Strength to stand against the tricks of the devil

Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 28 Oct 2018

(Also the Engagement of Sanneli and Art)

Jude 1:17-21

17 But you, my loved ones, keep in memory the words which were said before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,

18 How they said to you, In the last days there will be men who, guided by their evil desires, will make sport of holy things.

19 These are the men who make divisions, natural men, not having the Spirit.

20 But you, my loved ones, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, and making prayers in the Holy Spirit,

21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for life eternal through the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jude was inspired by the Holy Spirit in writing this short but very important letter. Although so short it is very important to “those of God’s selection who have been made holy by God the Father and are kept safe for Jesus Christ” (v 1).

We are told to remember “the words which were said before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ”. If you are told to remember something it is because you are in danger of forgetting it or you have forgotten it.

If you have truly confessed a sin it is under the Blood of the Lamb and God remembers that sin no more. It is then terrible if you or someone else bring that sin up again. Forget what you should forget and remember what you should remember.

Don’t speak too much but keep God’s secrets in your heart when things are not clear. When Joseph realised that Mary was pregnant he purposed in his heart to separate from her in secret and not make it public. Then God revealed to him that the matter was from the Holy Spirit. Just imagine what a mess it would have been if he had made it public only to realise his mistake afterwards. Who would have believed him then?

Love covers a multitude of sins, but if you have no love the smallest sin will be like a mountain and you will find a sin where there is none.

Grow in the grace of God. Never give way to anything that will be a hindrance to your spiritual life. When you want to plant beans, sort them first and remove all stones and weeds.

The Lord Jesus warns us that false teachers and prophets will arise to mislead if possible even the elect (Mark 13:22). Let your roots go deep and you will stand firm. Live for the Lord like never before. Have your eyes fixed on Him.

May God grant that we won’t only be hearers but doers of God’s word. May we heed God’s warning.

Make sure that there is no grudge or unforgiveness in your heart. Do not be like a crow that sits on corpses but be like a dove that is clean.

Forget your old life of sin, but put Jesus Christ before you. Jude reminds us to remember what the apostles taught. He respected and honoured the apostles and took no credit or honour for himself. Even though he was the half brother of the Lord Jesus and came from the best family ever. He was not busy with himself but was uplifting others.

What did the apostles say? They said scoffers would come from your own midst (2Pet 3:3). So we must expect that. But Jesus said that you should rejoice when they speak evil of you for His sake, for there is a great reward for you in heaven (Matt 5:11).

The devil is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Pet 5:8). Remember by criticising others you are killing your own spiritual life. Rather remain in God’s Agape love, thinking higher of others than of yourself.


German translation

French translation