To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy
Jude 1:24 is part one of Jude’s doxology, and slightly more unique in its exaltation than the common doxology – it praises and extols God who is able to keep us from stumbling. What a great exaltation, for it acknowledges that men are weak – we will always stumble if God does not help us; it acknowledges that God is omnipotent, for he is able to keep us from stumbling; and it exalts God’s glorious presence in which we would one day be presented before – without blemish and with exceeding joy. There is a suggestion that while we are weak and we will always stumble, we can be prevented from stumbling. There is a way. That way is God. In this study we will examine what it means to stumble and what it means to not stumble.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling – I’m of the opinion that the Christian walk of life is difficult, and that we will always stumble. We will always struggle – with God and with ourselves. I think it’s inevitable, I think it’s fine, even good. For through every stumbling, we learn something, and we get out of it a better person whether we defeated or were defeated. Yet in my line of thought I was missing out one important connection – God. God, and only God, can keep us from stumbling. God, and only God, can give us that rock solid stability and assurance in our Christian walk of life. Doesn’t mean that we won’t meet with circumstances, but if we would just turn to God, if we would just depend on Him instead of on people or on our own strength, we will be kept from stumbling. We will be able to withstand the cannons of spiritual attacks and doubts.
Everyone of us are liable to stumbling to temptations, to sins and mistakes – Adam and Eve stumbled even in a perfect world without sin; Moses stumbled, Jacob struggled, David sinned. Angels fell, too. Short of Christ, we will only keep stumbling. But our God is the almighty one, and he is capable of righting our ship. When we learn to depend on him despite the mounting doubts, that’s when we stop wavering. Peter advises us – Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble [2 Peter 1:10].
present you before his glorious presence – I live in a country without a royal family, but imagine meeting the King, or the Queen, or even the president of the country! What kind of honor it must be! Furthermore, to be presented by the Lord himself! Double the honor, which we would never have in our own right deserved! When we depend on him, and we continuously depend on him, through the good times and through the bad, and right till the end, we will find ourselves delivered eternally from sin and sorrow, and partake in God’s perfect, eternal and victorious glory. Indeed, Paul proclaims – the Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom [2 Tim 4:18].
without fault and with great joy – checking across the other versions, the common used phrases here are ‘without fault’, blameless and without blemish. Spotless, even. Not that we were always blameless or that we have never been faulty, but through God’s mercy our sins have been washed by the blood of Christ and justified by his righteousness to render us without fault. And when we are presented in his presence, in God’s ultimate glory, ours hearts will know a joy beyond comprehension and we will experience a great joy that is truly only found in the presence of God – an exceeding amount of joy. When are you joyful when you face somebody? Would you ever be filled with joy when you see someone you’re ashamed to face? Would you ever be rejoicing to see someone whom you’ve disobeyed? Yet we will have no cause of shame, no need for sorrow in God’s perfection, and where there is great love, there will be great joy.
Pardon my language, but shit will still happen in life. Unfortunate circumstances and unpleasant people will always appear, bouts of misery and panic; failures, rejections; exhaustion, and of course, the neverending tempations that surround us will never go away. Christians do struggle – perhaps more than non-Christians do (I’ve never been a non-Christian, so I can’t say for sure) – to act like Christ would in this matter, or not? To do the righteous thing or not? Sometimes man’s definition of good and right may require us to compromise on the word of God. These decisions are struggles to make, and when we take the wrong step, we stumble. We always do – probably on a daily basis. Through struggling and stumbling, we come out a better person.
But if we would just depend solely on the Lord, we can be kept from stumbling. We will be able to withstand the spiritual attacks. Because the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world [1 John 4:4]