4/22/18 Jude 17-21
A simple way to see this passage is to see the three admonitions given (vv. 20,21) as antidotes to the three destructive conditions named earlier (v. 19).
What do we do with those who cause divisions in the church? And with people who are in the church but are worldly minded? And those who are devoid of the Spirit?
Let them have it with both barrels! Wrong…
No, the answer, as it usually is in Scripture, has to do with what’s between you and God, not in attempting to bring about change in the other person or persons.
Let’s make a distinction first that not everyone we disagree with is “causing division” in the church. Here in the church is the place, above all others, we should be able to address differences and worship side by side. The difference here is that those being divisive are mockers with an attitude of dividing to conquer. They gather people to their side as they put others down with attacks in order to gain power and better position themselves for their next move.
Our response? Build yourselves up on your faith! Do all you can to stand on the object of your faith: Jesus Christ. It’s all based on Him, not a new trick up your sleeve. And then when the time comes you’ll be ready to stand strong on and for your faith.
Then in the church we have those who are worldly-minded. These are not those in the world… of course they’re worldly-minded. No, these are people inside the church, but whose minds are directed and controlled by their lusts and instincts. Doing what comes naturally is not a mind prioritized on pleasing the Spirit of God.
Our response? Point out just how worldly they’ve become? No. It’s to, “keep yourselves in the love of God” The sure way to stay grounded and anchored is to recall and meditate on the love God has for us.
And lastly we have those devoid of the Spirit. Well, how are we supposed to tell who that is? You don’t need to, they’re there and you do need to pray in the Holy Spirit. So what does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit? Well it’s not reciting prayers of days gone by, or the first thing that comes to mind that you need or necessarily anything audible. It is a deep connection with the Spirt in the spirit. It is listening prayer with a focus on yielding your own will to God’s will. How do you know you’re been doing that? When you come out of it with a faith that leads to obedience. [Romans 1:5, 16:26]
This is how Jude, influenced by the Spirit of God and His apostles, has told us to contend earnestly for the faith.