A Singular Sensation
Jude had a desire when he started to write this letter … in verse 3 he says “I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share”
But there was this little matter of heresy and apostasy in the church. He didn’t want to correct he wanted to worship.
He then goes on to correct the error, but after the correction and instruction he can’t just leave it there. He can’t have us thinking that all there is is bad news. And while we have responsibilities and expectations, Jude wants to remind us that God is still in charge! This still is my Father’s World!
And so, Jude says “hey I don’t want to leave you in a downer, LOOK UP!”
And these last two verses are separated by biblical editors into a section called a Doxology. That word comes from two Greek words, Doxa which means praise, glory, reputation, and the word Logos, which means word or utterance.
So, a Doxology is “words of glory”, or “words of praise” or “an utterance about a reputation”.
Now, in spite of the apostasy threatening to damage the gospel of Jesus Christ, Jude must get on his feet and say “don’t give up in the face of apostasy”. “Don’t give in because you think that Satan is winning”. “Look up, look at God, set your heart and eyes on things above not things below.”
That was the way the NIV(84) reads
Let me share with you a couple of other renderings
Young’s Literal - And to Him who is able to guard you not stumbling, and to set you in the presence of His glory unblemished, in gladness, 25to the only wise God our Saviour, is glory and greatness, power and authority, both now and to all the ages! Amen.
The Message - And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.
Holman’s Christian Standard Bible - Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now, and forever. •Amen.
New Living Translation - Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
I think I could just keep reading this and rephrasing and paraphrasing it, because He is Worthy!
But let’s break the text down for a few minutes.
For outline purposes, I would like to follow the NLT.
Jude says he wants to make sure we see our God. There is none like him. He is a Singular Sensation, so first see the
The NIV and others say “TO HIM” … but I like the NLT because it says “ALL Praise to Him”
We have used a definition for worship I coined here at New Life
“An Expression of Adoration to the Object of our Affection”
The thing that Jude understands about worship is that no one deserves it like our God!
Now there is certainly nothing wrong with us giving affection, gratitude, and a level of praise to people we consider special, important, or worthy. But when it comes to the Highest Worship, the Highest Praise, it all Belongs to God
James says “Every good and perfect Gift comes from above … the Father of lights the Lord of Love”
If everything comes from him, then He is even worthy of praise for the good produced by men.
All glory belongs to God
All Praise belongs to God
All DOXA = splendor, brightness, praise, honor, opinion, estimate … so we might even use the word reputation
The Old Testament word for worship meant to “bow in reverence, to prostrate oneself”
God is worthy of us bowing down and saying “we’re truly not worthy”
The practice of worshiping God was all about service in humility.
External worship involved prayer, service and praises
Internal worship involves obedience, commitment, and fidelity and the two, internal and external, were inseparable because Jude says that ALL glory, all worship, all praise is TO HIM
The glorification of God is both Public and Private it is verbal and is acted out.
And God is WORTHY of it ALL and MORE
IN the Old Testament some acts and words were reserved only for God because none can compare to him. So, I shouldn’t use the same word for Him that I use for other things or be so flippant when I say something is Amazing or Awesome or Majestic.
Now, I’m not being legalistic about this, but let me encourage you to take some words in your vocabulary and reserve them only for God and find opportunities to praise God with them often.
For me I have tried reserving the word “Awesome” for God alone because there is truly nothing that makes me AWESTRUCK in fear like a full vision of God.
Isaiah saw Jesus in Isaiah 6:1-3 … “Seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy , holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”
And do you know what Isaiah did … well I wonder if he had to change his undergarments ….
Then the scripture records that Isaiah said “oye” which is translated “WOE is Me” or … “I am in trouble”
We might be in a place where some athlete or musician or other does something amazing and the theatre, or stadium, or arena, or field is filled with their glory but PEOPLE … the WHOLE EARTH is full of God’s glory and that ought to fill us with HOLY FEAR … HE IS AWESOME!
All Glory belongs to Him!
We could spend days, weeks, months, and years talking about WHY all Glory Belongs to God … but Jude focuses on what does for those of us who are his children, that we cannot do for ourselves … He has a PURPOSE towards us that is truly worthy of ALL GLORY …
John 1:12 says “to as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become the children of God”
Ephesians 2:8,9 for by grace you are saved, through faith, and that is the gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast
We all agree that God saves us by his grace. But some would say that then it’s up to us … we have to someone HOLD ON to our salvation …
FOLKS YOU ARE NOT ABLE to save yourself
And you are NOT ABLE to KEEP yourself in Jesus
If somehow you could KEEP yourself in Jesus after your salvation, then you could GET Salvation for yourself.
But you cannot KEEP yourself you are NOT ABLE
But if he cannot keep us then he only saves us partially … but
Hebrews 7:25 “… he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, …”
Say “GOD IS ABLE” …
Say “I Am NOT ABLE” … Aren’t you glad that HE is Able?
Able to do what?
You know Jude has told us “keep ourselves in his love and from impurity and improper practice and theology” and we have responsibility … but we can’t do it alone. It is an act of faith that responds to the work of God IN us … so I daily have to rely on his work but also be assured that he WILL keep me …
so when I fall … I don’t fall away … I just fall in his hands … because He is KEEPING ME
he is “ABLE”- dynamai (doo-nam-ahee) = to be able, have power whether of virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; capable, strong and powerful
to “Keep” – phylasso (foo-las-so) to guard, watch, have an eye upon lest he escape from
“Falling” or “without Stumbling” – aptaistos (ap-tah-ee-stos) = not stumbling, standing firm, exempt from falling
the word often was used to refer to a sure-footed horse that might lose its balance but not go down, lose his balance but not his way.
Because it says we are EXEMPT from FALLING … wow I like that definition
Why? Is it because of something IN us? Is it because of something we can develop?
No, it is because GOD is able to keep us and make us exempt from falling
John 10:27-28 – Jesus 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 can snatch them out of my hand”
Folks you cannot lose your salvation, you cannot have it taken from you, and you cannot GIVE IT AWAY … because IF YOU COULD … Then God is NOT ABLE to KEEP You … But
He IS able because he has the power by his own ability and resources, because he has created favorable circumstances by his death at the cross, because he has satisfied the law, because he is capable, strong and powerful … he will KEEP you from falling though you may slip, though you may stray he is able to keep you … And he is watching over you that you don’t escape his grasp
and he is also able to
People, He does not just reveal himself to us in Salvation, and tell us where he is and tell us how to get there …
He himself will BRING us to himself
Bring us in REALITY to a REAL Place that we call Heaven …
“Before the Presence of His Glory”
“before” – katenopion (kat-en-o-pee-on) before the face of, in the sight of
“Presence of his Glory” – doxa
Heaven is not a frame of Mind but God himself is able to bring us face to face with his glory … we will see him
1 John 3:3 say we are going to be like him because we will see him as he is
People this world is not all there is He is going to bring us to himself that is why he called us and recreated us so that we could reenter his presence. We cannot see him in our sinful state … so he made us new so that we can again enter his presence
He is able to keep us ... he is able to bring us into his presence which means he HAS to keep us … and FINISH us
I know that in God’s eyes I have been declared Righteous … that’s what Justification means … but I also know that I don’t always do it now. And I WANT to be able to see him face to face … so that means I have finish work left to do.
Tom K. you know about finishing. You can make a beautiful piece of furniture but you have to finish it before it is acceptable to get out of the workshop and into the front room
He will keep … he will bring … and he is able to
You might not think you are presentable yet, but I promise you God already sees you that way. Like the fine workman who sees that piece finished before it actually is, that is our God with us. Eph 2:10 says we are his workmanship
Ephesians 1:4 says He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless IN HIS SIGHT
Colossians 1:22 says he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation
You know to the one who is truly bought by the blood of Jesus and has become his child but perhaps is pulling away and living in pride and rebellion I want to stop them and say “hey don’t you know that God is going to straighten you out and he is GOING to make you to look like him so why don’t you stop fighting the inevitable and let him lead you that way?”
He is able to “present you” – histemi (his-tay-mee) = to make stand or set in place, in the presence of others, before judges,
Oh people this is so beautiful, we have a God who is able to finish us
One day either my life on this earth will end or life on this planet as we know it will end, and either way I still stand before God … and Jesus who has saved me from the penalty of my sin through his death on the cross and my receiving it by faith; Jesus who has then kept me from falling; Jesus who has brought me into God’s presence; he will not be embarrassed … because he will set me before the Father, complete, blameless, finished, perfected and presentable and say “See Father, there Jim is, just like I promised, holy and blameless.”
Hallelujah … HE IS ABLE
I can’t take any pride in that …
I can’t take any credit for that …
All I did one day was say “yes Lord, I believe”
Because alone is a SINGULAR SENSATION
Singular in Praise
Singular in Purpose towards his own
“Glory, majesty, power, authority, always” … that’s what Jude says is singularly true of our God
- God = theos - there are lots of god’s in this universe … Oh not in reality but certainly in our making. Anything can be a god. But what good are gods that are worthless
Daniel 5:23 says “you praised the gods of silver and gold, or bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hands your life and your ways”
Oh there are MANY gods … some of you are your OWN god … but what will that get you
God Almighty His Son and Spirit are
- ALONE – ONLY – monos = destitute of help, alone only, merely
God is destitute of help because he doesn’t NEED any help
And this last part of the doxology is really a call to US because he alone is God
Because he is worthy of all glory
Because he alone can keep us and So …
How MUST we Respond
This last part is not optional
If our God is SINGULAR in his Person
If he has no peers
If He has no equal
How long has he been God with no equal or peers?
John 17:5 – Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began
Titus 1:2 – this truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God – who does not lie – promised them before the world began
God the Father, Son, and Spirit have existed in all their majesty and glory for eternity before Time was created, before the world was formed
people God didn’t create the world and then leave it alone to run its own course just like he didn’t save us and then leave us to OUR own devices … He is STILL on the Throne today
He will still BE on the Throne, still be the ONLY God, still be our Savior and Lord after our watches have become obsolete …
So … who will be your god and what does he deserve?
Do you remember what Elijah said to the Israelites that day when they were considering the false god Baal and the only True God our God, Jehovah?
1 Kings 18:21 “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him”
What did Joshua tell them?
Joshua 24:15 “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”
Make a choice … there are plenty of gods … but be sure you know what they are going to get you
I KNOW and Jude has told us what God will do for us …
So if you choose him, if you have chosen him, then
You Must give him
Glory, majesty, power, and authority
I am just giving us marching orders today, a way to respond to this message today … commit to a life that gives God
Glory, majesty, power, and authority
how do you give him glory? You LIFT up his name, you enlarge his reputation and you do that by not hurting his reputation of course but also by opening your mouth and telling somebody about him … Tell us his deeds
1 Chronicles 16:23 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does
Isaiah 63:7 I will tell of his kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us … according to his compassion and many kindnesses
You might say how do I give God Majesty? The Young’s Literal translates it “Greatness” – if He is GREAT … if He carries the greatest weight … then LISTEN to his Voice and Obey His Commands
God doesn’t give suggestions meant to be weighed and considered, he gives commands meant to be adjusted to and followed
Give him the Greatness and Majesty he is due and
Some t-shirts, bumper stickers, and pins say “God is my co-pilot” … well If God is your co-pilot, you need to switch seats and though I’m not a country music fan you need to let “Jesus take the wheel”
Release the control, stop running the show, stop tipping your cap to Jesus and start saluting him as in charge. Let Him do what He alone can do
Glory, Majesty, Power, and
I love that second definition “freedom of choice” …
now this is not to say we somehow control how a Sovereign God will work out his will for this world … but we also know that God will let you go your way if you want … but because of who He is we need to “HAVE YOUR WAY LORD” We are talking about giving him the rightful place of Lordship in our lives
1 Peter 3:15 begins “but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord”
Lord YOU make the choices and I will follow
Your WISH is my command
As You Wish …
Two little quotes before I close …
Jean Baptiste Massilon was known as the greatest preacher in France in his day in the latter part of the 1600s and the early part of the 1700s. He served King Louis the 14th and Louis the 15th.
Massilon is quoted as saying
“God should be the object of all our desires, the end of all our actions, the principle of all our affections, and the governing power of our whole souls”
And so that should be our Doxology today
God Almighty –
So then, I promised one more … in a Christian Kindergarten class, they sang the famous doxology every day as they left,
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise him all creatures here below …”
But one little girl, she sang it a little differently
"Praise God From whom all blessings flow
Praise him all creatures … HERE WE GO"
Well … "here we go" … praise him … in life, death, in word, in deed