Sermon #36 Jude Sermons
Title: “Him That Is Able”
Text: Jude 1:24
Subject: Our Savior’s Omnipotent Ability
To Keep His Own
Date: Tuesday Evening — July 26, 2005
Tape # Jude #36
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, urges us to — “keep ourselves in the love of God.” And he tells us how 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 am 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; but I can’t. — ‘Keep yourselves in the love of God.’” Then, I read verses 24 and 25, and my heart dances with joy.
Proposition: 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.
(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."
Tonight, I want us to focus our attention on just the first part of verse 24. — “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling.” The title of my message is “Him that is Able.” I want to praise and extol “him that is able,” praying that God the Holy Spirit will enable you to trust him and join me in praising and extolling “him that is able.”
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 who alone we must trust 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 office.
· 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.
· 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. — “Ye are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”
(Psalms 121:4-5) "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand."
Thomas Manton wrote, “We fall not 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.”
Our weak flesh says, “I will fail.” The world says, “I will choke them.” 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 these words — “Him that is able to keep you!”
(John 10:28-29) "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."
(Romans 14:4) "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."
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) "And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz."
Boaz, as you know, typified Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer. Jachin was a priest in Israel. 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!” I looked through the Scriptures and found 14 things specifically named in the Word of God he is able to do. and I was simply overjoyed in reading them. Let me give them to you in the order in which they are found.
He who is the Lord our God, our great Savior and King, he who is Boaz our Strength and Jachin who will establish, is able…
1. To Enable
Turn with me to 2 Chronicles 25:8-9, and learn that the Lord your God is able to enable us to do his will. When the 25 year old King Amaziah was commanded of God to go out against the armies of Seir with none but the small army of Judah, he thought the task impossible. He had already paid 100,000 armed men of Israel (with whom the Lord was displeased) 100 talents of silver per man (about $200,000.00!). But the man of God told him to send them back home (v. 7), and promised him that God would both provide for him and enable him to do his will. The man of God said to Amaziah, “God hath power to help and to cast down…The Lord is able to give thee much more than this!” What a word of encouragement! Whatever it cost to do the will of God, God is able to supply that and much more.
(2 Chronicles 25:8-9) "But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. (9) And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this."
So Amaziah sent Israel and the Ephraimites home (v. 10). And Israel whipped the daylights out of Edomites (vv. 11-12).
(2 Chronicles 25:11-12) "And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand. (12) And other ten thousand left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces."
2. Able to Deliver
In Daniel 3, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were asked by Nebuchadnezzar, “Who is that God that is able to deliver you out of my hands?” they answered, “Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning and fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king!”
(Daniel 3:16-18) "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. (17) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. (18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
Yes, our God has chosen us in the furnace of affliction. But he is able to deliver us out of the furnace, and he will.
3. Able to Abase
Turn over to chapter 4 (Daniel 4:37), and learn this – “Those that walk in pride, he is able to abase.”
Again, you are familiar with the story. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that God would turn him into a madman, make him utterly inane, because he was determined to break his pride and teach him that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (v. 32). We will pick up the story in verse 33.
(Daniel 4:33-37) "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. (34) And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: (35) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (36) At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. (37) Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
Those who come to Christ must come down, like Zachaeus. But none will come down unless God brings them down by his almighty grace, as he did Gomer and the Prodigal Son. But God knows how to bring men down. He knows how to humble the proud.
· Saul of Tarsus
· Psalm 107:1-43
4. Able to Raise Up Children
Turn to Matthew 3:9, and read what John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducess, who thought they were special, who vainly imagined that God could not get along without them, and were sure the people of God could not survive without them. – “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”
(Matthew 3:9) "And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."
God can get along just fine without you and me, and his church can, too! He is to raise up children to himself from worthless rocks, give them faith in Christ, heirs of his covenant, and them with all the blessings of his covenant grace. He is never short of means for fulfilling his covenant, without bowing his gospel before the caprice of vainglorious men. He will find a people in the slums if his gospel is rejected by the respectable.
Let no one imagine that he is an heir of grace, because we are orthodox, or because he comes from a good family, or precisely Scriptural in his religious practices. God can do without us, but we cannot do without repentance and the works which prove it true. What a blessing that he can transform hearts of stone into filial spirits! Wonders of grace to God belong!
5. Able to Destroy
In Matthew 10:28 we are told that the Lord God is “able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
(Matthew 10:28) "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
6. Able to Graft In
Turn to Romans 11:23. – Here is a word of hope for sinners, for you who are yet without Christ, lost in sin and unbelief. Oh, how I pray that God will cause you to hear this word from him and graciously graft you into Christ.
(Romans 11:23) "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again."
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you are grafted into him by God’s almighty grace. Let me tell you what is required for you to be grafted into Christ. — A graft requires two cuts. First a cut must be made in the original tree. That is what happened at Calvary. Then a cut must be made in the branch to be grafted. That is what happens in the new birth.
7. Make You Stand
In Romans 14:4 we have a word of comfort to all who serve the Lord, to all who endure the trial of faith, “Yea, (they) shall be holden up: for God is able to make them stand.”
(Romans 14:4) "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."
When Paul wrote, “to his own master he standeth or falleth,” having mentioned the possibility, he seems to instantly correct any misinterpretation of his words. It is as if he should say, “Why do I talk of falling? No true servant of the Lord shall ever fall from him and his grace. He is ‘holden up’ by the right hand of God, by the right hand of his righteousness, and is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. ‘For God is able to make him stand,’ and will make him stand.”
“Once in Christ, in Christ forever.
None from him your soul can sever!”
8. Make Grace Abound
Turn to 2 Corinthians 9:8. When you hear others talk about God’s boundless, free grace in Christ, do you ever think to yourself, or when you hear about men and women who demonstrate great grace in their devotion and service to Christ and his people (Walter & Betty Groover, Cliff & Martie Hellar, Cody & Winna Groover, Lance & Robin Hellar), “How I wish I had such grace. I wish I could do that”? Here is a word from God for you.
(2 Corinthians 9:8-11) "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (9) (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. (10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) (11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God."
What grace is it you want? What is it that you want to do for Christ? What would you purpose in your heart to do, if you had the grace to do it?
· Would you be more generous in giving? — “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
· Would you be more hospital? — — “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
· Would you exercise more thoughtfulness and brotherly kindness? — “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
· Would you take greater care in ministering to the needs of others? — “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
· Would you be more gracious, loving, patient, forgiving, forbearing and long-suffering? — “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
9. Able To Do Above
Turn to Ephesians 3:20. We sometimes hear of those who do that which is above and beyond the call of duty, or above and beyond what might be expected. Such people ought to be highly honored. But their excellence pails into insignificance in comparison with our God.
(Ephesians 3:20) "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."
Our minds are not capable of tapping the resources of his omnipotence and grace!
10. Able To Subdue
We sometimes fret about the influence of wicked men, the heresies that abound on every side, and the things that seem to threaten the very structure of society. In Philippians 3:21, the Apostle Paul tells us that there is no cause for our fretting. Let us press on.
(Philippians 3:18-21) "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) (20) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
Our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, “is able even to subdue all things unto himself,” and he shall! Either by the power of his grace or by the power of his wrath, Christ shall subdue all things unto himself.
· All Men!
· All Angels!
· All Creation!
11. Able to Keep That
Now, turn to 2 Timothy 1:12, and rejoice in that which is here revealed.
(2 Timothy 1:6-13) "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (7) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (8) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (11) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (12) For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (13) Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
“I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” He is able to keep…
· My life in danger.
· My heart in faith.
· My soul in life.
· My body in the grave.
12. Able to Succor
Turn to Hebrews 2:18 — Do you sometimes find yourself in need of a friend who is able and willing to run to your aid with both the power to help you and the tender heart of one who feels all that you feel, one who in all your afflictions is afflicted? You will never find such a friend among us hard-hearted sinners! But read what the Spirit of God says about our Savior here.
(Hebrews 2:17-18) "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” The Son of God runs to the aid of his tempted and tried people; and he does so as One who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmity.”
(Isaiah 63:9) "In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old."
13. Able to Save
In Hebrews 7:25 we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is a living Priest, with an unchangeable priesthood, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him.
(Hebrews 7:25) "Wherefore he — is able —also to save them — to the uttermost — that come unto God — by him, — seeing he ever liveth to make intercession — for them."
14. Able to Keep and Present
Now, let’s go back to Jude, and extol our great God and Savior who is able both to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory.
(Jude 1:24) "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."
Remember the circumstances influencing Jude’s mind when he wrote these words. In writing his short, but very full and instructive Epistle, Jude was led by God the Holy Spirit to discuss the very grievous falls and faults of many. While contemplating the failures of others and the judgments of God upon them, Jude writes to encourage God’s elect, saying, our great and gracious God and Savior is “able to keep you from falling.”
· Israel destroyed in the wilderness (v. 5).
· The fallen angels (v. 6).
· Those who follow the way of Cain, Balaam, and Core (v. 11), the self-righteous, self-serving, proud religious rebels who will not bow to the truth of God, surrender to the rule of Christ, or yield themselves to the will of God.
It is against this gloomy, dismal background of apostasy and rebellion that Jude writes out this instructive doxology, both to encourage true believers and to extol, magnify, and praise the Lord our God, the God of all grace, by whom we are saved and kept safe unto eternity! In the midst of great adversity, opposition, and danger, all who trust Christ are completely safe and secure in grace, because God our Savior is “able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” He will make you persevere to the end, because…
· he has loved you with an everlasting love,
· chosen you in Christ,
· made a covenant with you in him,
· put you into the Surety’s hands, making you his care and responsibility.
· Christ has redeemed you by his blood,
· He intercedes for you, and is making preparations for you in heaven.
· You are united to him and built on him, the Rock Sure Foundation Stone.
· The Spirit of God has begun that good work in you, which shall be performed until the day of Christ.
God your Savior, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will make stand in the day of judgment with intrepidity and without shame, being clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Yes, my brothers, yes, my sisters, Christ shall have you as diadems and jewels in his crown; and shall give you the crown of righteousness given in that day and take you with himself into his kingdom and glory. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I call grace!