Remaining strong contending for the faith
But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 CSB
Jude now transitions into giving practical advice for how us, “dear friends,” fellow believers, are to stand up and contend for the faith in our own lives. First, we must “build” ourselves up in our “most holy faith.” We must be in the Scriptures, building upon the Word of God as a foundation, similarly to the man who built his house on the rock instead of the sands (Matthew 7:24-27). While the false teachers enter the Christian community to bring division, Jude reminds the believers to build each other spiritually and thus strengthen the unity of the church. Jude also reminds the leaders that their role is to prepare God’s people for works of service. This is what Paul reminds the church in Ephesus for the goal of the body of Christ is to build up one another. “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son” (Ephesians 4:12-13). Second, we must pray in the Holy Spirit. Now, this not necessarily means speaking in tongues. It means that we should pray with the leading of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). We “pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request” (Ephesians 6:18), so that we will not give in to the attacks of Satan. The false teachers were following their own sinful desires. In contrast, we should pray seeking out the will of the Father through the Holy Spirit. Third, we must “keep [ourselves] in the love of God.” This means that we obey God’s commands, seen in John 15:10, “If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love,” and also 1 John 3:24, “The one who keeps his commands remains in him, and he in him. And the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he has given us.” We are recipients of God’s love so we strive to love Him back with all our heart, soul, and mind and we love our neighbors as we love ourselves (see Matthew 22:37-39). Fourth and finally, we are to wait “expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.” We don’t know when Christ will return, but all the more we should live that if He were to appear in this exact moment and be brought into His presence, we should do our best to be presented without shame (Titus 2:11-14). The day of Christ’s return will be the day where His mercy is demonstrated for we have been forgiven of our sin for we placed our faith in Him. Believers will experience an everlasting fellowship with God and experience the fullness of eternal life.
Isaac De Guzman