It’s a joint responsibility between me and God. It involves my pursuit but stands upon His promise. I make every effort because of great anticipation, He commits His active agency to ensure a great consummation. Mine is to pursue eternal life, He’s in to deliver eternal life. I’ve been given divine resources to keep myself in the love of God, and He, because of who He is, is able to keep me from stumbling and to present me blameless. When it comes to contending for the faith, Jude reminds me this morning that it’s about me keeping and about He keeping.
But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. . . .
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory 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 1:20-21, 24-25 ESV)
I am to keep myself in the love of God. I am to carefully attend to remaining in Christ. I need to keep my eyes open and my head in the game. Through faith strengthening fellowship and teaching, by divine perseverance in prayer, and in anticipation of the Christ’s eventual return, I am to guard against the loss or injury of this most precious faith graced to me.
But, praise God, it’s not left to me alone. While my keeping is about my attention to my salvation, it seems His keeping is about guarding my salvation. Same English word, two different words in the original. While I might seek to feed my faith, God determines to fortify it. He sets a guard. He keeps watch. Nothing able to snatch me from His promised outcome. Eternally safe under his undistracted eye.
Mine is to engage in the pilgrimage. His is to ensure I make it home. Mine is to seek the kingdom, His is to bring me safely into that kingdom. Mine is to get ready. His is to present me to Himself as part of the Bride of Christ, “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).
Me keeping. He keeping. We keeping.
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
(Jude 1:1-2 ESV)
What amazing grace. What anticipated joy.
To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ, be the glory.