Who Is the Keeper?

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. …..24 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, 25 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 20-21, 24-25)

John Piper in a sermon, “Learning to Pray in the Spirit and the Word, Part 1:”

Now keeping Christians safe for eternal life is what this book is really about. That is, this little letter from Jude is about perseverance – it’s about how to fight the good fight and take hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12), and how to finish the race and keep the faith (1 Timothy 4:8), and how to endure to the end and so be saved (Mark 13:13). And verses 20-21 say: This perseverance is something you do. You build yourself and others up on the foundation of faith. You pray. You keep yourselves in the love of God.

But that is only part of the context. At the beginning and the end of this little book, there is another truth, a deeper truth about perseverance – or about “keeping.” Look at verse 1: “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.” Notice the word, “kept.” Here is the idea of perseverance again, only here at the beginning it is not the Christian who is keeping himself. He is being kept.

Some translations say “by Jesus Christ.” Some say, “for Jesus Christ.” The original Greek can mean the one as easily as the other. Both are probably true in Jude’s mind. But let me show you why the NASB chose to say “for Jesus Christ.” Evidently the translators thought that the “keeper” behind the verb, “kept,” in verse 1 is not the Christian himself and not Jesus Christ, the Son of God, but someone else. Who?

Who Is the Keeper?

Sometimes you need the end of the story to know the full meaning of the beginning. So look at the famous doxology in verses 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. . .” Now we have our perseverance attributed not to ourselves, but to someone else. Who is this? The next verse makes it crystal clear. Verse 15: “. . . 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.”

So the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make sure you arrive in the presence of God blameless and with great joy is “God our Savior through Jesus Christ.” So God the Father is the ultimate keeper and he acts “through Jesus Christ” because the death of Jesus is the purchase price and foundation of all grace, including the grace of keeping us – that is, the grace of perseverance.

So back to verse 1. “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.” The main thing to see here is that it is not we who are keeping in verse 1 or verse 24. It is God the Father through Jesus Christ. God called us, God sets his saving love upon us, and God keeps us. So now we have two truths about our being kept safe for eternal life as Christians – just as we saw last week from Romans 6:22-23. There we saw that sanctification was something we do. Here we see that our perseverance to eternal life is God’s doing (we are “kept,” verse 1; God is able to keep us, verse 24; and it is our doing – verse 21, keep yourselves in the love of God).

Over and over in the Bible we see this: God’s action is decisive; our action is dependent. And both actions are essential. So I urge you again to resist the mindset that cynically says, “If God is the decisive keeper of my soul for eternal life (verses 1, 24), then I don’t need to ‘keep myself in the love of God'” (verse 20). That would be like saying, since God is the decisive giver of life, then I don’t need to breathe.

No. No. Breathing is the means that God uses to sustain life. So the command to breathe is the command to fall in with the purposes and patterns of God to give and sustain life. This is what I mean by the term, “means of grace.” “Grace” is the free keeping-work of God to sustain our spiritual life that leads to everlasting joy. The “means of grace” is our “keeping ourselves in the love of God.” God’s “keeping” inspires and sustains our “keeping.” His keeping is decisive and our keeping is dependent on his.

One thought on “Who Is the Keeper?

    There are people resemling one another, at least seven according to sources.
    If some such people, of different ages, are arranged in a row, we will be tempted to believe that they are related to each other.
    The casual similarity of the outline of east coast of America and the west coast of Africa, was enough to jump to the conclusion that, one broke away from the other, as if these are ice blocks!
    There is the Kennedy rock hill, which looks like the profile of the ex President of the USA, when viewed from a particular point.
    A scientific theory must be subjected to the same hair splitting analysis, as is customary in a criminal case. A single evidence against the prosecution theory will, if the evidence is admitted in the court, enable the culprit to get away with it.
    If survival is the aim of evolution, plancktons, grass and cockroaches are better evolved than mammals, many species of wich have been totally wiped off from the earth. Man is extremely vulnerable.
    If the resmblance in behavior is studied, asian elephants are much more similar to us, than the chimpanzee. It was in the news that a female elephant, of a circus company, was eloped by a wild elephant. Savitry, the circus elephant, returned after some months in the forest, carrying a baby in its woumb! Did they love each other as cildren, before Savitry was caught by men? Otherwise why did its lover pick her for mating?
    My father used to tell us about an elephant which could write 51 letters of Malayalam in sand, using a stick.

    Their memory, affection for their owner, or vengiance against mahouts, who always beat them, are well known. They do not have a season for mating. They have the monthly course. The medicines prescribed in ayurveda for elephants are the same as for us, only the doze has to be elephantine in proportion!
    Evolution must have a certain pattern; otherwise, it will be a conjecture only. The elephant, again, is an odd animal. Normally, the hind leg is stronger in animals, including man. The elephant has very strong forelegs, looking like concrete colums, supporting the weight of the whole body. Its scrotum is hidden inside, the nose is very long and capable of executing delicate movements, it does not sweat etc.
    The poor dog has to wait for considerable time, to withdraw its penis after mating, because it swells enormously, at the time of discarge, and has to come down to normal size, before it can be withdrawn, attracting the attention of children, who sometimes beat them, while still tied up.
    There is a story about it.
    The five Pandava brothers share the same woman. The man who goes into her chamber, leaves his chappals at the door, to show that madam is engaged, and the newcomer should wait. One day a dog took the chappals away. Another brother came and hurried in to mate, when he saw real action blue film !
    So they cursed the wicket dog, resulting in this oddity.
    The small donkey has very big penis. I do not know how the female accommodates it. The big camel has a small one.
    I am not saying these things for fun. This shows lack of any pattern in creation.
    Normally plants use nutrients from the soil. But the pitcher plat has a taste for non-veg food.
    Vanila is a natve of Madagasker, where the insect fertilising it, by carrying the pollen grains, is available. In its absenc in Kearalam, the farmer is given instructions for doing it by artificial means. Even otherwise, plants depend on insects for propagation of the species, and the insects on plants for honey. Can the bee survive without plants? Creation is a very complicated thing. Let us leave it to Brahma.
    It is believed that life began in the sea, then came amphoebeans and, then land animals in the end. But mammals are found in the sea also.So they are not highly evoved?
    The greatest weakness is the omission of sea animals of eerie shapes, some looking like rock, but opens a mouth invisible before. If Darwin had seen Discovery channel, he would have quietly withdrawn his theory.
    I saw in the web an item of news that Taiwanese scientists came across the skeleton of homo sapien, at least a million years earlier than the date of arrival of our ancestor,Mary.
    Why do we have long hair and beard?
    Is there any explanation?
    Like the tail, fir too vanished. But the hair is longer than shown for Mary, the prototype of homo sapien.
    Man has many inexplicable charactoristics.
    He has the uniqu ability to convey, by his facial expresson ,ideas as delicate as I LOVE YOU.
    Anger, joy, contempt etc. can be seen in his eyes. He is the only animal that lies on its back, which is flat. Other animals do sex from behind. Man and woman do it, facing each other.
    We are divided by different languages. OTHER ANIMALS AND BIRDS SPEAK THE SAME “LANGUAGE”

    Other animals do not fight among themselves.

    Man is envious. Other creatures exploit species, different from their own. Man exploits his own brothers, making them slaves either directly or by giving wages.
    Today, he is making a large number of nulear power plants, without a thought about future generations, who will curse us, after we have left the scene.
    All through history he has done only one thing ( kill ) to the pwer of billion billion !

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