While the letter of Jude has been mainly about the dangers of false teaching in the church, the final verses of Jude’s letter (Jude 24-25) form a very real contrast. While the first part of Jude has been filled with warnings and calls to action, in the last verses Jude presents another side of the coin. God is able to keep His people from falling. More than that, He is also able to keep His people safe until the final day when all His people will be presented to before His throne. The secret to all of this is not found in us, but in His keeping power, and that is why all the glory, dominion, power and praise belongs to Him.
Did you know that Ezra wrote more of the Bible that Paul? That fact caught me by surprise! Yet not man y people seem to know much about Ezra the man, let alone the book that bears his name! Our next sermon series (commencing July 3) at St John’s will be on Ezra (the book). Come and join us each week at 10:30am or catch up with the audio from each week on this very page.
Theories abound as to the link between the suffering that happens on earth and the sin of people. Some say that God always punishes the worst and rewards the best. In Luke 13:1-9, Jesus put this theory to rest. When asked about the aftermath of Pilate’s depravity and the collapse of the Tower of Siloam, Jesus pointed out that the need of the hour was repentance rather than guessing the cause of the tragedy. God does not treat as as our sins deserve. National or personal disasters are a ‘wake up call’ to all, regardless of who is ‘good’ and bad’. Instead we are to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Though Jude’s letter up to this point has been about the dangers of apostasy and those who are false teachers, Jude also has some helpful things to add in verses 17-23 about the best kind of counter-attack to false teaching. By using our minds and bringing to mind the teachings of the apostles, we will be able to recognise error. By giving due to attention to our hearts and keeping ourselves in the love of God and devoting ourselves to prayer, we will find God’s strengthening. By using our words to warn the lost and speak of the grace of Christ, we will also be able to share what we have found in Jesus. By doing these well we will be enabled to guard the precious treasure that is the gospel.
Most people get their education at school, but life also hands out many complex lessons. The man who wrote Psalm 116:1-19 found this to be true. When faced with an overwhelmingly desperate situation in which he was threatened by death, his cry to the Lord did not go unheard. In fact, God heard his cry and came to his rescue. As a response to this rescue, the Psalm writer willingly gave himself to the Lord to be his devoted servant and to testify to His saving power. God’s people know that the problem of sin is too big for anyone to handle alone. Only God can deal with sin and its consequences, and He did this by sending His Son to the cross. Salvation comes to all who call to the Lord and because He is gracious and faithful, He hears the cry of His own and saves them.