We are Being Kept by God
Jude 1:24-25, Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Psalm 121:5, “The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.”
As mortals, we try in every way to protect ourselves from all kinds of things and people who would cause us harm. We try to eat properly, exercise, get rest, and so much more so that we can remain active and healthy. Still, are we able to keep ourselves totally without God’s help? There are people who will produce proof that God does not exist, some say that He exist, but He has left mankind to take care of himself, without God’s intrusion. Only you can give your interpretation of God’s existence, especially in the affairs of mankind. Yet, we cannot do without God’s keeping care whether we are aware of this fact or not; He is our Keeper, Protecter, and Provider (Psalm 121).
Jude speaks to the believer reminding him that God is his keeper, and He is the only One Who can keep us from falling. God does this in multiple ways, even when we think that life has disappointed us, it may well be God’s mighty hand protecting us from something which might be harmful whether in the long or short run.
By ourselves we may struggle with life trying to be successful by realizing our hopes and reaching our aspirations. Still, we often fail. There are times when we have to repeat our efforts to arrive at that particular objective in life, but we try until we either give up or become successful. This is as far as many of us may get, but we will find we are not satisfied with ourselves. What could be missing? Even when we attempt to do things, we fail with all the gadgets, technology, and intellectual abilities available to us. If we fail with all the resources available to fulfill the minimum requirements for our lives, how do we expect to live holy lives to please God so that we can be presentable to Him to give Him exceeding joy at the end of our journey.
How do we arrive at such a place whereby God will be pleased with our efforts? What do we need to do? Surely, God requires some effort from us with all the inherent abilities which He has given to mankind. No one can say that He does not know how to at least begin to understand God’s desire because He has made this plain through the Commandments given to us (Exodus 20). This includes multiple precepts and directives which are valuable for life and godliness (I Peter 1:3). While we try to keep ourselves practically, we need God’s help through the Holy Spirit to live a life which is pleasing unto Him. He helps us when we surrender our wills to Him and allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds by transformation through sanctification (Romans 12:1-2). There is no other way to please God so that at the end we can hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” This is when we stand “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”
According to Paul, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” (Colossians 1:21-22).
The condition is, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Colossians 1:23).
Although God keeps us, we have the responsibility to be active participants in our relationship with Him as with all other situations in life. God has all the power, wisdom, and inherent abilities to keep us, but we must be obedient to His Commandments and stay within the parameters of His will for our lives.
There are people who live by the false doctrine that “once saved means always saved.” To remain saved, the believer must obey the word and follow the teachings in Colossians 1, and others. Even then, it is not totally possible to be always in the Spirit because we have the inherent tendency to sin. “For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
Jesus said, “I am vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). We need God’s presence in all of our lives. Without Him we are hopeless. Those who believe that once saved means always saved are the ones who are keeping themselves without the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. They do not seek to be transformed, but instead they are conformed to the world and its attractions (Romans 12:1-2). They are the ones who are not willing to surrender to the Lord by taking up their cross daily to follow Him through self-denial and obedience to His word (Luke 9:23). To remain saved is costly and cannot be realised without sanctification through the indwelling Holy Spirit who renews the mind, and brings the believer into fellowship with God.
Moreover, Jude 1:24 states, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling…” which means our total dependency is upon God and not our own intelligence or religious activities. Are we able to keep ourselves? The truth is that in and of ourselves we do not have the capacity, wisdom, or knowledge to avoid sinning so that we can remain saved and be pleasing to God when presented in His presence. We may be able to avoid doing [some] things with great effort and courage, but when tested with others, we often fail miserably. Furthermore, it is neither possible nor sustainable for any mortal to maintain his own protection without God’s keeping power. We can scarcely manage to keep ourselves physically in part, because we still have to depend on God to help us. How then are we able to keep ourselves in His will so that we do not stumble?
With His power, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and might, God is willing and able to keep us in all areas of our lives spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). It means that we must surrender to His dominion in holiness and true unfettered obedience to His will. God alone has the power, intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge to keep us from falling while we await the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To be kept by God requires us to be humble, submissive, and obedient with the desire to fulfil His will for our lives. God is holy and He seeks those who will endeavour to live holy lives unto Him so that at the end we can be found faultless as we stand before His presence.
As believers following Christ, we have the power of the word that will cleanse and keep us free from sin’s bondage so that we can be pure when we stand before His presence. Paul describes what Jesus expects the church should be at His return. He states, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26-27). Therefore, everyone who represents Jesus Christ, must seek to be led and kept by God through the preaching, and teaching of the word. Moreover, we have power to preach the word, cast out demons, and heal the sick.
“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:” (Mark 3:14-15). This same power and authority are also for the church. Believers have the power through the Holy Spirit to live in obedience to the Lord as we overcome the enemy by the word of God and the blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:11). Consequently, we cannot keep ourselves, our dependency must be upon God to be our Keeper and Sustainer in all of our lives until we stand “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 1:24b).
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