Sermon #6 Jude Sermons
Title: Mercy, Peace and Love
Text: Jude 2
Date: Tuesday Evening — November 9, 2004
Tape # Jude #6
Readings: David Burge and Bobbie Estes
(Jude 1:1-2) “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (2) Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.”
Jude wrote his epistle in very difficult times. Certain men had crept into the church of Christ unawares, spreading grievous errors that led many to deny the faith, making shipwreck of their souls. Many antichrists had already appeared, and Jude was concerned for the welfare of God’s saints, the truth of the gospel, and the glory of God. His epistle is so applicable in every way to our day that, if we did not know better, we might well think it was written to us and posted yesterday and arrived with this morning’s mail. How many there are within the walls of Zion today who “deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” “filthy dreamers, defiling the flesh, despising dominion, and speaking evil of dignities,” “speaking evil of things they know not…corrupting themselves,” who have “gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”
(Jude 1:12-13) “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (13) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”
(Jude 1:16) “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
(Jude 1:19) “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
A Special Man
Here is a special man. — “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.” It seems to me that Jude intended (the Holy Spirit intended) every word in the title he was inspired of God to use describing himself to tell us that he was a man altogether different from those false teachers, those messengers of Satan, who had crept into the church. It appears that Jude, in the very opening word of his epistle wished to distinguish himself from them.
His name, “Jude” is short for “Judas.” But this Judas was not the son of perdition. He was (and is) a true son of God, true believer, not an apostate like Iscariot and his companions. Yet, when he wrote his own name down, Judas, which we pronounce short as “Jude,” the tears must have come to his eyes as he remembered that other Judas, knowing that he was just like him by birth and nature. If left to himself, he too would have proved a traitor to his Master and an apostate, like the other Judas. But grace had made him to differ from the man who betrayed his Lord.
I have known others with my name over the years, but none (to my knowledge) who knew my God and his grace. The only difference between them and me is the difference grace has made (1 Cor. 4:7). Let us ever adore and magnify the grace of our God that has distinguished us (and constantly distinguishes us) from others of Adam’s depraved race. — “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). If I had written this epistle, I am sure that as I wrote my name, Jude,” I do not think I could not have written it without remembering my utter indebtedness to God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ, which makes me to differ from the son of perdition who bore the same name. I would have thought, like John Bradford, “There, but for the grace of God go I.” We ought not even think of our names without adoring the God of all grace and the name of his darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that name which is above every name, by whose hand our names have been written in the book of life. It is he and he alone who makes us his servants and keeps us serving him. There was something-special even about the name of Jude.
A Special Office
Jude was a special man with a very special office. — “The servant of Jesus Christ.” He was “the bondservant of Jesus Christ.” He was a man who belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was completely Christ’s property.
Servants do not could come and go at their own pleasure. They are not free men, but bondmen. Though Christ’s servants are the freest of men, the only truly free people on the earth, they are his bondservants. We delight to wear the chains of his love. They are softer than silk, but stronger than steel. Our ears are bored to the doorposts of his house forever.
You will remember that in the Old Testament a man might become another man’s bondservant by purchase. Anyone who bought a slave took legal possession of him as his bondservant. So it is with us. Christ bought us with his precious blood, and we are his blood-bought servants. — “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We are constrained by redeeming love to live as Christ’s bondservants. The Lord Jesus Christ died for us “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
Hear me, you who are redeemed of the Lord. We do not belong to ourselves. We have no ownership rights over ourselves. Yet we rejoice that we have that which is indescribably more valuable, for we can each one say, with Thomas, “My Lord and my God.” Henceforth we have no claim over ourselves, but give ourselves over to him who has bought us with his blood. We are his bondservants by purchase. As Hosea bought Gomer for an homer of barley and an half-homer of barley, so the Lord Jesus bought us with the silver of his sweat and the gold of his blood, and we shall not be for another.
A person could also become a bondservant by birth. Under the law, the man born in the priest’s house, whether a natural child or the child of a servant in the priest’s house, was allowed to eat of the holy things. In Psalm 116 David said, “O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid.” He reckoned himself born into the service of God.
So it is with you and I who are born of God. We have been born into the household of God, and our regeneration binds us to the service of him whom we call Master and Lord henceforth and forever. Let those who love self and seek to please self, do what they will, we who are the Lord’s servants by purchase and by birth, the bondservant of Jesus Christ, will live to love him and please him.
In the Old Testament times people bondservants by purchase and by birth. But there was a third way a person could become a bondservant. We this in the law of the bondservant in Exodus 21:1-6. A man could become a bondservant by voluntary indenture. He could enter into bonds of servitude for life because he loved his master.
You and I who believe on the Son of God have freely surrendered ourselves to him as voluntary bond-slaves. We have declared ourselves his forever, irrevocably and eternally his.
· By Purchase
· By Birth
· By Voluntary Indenture
Brother of James
Then Jude added these words, showing that he was blessed of God with a special brother. — “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.” Jude considered himself a very special man, special to God, because he had for his brother that famous servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, James the Less, known among the Jews of old as James the Just. I have no idea how James was used of God to influence his bother Jude, but his influence must have been great, and Jude counted it his high honor and great blessing to be the “brother of James.”
I know many who today know God because their brother or sister, introduced them to the Savior. What a special brother he is, what a special sister she is, who has been blessed of God as an instrument of good to your soul!
Illustration: Milton Howard and David Pledger
Bobbie Estes and Betty Burge
A Special People
There was something special even about Jude’s name, his office, and even his brother. He was a man specially loved, chosen, preserved and called in Christ. And he wrote this epistle to a special people. — “To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” He wrote his epistle “To them that are beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ, being called.” Yes, you who are called are a special people to God. — “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Duet. 7:6). You are the apple of his eye, his treasure, his peculiar people, the very jewels of his crown! By these three things you are distinguished as God’s special people.
· You have been sanctified are beloved by God the Father.
· You are preserved in and kept for the Lord Jesus Christ.
· You have been called by God the Holy Spirit.
A Special Blessing
Now, look at verse 2. Here Jude invokes a very special blessing upon you who are God’s special people. — “Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.” This is Jude’s prayer for God’s saints. And this is my prayer for you. But this is much more than a prayer. This is the word which God the Holy Spirit inspired Jude to write to us. It is a matter of absolute assurance. — “Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.”
Proposition: Mercy, peace and love shall be multiplied “to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”
It is, dear friends, my special desire and prayer to God for all who are separated unto him, that mercy, and peace, and love, may be multiplied unto them.
This is my prayer, my heart’s desire to God for you. — “Mercy unto you be multiplied.” Oh, may you have mercy! As long as we live in this world we need mercy. Mercy is grace for misery, grace for the miserable. Mercy kindness, compassion and good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
The Lord God calls for us to come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).
I have heard many say, “Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. Grace is salvation. Mercy is anything short of hell. Grace is for the elect. Mercy extends to all.” But that is wrong. Mercy is God’s grace in Christ for and to miserable sinners by which he delivers us from our misery.
Mercy “is the outward manifestation of pity. It assumes need on the part of him that receives it and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it.”
W. E. Vine
The angels that were kept from falling in Satan’s revolt were kept by grace. But those angels who never sinned can never know anything about the mercy of God that is constantly multiplied to chosen sinners in Christ.
Oh, how we need mercy! Though sanctified, preserved and called, we are sinners still, sinners in constant need of mercy. May you have the mercy that will continue to forgive your sin, the mercy that will continue to wash your feet from the defilement of the way! May you have the mercies of providence that will supply your need, the mercies that will sustain you under trial, the mercies that will lead you on from strength to strength!
May you have much mercy, multiplied mercy all the days of your life. You will need it. And blessed be his name, our God who is rich in mercy is “He that delighteth in mercy!” Let me briefly show you something about God’s great mercy to us miserable sinners in Christ. Mercy is God’s readiness to relieve the miserable and to pardon the guilty.
1. It is essential to his nature.
His name is “Merciful” (Ex. 34:6-7). Mercy with God is not an emotion, a passion, or even a reaction, as it is with us. Rather, it the result of his sovereign will and guided by his infinite wisdom.
2. God’s mercy is free.
Nothing out of himself can be the cause of anything essential to God’s character. Our misery is not the cause of his mercy. His mercy anticipated our misery and was bestowed upon us in Christ in anticipation of our misery. His mercy is altogether free (Ex. 33:19; Rom. 9:11-18).
(Exodus 33:19) “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
(Romans 9:11-18) “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) (12) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. (13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (14) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (15) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. (17) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. (18) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
3. His mercy is infinite. — It pardons offences committed against his infinitely holy Being, and bestows infinite good on all who believe, even Jesus Christ (Luke 1:78)
4. It is immutable. — Nothing can change it. It is invariably the same. (Mal. 3:6). — “His mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50).
5. His mercy shall be forever celebrated in heaven (Ps. 89:2; 103:17).
(Psalms 89:2) “For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.”
(Psalms 103:17) “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”
6. The mercy of God is found only in Christ, flows to sinners in and through Christ and is revealed and known only in Christ (Eph. 2:4-9).
(Ephesians 2:4-9) “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In fact, properly speaking, “Mercy” is one of our Savior’s names, as the Lord showed Moses in Exodus 34, when he showed him his glory. When David spoke of God’s grace, he pleaded this argument, “There is mercy with thee” (Ps. 130:4). That is to say, “Christ is with thee.” When Zacharias prophesied of Christ’s coming, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, he said that it was the performance of God’s promised mercy (Luke 1:67-79).
And in Christ God’s mercy is multiplied to us in the provision of Christ as a Savior, in the mission upon which he came into the world (Matt. 1:21), in the redemption of our souls by his blood, in the forgiveness of sin, in regeneration, and in our whole salvation. It is multiplied to us when we are given enlarged views and fresh applications of it in time of need.
· When we are tempted, tried, and afflicted.
· When we fall.
· When we hurt.
· When we sense our utter helplessness in any circumstance or situation.
(Psalms 57:10) “For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.”
(Psalms 108:4) “For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.”
a. God’s mercy is prevenient mercy (Ps. 59:10).
(Psalms 59:10) “The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.”
b. His mercy is forbearing mercy (Rom. 2:4).
c. God’s mercy is comforting mercy (2 Cor. 1:4).
d. His mercy is relieving mercy (Ps. 94:17-19).
(Psalms 94:17-19) “Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. (18) When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. (19) In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.”
Truly, God’s mercy to us in Christ is multiplied mercy. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed (Lam. 3:21-26).
(Lamentations 3:21-26) “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (22) It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (25) The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. (26) It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”
(Jude 1:21) “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
(Hebrews 4:16) “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Wherever mercy is multiplied peace is in the train, and peace is multiplied. This is God’s promise; and this is my prayer. — “Peace unto you be multiplied.”
“The man who is at perfect peace with God, who is at perfect peace with his own conscience, who is at peace with all his fellow-men, who especially cultivates peace by behaving himself aright in the household of God, this is the man who is strong in the midst of unrest and turmoil. This is the man who will stand firm when others flinch; for he can say, ‘My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.’”
C. H. Spurgeon
O Lord God, “Do as thou hast said!” Multiply peace to your people for Christ’s sake! Give us fresh and enlarged views of peace made for us by his blood. Increase in our hearts a conscious awareness of peace. Give us your peace to guard our hearts. And ever give us peace amongst ourselves in this world. Teach us to walk in peace and to walk together in peace, promoting peace in your kingdom.
We were once without God, without promise, without hope, and without Christ, sworn enemies to God, full of wrath and enmity against him, having no peace. But, Christ came and made peace for us by the sacrifice of himself, reconciling us to God by the blood of his cross, and now, we have received peace in him. Indeed, he is our Peace (Rom. 4:25-5:11; Eph. 2:11-19; Phil. 4:4-7).
(Romans 4:25) “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
(Romans 5:1-11) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
(Ephesians 2:11-19) “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (16) And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (17) And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. (18) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (19) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”
(Philippians 4:4-7) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Jude 1:1-2) “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (2) Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.”
This is my prayer for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. But more importantly by infinite measure this is God’s promise to you. “Love unto you be multiplied!”
Oh, may the love of God shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit be multiplied. I pray that it will be multiplied in your hearts, that you may know it and be constantly overawed by it. I want us to be ravished with the realization that God loves us with that everlasting love which knows no measure, nor change, nor end. I want our hearts to dance at the very thought of the infinite love of God bestowed upon us in Christ (Eph. 3:14-19).
· Eternal Love!
· Immutable Love!
· Infinite Love!
· Free Love!
· Unconditional Love!
· Indestructible Love!
· Immeasurable Love!
(Ephesians 3:14-19) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
May the Lord our God be pleased to multiply his love in us, causing us to walk in love as his dear children. May he give us grace to love one another, to live in ever-increasing commitment to one another, devoted to one another. In this day when the love of many waxes cold (Matt. 24:12), may God give us grace to have love for Christ and for one another multiplied.
Deeper, deeper, in the love of Jesus,
Daily let me go.
Higher, higher, in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqueror, and in His own image,
Perfected at last.
Here is the inspired blessing conveyed to us by God’s servant, Jude. — “Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.” What a blessed, sweet word that is — “multiplied,” not merely increased, but “multiplied.” You know what it is to increase; you add one to two, that is three; but when you multiply, you say, “Three times three, that is nine.” Multiplying is a quick way of growing. Oh, that we might have all these blessings multiplied, that we who have had mercy might have ten times as much mercy, — that we who have had peace might have a deeper, fuller, richer, more abiding peace, multiplied peace, peace upon peace, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” — and that we who have had love might be multiplied, squared, cubed with love! May the Lord make us to grow in grace, to be filled with grace, to have these three graces multiplied unto us! — “Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.”
It will be your mercy and mine, if we could daily experience these three great tokens of grace, living daily in the enjoyment of the mercy, peace, and love of the triune God. As we enjoy these gifts of grace and relish them, let us infinitely more love, and value, and relish the Giver.
Now, one final word to you who know nothing yet of this mercy, peace, and love, to you who are yet without Christ. Have you, as you have been listening to me talk about these things that are utterly foreign to your soul’s experience, been thinking, “Oh, how I wish I could know that mercy, that peace, that love!” It is all in Christ. Come to Christ, the Giver, and the gift is yours. Believe on the Son of God and go home with this benediction of grace ringing in your heart. — “Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.”