Friday in the Nineteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Jude 17-25

But You, Beloved

Jude now closes his letter with warnings and admonitions for God’s people to remain faithful in the midst of false teachers.  He reminds them that the apostles told them that scoffers would come “following their own ungodly passions,” which is what his letter to them has been all about.  These “pervert the grace of our God into sensuality” and arrogantly slough off all authority.  Jude says that it is these “who cause divisions,” which we have seen the last several years as denominations have been roiled by feminism and the demands for sodomitical accommodations which always seem to be in tow when the former gains control.  These are the ones who camouflage their worldly and sinful passions under the guise of “social justice” while they destroy souls and churches.  Jude pronounces such as “devoid of the Spirit.”

Yet, the faithful must not lose concern for them.  First, they must “have mercy on those who doubt.”  There will be those in the church who wonder about what the false teachers say—and with social media and the Internet, the false teachers are all around.  We must not berate them but “have mercy,” understanding how difficult it can be to remain faithful in this confusing world.  Convince them to remain in the ark where it is safe—that is, the local church, surrounded by the brethren.  As for the false teachers, even these we should attempt to “snatch out of the fire.”  And to all, we should “show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained with the flesh,” meaning, the sin to which they are enslaved.  We do this with fear knowing that we too are easily tempted (Galatians 6:1). 

But we can only help others if we are building ourselves up in the faith, not content with superficial matters but going deeper into God’s word and the teachings of the Church.  We must pray “in the Holy Spirit” according to his will (1 John 5:14), “for from him is solicitude, from him is ardour and vehemence, from him is alacrity, from him is confidence in obtaining what we ask” (John Calvin, Commentaries, vol. XXII, 447).  We must keep ourselves “in the love of God,” for if we love Him, He will abide within us and give us the will to obey his commandments.  And added to all this is that we wait “for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ,” which I take to mean his return.  It is the daily anticipation of our Lord’s return that leads us to greater holiness as we prepare for his coming (1 John 3:3).  And Jude closes with a wonderful promise: He is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us before the Father blameless “before the presence of His glory with great joy.”  All glory to Him now and forever.  Amen.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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