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|Posted on November 13, 2016 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|
Session 12 – Jude 17-25 ON GUARD – Day 2
Jude 17 But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 they told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These people create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit.
The apostles’ teachings, their letters to the churches, are filled with warnings about false teachers (Acts 20:28–31; 1 Tim. 4:1, 2; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; 4:1–3; 2 Pet. 2:1—3:4; 1 John 2:18; 2 John 7–11). As noted previously, false teachers put their own desires above the will of God. They are not believers even though they present themselves as Christians. They create division rather than unity, and condone promiscuity, sexual perversion, and other ungodly behavior. Once again, the responsibility we have is to know what the scripture teaches about godliness, holiness, being changed by the Holy Spirit within us. This way we will have discernment to recognize erroneous teaching when we hear it.
Jude 20 But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.
Here is the antithesis to false teachers and false teachings, the things we should be doing. We are to build ourselves in order to insulate ourselves against false teaching. As we read in 2 Peter 1:3, God has provided everything we need to live a life that honors and glorifies Him.
John MacArthur Study Bible
20 building. True believers have a sure foundation (1 Cor. 3:11) and cornerstone (Eph. 2:20) in Jesus Christ. The truths of the Christian faith (cf. v. 3) have been provided in the teaching of the apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20), so that Christians can build themselves up by the Word of God (Acts 20:32)
God keeps us and holds us securely in His hand (John 10:28-29). However, we experience His love by continually abiding in that truth and obeying His commands. When we are truly His, the Holy Spirit within us changes our desires to be in conformity to His will. We look forward expectantly to the day Jesus will call us home or return to retrieve us.
Jude 22 Have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
We need to be merciful to those who doubt. We need to explain truth to them at every opportunity and pray for their salvation. There are some who are toying with false teaching to the point that we need to grab them quickly and compassionately pull them back to hear the gospel. There are others who are following false teachers, denying the deity of Christ, and living lasciviously. We still need to witness to them but exercise caution lest we be sucked into sin rather than being a positive influence to them. We need to be careful that in our effort to identify with the world in order to reach them that we do not become worldly ourselves. You cannot become a wolf to win one. “He who lies down with dogs, gets fleas.” Jude likens this to someone covered with oozing sores taking off their shirt and handing it to you to put on. I don’t think you would do that, so don’t take on even a tiny bit of their sinful lifestyle!
Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.
Jude ends with praise to the Lord and confirmation that it is God who enables us to live the life He has called us to live. Paul makes this same affirmation.
Romans 14:4 (HCSB) Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Ephesian 3:14-21 (ESV) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Jude declares the deity of Jesus by pointing out that He has been keeping us in the past, now, and forever. I like this in the Voice translation:
Jude 25b (VOICE) just as it has been since before He created time, may it continue now and into eternity. Amen.
Challenge: False teachers posing as Christian shepherds are a reality. Guard your mind against them by being rooted and grounded in the word of God. Attend a Bible teaching church. Participate in Sunday School and Bible Studies. Most of all study the Bible on your own, praying for the Holy Spirit to illuminate it, bring it to life, and help you to understand and apply it.
|Posted on June 23, 2016 at 7:10 PM||comments (0)|
Abide in His Love
John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
The Father loves Jesus completely and unconditionally. They are one, they are in perfect unity. Jesus wants us to be one with Him and the Father. Reside, live, dwell in Jesus’ love. The place where you live, your home, is where you feel safest and most comfortable. We should feel safe and comfortable in Jesus’ love. Home is also the place where you can most be yourself. There is no need for pretense with Jesus. When we abide in Him, we can be completely at ease. But how, exactly, do we achieve this state of abiding? We arrive at this state of being completely secure in our Savior’s love through obedience. The obedience that we are talking about is willing obedience because of our love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because we love them we desire to keep God’s commandments. We do not earn our salvation through following the commandments, but our obedience is one evidence that God has saved us. The Apostle John would later write:
1 John 4:19 (NIV) We love because he first loved us.
Jesus set the example of obedience for us by obeying the Father even to the point of dying on the cross!
Philippians 2:8 (NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
That is obedience to the nth degree! There is no greater obedience than being willing to lay down your life to fulfill another’s will, even someone you love. The other three Gospels tell us that Jesus prayed asking the Father if this cup (His taking the sin of the world to the cross) could pass from Him. Then He prayed for the Father’s will to be done rather than His own in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew chapter 26 and Mark chapter 14)
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
What things? The truth about abiding and obeying. When our lives are completely intertwined with Jesus, we are most at peace and have the greatest joy. When we are receiving life from the Vine, His joy and vitality flow through us and is a light and witness to others. Our joy is not dependent upon our circumstances but rather our connectedness with Jesus.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
The action of love is the lifestyle to be lived out by the disciples. The admonition set forth by Jesus, namely the order of daily living for Christian disciples, is that they demonstrate an active love toward one another in imitation of the love Jesus had lavished upon them. As children imitated their parents, we are to imitate the Lord. How did Jesus love and to what extent? Jesus loved sacrificially, unconditionally, and purely. He loved with everything, His heart, mind, and soul. He went so far as to die for those He loved. And now, He continues to make intercession for us at the throne of God.
Romans 8:34b Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Jesus continues demonstrating His love for us forever!!!
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
The word for friends used here could be interpreted “beloved ones.” This indicates an intimate friendship, a family relationship. As stated in Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) “…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” An important reflection on the theological implications of this verse is that Jesus addresses His friends, the community of faith. Further, the price of this love is illustrated in the crucifixion, although it was not restricted merely to His sacrificial act of death, but was mirrored in the activity of His life and ministry. Even before Jesus willingly laid down His life on the cross, He had set aside the splendor of Heaven to be born to a humble couple and live life as a man that we might understand the Father’s love. He also came to provide an example for us to emulate.
John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
The disciples’ designation and elevation to friendship, that is, mutual familial love, is found in their willingness to actively practice the commandments which Jesus has given. If one is the friend of Jesus, he or she will take on as their style of living obedience to the charges of Jesus. John views obedience as the measure of true Christian discipleship. The reason Jesus gives for calling the disciples friends, or beloved, is because everything He has heard from the Father He has shared with them. A servant does not know what his master intends to do, but the disciples, on the other hand, were given knowledge of their Master’s intent. Jesus brings them into intimacy with Himself when He shares what the Father has shared with Him.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
The knowledge of the disciples’ friendship to Jesus could cause them to become arrogant. Jesus quickly dispels the possibility in the mind of the disciples that they might have somehow earned this great privilege. It was at the initiative of Jesus that these were chosen as beloved. This is true of us today as well. We are unable to reach God until He has reached down to us and quickened us, made us alive, to His calling. The going out of the disciples and the production of fruit are proven through the results of what remains. The will of the Father has been revealed to the disciples, and through these actions His will is continually fulfilled. Therefore, their motivation is in conformity to the Father. For this reason, He is enabled to answer their prayers. This applies to us, also. We cannot frivolously ask anything in the name of Jesus and expect a positive answer from God. Asking “in Jesus’ name” implies that we are asking in accordance with His will and for His glory. Those prayers will be answered. These prayers which Jesus promises the Father will answer perpetuate God’s mission in the earth to proclaim the gospel and to raise up disciples which are living epistles through the development of Christian character.
John 15:17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
God’s grace and care to bring about the reality of family is a refreshment in the present day situation of so many broken and dysfunctional families. May the church continue to rise up and grow into one unified expression of God’s family through His love. This will result in peace and joy for all who trust in Jesus!
Q – God chose to love us and then enabled us to love Him and one another. We are empowered to obey and to love when we abide, are living in, the Vine, Jesus. Do you have your home in Jesus? Are you resting securely in His love? Are you bearing fruit as evidence of your relationship with Him?