“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Jude 20-21 (ESV)
The letter by Jude is short with only 25 verses. It’s not one of the most read books in the New Testament yet it’s message is necessary for building our faith. Jude, a half-brother of Jesus Christ, wrote this letter to believers urging them to contend for the faith and to guard against and condemn the apostates. He called for discernment on the part of the church and for a rigorous defense of biblical truth. The basis for our Christian life is our faith which is a gift from God. We became members of God’s family by His grace when we believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is God’s desire that our faith grow stronger as it should be constantly increasing. This happens as we trust God in more and more areas of our lives. This growth in faith is the point of these verses. It is our responsibility to build ourselves up in our most holy faith. As we pay attention to what God teaches us about Himself through the Holy Spirit from what we hear taught in the Bible taught by preaching and study, we will be building ourselves up in our faith.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” – Jude 20-21 (ESV)
As true believers we can all be thankful that we have a sure foundation and cornerstone in Jesus Christ. This foundation is ours through the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. The truths of our Christian faith are found in the teaching of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). It is by the Word of God that Christians can build themselves up. Praying in the Holy Spirit is not a call to some ecstatic form of prayer, but simply our call to pray consistently in the will and power of the Spirit, as one would pray in the name of Jesus Christ. This imperative establishes our responsibility to be obedient and faithful by living out His salvation, while God works out His will through our lives (Philippians 2:12-13). It means for us to remain in the place of obedience where God’s love is poured out on His children. We are to wait in eager anticipation of Christ’s second coming to provide eternal life in its ultimate, resurrection form, which is the supreme expression of God’s mercy on us to whom Christ’s righteousness has undeservedly been credited to our account (imputed) by His mercy and grace.
“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, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” – Jude 24–25 (ESV)
How is it that we’ve received this promise from God? After all, we possess very little perfection to keep us from stumbling⸺actually no perfection or ability of our own. But, in this one-chapter book of Jude, we are promised that “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling…does so in order to present us blameless to God.” Wow! If that is not a promise that causes our hearts to leap for joy, it should. The ‘Him’ is God the Holy Spirit. After saving us by grace through faith⸺a bundled gift from God⸺we are promised that we will stand before the one and only God who chose to save us and we will do that through what the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. It is a bit mind blowing if we mediate on this promise. God is One and he is able to keep us from stumbling. God’s Holy Spirit presents us blameless in the glorious presence of God who saved us according to His will. All this is accomplished because God the Son provided a way through His obedience to death on a cross and God raised Him up from the tomb.