Doxology (Jude 24-25)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude 1:24-25).

Jude rehearses the great difficulties that arise in the church by hearkening back to early Scriptures and the experience of Israel (Jude 3-16). Paul had already warned the elders at Ephesus of such dangers. “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). Jude sees this reality now setting in among those whom he loves. At the same time, he urges his readers to rest in the gospel. Jude reminds them that they are “beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ” (Jude 1). He exhorts them to realize that the challenges they face are neither unusual nor unforeseen (Jude 17-19). Having already prayed for them: “May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you” (Jude 2), Jude beseeches the church, “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). Since all these activities “were long beforehand marked out” by God (Jude 4) for his glory, he ends his letter with a doxology, words of praise to God (Jude 24-25).

Such doxologies are common; they divert our attention away from ourselves and back to the Triune God of the Bible. After detailing the crisis of fallen humanity, God’s salvation of the Gentiles, and the question of the future of the Jews, Paul breaks out into doxology

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has given to him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33-36).

Such doxologies are also a common feature of “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). See Romans 6:27, Ephesians 3:21, Philippians 4:20, 1 Timothy 1:17, 2 Timothy 4:18, 1 Peter 4:11 and 5:11, and Revelation 1:6, 5:13 and 7:12. The common thread in all these doxologies is the glory of God. Also, each of the five books of the Book of the Psalms ends with a doxology: Psalm 41:13, 72:18-19, 89:52, 106:48, and 150:1-6. Psalm 150 is a doxology completing the Psalter. The first definition in the range of meanings for the Hebrew word glory is weight or burden. The idea is that God should carry weight, ultimate weight, in your life. If He does, you will do His bidding.

In Jude’s doxology, note that the only God is our Savior through Jesus Christ, our Lord (Jude 25). There is only one God. “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). It pleases God to act in this world and to communicate with you and me, His creatures, through Jesus Christ. For example, Christ was with the children of Israel in the wilderness. A spiritual rock followed them, “and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). God acted through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to bring about the salvation of His people. Jude adds that Jesus Christ is our Lord. He is Jehovah in the flesh. It is to him we bow. It is Him we confess. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The doxology begins with this affirmation, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling” (Jude 24). Remember, Jesus Christ is “a living stone which has been rejected by men” (1 Peter 2:4). When unbelievers reject the Savior, “they stumble because they are disobedient to the word” (1 Peter 2:8). As believers, what has God done to keep you and me from stumbling? He has “has caused us to be born again” (1 Peter 1:3). God uses His Word, written and proclaimed, as the primary means of bringing about this new birth. “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). Having been made alive (Ephesians 2:4), you received the gift of faith you trust in Jesus. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Jude now skips over the inter-advent period he has thoroughly described (Jude 17-19). He notes that having saved you by His grace, God Himself will “make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). After the resurrection of the dead, you will stand acquitted, blameless, before the face of God. And you will not be alone. With great joy, you will join the assembly in heaven described in Revelation 5:11. “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.” Then there is doxology. “And every created thing which is in heaven … I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever’” (Revelation 5:13).

You and I will experience more fully and completely the “glory, majesty, dominion and authority” of our great God and Savior. Yes, this praise pertains to the all-glorious God “before all time and now and forever” (Jude 25). Before time was, He is worthy. Even now, our praise prepares us for the life to come. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). Then, we will delight in the splendor of His beauty. We will gasp in wonder at His dignity and grace. We will be astonished at the broad extent of His sovereignty and His directive power over all the intimate details of His creation. Then, we will sing praise in doxology “to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever” (Jude 25). And with the heavenly choir of thousands upon thousands, we will add with great joy a hearty affirmation, “Amen!”

Denny Prutow

2019-12-04T10:51:26-05:00 December 23rd, 2019|