CHOSEN - A People Kept in the Love of God
We have looked at a commonly preached topic the last two Sundays but from a different angle. We looked at how we are a unique people set apart for the glory of God. You are a chosen people a royal priesthood –a Holy Nation.
And herein lies the problem. The Church/the chosen people are slowly getting diluted and beginning to look like everyone else. We are chosen to be image bearers, glory bearers, a light to the world, the culture and world changers.
When we forget the creator and the WHY of why we have been created we forget the purpose and intent of our design.
E.g.: using a fridge as a cupboard.
The root of the problem is the heart- We have lived compromised lives. We looked at some of the idols of the heart.
Feel Good – give into every sensual pleasure because we do not trust God to meet our needs the legitimate way.
Look Good – We hide, lie, cover up and live in deception and deceit because keeping up appearances is more important than living with integrity before God and man Eg) Ananias and Sapphira. King Saul. People pleasing is a big one here.
Be Right – Because of poor identity, we cannot accept a mistake, or a fault so we lie, cheat, cover-up, and play the blame game rather than take responsibility for our actions.
Be in control – Will not submit to authority, will question decisions, and be your own person for fear of losing control.
We then asked ourselves how we get out of this mess.
Two things that will keep us from having idols of the heart are The Fear of the Lord and the Love of God. Both are needed.
KEPT IN THE LOVE OF GOD
Today we are going to look at being kept in the Love of God: who does this and how?
Jude 21: keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!
Jude was encouraging the Christians to contend for their faith amidst ungodliness and faithlessness. People were drifting away from the truth.
The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” ―
The greatest battle you may fight is the fight of perseverance. Jesus says in Revelations 3:21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.
What is a doxology?
A Doxology is a short hymn of praise to remind us to lift our eyes to God. Jude ends his message to the church with this.
But before this in verse 21:
Keep: to watch over, to guard.
Keep is an active verb. We must do something. Keep and keep on keeping yourself in the love of God.
Keep: Why and what? - Because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. (1Pet 5:8)
Agape love: not any other love. Not any other affections or your old boyfriends. Keep yourself in agape – the unconditional, never-ending, never-failing love of God.
We must keep ourselves – because it is easy to get distracted by other loves. What can we lose? We can lose the joy and fruit of abiding in Jesus and that is a terrible thing.
The Christian life is an amazing life with the opportunity to lay hold of the promises of God. There is something we must do.
All the promises in Jesus are YES and AMEN BUT a lot of the promises are conditional. If you abide by His word the promises will prove true in your life. You might argue with that and says it’s not fair!!! What is fair is that we pay for our sins.
Everything we have and enjoy is the sheer MERCY & GRACE of God. There are conditional promises in the Old Testament and the New Testament (a total of over 8000).
Jesus says If you love me you will obey my commandments. If any man will take up his cross and come after me. There are many such “Ifs” in the Bible. The curse is self-inflicted - God is not going to violate His character for your sake. If you live in disobedience, you will reap the fruit of that – that is a curse and not a blessing.
Modern Christianity is preaching another Jesus, another gospel (where heaven, hell and sin are not mentioned) and this is what Jude was warning the people about 2000 years ago!!
“Now unto to him who is able to keep you from falling.”
Keep to guard, watch.
This passage tells us who is worthy of praise and what qualifies Him for this praise.
It is like saying I have put Mr. X in charge of your protection. Now, why should you trust Mr. X. When you know Mr. X’s credentials you will gain confidence to trust him. If I told you he is part of India's elite Blackcats, the best hand-to-hand combatant and marksman, you will have full confidence in his ability to protect you.
You may say so it is my effort that keeps me in God’s love. Not at all. The only reason you are standing is that HE has kept you from falling
So, does that mean you sit back and relax? No, refer to Jude 21. Here you see two truths in tension working together. No, we work out our salvation with fear and trembling and recognize that it is God’s power that is the fuel behind our efforts.
“present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…”
Without fault or Blameless – without blemish. Anyone born after Adam was automatically blemished. We have all fallen short of the glory of God therefore how can we be presented to God? Jesus the ultimate sacrifice, the unblemished lamb died in the place of blemished people. You are now clothed in His righteousness. God did a prophetic act with Adam and Eve, A symbolic act with the Levitical priests clothing and then the actual act of Jesus shedding His blood and covering us with His righteousness.
We are the apple of His eye. God delights over us.
TO THE ONLY GOD OUR SAVIOR
To what kind of God are we being presented? The ONLY GOD!! At the time Jude was writing his letter to Jews that had come to faith there were two dangers that the church was facing: The grace of God was being changed into a license for immorality (v4)
License or liberalism says you are free to sin because Jesus has forgiven all your sins.
Legalism -The Galatian church needed to be reminded of the freedom for which Christ had set them free: they were in danger of legalism which says, “you should not...”
Freedom in Christ or Grace says you are free not to sin anymore because you are no longer a slave to sin, it shall not have dominion over you.
The second danger that was already doing the rounds is the thought that Jesus is not the only way. The incarnation and deity of Jesus were already being challenged. And Jude is telling them to contend for the faith.
ONLY GOD – there is none like Him.
No one can be compared to Him. Unbelief makes you believe that He is one of the many gods out there. That is what idolatry is
So sexual sin is not just based on lust but because they want comfort, and they believe this sin will give them the comfort they desire. (the feel-good idol) Only God!!
We have been saved from the wrath of God. Salvation is found in no other name other than the name Jesus. This is a foundational doctrine of the Christian faith. You are free to believe in anything else but that would not be the Christian faith.
Yes, He saved you, but he also saved the US. Don’t forget this communal nature of our faith. One of the ways you can look like God is when you are in a community.
God’s glory is revealed when sons and daughters of God walk in the light and reflect His light and Christlikeness.
Our natural tendency is to take the glory for ourselves. But we now want to give God glory as a miracle of a changed heart.
Majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
V25 – God is majestic and, ruler and king over everything. While the world may seem out of control, we do have a king that is completely in control. He is always reigning.
Dominion/power– speaks of the extent of His power which is over everything.
Authority speaks of his sovereign rule over all things and legitimate power. Because all power and authority belong to Jesus, we are kept from falling. John 17 Jesus prayed that non would be plucked from His hand.
So, it is He who will keep us from falling and we need to keep ourselves in the love of God.
We will do well to submit to His majesty, dominion, and power. Many people in the church do not want to live under the authority. This idol of the heart is the need to be in control and self-will. Also, they do not believe that God is good. When your view of God is of your view of submission is off.
Now and Forever
Jude gives a time frame for the praise. How long? He is the one deserving of praise now and forever. It is an eternity perspective.
Amen – yes or so be it. It means that we can be certain it will happen.
We have been meditating on a very sober topic for three weeks.
It is easy to take the milk of the word that soothes and ignore the meat of the word that provokes change. - (Bill Johnson)
We said you need two things in your life to keep you from falling back into old ways of doing things: The Fear of the Lord and the Love of God. Two sides of the coin, bookends if you like – that keep us together and strong till the end.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.