I want to take the next few posts to encourage those in Christ with the rich doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints as revealed in Jude’s Doxology.
There are many biblical doctrines that comfort us on our pilgrimage in this life: Justification, Adoption, saving faith and Sanctification. But one of the most cherished is Perseverance of the Saints. Regeneration and justification can’t be fully treasured if they do not last forever! Jesus said in John 10:28, I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Doxologies are glorious! They are outbursts of praise to God. After setting forth all of the glories of salvation in the book of Romans, the apostle Paul declares at the end of chapter 11, For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Each of the 5 books of Psalms ends in a short doxology. Psalm 41:13, Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. Others could be cited and each is worthy of its own study.
One of the most doctrinally rich doxologies in all of Scripture is at the end of the short epistle of Jude.
Jude 24-25, Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
We want to consider three things about the text in Jude 24-25:
- The Ability of the one that is to be praised
- The Identity of the one who is to be praised
- The Attributes of the one who is to be praised
In today’s post, we will consider the first of these points. As Jude finishes his letter, he has concluded his exhortations to contend for the faith. He now returns to the original purpose he wanted to write about, referred to in v.3, “our common salvation” as he wraps up in vv.24-25, magnifying our great God in all His beauty. In contrast to the many warnings in the body of his letter, his doxology brings encouragement to the church, reminding them of the power of God.
Have you ever realized that if it were up to you to keep your salvation, you simply could not? You would lose it. You would mess it up. This is why Perseverance of the Saints is precious. The 1689 London Baptist Confession in chapter 17 reads, Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and Sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his Elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without Repentance… Paul encouraged the church at Philippi, He who began a good work, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6).
Jude says now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling. We know this is God from v.25a. God is supremely powerful and perfectly faithful. It is His Sovereign Power that keeps you! 1 Cor. 1:8, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He is ABLE to do two particular things for those in Christ. The first is to keep you from stumbling, followed by to make you stand in His presence. ‘Keep’ means to protect by careful measures – to carry out the function of a military guard. Like in Luke 2:8, In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
Jude began his letter to the people of God, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ (v.1) Notice, it is God who is the agent keeping us. Notwithstanding, we are commanded to keep ourselves in the love of God (v.21). But the Christian life is fraught with many stumbles and failures, but God preserves us from utterly falling away from Him. Pro 24:16, For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again. The psalmist wrote of God’s protection in Psalm 138, You will stretch out Your hand . . . and Your right hand will save me (Ps. 138). Like David, we can look to God’s safe hands to keep us from spiritual danger and defeat.
Spurgeon says, “Here is Judas, not Iscariot, but the true-hearted Jude, who has been writing an Epistle which seems all ablaze with lightning, it burns so terribly against certain orders of sinners. Almost every word that Jude writes seems to have the roll of thunder in it; he appears to be more like the Haggai of the Old Testament than the Jude of the New. Yet he cannot close his short Epistle until he has included some ascription of praise to God. Learn from this, dear friends, that the sin of man, if we are ever called to denounce it, should drive us to adore the goodness and glory of God. Sin defiles the world; so, after you have done your best to sweep it out, resolve that, inasmuch as man has dishonored the name of God, you will seek to magnify that name…Jude is not satisfied with having rebuked the sons of men for their sin, so he turns round to glorify his God.”
We will consider the rest of this doxology in subsequent posts. Until then, let us give Him praise and adoration for this glorious truth!