Sermon #30                                                    Jude Sermons


     Title:           Four Gracious Admonitions

     Text:           Jude 1:20-21

     Subject:      Our Responsibilities in the Face of Apostasy

     Date:          Tuesday Evening — May 24, 2005

     Tape #        Jude #30

     Readings:   Larry Criss and Bob Duff



Perilous times have come upon us. Heresy abounds everywhere. The love of many has waxed cold. Ungodly men have crept into the church “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Filthy dreamers” fill the pulpits of churches everywhere, men who “defile the flesh,” despise the dominion of our God, and “speak evil of things which they know not,” corrupting themselves. Mockers walking “after their own ungodly lusts,” men who “separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” abound on every side.


(Jude 1:11-13)  "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (12) 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."


The “spirit of antichrist,” as John puts it, is so thick in this generation that you can cut it with a knife. What are we to do in this reprobate age? Is there anything we can do, when we see multitudes around us turning from the faith of Christ? Does the Word of God give us any clear instruction about our responsibilities in the face of, what appears to be, universal apostasy? It does indeed!


The Apostle Peter, when speaking of these things, wrote…


(2 Peter 3:17-18)  "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."


The Apostle Jude, having warned us of these things, gives us four gracious admonitions in our text (Jude 1:20-21). That is our subject — Four Gracious Admonitions.


Proposition: Here Jude shows us, by divine inspiration, what our responsibilities are in the face of apostasy. Here are four things we can and must do.


(Jude 1:20-21)  “But ye, beloved, (1.) building up yourselves on your most holy faith, (2.) praying in the Holy Ghost, (21) (3.) Keep yourselves in the love of God, (4.) looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”


Blessed Holy Spirit, graciously seal these things to our hearts and give us grace to heed these four gracious admonitions you here give us in your Holy Word, for Christ’s sake.


Faith and Security


Having explained in great detail the apostate religion of all false prophets, Jude here begins to give sweet words of instruction to God’s saints, assuring believing sinners of perfect safety and security in the midst of heresy and apostasy.


Before I proceed, let me address you who are yet without Christ. — Come to Christ. — Trust the Son of God. — Take refuge in him who is the only Refuge for guilty souls. — Do not delay! Oh, may God the Holy Spirit graciously reveal Christ in you now and sweetly compel you to trust my Savior. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and…

·       Redemption is yours!

·       Righteousness is yours!

·       Eternal life is yours!

·       Salvation is yours!


(John 5:24)  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."


Not only is Christ our only Refuge, he is our secure Refuge. Trusting him, you trust him who alone is able to save you and able to keep you. He is able, and Jude assures us that he will, “keep you from falling


(Jude 1:24-25)  "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, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen."


What a sweet way to end a letter containing such sorrowful things!


God’s Work


In the light of what we read in verses 24 and 25, it is obvious that our keeping is God’s work altogether. So when the Apostle admonishes us to build ourselves up in their most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep ourselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, we are not to imagine that we are our own keepers any more than we are our own saviors. The Scriptures everywhere teach us, and every believer’s heart says “amen” to it, that we are kept by the power and grace of God unto eternal life in Christ. Here is our God’s sweet assurance of infallible, indestructible grace (Isa. 27:2-3; John 10:27-31).


(Isaiah 27:2-3)  "In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. (3) I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day."


(John 10:27-31)  "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (30) I and my Father are one. (31) Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him."


It is with that sweet assurance of safety and security that we are admonished, in Jude 20-21, to build ourselves up in their most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep ourselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Let’s look at these four gracious admonitions together.




Notice, again, that tender, affectionate word, “beloved.” Jude assures us again that we who believe are “beloved” of God. Calling us “beloved,” he distinguishes us from all others, and particularly distinguishes us from the apostates he has been describing. In much the same way, after describing those who fall away, the Apostle Paul wrote, in Hebrews 6:9…


(Hebrews 6:9)  "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak."


Others are cursed. We are “beloved!” Others are under the wrath of God. We are “beloved!” Others have been left to themselves. We are “beloved!” Others are condemned. We are “beloved!” Others fall away. We are “beloved!” Can you get hold of this, my friend, my brother, my sister in Christ? You are “beloved” of God! — “Beloved” of the triune God!


Throughout this short Epistle, Jude keeps reminding us of the greatness and glory, grace and mercy, goodness and love of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, flowing in unceasing boundlessness to our souls through the Lord Jesus Christ.

·       Verse 1 — Sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called by God the Holy Spirit.

·       Verse 2 — Jude speaks of the mercy of God the Father, the peace that is ours in Christ, and the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by God the Holy Spirit.

·       He even reminds us that the apostasy of all heretics is apostasy from the triune God. — They turn the grace of God the Father into lasciviousness. — They deny the very Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ by denying the efficacy of his finished work. And they are “sensual, having not the Spirit

·       In our text, he speaks of the love of God the Father, praying in God the Holy Spirit, and the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.


“Building up yourselves”


Here is the first of Jude’s gracious admonitions to us. He urges us, as we look for Christ to appear, to be “building up yourselves on your most holy faith.”


As men build a house on the foundation that is laid, so you and I are to continually build ourselves up on our most holy faith.


·       Christ is the Object of our faith.

·       He is the Foundation Stone upon which we have been built by God’s grace, and upon which we have built ourselves by faith in him.

·       The Word of God is the foundation of faith (Eph. 2:19-22).


(Ephesians 2:19-22)  "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."


·       But we should never be content with our present knowledge and condition. We should constantly seek to grow in grace and in faith (Luke 17:5; 2 Thess. 1:3; Col. 2:7).


(Luke 17:5)  "And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith."


(Colossians 2:7)  "Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."


(2 Thessalonians 1:3)  "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth."


·       Faith is strengthened through the ministry of the Word and the sweet, edifying fellowship of God’s saints (Eph. 4:11-16).


(Ephesians 4:11-16)  "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."


When Jude speaks of “faith” the word faith may have reference to Christ the Object of faith, or to the Holy Spirit’s gift of faith, or to the gospel, the doctrine of faith. Or, it may have reference to all three. We were built “on our most holy faith” by the grace of God. Now, being built, we are to build up ourselves “on our most holy faith.”

·       Build yourself up on Christ, the Object of faith. — Build yourself up on this Foundation. — Not Your Emotions. — Not Build yourself up on this Foundation. — Not Your Emotions. — Not Your Works. — Not Your Works. — Not Your Experience. — Not The Opinions of others about You. — But on Christ, trusting him alone, always and for everything.

·       Build yourself up on the grace of faith God the Holy Spirit has given you (Col. 2:6-10).


(Colossians 2:6-10)  "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"


·       And build yourself up on the doctrine of faith, the gospel of God’s grace and glory in Christ.


I love the way Jude describes this faith. He calls it “your most holy faith.” It is your faith because God gave it to you. It is “holy” for comes from the holy God, reveals his holy character, and fetches to us that “holiness without which no man can see the Lord.”


“Praying in the Holy Ghost”


Next, Jude tells us that the way to build ourselves up in our most holy faith is by “praying in the Holy Ghost.” If we would grow in faith, in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ, we must pray in the Spirit. There is no true prayer except that which is created in us by God the Holy Spirit, as we walk in the Spirit, trusting Christ our Savior.

·       It is God the Holy Spirit who teaches us to pray, what to pray for and how to pray.

·       Fervency in prayer, what we call “liberty to pray,” and “a burden to pray,” is the gift of the Spirit.

Faith to pray and importunity in prayer are things we can never muster in ourselves. These are gifts of grace from God the Holy Spirit. In a word, we must pray, not merely “say” our prayers, but pray in the Spirit (Rom. 8:26-27).


(Romans 8:26-27)  "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."


A sense of our daily need of Christ, will, through the Spirit’s blessing, lead us to a daily abiding in Christ, by faith leaning upon Christ, and in prayer seeking Christ, ever coming to him for life and grace (1 Pet. 2:1-5).


(1 Peter 2:1-5)  "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (4) To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, (5) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."


“Keep yourselves in the love of God”


Here is Jude’s third admonition. — “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” We must keep in the love of God for us in this sense — We must ever keep before our hearts and minds the eternal, immutable, boundless love of God for us, being firmly persuaded of our interests in his love (Rom. 8:35-39).


(Romans 8:35-39)  "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


This is the foundation of all grace an the source of our everlasting salvation and eternal glory. The word might be translated “preserve yourselves in the love of God.” When Satan assaults, when temptations assail, when tribulations come one on the heels of another, when you are weak, when you fall, “keep yourselves in the love of God

·       Meditate upon the love of God.

·       Study the love of God.

·       Rejoice in the love of God.

·       Be assured of the love of God (Mal. 3:6; Mark 16:7).


And we must keep ourselves in love with God (1 John 4:9-19). Ever open your door to Christ. Seek to be constantly ravished by his love and overwhelmed with it.


(1 John 4:9-10)  "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."


(1 John 4:13-19)  "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. (14) And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (15) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (16) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (19) We love him, because he first loved us."


All believers love Christ (1 Cor. 16:22; 1 John 4:19). But our love for him is often cold (Song. 5; Rev. 2:4; John 21:15-17). Live close to the cross, ever beholding the love of God for you, that your heart may ever be ravished with his love.


·       Sweetheart love is delightful. — Don’t ever lose your sweetheart love for Christ.


Illustration: Many years ago, a young preacher went to visit an older preacher whom he admired, to seek his counsel about the work of the ministry. The young preacher asked the old man, whom he esteemed so highly, — “Can you give me one word of advice, I can remember, by which to direct my life and ministry for the glory of God?” Without hesitation, the old man replied, — “Take great care that you never lose your sweetheart love for the Lord Jesus Christ.”


·       But tried and proved love is sweeter.


Looking For Mercy


Now, look at Jude’s fourth admonition. Be sure to read it just as it is given here by God the Holy Spirit. — “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” There is nothing so sure to inspire us to build ourselves up on our most holy faith, to pray in the Holy Ghost, and keep ourselves in the love of God as this — “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”


We look for mercy! — Covenant Mercy! — Redeeming Mercy! — Daily Mercy! — Sure Mercy!


(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."


·       We look “for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — We look for mercy in Christ, the mercy that is found in Christ and flows to us from Christ.


·       We look “for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” — Eternal life by the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, what a blessed hope! What a blessed prospect! What a blessed thing to look for and anticipate!


This sweet admonition, “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,” implies a sure, fixed, and certain hope of everlasting blessedness and glory when Christ comes “to execute judgment,” and “to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.”


What a blessed implication this is! For the believing sinner, for a truly regenerated soul, for all who are redeemed, justified, and sanctified in Christ, there is nothing doubtful about outcome of that great day! Truly, this is for us “the blessed hope!” — “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” — Judgment Day will be for us but the crowning of “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life!” Oh, what a blessed, gracious admonition this is. Nothing but mercy has led us through this pilgrimage. Nothing but mercy has been our experience. And nothing but “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” awaits us! Let us join Jude in his blessed doxology of praise in anticipation of that day!


(Jude 1:24-25)  "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, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen."