KEEP YOURSELVES IN GOD’S LOVE
Keep yourselves in God’s love. (Jude 21 NIV)
Jude was writing to encourage Christians who were living in difficult times; times like ours today. They were facing hardness of heart from outside as well as from within the churches. There was great scoffing and ridicule from unbelievers in the general population and much confusion caused by divisions within the churches. So it was then: so it is today!
It’s easy in our minds to dismiss the ridicule of an unbelieving world, but very difficult for us to reconcile divisions within Christianity itself. Today there are so many denominations, variations within denominations, new groups with their own subtle shades of belief, and of course the false sects. No wonder Christianity appears so confusing to those outside the faith; we also are in danger of becoming confused concerning what Jude calls “The once delivered faith”!
Although Jude warns Christians generally against following worldly ideas, his main message concerns the serious dangers of false teaching and distorted doctrines within the Church. But he also gives us the remedy – “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” Where will we find the love of God spelled out? Nowhere else but in His word: the Bible.
As we look into God’s word we find God’s love like a watermark running through every page. Here we find all we need to keep ourselves firmly grounded in the “once delivered faith.” Here we can find the truth and avoid being taken in by devious teachings of men, who have somehow become confused, adding “new ideas” or bringing a “new spin” to God’s word.
Jude warns us to avoid such things and keep ourselves in God’s love. There’s surely no better way than to have God’s love in our hearts and His word in our minds as we face today’s opposition and confusion wherever we encounter them.
“For God so loved the world that He gave …. (John 3v16)” – do we have THE TRUE gospel to share and a solid faith that overcomes all confusions and questions?
One great mistake that has been made through the ages is this one: “God loves you and God wants you to do….”. The constancy of His love does not depend on our individual, corporate or national goodness. The scripture says “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5v8).
God seeks our obedience and whatever service we are able IN HIM to offer; but He does not demand our works as a condition of our salvation or continued acceptance by Him. For so many Christians, their inadequacy to attain the standard of perfection of life they believe should be achieved becomes a massive burden and hindrance to their natural and spiritual lives.
Will you live under the slavery of good deeds in your own strength, or under the all-sufficient cleansing power of the blood of Christ that redeems you now and forever? You are set free to live a life enveloped in God’s love, every day watermarked by that perfect unconditional love. Free – not to continue in sin or lethargy – but free to live and serve in the love of God and guidance of His Holy Spirit in your life.
John 8v36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (NIV)