Instructions from Jude, Part 3
We are continuing our look at these few verses in Jude. I encourage you to read through the passage again before we move to our next verse.
Jude 17-23, “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 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. And have mercy on those who doubt, save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”
After focusing on the negative, the scoffers and those who cause divisions, Jude now moves on to some positive exhortation to his readers.
Jude 20, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.”
I want to briefly point out three things from this verse. In a short book that starts with the idea of contending for the faith once delivered to the saints it is nice to read the word “beloved”. Those who are loved by God—beloved. Then Jude moves on to two other things that seem like an aside. As we will move on to the following verses we will see some direct commands from James, but in verse 20 we are given these two items, not as commands, but almost as James assumes his readers will be already doing them.
First he states, building yourselves up in your most holy faith. How do we build ourselves up in the faith? We read and study the Word of God, wherein we find that faith once for all delivered to the saints. We gather for worship with God’s people and participate in the means of grace with the saints of God. Peter describes the body of Christ as a building. 1 Peter 2:5, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Second he says, praying in the Holy Spirit. A note in the Reformation study Bible states, “In contrast to the false teachers, the prayers of Jude’s readers are controlled by the Spirit, as indeed their whole lives should be (Gal. 5:16-18; Eph. 6:18).” Praying in the Holy Spirit is not a special type of prayer, but it contrasts those who live by the Spirit vs those who live by the flesh. Because we have the Holy Spirit within us we are able to contend for the faith. We are able to build ourselves up in our most holy faith as the Spirit continues to work in our lives. And, we are able to pray in the Holy Spirit.
May God bless your prayers this week as you pray in the Spirit and as we all work out our salvation with fear and trembling. May we be built up in our most holy faith.