Trusting the Lord to Preserve You

Jude’s benediction (Jude 24-25) begins with praise to the one who keeps believers from stumbling.  Jude is directing the believer’s attention away from the false teachers and to the Lord, to trust the Lord to preserve the believer rather than relying on human wisdom and strength to resist sin and error.
Trust the Lord to keep you from falling
The opening phrase of Jude’s benediction (“to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling”) hearkens back to the words of various psalmists who praise God by describing various disasters God has rescued him from.  Many of the disasters mentioned by the psalmists are traps laid for them by the wicked who try to trip up the righteous.  Jude mentions this here to remind his readers to trust in God to save and protect them.  They must trust in God to do this or run the risk of following the sinful ways of the false teachers and “thereby failing to attain to final salvation” (Bauckham, 122).
Trust the Lord to keep you spotless
Jude adds that the lord is also able “present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. ” Several other passages in the NT emphasize the Savior’s plan to present believers blameless or spotless to the Lord in the final judgment.  Most notable for their eschatological significance are the following: 1 Thess. 3:13; Eph. 5:27; Col. 1:22.  Each emphasizes the believer as a sacrifice presented to God and which therefore must be without spot or blemish just the sacrifices in the OT were to be without blemish.  The reference to the Lord’s “glory” heightens this understanding that believers will be in the presence of God.
The “exceeding joy” also has its roots in the OT.  Both the OT and the NT picture God’s people as rejoicing in God’s presence when his purpose is finally realized.  Many of the OT references are in the context of the festivals that celebrated God’s deliverance and his continued preservation of and presence with his people.
So this verse is really a prayer in which Jude seeks preservation from false teaching and resultant sin.  Jude prays for the Lord’s preservation of which he spoke in v. 1 and which he is confident (based on the attributes listed in the next verse) God will provide.

About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
This entry was posted in Christian Living, Jude. Bookmark the permalink.

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