As Jude comes to the close of his Epistle, having warned us of the incessant assaults of hell, showing us the terrible apostasy of many, he urges us to “keep ourselves in the love of God.” And he tells us that we must do so, “building ourselves up in our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
When I read that admonition, immediately, my thought is, “But I can’t do that. I’m too weak, too sinful. I cannot keep myself in the love of God. It is my responsibility. I must do it. There the commandment stands — ‘Keep yourselves in the love of God.’ But I can’t do it.” Then, I read verses 24 and 25, and my heart dances with joy. I can’t keep myself; but God my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ can and will keep me. And keeping me, he will cause me to keep myself.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”
Having persuaded us of our duty and responsibility, Jude now commends us to the grace and power of God our Savior, teaching us to trust him, from whom alone we expect eternal life, to keep us from falling. Except he keep us, we can never keep ourselves.
When Jude speaks of “him that is able to keep you,” I have to ask, of whom does he speak? Without question, God the Father, our heavenly Father, is able to keep us. With God all things are possible. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. Jude here assures us that our God’s omnipotent power and ability is engaged by promise and by covenant office as our Father.
God the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, by whom we are sealed unto the day of redemption, is able to keep us, and is engaged to do so. He who is the Earnest of our inheritance will make certain that we come into the full possession of our inheritance.
And God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Guardian of our souls, the Shepherd of the sheep, and the King of Zion, is able to keep us and is engaged to do so as our covenant Surety. In a word, the eternal, triune God is our Keeper.
“We fall not,” Thomas Manton wrote, “because God doth not let go his hold. Our necessities and difficulties are so great that nothing less than a divine power can support us.” We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” —”Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand” (Psalms 121:4-5).
Our weak flesh says, “I will fail.” The world says, “I will choke out the influence of the Word of God upon them.” False religion says, “I will deceive them.” The devil says, “I will take them.” But he who is God our Savior, the Custodian of our souls, says, “I will keep them. I will never fail them, nor forsake them.” That is our safety and security!
What a great relief it is to my feeble faith to read of “Him that is able to keep you!” It is “him that is able to keep you,” who said, — “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). He declares in his Word that all his own shall stand firm in his grace on this earth until they stand in the fulness of his glory in heaven. — “Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4).
Boaz and Jachin
At Solomon’s command, we are told that Hiram set two pillars in the porch of the temple and named them Boaz’ and “Jachin.” “Boaz” means “Strength.” And “Jachin” means “he will establish” (1 Kings 7:21). Boaz, as you know, typified Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer. Jachin was a priest in Israel. As such, he was also typical of our Savior. And Christ our Redeemer and Priest is our Strength and “he will establish.” The power of God and the grace of God in him are the two pillars upon which our confidence stands.
Here is the power of God our Savior. — He who is our omnipotent Savior is “Him that is able.” What a great thought that is! He who is our God and Savior is a God with whom all things are possible. — “He is able!” Those three words mean that nothing is too hard for the Lord. No problem is too great for him. “With God nothing shall be impossible!”
He’s able, He’s able,
I know He is able;
I know my Lord is able to carry me through!