Keep Yourself in the Love of God Part 4
As we look today at verse 21 in Jude, we saw in verse 20 that building ourselves up on our most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Spirit, would help us keep ourselves in the love of God. That is what we would like to look at today. As Jude exhorts us to contend for the faith we have, against the errors of apostasizers, we must do it in a loving way as believers and not to be contentious. But we can certainly contend and confront apostasy in a Godly manner because "the love of God has been poured out in our hearts, or shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."(Rom.5:5)
Keeping ourselves is not working for our salvation, but working out our salvation, (Phil.2:12) and is in what is referred to as the aorist imperative, meaning, it calls for a specific, definite, decisive choice, an urgent attention must be given to it. To guard ourselves from anything that would negatively affect our abiding in God's love. This would be sin and disobedience, as we referred to this action last in previous parts, as always desiring to live in harmony with God as the branch stays grafted into the vine. We must continually choose to make this choice of keeping ourselves in the love of God. The ESV study bible states that, "Christians keep themselves in the love of God by growing strong doctrinally, persevering in prayer, and waiting for the Lord's coming, next week’s topic.
The love of God can be compared to sunshine. The sun is always shining, but sometimes clouds come between us and the sun. The same thing can happen when we are not in the love of God as when the cloud of sin keeps us from enjoying His love in practice. We must continue to live lives of holiness and godliness. "Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."(2Cor.7:1) Though we sometimes come short of this, we know nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom.8:38,39), but our intimacy and communion with Him can be interrupted. Our union with Him can never be taken away because of sin though. If any kind of provocation(sin) could take it away, it would have long since ceased.
Jesus says, "Just as the Father loved me, I have also loved you, abide in My love. If you keep my commandments you will abide in My love."(John 15:9,10) Jesus said abide, Jude says keep. God's commandments always include His enablements to do it, for the Holy Spirit empowers us to carry them out. Let us keep ourselves in the love of God now, do not delay, for this is of utmost importance, let us have a sense of urgency about it. The commentator Kenneth Wuest states, "Let love be the 'atmosphere' you breathe and in which you obey Jude's command to watch over yourselves. While the love of God could be God's love for them, it could also denote their love for God. The readers must be alert to keep anything from clouding their consciousness of His love."
Elder Randy Slak