HERVEY BAY GOSPEL CHAPEL

JUDE’S DOXOLOGY – PART 7

Jude’s Doxology – Part 7

We saw in our last lesson that the whole focus in heaven is on God the Father and God the Son.

And the focus, I believe, is not just on the glory of the appearance of God, which is magnificent and not fully observable with our mortal eyes, but on His honour. This is acknowledged by all the heavenly beings as they praise and worship God for all He has done, is doing and is yet to do. There is singing, there is bowing down, there are words of praise describing His personal attributes and His authority.

This ought to happen on earth as well but that is not fully so yet. Not all give Him the honour due to Him. But, we, His people need to give Him the glory, the honour He deserves right now, knowing that with changed, purified and immortal bodies we will stand before God’s completely unveiled presence and join that chorus with as much exuberance and passion as them.

As I read passages such as are found in Revelation that is one of the things that strikes me – the energy, an almost unstoppable urge to utter words of honour and worship to God.

REVELATION.
CHAPTER 4.

9. The living creatures kept praising, honoring, and thanking the one who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever.

Oh that we could have more of that in our individual and collective worship! As we meet Sunday by Sunday is that what you feel, what I feel – a passion, an urge to bring honour to God in our worship? Does it show in our participation, in our singing, in our prayers, in our inward thoughts? Don’t we claim that God is present when we meet so how can we not be affected by that assertion? Surely God deserves to have the enthusiastic focus of our thinking now as will be the case in the future.

I made the statement that God and Jesus are the sole focus in heaven but I need to qualify that by saying that that is true apart from what Jesus in particular organises and allows. You see, I believe that God and Jesus want to share their honour with us.

PSALMS.
PSALM 73.

24. You guide me with your instruction and at the end you will receive me with honor.

Jesus Himself said –

JOHN.
CHAPTER 12.

26. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Yes He will not only take us to glory, the place where He is honoured but He will honour us as well.

How will he do that? It will be in a number of ways.

First he will welcome us in His full splendour. That will be a way of showing us honour.

We have already seen how that crowns and other rewards will be given to those who have earned them and the recipients will be honoured by all the host of heaven.

But there will be a special event where we, as the church, will be honoured by Jesus. That event is called the marriage supper of the Lamb and we will be there and receive the primary honour as the Bride of Christ. At that event it would seem that while the focus is still on Jesus as the bridegroom it is His wish that the focus be on us as well.

REVELATION.
CHAPTER 19.

7. Let us rejoice, be glad, and give him glory, because the marriage of the lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.
8. She has been given the privilege of wearing fine linen, dazzling and pure.” (The fine linen represents the righteous deeds of the saints.)
9. Then the angel told me, “Write this: ‘How blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb!'” He also told me, “These are the true words of God.”

I do not know what this banquet will be like. When I think of a banquet I think of food and drink but this may well be a different kind of banquet.

But it seems that in the New Jerusalem there may well be food and water.

REVELATION.
CHAPTER 22.

1. The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated.
2. Then it flowed down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river are trees that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations.

But whether we can assume that the marriage supper of the Lamb will consist of food and water as we know it, I am not sure but whatever the menu will consist of it will be wonderful. And the point I want to make is this – we will be the honoured guests. Jesus will be more than happy to share His honour with us. Our honour will be His honour because all our honour is attributable to Him, to His cross work and to the justification, sanctification and glorification which we receive from Him.

We will look later at other ways He will share His glory with us.

But in the meantime let us move on. Jude says this

JUDE.

25. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. 

I am not going to get into arguments as to whether the word wise has been wrongly inserted here because whether it is included or not does not really make any difference.

If you want to leave it out then it would read “to the only God” and that is a true statement and at least 12 times in the Old Testament God declares that there is no other true God, apart from Himself.

I will choose only 2 references, perhaps the first and last times His uniqueness is specifically mentioned.

DEUTERONOMY.
CHAPTER 4.

33. Have any people ever lived after hearing a god speak to them from a fire, as you have?
34. Has any god ever dared to go and take a people from another nation and make them his own, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt? Before your very eyes he used his great power and strength; he brought plagues and war, worked miracles and wonders, and caused terrifying things to happen.
35. The LORD has shown you this, to prove to you that he alone is God and that there is no other.

JOEL.
CHAPTER 2.

 27. You will know that I am with Israel. You will know that I am the Lord your God. There is no other God. My people will never be ashamed again.”

And when it comes to the New Testament we read this.

MARK.
CHAPTER 12.

32. And the scribe said to Him, Right, Teacher, according to truth You have spoken, that God is one, and there is no other besides Him.

We do not need to go wandering and seeking for help in other places but can put our confidence in a single source for our need. In fact beyond Him there is no need.

Trusting in one thing, putting all your eggs in one basket as we say, is normally not a good thing to do but when we experience the sustaining power of God, over time we will be forced to admit that He should be the only focus of our trust Who will, without fail, be the only One to meet the entirety of our needs. He can be our solitary stay, refuge and companion among many other things. He alone is the proper object of our trust and hence of our praise, honour and worship.

We can see Him not just as the only God but by practical experience recognize Him as My God by excluding all other sources of help.

If you want to leave the word “wise” in the text then this is what the writer to the Romans says.

ROMANS.
CHAPTER 16.

27. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

So let us spend a little time considering the wisdom of God.

God is originally and independently wise and His wisdom does not come from communication with anyone else, but from Himself. His wisdom is unique and of a special nature. It is perfect wisdom. He is the fountain, the source of wisdom, and from Him all other wisdom emanates.

JOB.
CHAPTER 9.

3. How can anyone argue with him? He can ask a thousand questions that no one could ever answer.
4. God is so wise and powerful; no one can stand up against him.

One of Job’s friends said this.

JOB.
CHAPTER 36.

4. Job, I am telling the truth. I know what I am talking about.
5. “God is very powerful, but he doesn’t hate people. God is very powerful, but he is also very wise.

And Daniel said this –

DANIEL.
CHAPTER 2.

 20. Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.

God is all knowing and from this infinite knowledge stems His perfect wisdom.

God not only knows the beginning of everything but the end as well and He is the only One who knows that. His knowledge and His wisdom are vitally linked together.

PROVERBS.
CHAPTER 2.

6. For Jehovah gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding

You see, He just does not only know all things but through His wisdom he has arranged, ordered and prepared events and actions to bring maximum benefit and blessing.

ROMANS.
CHAPTER 8.

28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His

ROMANS.
CHAPTER 11.

33. Yes, God’s riches are very great! God’s wisdom and knowledge have no end! No person can explain the things God decides. No person can understand God’s ways.

PSALMS.
PSALM 92.

5. How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!

EPHESIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

10. God’s goal was to finish his plan when the right time came. God planned that all things in heaven and on earth be joined together with Christ as the head.
11. In Christ we were chosen {to be God’s people}. God had already planned for us to be his people, because that is what God wanted. And God is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants.

How do we see God’s wisdom at work? Unlike some aspects of His Being His wisdom and His understanding can be known by humans. It is seen at the very beginning of time in creation.

PROVERBS.
CHAPTER 3.

19. By his wisdom and knowledge the LORD created heaven and earth.

PSALMS.
PSALM 104.

24. What a large number of things you have made, O LORD! You made them all by wisdom. The earth is filled with your creatures. 

JEREMIAH.
CHAPTER 10.

12. The LORD made the earth by his power; by his wisdom he created the world and stretched out the heavens.

Not only did He create all things but He keeps all things together and working as they should. We have already noted how God arranges, orders and prepares events and actions and the following verses also support this.

DANIEL.
CHAPTER 2.

 21. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;

Through the agency of Jesus. His wisdom has established the laws of the universe and scientists can predict certain cosmic events with precise timing because of those laws.

COLOSSIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

 17. God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together.

HEBREWS.
CHAPTER 1.

3. His Son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven. 

But perhaps the clearest evidence of God’s wisdom is in the matter of salvation. How could God satisfy both His justice and His mercy at the same time? How could He deal with sin without bringing the sinner into judgment? The answer was to send Jesus, His Son to take mankind’s judgment. The sending of the Messiah was the supreme example of the wisdom of God.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

24. but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, the Messiah is God’s power and God’s wisdom.

I wonder this morning if we have all taken advantage of God’s wisdom in devising and implementing a way of saving us from the judgment we deserve? I am speaking to young people as well as older people when I ask that question.

And after we have trusted Him for salvation He exercises wisdom in His dealings with those who are now His people, the Church, and this is known even in the spiritual realm.

EPHESIANS.
CHAPTER 3.

10. He did this so that now, through the church, the wisdom of God in all its variety might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm
11. in keeping with the eternal purpose that God carried out through the Messiah Jesus our Lord,

And the writer to the Romans declares that one thing the church needs to know is how to distinguish what is good and what is evil. And one way to do that is to acknowledge that because of God’s perfect wisdom the words He speaks including the written Word of God, the Bible, are truth and we should seek for truth in no other place.

ROMANS,
CHAPTER 16.

19. For your obedience has become known to everyone, and I am full of joy for you. But I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

PROVERBS.
CHAPTER 3.

7. Don’t depend on your own wisdom. But respect the Lord and stay away from evil.

And it is a wonderful fact that God wants to share His wisdom with us.

JAMES.
CHAPTER 1.

5. But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.

But fools despise wisdom, especially God’s wisdom, and trust their own corrupted thinking instead.

PROVERBS.
CHAPTER 1.

7. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Our own wisdom could be likened to a candle. It shines brightly in the dark but in bright sunshine it is of little use. Compared to the perfect wisdom of God our wisdom has little value. We cannot make any claim to wisdom to the same degree and perfection that God possesses it. In fact to pride ourselves in our own wisdom is to have our folly exposed.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

25. God’s nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. 

Rather we should strive for God’s wisdom. It is better to seek His counsel and guidance instead of busily exerting ourselves devising our own plans, programs and strategies which we declare to be what is required.

Then, of course there are those who think they know better than God when it comes to our salvation. They set up rules and actions which in effect nullify the wisdom of God.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

18. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

20. What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn’t God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?
21.
God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him. Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach.

God is the fountain of wisdom.

ROMANS.
CHAPTER 11.

33. Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?
34. “Has anyone known the thoughts of the Lord or given him advice?

And He communicates that wisdom to mankind.

So what about Jesus.

Well, He is described as the wisdom of the Father.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

24. But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people that God has called (chosen)—Jews and Greeks (non-Jews).

COLOSSIANS.
CHAPTER 2.

2. I do it to encourage them. Then as their hearts are joined together in love, they will be wonderfully blessed with complete understanding. And they will truly know Christ. Not only is he the key to God’s mystery,
3. but all wisdom and knowledge are hidden away in him.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 1.

 0. But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God’s holy people and are set free.

He, too, knew the end from the beginning/

JOHN.
CHAPTER 18.

4. Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him. So he went to meet them and asked, “Who are you looking for?” 

So what about us? For us where ought true wisdom come from?

 Will the wisdom generated from our own intellect help? This is what the man reputed to be the wisest man on earth said.

ECCLESIASTICS.
CHAPTER 1.

 13. With all my wisdom I tried to understand everything that happens here on earth. And God has made this so hard for us humans to do.

Even though they perhaps tried extremely hard the disciples did not understand the events that were happening around them which, they in fact, were part of. Where did the wisdom and knowledge to give clarification to their lack of understanding come from? It was from Jesus

MARK.
CHAPTER 4.

34. He would not speak to them (the crowds) without using parables, but when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything to them.

JOHN.
CHAPTER 15.

 15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

But since Jesus has returned to His Father where does our wisdom and understanding come from now?

JOHN.
CHAPTER 14.

 26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1 CORINTHIANS.
CHAPTER 12.

 8. The Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge.

Jude tells us that God is able to keep us and His wisdom is part of His ability to be able to do that.

Just as through the agency of His wisdom God keeps the created world in its rightful place so in a similar way God keeps His people as well. Through His word, His Spirit, through circumstances and in other ways God in wisdom teaches us about right and holy living. He warns us about deceit, evil and improper actions that would bring us both physical and spiritual harm. In spite of this, some of us rarely think of God’s wisdom doing anything now to keep us or save us from harm. We somehow think that God’s wisdom planned the glorious scheme of our salvation and then retired leaving mercy and grace to carry on. But not one of God’s attributes is ever unemployed or underemployed and that applies to His wisdom as well. His power to keep us would be nothing without God’s wisdom to direct it. It would not know how to direct that power to our benefit.

And as an alternative view to that His wisdom would be nothing without power. His wisdom might see what was needed for us but there it would stop if there were no power to accomplish it.

So to sum up, what do we know about the wisdom of God? We see how it operated in the past, especially with regard to God’s plan to save the world, to save me, and just as importantly, the place it has in my life now and its effect on my daily living.

If He truly is “the only wise God” wanting to share His wisdom with us do we in essence deny God’s desire by thinking that our own wisdom is sufficient? Do we acknowledge that in His wisdom He has designed a plan for my life? Or do we at times consider that we have a better plan?

We may even question God’s wisdom in relation to the timing of things that are part of His plan for us. I’m sure that all of us have at times wondered, “Why me? Why now?” and later realised that everything was for a purpose and was perfectly timed.

Even the birth of Jesus was perfectly timed.

GALATIANS.
CHAPTER 4.

 4. But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law,

ROMANS.
CHAPTER 5.

 6. Christ died for us while we were still weak people. We were living against God, but at the right time, Christ died for us.

And God has His timing for every circumstance in our lives, timing which is established from His infinite wisdom.

ECCLESIASTES.
CHAPTER 3.

 1. There is a right time for everything. And everything on earth will happen at the right time.

Let us trust “the only wise God” for His plans and His timing.