“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 1:24-25
Jude ends his letter with a doxology whose praises celebrate the presence and power of God. However, the power he speaks of is one we may fail to recognize in our own lives. We often acknowledge the saving power of Christ (and rightfully so), but do we ever acknowledge the sustaining power of Christ?
The fact of the matter is, we are all still disciples because Christ is keeping us. Let us not become vain in believing we maintain this Christian life by our own ability and strength. Truth be told, the only ability or strength we have has been given to us by the Spirit of Christ.
Jude’s declaration is truth we all need to hear - it is not our own ‘good works’ that keep us from stumbling, but it is the power of Christ that keeps us in his grip.
It’s no secret from reading Scripture that people of faith have a hard time staying faithful (e.g. the disobedience of Adam and Eve; the doubt of Abraham and Sarah; the Israelistes’ worship of false idols; David’s affair with Bathsheba; Jonah’s long journey to Nineveh; Peter’s attempt to walk on water; the skepticism of Thomas; etc.) These examples remind us of the shortcomings of our human nature. But thankfully, these examples also remind us of the all-sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The words Jesus spoke to Peter, prior to his denial, demonstrates this sustaining power. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail...” (Luke 22:31-32).
Jesus kept Peter. Jesus prayed for Peter at the moment of his weakness that he would be strong. And according to Jude 1:24, Jesus is doing the same for us. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us on our behalf. Jesus is the one who is able to keep us from stumbling and falling. Jesus is the true champion of our faith.
This truth tackles both our fear and our pride. May this be a comforting encouragement for us when we feel weak and inadequate; Christ is enough. May this also be a humbling reminder to us that while we continue to earnestly live into the process of sanctification and work to advance the Kingdom of God; Christ alone is worthy of the glory as it is his power that fuels our efforts.
Christ saves and Christ sustains. All that we are, and all that we have, we owe to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
Kaitlyn is Youth Pastor to the community of saints, in Christ, at Nashville UMC.