything we’ve done. It is all according to what God determined to occur in Jesus Christ from before the foundation of the world. That is so wonderful. Our security isn’t found in anything we do. Our security is, as Jude stated from the beginning, found in the fact that from eternity past, God chose us to believe, and He chose us to grow in our faith in Jesus Christ, and He has chosen us to worship Jesus Christ now. Then, when we die, we’ll join the heavenly host who fall down and lay their crowns at the feet of Jesus. How wonderful is that?


Here's the beauty of how that truth plays out in our lives.


You understand in your heart and mind that God has called you to faith in 

His Son, Jesus Christ. The strength in that calling is rooted in the One who does the calling, not the person who is called. Then, as Spurgeon observed, as you put your trust in Jesus, your life reflects the truth of God’s calling. Until, as you mature in faith, your life reflects what Paul called the Fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


Here's something you might want to write down:

I AM UNWAVERING.

And here’s why. It’s from something Paul taught in Romans 8:30:

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

And Paul taught this based on what Jesus said in John 6:39:

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

And again, as Jesus prayed in John 17:9-13:

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for 

those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”


All of this, taken together, as affirmed by Jude in five simple words – to those who are called – anchors us in the fact that we are saved because God chose to save us. And this anchor helps us deal with the monsters of this world without becoming one of them.


Now, I know some of this stuff is hard to wrap our wee little brains around. At least, sometimes, it is for me. All I know, it is how the Bible says it is. I dare not disagree with Paul when he wrote, in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

I will understand as much as my boxy little brain allows me to understand, and I leave the rest with God. As Spurgeon so rightly put it, “I worship a God I never expect to comprehend.” In other words, I will trust God for the eternal, exact details.


Our security is in our calling. Second, our security is in the fact that we are loved. How does Jude address us in verse three? Beloved. That is huge. It’s not some throwaway sentiment. It is packed with meaning.


The Greek word might be familiar to some of you. Agapē. It is one of the Greek words for love. I don’t know why, but some translations of the passage render it, “Dear friends,” or simply, “Friends.” They couldn’t be wronger. Agapē is all about love. We are called and we are loved. There is no greater security than knowing those two truths. Called and loved. How much more assurance of safety and security do we need? Amazing love… amazing grace…amazing security. That’s how we deal of the monsters of 

this world without becoming one of them.


Listen to how Paul expresses it:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

  • Romans 5:6-11

We are loved. Paul used the perfect tense of the word, Agapē. We were loved in the past. We are loved in the present. We will be loved in the future. We were loved by God from the timeless past when He called us. Before you were born, God determined to set His love on you. And then that love was perfectly shown when Jesus Christ died on the cross for our forgiveness. That’s why we can’t fully understand the depth of God’s love for us until we are honest about the wretchedness of our sinful lives. Do 

you confess your sin every day?


As Jude assures us, because we are called, God’s love for us goes on…and on…and on…and on…and on…and on…and on. God loves us so much, He made us His sons and daughters.


Let’s finish this powerful affirmation…you are called and loved by God…with verse twenty-four of John seventeen:

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

And then, the finishing touch - the crowning jewel - from verse 26:

“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

How transformational is that? What a staggering truth. Called and loved… 

nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. God loves us with the kind of love with which the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. What are you going to be afraid of? What are you going to have doubts about? What false teaching would you ever fall for? You are eternally loved.


{I encourage to listen to “Heart of God” by Zach Williams}


With that staggering affirmation, there’s only one thing left to say:

 SOLI DEO GLORIA…

To the Glory of God Alone

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