Thesis: Those in the love of God are characterized by certain behaviors.
1. Last Sunday PM we began a short series of lessons on JUDE.
a. A rearranged agenda (v. 3).
b. Need to identify false teachers (no NT; itinerants).
1) Sexually immoral (5-7).
2) Rebellious/slanderous (8-10).
3) Envious/greedy (11-13).
4) Marked for destruction (14-16).
5) Devoid of the Spirit (17-19).
a. There is a fixed body of truth that must not be compromised (v. 3).
b. It is possible to discern who is of the truth and who is not (look at fruit).
3. Tonight: VERSES 20-25 ....... A Call to Keep On Keeping On!
I. KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD (20-21).
A. The command of verse 21--"Keep yourselves in God's love"--is the main verb of verses 20-21.
1. "Keep yourselves in God's love"--affirmation of grace (cf. 1-2).
a. Readers are in the love of God already!
b. Salvation is theirs to lose, not something to strive for.
2. "Keep yourselves in God's love"--How? (3 participles)
a. Building yourselves up in the holy faith.
b. Praying in the Holy Spirit.
c. Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
B. "Building yourselves up in the holy faith."
1. To get a picture of what Jude is talking about, look at two other places in the NT where this word for "building" is used: 1 Cor. 3:10-14; Eph. 2:19-22.
2. Is the life of the church a priority for you?
a. Attend all services?
b. Correlation between attendance/involvement patterns & faith.
3. Illust. Important to keeping one another up in faith because we need a reservoir of faith for the inevitable difficult times in life. Regular, steady, soaking rains important for water reservoirs. Get built up and last through dry seasons.
C. "Praying in the Holy Spirit."
1. To get a picture of what Jude is talking about, look at two other places in the NT where this idea occurs: Rom. 8:26-27; Eph. 6:18.
a. Our weakness.
b. God's strength.
2. Continue constant in prayer with an acute awareness of our weakness and God's strength.
D. "Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1. In the NT this word is closely connected with how one lives their lives (cf. Titus 2:11-14).
2. Keeping in the love of God involves modifying one's behavior!
II. REACHING OUT TO OTHERS (22-23).
A. Those hesitating in their faith (at the brink).
1. Literally "those at odds with themselves."
2. Deal with them patiently and mercifully, showing love.
B. Those who have forsaken their faith (over the brink).
1. Deal with these folks directly and vigorously.
2. Practice of Christian "disfellowship" (cf. 1 Cor. 5).
3. Goal: Snatch ("rapture"--harpadzo) them!
C. Those far from faith (out in the thick of it).
1. Deal with them same way as the first group.
2. "Hating even the garments stained with sin" = love the sinner, hate the sin!
Conclusion: God is fully able to keep those who trust in him! (24-25).