Jude’s building project

Jude spends sixteen of his twenty-five verses identifying scoffers who sneak into the Church causing trouble. He also dedicates nine verses to equipping believers “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude :3). Jude summons “those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” (:1) to the battle for gospel truth. To actively engage in defence of biblical truth which defines “the faith.”

Jude’s building projectAn integral part of this battle is the need to be proactively “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 1:20-21). Jude spells out spiritual preservation for his weary readers. Jude is not speaking of selfish withdrawal from spiritual battle but of taking responsibility to strengthen yourselves for more effective battle.

Notice that Jude writes here in the plural, “yourselves.” There is nothing individualistic about his exhortation. This is a call for unity within the body of Christ and for humble agreement in the Scriptures. This is a call for those who wish to be faithful to the truth to come together in Bible study, discussion, and selfless prayer enabled by the Holy Spirit. Such prayer “in the Holy Spirit” seeks to “glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6), to bear witness about Christ (John 15:26), and all at the expense of self (John 3:30).

Unity in God’s Word is the beginning of keeping “yourselves in the love of God” (:21a). Love is the evidence of authentic faith in Christ. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” (Galatians 5:22-23) which is always present when unity in the faith is alive. Selfless love is always the first working of the Holy Spirit to vanish when someone chooses to step out of unity. Love for others is to be nurtured, spoken of highly, and practiced frequently. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9). Therefore, self-centred desires, actions, and “I centred” speech gets removed for love to prevail.

Jude is not calling for believers to isolate themselves from God’s people because they can’t see eye to eye on everything. Instead, they are to lovingly sacrifice self for Christ to be evident in their relationships. This loving heart attitude which serves others recognises “how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalms 133:1).

Next Jude directs faithful believers to do all the above while “waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (:21b). Obedient, Christ centred living in unity with God’s people generates a powerful sense of expectation for the Lord’s return. Jesus’ return is the next supreme expression of His mercy believers wait for, bringing their eternal life to ultimate fulfilment. Again, this should be spoken of frequently, and prayed for earnestly as Christians encourage one another in spiritual purity and perseverance.

The point is this; God’s people are to be people of mercy, just as their God is a God of mercy. While waiting for Christ to return, believers enthusiastically live in and express the mercy of Jesus Christ.

Be encouraged my Christian friends, a congregation united in “the faith” is powerfully loving, mercifully expectant, and undeniably a force for Jesus Christ.

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