Without question Jude’s letter has a negative tone. Jude wanted to write about the majesty of the gospel, however the Spirit led him to encourage Christians to fight for the faith. Jude did this in three parts. First, he commanded his readers to fight for the faith (v. 3). Second, Jude exposed the fake Christians who were seeking to destroy the church. Finally, Jude provided his readers with several practical ways to fight for the faith. All of this talk about fighting and opposition can be tiring. If you knew that you were going to get in a fight tomorrow what would you do with the rest of the day? If you are like most people you would probably spend the rest of the day worrying about your opponent, and the outcome of your fight. The same is true when it comes to a spiritual fight. We all have the tendency to feel overwhelmed, and incapable. We feel like we just don’t know enough to fight for the faith, or we fret over the prospect of telling someone about Jesus. These are typical feelings. However, they are unnecessary because we do not need to worry about the outcome of this battle. Despite opposition and our own inability the fight will be won and God will ultimately be glorified. Jude makes this hope clear in the conclusion of his letter. (read passage)
Jude expresses the hope of ultimate victory in the form of a doxology. The word “doxology” comes from the Greek word for glory. A doxology is a literary form used to remind readers of who God is by ascribing glory to God. These doxologies were very common in the early church, and many biblical authors used this form to conclude their letters. The apostle Paul concluded his letter to the Romans with a doxology that is very similar to Jude’s doxology:
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Jude is providing his readers with hope by reminding them of God’s glory. Despite false teachers and opposition we can be confident that God will be glorified through the Gospel forevermore. The fake Christian that we have been reading about wanted to steal God’s glory. They even mocked God, and blatantly disobeyed His law. Our job, in fighting for the faith, is to protect God’s glory. Sometimes this seems impossible, however in this doxology Jude makes it clear that God will be glorified forever more. In this doxology we see that God must be glorified: 1) because His is our savior; 2) through Jesus; and 3) at all times.
I. God must be glorified because He is our Savior
a. He keeps us from stumbling
First, we see that God must be glorified because He is our Savior. In v. 25 Jude describes God as “the only God our Savior.” Usually the term “Savior” is used in reference to Jesus, but here Jude is referring to the Father. In v. 24 we see why Jude refers to God the Father as our Savior. First, God is our Savior because “He is able to keep you from stumbling…” Despite fake Christians trying to lead us into sin we can be confident that God will keep us from stumbling. Thus we can fight for the faith and know that God is protecting us from our enemies.
Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men Who have purposed to trip up my feet.
This should be extremely comforting for Christians. We are constantly dealing with our own sin, and it only becomes harder to deal with sin when we become involved those who want to steal God’s glory. We have probably all experienced how hard it can be stand up to people like this. It is easy to become frustrated, and fall into sin. However, we can be confident that despite our own sin God will keep us from completely stumbling away from Jesus.
For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.
The word that Jude uses here for stumbling is often translated as “guarding.” When Jude speaks of God guarding us from stumbling he is talking about God working to protect us from the wrath of final judgment. Once you have accepted Jesus you have been saved from the wrath of sin, and God is now guarding you to make sure that you will remain a Christian. Because it is God who is guarding us, we know that our salvation is a sure thing. Jesus, speaking on this issue, said:
…and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Because God is guarding us in this way Jude is right to describe Him as “the only God our Savior.” As a Savior we can clearly see that God posses all “glory, majesty, dominion, and authority.” This is how He keeps us from stumbling.
b. He is stands us before His glory blameless and with great joy
The second way that Jude describes God as our Savior is also found in v. 24. Jude says that as our savior God is able “to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” Here Jude is talking about the final judgment when all men will have to give an account to God for their actions. This is an extremely scary concept because God is absolutely perfect. In all of our sin and rebellion we are going to have to stand before God’s glory. When that happens we are going to be absolutely shocked at how glorious God is, and how sinful we are. This shock will be compounded by the fact that we are going to be judged in comparison with this great glory. Our lives will be judged and every moment wasted, and selfish thought and hateful action will be seen in the light of God’s glory. Yet, Jude tells us that our Savior, God, is able to present us blameless in His presence. This can only be through the work of Jesus. The Father sent Jesus – who never sinned – so that He could die on the cross and become the great substitute for sin. Jesus is not a substitute for all men. Those who do not accept Him will still face judgment, and they will be punished for falling short of God’s glory. However, all who repent from their sins and put their faith in Jesus will be presented before God blamelessly. Instead of coming before God in great fear with wrath in sight, Jude tells us that for the Christian this last judgment will be a time of great joy. We will be entering into an eternity of communion with God where all joy will be made complete. This is only possible because God is our glorious, majestic, powerful, and authoritative Savior.