Summary: One more lesson from the book of Jude. I think you will find tonight’s lesson to be more inspiring and relational to your life than all that description of false teachers we have done over the past several weeks.
One more lesson from the book of Jude. I think you will find tonight’s lesson to be more inspiring and relational to your life than all that description of false teachers we have done over the past several weeks.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
Jude instructs these believers in how to build their spiritual life/house. Notice Jude’s wording “building up your faith”.
When you build a physical house, it is absolutely essential to lay a good foundation. The same principle is true of the spiritual house referred to in verse 20 “most holy faith”. Paul gave a similar illustration I Corinthians 3 that we studied on Sunday night a couple of weeks ago.
B. Build on the foundation
What do we build on the foundation? Jude gives us four:
1. Build your faith with sound doctrine. If a disciple does not have a solid foundation of the doctrines of the faith, then they are weak and easily led into false teachings.
I was intrigued how Jude used the phrase “most holy faith”. Faith is the foundational word and holy and most describe it. It is holy in contrast to the unholy faithlessness of the false teachers. Our faith is the most holy faith because it is the best faith a person can have!
2. Praying in the Holy Spirit – our charismatic friends would tell us this means to speak in tongues because it is a prayer language. I am not going to condemn speaking in tongues although I have never done it, I was in a prayer group once in college where it was done and believe it is a real gift. However, the Holy Spirit should decide who gets that gift and when rather than pushing it on all believers.
I don’t believe speaking in tongues is what Jude means by praying in the Holy Spirit. For the following reasons:
• Context – in the preceding verse 19 he refers to the scoffers as not having the Spirit. I do find it interesting that Jude uses on the title Spirit in verse 19 and then verse 20 Holy Spirit. I believe Jude is emphasizing the third person of the Trinity that ought to be influencing our prayers because He is the Holy Spirit.
• History – no other NT book than Corinthians and Acts teach about the spiritual gift of tongues
What does “praying in the Holy Spirit” mean? We are to pray according to the Spirit’s leading. Jude says praying in or by the Holy Spirit. This is a preposition of function. If you and I are praying in any other way than being led by the Holy Spirit, then we are praying in the flesh. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray. To teach you how to pray.
When we did our intensive study of Romans 8 in the winter of 2018, we learned in verse 26, 27 that when you hurt so badly that all you can do is moan and groan in pain, the Spirit will pray for you.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Drawing from the teachings of Paul again, I Corinthians 2:9-11
as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” b —
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Praying in the Holy Spirit is asking the Holy Spirit to help you pray for what you should pray for that day and time.
21 keep yourselves in God’s love
3. Keep yourselves in the love of God
Verse 21 is all about relationship with Jesus. Human relationships are built upon spending quality time together and a similar principle is true in our spiritual relationship. We are to spend time in God’s word and in prayer, but this third principle focuses on abiding with Christ in love. To love God is to love what He loves. Just as we try to please our spouse is our way of showing human love, we must delight in doing those things we please the Heavenly Father. Our love for Jesus motivates us to do the things that delights Jesus.