Daily Reading: Hosea 4, 5, 6; Jude
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 20, NASB95)
After giving a warning and condemnation of false teachers in their midst (Jude 4-19), Jude gives the contrast of who Christians are, and how they are to live and act.
- “Beloved”: He reminds them again who they are (Jude 1, 3, 17). Christians are “beloved” only because they are “in Christ Jesus,” the beloved of God (Lk. 3:22; Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:6).
- Jude gives them only one command: “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). This command is spelled out in three ways:
- “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith”: In contrast to false teachers who divide the church (Jude 19), Christians are to build up God’s people.
- “Praying in the Holy Spirit”: they are able to pray according to God’s will (Rom. 8:26-27) in contrast to the false teachers who are devoid of the Spirit (Jude 19). This is surely a reference to praying with the mind and the Spirit (1 Cor 14:15–16; Eph 6:18).
- “Waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life”: Christians live with the hope of Jesus’ return.
Jude places emphasis on both divine action and human responsibility.
- Believers are beloved in God the Father and kept for Christ Jesus (Jude 1), but they must keep themselves in the love of God (Jude 21).
- They are entrusted with the faith (Jude 3), with which they are now called to build themselves up.
- The mercy and love they received (Jude 2) are to be extended to others (Jude 22-23).
We can only extend to others that which we have already received. Understanding this fact can help us to live close to our God, but also to have compassion and mercy on others who are as yet unsaved. Our love for God and others comes from God’s own incredible love which He’s abundantly bestowed on us in Christ. Have you received God’s love for you and responded by giving and submitting your life to Him? How are you keeping yourself in the love of God?