“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…” Jude 20 (NKJV).
Jude, clearly is writing to Christian brethren by the statement, “But you, beloved…” The “Beloved” is the clearest that it could be. He has been and is warning the brethren to guard our hearts and minds concerning what we hear taught.
It is often too easy to blame others when and if we get bad teaching, such as comes from apostate, heretical teachers. It is, however, every Christians responsibility to stand guard on their own hearts and lives concerning what they put into their minds. If we go astray after hearing false teaching, there is really no one to blame but ourselves.
The apostate’s will give an accounting of what they have done, what they have taught, and then, they will be cast into eternal darkness, unless they have previously repented, received the true Jesus, and their is eternal fruit in their lives and living.
Jude is about to end his letter to the Christians to whom he is writing, and ends with words of encouragement, and exhortation. We Christians of today need these powerful words as well. They are for Christians of every culture, century, and millennium. With these words he encourages us to “build up yourselves in your most holy faith”. It is individual’s responsibility to feed, tend, care, and grow in the faith. In the end there will be no one to blame for our slouchy, lazy, shoddy, and weak life; but ourselves.
It is our own personal responsibility to see that we sit under the teaching of teachers who will build up Jesus Christ, magnify the cross of Jesus, and when I say the “Cross of Jesus” I refer to His death, burial, and resurrection – The cross of Jesus speaks of His redemptive, imputational, work on that tree as He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is our own personal responsibility to see that we not depend on teachers, and their teaching, but that we discover for ourselves the revelation of God and His Word. Good teachers will teach you how to study the Word of God for yourself, and encourage and motivate you to do so. It is a bad and sad teacher who would tell you to depend on his/her teaching alone, and that you can have no understanding apart from them and their teaching.
Our own, individual study and reading of the Word of God is a necessity if we do not want to be led astray. There are ample living and dead examples of bad teachers; even heretical teachers who caused the death of many people, because they had been led astray. Each one of those people will give an individual accounting before God one day of why they listened and followed such a teacher and their teaching.
A better, and clearer understanding of Scriptures will come through study, and “Praying in the Holy Spirit…” This praying is a genuine, sincere, dedicated prayer that is the same as praying “In the name of Jesus”. When you pray in the Spirit and the name of Jesus you pray for things which will bring honor and glory to His name. You ask for things that He would ask. You seek for those things that He is seeking. You keep on knocking at the door for the things He keeps knocking at the door. Praying in the Holy Spirit is God honoring, Christ glorifying, and never contrary to the will of God.
Along this same line of thought the apostle Peter wrote, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV). It is our personal responsibility to grow in faith, and to become more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Just as no one can be delivered from sin for you, thus, can no one do your study, and heart and mind preparations for you. How you grow is dependent upon what you eat.
Grow in Jesus Christ.
-Tim A. Blankenship