But you, beloved, building yourselves up…
In the midst of the world’s open rebellion against God.. there is also gross apostasy taking place in the Church as well. This defection from the truth of God’s word has crept in quietly and subtly, like a destructive cancer, that hungrily feeds on the sugary lies of false teachers. Such men and women are lying preachers, false prophets and deceitful workers, who are pretending to be messengers of God and apostles of Christ – and no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light… (continued below)… (by Elizabeth Haworth).
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jude 1:20 — King James Version
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
Jude 1:17-23 Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet prudently reprove each other, and set a good example to all about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was connected with fellowship with them, in works of darkness, keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.
…19These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.…
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Colossians 2:7
rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Jude 1:3
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
In the midst of the world’s open rebellion against God.. there is also gross apostasy taking place in the Church as well. This defection from the truth of God’s word has crept in quietly and subtly, like a destructive cancer, that hungrily feeds on the sugary lies of false teachers. Such men and women are lying preachers, false prophets and deceitful workers, who are pretending to be messengers of God and apostles of Christ – and no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
We are not to be taken in by their deceptive claims and apostate teachings, but are encouraged to remember the simple truth of God’s Word, which was foretold to us by Christ’s true apostles in the Word of God.. and who warned that in the last days there would be scoffers in our own midst, who would follow after their own ungodly desires – even denying the One Who bought them. Paul describes them as: detestable, disobedient and worthless.
We are not to be taken in by their ungodly departure from the whole counsel of God, nor are we to pay heed to their substitute “feel-good, man-centered, counterfeit, legalistic, social gospel”, with its materialistic focus and devastating departure from the truth.
Rather we are urged to resist the devil’s enticements and reject the godless way of Cain, the greedy error of Baalam and the rebellious attitude of Korah. We are to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, where the cross of Christ is central and we depend entirely upon our heavenly Father in all things – by walking in spirit and truth, living godly in Christ Jesus and praying at all times in the power of the Holy Ghost.
In a God-hating, Christ-rejecting world, apostasy in Christendom has become a destructive cancer, that continues to feed on the sugary lies of false teachers and doctrines of demons.. but we are exhorted to build ourselves up through the committed study of the Word of God and obedience to Christ’s commands to His Church.. as laid out in the Bible. We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God and to rightly divide the God-breathed, Word of truth – which is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. We are to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to guide them towards sound doctrine, for the time has come when men are departing from the faith and will not put up with wholesome teaching at all.
But we are also commanded to pray in the spirit, which means that we are to lay aside our fleshly nature and be lead and guided by the Lord, in accordance with the will of God. We are to pray in spirit and truth, and not to pray in accordance with our own selfish desires or by making our own foolish and prideful “declarations”, which are so dishonoring to the Lord. We are to recognize the impotency of repetitive prayers that are reiterated carelessly and mechanically in preference to the tender promptings of the Holy Spirit in the heart.. and His gentle guidance through the Word of Truth.
Let us therefore encourage one another and seek to build each other up in our most holy faith, praying in the power of the Holy Spirit.. as we wait for the any day appearance of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ – Who has given us eternal life, by grace through faith in Him.
Heavenly Father, in a world that is spiralling out of control and a church that is becoming increasingly apostate, I pray that You would keep me from straying from the path of righteousness and guide me into all truth, by the power of Your Holy Spirit.. as I study the word of God and seek to do only those things that are pleasing in Your sight. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN