Thanks for joining me for Contenders of the Faith. 6 voices, 4 weeks, 2 verses, ONE purpose: Contend for the faith.
I think it’s fitting that Jude’s name means “He shall be praised.” Though this post will wrap up our series, I want to take you back to the very beginning—to the first five words Jude selects to follow his name in this letter we’ve been reading.
“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ…” Jude 1:1
He could’ve claimed half-brother status, but he didn’t. Jude called himself a servant. The blood Jesus shed for him was more important than family blood, Jude seems to say. Within this humble title, Jude gently reminds us that following Jesus’ means keeping His command to love God and love people.
Jude knew that if we follow his lead and maintain a posture of servitude, we automatically place ourselves in a position to recognize that every gift we’ve been given is for the building up of the body of Christ.
When your aim is love, there is no greater title than servant.
Contenders are servants. And they are worshipping warriors. Contenders align their lives with the anticipation of Jesus’ return. So praise Him. Serve Him. Keep yourselves in His love always. He’s coming back. Jude ends his letter with the most beautiful doxology:
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24-25
Earlier this week, Kristin beautifully defined what Jude meant when he wrote “keep yourselves in the love of God.” (Jude 1:21) This word keep shows up in 1 John 2:3: “Those who love me keep my comamnds.” Jude closes his letter with, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling…” This keep is a different Greek word. Phylássō means guard, watch, protect, and most importantly, save.
Jesus is willing and able to save.
He saves us from the penalty of sin, from the enemy’s arrows meant to destroy us, and from living ineffective, powerless lives. Jesus is willing and able to save us from ourselves.
God keeps those who oppose the gospel for judgment, but He has the power to keep from stumbling those who place their faith in Him. God’s power and authority offer a protective shield for this fight today. We contend not to prove ourselves worthy, but so that the glorious good news entrusted to us proves itself through our very lives.
To Him be glory, majesty, power, and authority… now and forever.
Winner of Giveaway
Morgan Clayton is the winner of the giveaway! Thanks to all who entered and took part in this series. If you want to purchase Women of the Word and start your own small group, you can get yours here.
INTRO: Contend for the faith. Jude 1:3
PART I: But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith… Jude 1:20a
PART II: …and praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 1:20b
PART III: Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1:21
Conclusion: To him who is able to keep you… Jude 1:24
May the words of these contenders challenge and encourage, nourish and convict, and remind you at your core that you are loved.