“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,”
Jude now turns to how to deal with apostasy from a personal perspective.
1. Build yourselves up on your most holy faith.
2. Pray in the Holy Spirit.
3. Keep yourselves in the love of God
4. Wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The words “but you” show the contrast between apostates and Jude’s readers. These words carry the idea of “as for you as over against the apostates.” The believer has the prerogative to deal with apostasy.
This is the third time Jude uses the term “beloved” (vv. 3, 17, 20). “Beloved” is one of God’s favorite names for His children. Believers are God’s aristocracy, God’s elect. Jude is concerned that his harsh treatment of apostates will affect his relationship with his readers.
building yourselves up on your most holy faith,
Jude’s first policy for dealing with apostasy is to build an edification construct of the soul. Jude challenges his readers to deal with the issue of apostasy by personal edification.
We build ourselves by taking heed to the “most holy faith”; that is, the Word of God. We need to understand the passage, grasp its principle, and apply the principle to our experience. The metaphor of building a building connected with spiritual growth portrays the idea of solidity and strength in the Christian life. Our first and greatest defense against apostasy is to be strong inwardly in the Word of God. We are to build ourselves “on” our “most holy faith.” This is the foundation for constructing our faith.
The words “building yourselves up” mean to build upon, build up. The foundation was laid down by the Word of God, but the believer is to finish building the structure by applying its principles to experience by faith.
Our “most holy faith” is the same idea as the faith once delivered (v. 3). Our faith rests on what God has revealed in His Word. The Word of God is central to spiritual growth. “Faith” here is the body of belief found in the Bible. It is the controlling factor that keeps us from false teaching. Faith here is “most holy” because it comes from God and is set apart by God for us.
The sure foundation for faith is the Word of God.
If we shut the Bible, we shut the mouth of God. Studying the Word of God is not optional. It is not like going through a spiritual cafeteria, picking and choosing whether we eat it or not.
Application of the principles of God’s Word to experience is basic to Christian living. We cannot do this by proxy or remote control. This is far more than Bible reading; it goes on to Bible understanding and application. This is our Christian career, not a hobby. The Bible is our most important apparatus for living the Christian life. It is the stock and trade of Christian living. We feed on the Bible.
The devil manufactures substitute spiritual food for the believer constantly. We love to read anything or participate in anything except the diligent study of the Bible. God has a special diet for the believer, or “saint food”—the Word of God. We develop spiritual muscles to gain strength. We ought to be stronger this year than we were last year. We should control our temper more this year than last year. Character does not come from something within the person, but character comes from the appropriation of truth to experience. There can be no biblical character without truth.
So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Ac 20:32
…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone… Eph 2:20
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Mt 4:4
…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby… 1 Pe 2:2
…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Pe 3:18
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food. Job 23:12
Note that Job did not say that the Bible was more important than dessert but more important than his “necessary food,” such as meat and vegetables.
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. Je 15:16