The most well known part of the little Book of Jude is the last two verses which are a doxology. Jude has through most of the letter warned about the false teachers that have wormed their way into the church and are leading people away from God’s truth. But these last verses set a very different tone. “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 24-25)
It has been a common thread in Scripture to declare that we serve a God who is able. In Romans 16:25 Paul said, “Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden from long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes through faith – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.” So Paul pictures God as able to give us a firm foundation. He can establish us.
In 2 Corinthians 9:8 in discussing the matter of Christian giving to the Lord, he said, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” If we are generous with the things God gives us, He promises to bless us in overwhelming ways. He goes on to talk about God being the one who supplies seed for sowing and increases our store of seed, who will enlarge our harvest of righteousness. We can’t out give God. He will bless back more than we can ever give to Him.
In Ephesians 3:20 Paul had been praying one of the most powerful prayers recorded in the Bible, when he concluded with, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” Our God isn’t limited in power or knowledge. He can do whatever he has promised and more than we could ever think to ask.
In Hebrews 7:25 there is another of these passages but this time applied specifically to Jesus. “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” We never have to worry if our sin may be too big or too bad for God to forgive. Through Jesus we can come to God who saves completely.
Returning to Jude’s doxology, he declares that God is able to keep us from stumbling. Peter said we are “Kept by the power of God through faith, unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” When Jesus pictured himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10, he said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
Does this mean that once a person is saved they can never be lost again or can never fall away? No it doesn’t mean that. Paul said those who justified themselves by the law were fallen from grace in Galatians 5:4. The writer of Hebrews said in chapter 6 verses 4-6 that when one fell away after being once enlightened, tasting the heavenly gifts, being made partaker of the good word of God and the powers of the world to come and tasting the Holy Spirit, they could never be restored to repentance. In 2 Peter 2:20-22 it says, “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit’ and ‘A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” For one to say that when one falls it is because they were really never saved to begin with ignores all these verses. Do you really thing the description of all the people had partaken of when they fell away in Hebrews 6 can apply to one who was never saved? Peter clearly said they had escaped the pollution’s of the world. Jesus said the branches were in him when they were cut off. So the idea they weren’t saved begin with just won’t work. Also the idea that those fallen lose some reward but will still be saved in heaven won’t work because Peter clearly said they would have been better off never to have heard of Jesus.
Jesus compared himself to the true vine and his Father to the gardener. He said those who were his disciples were the branches and if a branch didn’t abide in him and bear fruit it would be cut off, cast away and burned. (John 15:1-8) So one can fall from God, but no one, not even the devil in hell can pull us away from God if we stay with the Lord and follow his teachings. It is when we as his sheep stop listening and stop following him that we fall from the way and become lost again. We can stay secure in the Lord if we will continue to live in him all the time.
Not only is God able to keep us from stumbling. He is able to present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy. John said “If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ, His son cleanses us from all sins.” (I John 1:7). In Romans 4 Paul described how we are saved by faith and when we walk by faith our sins are carried away by Jesus and his righteousness is counted to us. When God looks at us through the blood of Jesus he sees the righteousness of the Lord in us. We thus stand before God as faultless. His return will be a time of tremendous rejoicing for all who are right with him.
God, the one and only God is our savior. Usually the Bible uses the word “Savior” to apply to Jesus, but this time Jude applies it to the Father. He initiates our salvation by sending Christ to save us (John 3:16). To God be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Notice that all our praise and devotion to God comes through Jesus. Whatever we do in word or deed is to be done in his name (Colossians 3:17). God’s place and power is unchanging and eternal.