To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen.
Jude has written with great urgency. False teachers had infiltrated the church, denying Jesus Christ and promoting immoral behaviour. The result of their teaching would be disastrous to any believer caught up in it. So, Jude has urged his listeners to clearly see the danger and to keep themselves rooted in God’s love, standing firm in the truth, building themselves up in faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and waiting expectantly for the coming of Jesus. It’s a powerful mix.
At the same time, he has urged them to help rescue those who are faltering. In other words, they’re not to remove themselves from the fray, but rather stay close enough at hand to extend saving mercy to those who have fallen.
This could be a desperately risky stance. But Jude has confidence in the strong, preserving care of the Sovereign Lord himself. And so, convinced of that truth, he closes his letter with a glorious doxology that fixes our sights in worship on our Saviour, Lord, and King.
“To him.” We’ve been focused ground level on the scourge of false teaching. Now Jude lifts our sights – firmly and clearly – to the One who is our true hope. It’s the right focus for worship – it’s the only focus for life.
“… who is able …” Such a simple phrase, but packed with so much assurance and hope. I envision the strength of his hand, reaching down. I see him splitting the Red Sea and delivering Israel from the overwhelming presence of Pharaoh’s army. I see the flames of a fiery furnace, lions in their den, storms on Galilee – all unable to thwart his saving purposes. I remember the concluding words of another doxology, spoken by the Apostle Paul: “Faithful is he who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass.” He is able.
“… to keep you from falling …” The treacherous teachings of these false teachers are ready to trip believers, causing them to crash and burn. But our Lord is able to keep us from falling. He intends to keep us firmly on our feet. “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13). Even as we stay engaged in the battle, seeking to “snatch others from the fire” (verse 23), his guarding presence keeps us standing secure in his love and mercy.
“… and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” It’s not just in this present moment that he preserves us. No. It’s with sights on that great future day when we stand before him – face to face – in the very presence of his glory. Moses encountered him at the burning bush. Isaiah saw him high and lifted up, the train of his robe gloriously filling the temple. Daniel saw him in a vision coming on the clouds with glory, authority, and power. Can we endure such glory? Oh yes, for he himself will present us “without fault,” completely washed clean by the saving sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. In that moment, we won’t experience nervousness – rather, it will be “extreme joy”!
Jude’s closing words now explode in unparalleled praise:
“To the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more.”
What can we do but join our voices with all the redeemed and shout aloud: “Amen!”
So, trust his saving power in the midst of the battle. Keep eyes on him, lifted above all struggles. Be his hands and feet, showing mercy to those in need. And worship him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. To the glory of Jesus. Amen.
Sovereign Lord, bring this about in my life. Keep me from falling. Present me before your glorious presence without fault and with great joy. To you be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, forever and ever. Amen!
Commit the whole portion to memory if you can – but at least the first half. Work on it today and as many days as you need. Drive the assurance home. He will keep you from falling. He will present you faultless in his presence. Amen!
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash