Temple Baptist Church - 10-26-2014
A. We are approaching Thanksgiving and my thoughts are turning to the things that I am thankful for. The greatest thing that I am thankful for is eternal life and the hope of heaven with Christ forever. Jude 24-25 are two of the greatest verses in the bible concerning God’s eternal salvation and love. I want to look at these two verses for a few minutes this morning.
B. To set the backdrop for these verses, we need to get a quick overview of this little epistle. In verses 1-3:
1. Jude is writing to the saved and exhorting them to not only continue in the faith but to also earnestly contend for the faith once delivered.
2. It has been committed into our hands upon whom the ends of the world is come and, since it will not be delivered again, must be kept pure!
C. In verses 4-19, Jude describes the spiritual apostasy or “falling away” that would come in the last perilous times and its possible affect upon God’s children. Spiritually, we live in the days of Noah, Lot, and Laodicea at the same time. Wickedness, both physical and spiritual, permeate our society.
D. In verses 20-23, we find a spiritual contrast between the true believer and the apostate. The contrast is stark! We struggle with the flesh and strive to remain true to the One who gave himself for us.
E. In verse 24, we find several things:
1. Salvation is all about God! “Now unto him!” We live in the days of self-righteousness when most professing “Christians” mix personal merit with faith for salvation: good works, baptism, church membership, etc. You can never be truly saved until you come to the end of self and place your faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Any mixture of works or personal merit destroys the grace of God and, therefore, the salvation of God.
2. The mercy of God in our sinfulness! “Able to keep you from falling!” In the Book of Lamentations, we see that it is of the mercies of God that we are consumed. We stumble but God keeps! Salvation is not the grace of God and then the perseverance of the saints. Salvation is the grace of God and the PRESERVATION of the saints!
3. The grace of God in our presentation! “And to present you faultless!” My friend, the word is “faultless,” not “forgiven!” Forgiven means that we are guilty but the penalty is removed. Faultless means completely free of offense. Heaven is all about the grace of God! As mercy is not getting what we deserve, grace is getting what we do not deserve.
4. The realization of our position! “Before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!” I cannot describe what that moment will be like when we stand in His presence in our eternal state of purity and joy! I can only say, with the songwriter, “O that will be glory for me; glory for me; glory for me. When by His grace I shall look on His face; that will be glory; be glory for me!”
F. What will we do in that moment when we stand before Him in all of our perfection and realize what has taken place? I believe that the answer is actually found in both verses 24 and 25. Both of these verses comprise what is called a doxology.
1. A doxology in the church is a liturgical expression of praise: praise that is both purposed and planned. We come to church with the purpose of singing to and talking about the One who saved us by His marvelous grace.
2. But, in the bible, it is rather a spontaneous response to the Person and Goodness of our great God!
1. It is Unto Him: Our Doxology will be a recognition of what He has done! “Now unto Him … To the only wise God our Saviour” Psalms 100:3-4 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Now unto Him says it all! We will praise and glorify the Lamb of God forever for what He has done! I have never gotten over being saved and a child of God and eternity will be filled with His praises!)
2. It is All About Him: There will be a recognition of His infinite wisdom in dealing with us! “To the wise God our Saviour!” Ephesians 1:3-10 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (These verses say it all! His wisdom in reconciling eternally sinful man with a thrice holy God with the purpose of receiving us unto Himself! Here, we find three couplets :)
a. “Glory and Majesty” – The glory and majesty of His Person, works, and great salvation. O, what a Saviour! There was none before Him, there is none like Him, and there will be none after Him! Do you know Him?
b. “Dominion and Power” – The kingdom of nature as well as the kingdom of heaven belong to Him! With his dominion goes the power: He made it and He sustains it! In the Model Prayer, our Lord taught us to pray: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)
c. “Now and Forever” – Our praise in heaven will be spontaneous because, in our life, we cannot imagine the thrill, the joy, and the thanksgiving that we will experience at that time. We will praise Him forever. Now, our praise must be purposed! As we are to “let our requests be known to God” with thanksgiving (that is to thank God in advance for how He answers our request), we are to praise the Lord for all He has done for us here and for what He has promised to do for us in eternity.