11. Doxology (v24-25)
The apostle Paul has two wonderful doxologies,
glorifying God for what He has done for His redeemed in Christ:
"Now unto him that is able to establish you
according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ...." (Rom.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding
abundantly above all that ask or think...." (Eph. 3:29).
But Jude surpasses even these transcendant
expressions of faith:
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from
falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his
If Jude had written nothing but these words the
New Testament would have been much the poorer with them.
There is a contrast here in the words for "keep".
In v. 21, "keep yourselves by means of the divine Love Feast" indicates a
contribution which the believer can make towards his own spiritual well-being,
by the simple act of presenting himself, though faulty, before the presence of
the Glory of the Lord. But, once there, he is caused to stand faultless, guarded
from falling away.
Prophets of the Lord, splendid men that they
were, prostrated themselves before the heavenly Glory, overpowered by a sense of
their own unworthiness. Yet Jesus had bidden his men "watch and pray always that
ye may be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke
Such faultless standing may be the disciple's
status even now (yet what a contrast with the searing language of vv. 12,13),
because he has a covering sacrifice of "a lamb without blemish and without spot"
(1 Pet. 1:19). So Peter might well exhort to diligence "that ye may be found of
him in peace, without spot and blameless" (2 Pet. 3:14). The Lord's Righteous
Servant justifies many, bearing their iniquities (Isa. 53:11), but only if they
give diligence are they guarded from falling away, and so presented "blameless
in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:8; 2 Thes. 3:13). Yet, also, some
are so set on achieving in the Last Day a credit balance of good marks over
against bad marks that they fail to realise that, both then and now, there are
only two conditions, either faultless or fallen.
The language of this amazing passage is that of
the Day of Atonement. "Before the presence of his glory" pictures the High
Priest in the Holy of Holies. "Faultless, without blemish" describes the
sacrifice offered and accepted, hence the mention of the Glory. But whereas
Israel, called to repeat this ceremony of atonement year after year, heard the
commandment: "Ye shall afflict your souls" (Lev. 16:29,31), that is, go fasting
all the day, this New Israel partakes of Bread and Wine "with exceeding joy",
thankful for a sacrifice without blemish offered once for all.
For all this, praise is given to "God our
Saviour", but only "through Jesus Christ our Lord". The highest "glory, majesty,
dominion and power" comes to Him through His glorious Son. Very strangely, the
A.V. omits this most necessary clause about Christ (it has very strong
manuscript support), and also "before all time" (literally: before the age) to
link with "now and ever" -- this is the Covenant Name Jehovah, "which is, and
was, and is to come" (Rev. 1:8). Could Jude end on a better