Series on Jude, V The Expulsion of the Enemy. Jude 24,25. Title:The Faultless Presentation.

Introduction:


The conclusion of Jude's letter is a grand ascription of praise to God.To Him that 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 Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. It focuses our attention on the help we need.  In the battle for the truth there is no way we can prevail in our own strength. If the enemy is to be expelled the victory must be God's. As Martin Luther wrote, “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.” How good to remember the words of Jesus in Matt.16 On this rock (of confessing me as Son of God and Savior) I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not overcome it. Surrounded by unbelief, invaded by hypocrites, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be built. Jude reflects three things that God does which elicit this praise: He prepares, He preserves, and He presents.Let us look at each of them.

I Preparation


Verse 25 reminds us that the God of the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only God and the only answer. He has acted in compassion and love towards those who trust in him. Jude calls Him the only God. Like the ancient Athenians we have many gods in our society. Among the multitude of idols that adorned Mars Hill in Athens was an altar to the “unknown god.” As long as the god is unknown everyone is happy, but nobody is helped. Jude describes the glory, majesty, and authority of the only true God. And he adds to that the inescapable fact that this acknowledgment of God is through Jesus Christ. You can't know the true God except through his revelation in the Bible and in Christ. H.G. Wells was never particularly religious, but after he had studied the history of the human race and had observed human life, he came to an interesting conclusion: “Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have his friendships, his partial loyalties, his scraps of honor. but all these things fall into place and life falls into place only with God.” However, today, many promote a civil religion, a universal religion in which we can all agree. The one word that will be missing from that religion is the word "only". One fourth of July, Vaclav Havel the Czechloslovakian president, spoke in Philadelphia. He reminded us that materialism, rationalism, science and technology cannot deliver us. He spoke of our having pushed God out of the picture and of needing a higher authority than man himself. He spoke of submitting to the universal order and creation but he called this “self-transcendence.” This is a clever way of saying that there is something outside of us, but if you don't define what is out there you are no better off than if nothing is out there. The theme is that there are no absolutes and no help. In the years to come it is the uniqueness of the Christian faith which will be tested. Eighty percent of Americans say they believe that the Bible is God's inspired word, but only 48% believe that there is one set of moral standards that is right. They don’t know who God is. Thank God He has prepared us. We know that He is the only god.

II Preservation


We note that Jude has already told us in a previous verse that we are to keep ourselves in the love of God. We are to persevere. But we cannot persevere for one second unless we are preserved. Jude addresses the Lord as the one who is able to keep us from falling. The word falling does not simply mean sinning. we all fall into sin constantly. This word  means total apostasy or falling away and forsaking the Lord. That he is able to keep us from apostasy is a great relief, but often we doubt God's ability to keep us in the midst of our trials and our battles. Contending for the faith once delivered is dangerous. Our final outcome personally may be guaranteed, but the process is hard. Jude says that you must keep yourself. I am reminded of that passage in Philippians where Paul says, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. These are the works that God has prepared in advance that we should do, but we still have to do them. The sovereign almighty grace of God does not excuse us from labor. Preservation yields perseverance not apostasy. When she was young, Florence Chadwick wanted desperately to be a great speed swimmer. At the age of six she persuaded her parents to enter her in a 50-yard race. She came in last, so she practiced every day. again she entered and lost. When she was 11, Florence won attention and praise for completing the San Diego Bay endurance swim, 6 miles in all. But she still wanted to be a speed swimmer. At 14 she tried for the national backstroke championship, but came in second to the great Eleanor Holm. At 18 she tried out for Olympic speed swimming and came in fourth, and only the first three made the team. Frustrated, she gave it up, married, and moved on. As time passed Florence began to wonder if she might not have done better if she had specialized in endurance swimming, something that came more naturally. So, with the help of her father, she began swimming distances again. In 1951, she attempted to swim from Catalina island to the California coast. The distance and the bone-chilling waters complicated matters. A dense fog made it impossible for her to see land. After 15 hours in the water, and within a half mile of her goal, she gave up. Later she said, “If i could have seen land, i might have made it." Not long afterward she attempted the feat again, and it was still foggy, but this time she made it because she kept reminding herself that land was there. She broke the mens' record by 2 hours! Twelve years after she had failed to make the Olympic team, Florence Chadwick swam the English Channel, breaking Gertrude Ederle's 24-year-old record. Are we prepared to put out that kind of effort? That is what Abraham did when he looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. Can you see the land? Keep yourselves in the love of God.

III Presentation


The end is that we are presented faultless before His presence with exceeding joy. Paul describes the Church as Christ's bride in Ephesians 5:26,27, With everyone of us made holy, cleansed, washed in order that he may present us as a radiant church without any stain,or wrinkle,or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Let me take you back to a story in the Old Testament, the book of Esther. In that book Esther, a young jewish giri, is chosen to become a wife in the harem of king Ahashuerus, also called Xerxes. She was supplied with seven maids, beauty treatments and special food. For 12 long months she was prepared before being brought to the king. When at last she came he was so taken with her beauty  that he made her queen. Now i only have one question. Who do you think footed the bill for all of that? Why, the king of course. And the analogy should be clear. We are chosen, we are sanctified and purified through this life, though never perfect, and finally we are presented. All at the cost of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice. Ahashuerus had lots of gold, but we are redeemed by something more precious, the blood of Christ. God’s standards are much higher than the standards of Ahashuerus, but so is the price that was paid. Thus, Jude breaks out in a litany of praise.