Summary: In this sermon, we see what Jude said about how Jesus presents believers to God.
Today we conclude our series of sermons in the Letter of Jude. The Letter of Jude deals with the subject of false teaching, which, as I have said many times before, is the greatest danger to the Church of Jesus Christ today.
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 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. (Jude 24)
In 1610, just one year after the death of James Arminius (a Dutch Seminary professor) five articles of faith based on his teachings were drawn up by his followers. The Arminians, as his followers came to be called, presented these five doctrines to the State of Holland in the form of a “Remonstrance” (i.e., a protest). The Arminian party insisted that the Belgic Confession of Faith and the Heidelberg Catechism (the official expression of the doctrinal position of the Churches of Holland) be changed to conform to the doctrinal views contained in the Remonstrance. The Arminians objected to those doctrines upheld in both the Catechism and the Confession relating to divine sovereignty, human inability, unconditional election or predestination, particular redemption, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. It was in connection with these matters that they wanted the official standards of the Church of Holland revised.
A national Synod was called to meet in the city of Dort in Holland in 1618 for the purpose of examining the views contained in the Remonstrance in light of Scripture. The Great Synod was convened by the States-General of Holland on November 13, 1618. There were 84 members and 18 secular commissioners. Included were 27 delegates from Germany, the Palatinate, Switzerland, and England. There were 154 sessions held over a period of seven months that the Synod met to consider these matters, the last of which was held on May 9, 1619.
The Synod compared the “five points” presented in the Remonstrance with the teaching of Scripture. Upon close examination they were unable to reconcile the teaching of the Remonstrance with the teaching of Scripture, and so they unanimously rejected the “five points” of the Remonstrance. However, the Synod did not believe that a mere rejection of the views of the Remonstrance was sufficient. They believed that it was important to set out the true biblical teaching that had been called into question. They did this by embodying the biblical position in five chapters, which have ever since come to be known as “the five points of Calvinism.” The name Calvinism was derived from the great French reformer, John Calvin (1509-1564), who had done so much in expounding and defending these biblical views.