JUDE’S DOXOLOGY – PART 8
In our last lesson we considered that just as God and Jesus are the focus of honour in heaven They want to share that honour with us.
We considered this verse
24. You guide me with your instruction and at the end you will receive me with honor.
We saw how He will welcome us in all His glory, that He will dispense rewards to those entitled to them and we will be the honoured guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
We mentioned the menu but all we are told is this.
17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Jude now says that the only wise God is our Saviour.
25. to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority, from all ages past, and now, and forever and ever! Amen.
And I am not going to spend overmuch time discussing who the Saviour is because in fact the term applies both to God the Father and God the Son. They were both vitally involved in our salvation and in our consequent reconciliation to God.
The work of God the Son is the work of God the Father. Did He not say –
4. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
In fact salvation is the result of the activity and the cooperation of all three persons of the Godhead. God the Father devised the plan, Jesus the son executed it and God the Holy Spirit is the convicting power showing us the necessity of that salvation and bringing about a new spiritual birth when we accept the truth of it.
Hear what these verses say.
4. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was revealed,
5. he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us.
6. God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior,
6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
This is what we read about God the Father in the Old Testament.
11. I, yes I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
26. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be .drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the LORD your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
But the same title applies to God the Son as well. He is the One who executed God’s infinitely wise plan.
21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
He has saved us, rescued us from our condemned state, and continues to save new believers even at this moment.
42. The people said to the woman, “First we believed in Jesus because of what you told us. But now we believe because we heard him ourselves. We know now that he really is the one that will save the world.”
Perhaps we all need to consider today whether we have been rescued from the slavery of sin. Have we been made free and safe through the salvation that God is offering?
Possibly the best known verse in the Bible says this.
16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
I also mentioned the work of the Holy Spirit. This is what John writes about Him
8. And when He (the Spirit of God) comes, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
But having said that, we should note that Jude uses the phrase “our Saviour” and this surely is a term we use to speak of Jesus. He became one of us. He was God revealed to us as a man and in that sense Jesus belongs to us, the human race, and we thus call Him our Saviour. He was seen by many at the cross putting God’s plan into effect. His family was there, at least one disciple and other friends were there witnessing His death for us. He is indeed our Saviour, My Saviour, who was seen as a part of human history dying for us.
And if we look back in Jude, we will note that the One being addressed in this doxology is the One Who will keep us from falling or stumbling and Who will present us faultless, and that Person is Jesus. These issues mentioned by Jude are His present ongoing tasks and as our Great High Priest He presents our case to God the Father.
24. For Christ did not go into a Holy Place made by human hands, which was a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself, where he now appears on our behalf in the presence of God.
Jude now wishes to ascribe glory and majesty to this Saviour.
We must at the start recognise that we cannot add anything to the character of God. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray “Hallowed be thy name.” God is perfectly holy and nothing we say or do can add to that but it is good to acknowledge this. In the same way by ascribing glory and majesty to God and Jesus we do not add to these qualities but we are just recognising and declaring these facts. And we pray that way in order to relate these facts to others, to acknowledge them, and to declare our esteem for God. And so while our ascribing of these qualities to God and Jesus adds nothing to Their character it has benefits for us. It encourages us in our service for God, it strengthens us against dangers and it increases our awe and reverence of God. We are not serving just anybody but the God of heaven.
Note that God’s person cannot be described in one word. Jude uses multiple words to express His reverence.
He talks about glory, majesty, dominion and power. But in spite of Jude’s and our best efforts we will still come short.
5. Then the Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said: “Stand and shout praises to your LORD, the eternal God! Praise his wonderful name, though he is greater than words can express.”
But it is good to do as much as we can because the ascribing of honour to God becomes the ground for our respect of Him.
We have already seen that the Greek word doxa can mean glorious splendour or magnificent appearance and God the Father and the glorified Son of God have always had and always will have such a wonderful appearance resulting from Their absolute perfections of goodness, power, wisdom and holiness among many other aspects of Their nature and character.
18. Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
19. And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
11. His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.
11. “Who is like you among the gods, O LORD? Who is like you? You are glorious because of your holiness and awe-inspiring because of your splendor. You perform miracles.
In fact God is described as the King of glory.
10. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.
And we are told that He is clothed with glory and honour.
1. My soul, praise the Lord! Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with glory and honor.
But we also noted that doxa can also mean honour. We saw that the whole focus of heaven is to ascribe honour to God and to the Lamb. There is worship and bowing down. There is the singing of praise from all mouths to God Who is at the centre and Jesus, the Lamb of God seated in the place of honour at His right hand. This worship will only increase until not only heaven, but the inhabitants of earth, will one day join is as well.
3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
How magnificent and how appropriate all of this is. It is truly what God deserves.
1. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Is this what we do? Do we honour and praise Him and worship Him with our whole beings just as happens in heaven?
8. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Is this following hymn true of us?
Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
Are we able to say with the Psalmist?
30. I will praise the LORD God with a song and a thankful heart.
Or are we in fact robbing God of His glory by giving it to some other creature, by ascribing titles or worship to others, worship which is due to God alone? We should give Him pre-eminence above all others.
So we have concluded that God is the focus of glory, of being the object of honour in heaven. And, yes, that is a fact. But what about earth at present?
Didn’t we also say that God through Jesus is in control of all creation? That also is true but that authority is not recognised by many of earth’s citizens.
God allows a usurper to exist and function. He is a spiritual being who opposes all of God’s authority and refuses to honour Him and who claims such honour and majesty for himself. God tolerates that for the time being but that will not always be the case. There is coming a day when his control will cease and Jesus will take His rightful place and God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Originally, this imposter appears to have already had a substantial amount of honour and power, just look at his titles, but he wanted more. Nothing but being number one would satisfy him
12. How you have fallen from heaven, you morning star, son of the dawn! How you have been cut down to the ground, you conqueror of nations!
13. You thought, “I’ll go up to heaven and set up my throne above God’s stars. I’ll sit on the mountain far away in the north where the gods assemble.
14. I’ll go above the top of the clouds. I’ll be like the Most High.” .
So while he does not recognise the sovereignty of God neither did we because we once followed him.
2. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God.
We need to actively ensure we avoid his influence so that God always receives from our heart and hands and voices His true worth, the honour He deserves and the complete acknowledgement of His majesty.
1. To you alone, O LORD, to you alone, and not to us, must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness.
But we will need help with that.
This verse in James is often misquoted. We must never ever omit the first sentence
7. So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.
Next Jude speaks about God’s majesty.
Majesty implies greatness and excellency that makes one honoured and preferred above all.
An acknowledgement of His majesty increases our dependence. We will see that we can rely on the love and faithfulness of God in keeping His many promises.
The word Jude uses for majesty is megalosune.
I believe that this word has more to do with position and rank rather than authority though of course the two are closely linked. But in essence the word signifies prominence, importance, pre-eminence, stateliness, dignity, and impressive greatness.
Webster’s Dictionary says that majesty refers to greatness of appearance; dignity; grandeur; dignity of aspect or manner; the quality or state of a person or thing which inspires awe or reverence in the beholder.
The word indicates that God is greater than all. In the Bible it is only used three times and all three are used only of God the Father.
Here are the other two places.
3. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
1. Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
So for us who are trusting God’s salvation majesty is the incomparable, indescribable, regal presence of God.
So we are to ascribe honour and majesty to God as we live in a world where that as a general principle does not happen.
Sin and sinfulness rule our world at present. Just check the daily newspaper or television headlines to see the truth of that. But we, with the help of the Spirit of God, are to serve God and acknowledge and honour His majesty rather than succumb to the power of evil.
12. Sin must no longer rule in your mortal bodies, so that you obey the desires of your natural self.
So to sum up. Will God receive glory and majesty from us this week or will we give it to an imposter or to some other worldly distraction?
May we always honour our majestic God with our lives and our living. May we ascribe to Him the right to receive praise to the exclusion of every other person or thing and beyond what we can even grasp.
11. If you have the gift of speaking, preach God’s message. If you have the gift of helping others, do it with the strength that God supplies. Everything should be done in a way that will bring honor to God because of Jesus Christ, who is glorious and powerful forever. Amen.
3. Praise the LORD’S greatness with me. Let us highly honor his name together.
46. Mary said, “My soul praises the Lord’s greatness!
47. My spirit finds its joy in God, my Savior,
In the days ahead will we meditate on the person of God and His Son Jesus and praise our God in a way that He deserves and expects? May we do so as we journey toward heaven and a face-to-face encounter with the presently unsearchable glory and majesty of our great God.