Jude Chapter 2

The purpose of Jude is an important one. False teachers were infiltrating the church, an perverting the faith. The false teachers saw the opportunity to capture the faith for their own purpose. This has happened over and over throughout Christian history. False Christian groups do not start their own works. Rather, they creep in and usurp the already existing and sound Christian works.

Jude opens his letter in typical Apostolic fashion, with a prayer for the well being of those he writes to.

He asks God for three things for his readers: Mercy, peace and love. And then adds the degree of these blessings, be multiplied.

Note that spiritual blessings are the best blessings that we can wish upon ourselves or upon others. Our prayer request for one another is not for material blessings, but for the increase of God's favor and his image upon them. We pray for God's mercy, peace and love for them.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Solomon sought wisdom from God so he could judge righteous judgment, and all those other things were added to him.

Consider: The mercies that God gives his people was obtained through the blood of Christ. Surely then, the spiritual riches that God has given to his friends through Christ are far more valuable than any material riches that he might give to his people or that he might give to his enemies who work to undermine his kingdom. These evil men include George Sorus and Bill Gates, as well all of those who use their God-given wealth to undermine God's Kingdom.

Yes, God has permitted the wicked to prosper beyond belief, yet that material prosperity cannot hold a candle to the spiritual prosperity through Christ.

Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

James tells us that if there must be a choice, grace with poverty is to be preferred: 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
Christ's prayer for his people in John 17 did not ask for peace, carnal prosperity, nor worldly respect for his people. Rather, he asked for preservation from evil, and sanctification by the truth.

According to Jude, though we have been called, justified and sanctified, we still are in desperate need of mercy, peace and love. And we need to pray for these blessings not only for ourselves but upon others.

We should also note the circumstances in which Jude prayers for mercy, peace and love for his readers. False teachers and their heretical and destructive doctrines were taking over the church. In times of overwhelming heretical doctrine, the grace and mercy of God is especially needed to protect us from their destructive influence.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

The next important Bible doctrine we will examiner is something I have great problems with; that is, mercy.

And then note the order: mercy, peace and love.

Mercy is listed first because we deserve nothing from God, so mercy is the foundation and beginning of all good things we enjoy from God.

Peace is listed second because without mercy there is no hope for true peace with God.

Jeremiah 8:1 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

The world offers peace without the mercy of God. In fact, their "peace" is enforced without mercy, as they send heavily armed "peace keepers" throughout the world.

Foolish men seek to establish peace through humanistic laws. The result is more turmoil and chaos. True peace between one another and true peace in the world is only available through the very One whom they are trying to remove from every fabric of society, Christ.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Love is listed third because without mercy and peace there can be no genuine love.
Mercy comes from God, and begets peace of conscience before God. Peace with God begets love; that is, love for God and love for one another.

Mercy is listed first.

In Romans 12:8 Sheweth mercy is one of the seven spiritual gifts. We know some who have this natural gift from God of mercy showing. However, the rest of us must work at it.

I must admit that I fall far short of mercy. I expect Christians to live what they profess, particularly those who loudly proclaim their Christianity. But I have found extremely few who do. So rather than having mercy for them, I get angry and bitter over the situation.

So my bitterness makes me a failure at living what I profess.


Mercy can be defined as kindness or good will toward the afflicted, with a desire to help them.

When we understand that mercy is the cause of all the good we might receive of God, then we understand that we have no grounds whatsoever to glory in his presence. 1 Corinthians 1:29

Some things about Mercy.

First, The purpose of the whole of Scripture is to show the mercy of God.

In Exodus 34:5-7, When Moses asked God to reveal himself, God revealed himself as the Lord God of mercy, grace and longsuffering:

Exodus 34:5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Notice that God speaks more of his mercy than he does of his justice. If the Lord's first attribut were Justice, none of us would see God. Mercy is his nature.

Notice also that though he is merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, he still reveals that he will in no wise clear the guilty. That is, though he has abundant mercy, he cannot and will not overlook transgression and sin. Sin must be pardoned through Christ.
In Nehemiah 4:17, he is called a God of pardon

Nehemiah 4:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

In 2 Corinthians 1:3, he is called the Father of mercies

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Though mercy is God's nature, it cannot override his justice. Mercy is very unnatual with us, but,

Second, Micah 7:18 tells us that God delights in mercy and compassion.

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Throughout scripture, we see that God's nature is mercy. He loves to show mercy; he loves to bless and protect. Destruction is not suitable to his character. Judgment and destruction are things he is forced to do. In fact, Isaiah 28:21 tells us that judgement is God's strange act:

Isaiah 28:21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

According to Jeremiah 44:22, (So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.) judgment only comes when God's mercy can no longer bear with man's evil works:

In Jeremiah 32:41, (Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.) God finds as much pleasure in providing mercy and good as man finds pleasure in receiving his mercy and good.

Lamentations 3:33 (For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.) tells us that God finds no pleasure in judgment. Like a merciful and loving father, he bears with sin as long as he can. Though justice and judgment must be enforced, our Heavenly Father would much rather rejoice over man for man's good.

Third, Jonah 4:2 (And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.) shows God exercising mercy though it may detract from his glory. God had determined to judge and destroy Nineveh, yet he sent Jonah with a message of mercy. Nineveh repented, and Jonah complained:

Israel's prophets had pronounced judgment against Nineveh, and Jonah had told the Lord than God's free grace and mercy would make out the prophets as false witnesses. Jonah also believed the prophets' words that Nineveh would conquer Israel.


"The world suspects his [God's] being, the saints quarrel his justice and question his love, and all because the wicked are prosperous, and God keepeth silence. The great stumbling-block at which most have dashed the foot of their faith, is the suspension of due judgments." (Manton)

That is, the world doubts there is a God. The saints question his justice as they see the wicked prosper. And they stumble in the faith when they fail to see judgment accomplished as they think it should be accomplished.

Isaiah 52:4, 5, (For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.) though God's mercy on the ungodly is obvious, yet all he gets is reproach and blasphemies.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 (Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.), because God does not act swiftly against evil, the wicked feel there is no God, and his people doubt his justice.

I must admit that as I read of the prosperity of the wicked as the wicked use their wealth in their attempts to overthrow God and everything that represents God, yet God in his mercy withholds justice, I am tempted to doubt God's justice.
Though it discourages the saints, and seems to bring dishonour to His name to let sin prosper, God's mercy withholds his justice.

Fourth, the scripture speaks much of God's mercy in his readiness to receive returning sinners. In Luke 15, the son said "I will go to my father," and the father "ran" to meet him. The Heavenly Father of Mercy will meet the sinner more than half way, if the sinner will determine to come to the Father.

Hosea 6:4, tells us that the Father of Mercies not only welcomes sinners, but urges, and even pleads with them to come to his mercy and forgiveness. The Scripture overflows with Father of Mercy's pleas for sinners to come and enjoy his mercy.

Isaiah offers great hope to the hardened sinner. He identifies sin, and then five times he says: For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. (5:25, 9:12, 17, 21, 10:4.)

That is to say that his wrath, anger and judgment cannot overlook sin and will result in death to the sinner, yet regardless of the sin, his mercy is available as he pleads with the sinner to turn from his wicked ways and enjoy his mercy.

God delights in mercy, and his delight should encourage us to bring ourselves into his presence. No matter how many times our foolishness, vanity and folly gets us into problems, his mercy is still there for us.

He has abundant pardons for those who will come to him for pardon. Our God desires to provide mercy as much as we desire to experience it.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Hosea 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.

Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Fifth, when we went through Romans 9, we saw that God bears long with those who refuse his offers of mercy.

Romans 9:18-25 v. 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

We are far more like the disciples in Luke 9:54. Though they were holy men, they wanted to call down fire from heaven upon those Samaritans who did not treat them with the respect they felt they deserved.

Luke 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

"If thunderbolts were in our power we should soon kindle a burning, and turn the world into smoke and desolation."

Sixth, Psalms 145:8, 9 (The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. 9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works) not only does the Word of God, but all things represent the mercy of God. Every part of his creation bears the marks of his mercy.

In 1 Corinthians 5, we see that God's threats of judgments are acts of mercy. God's threat against the man who had his father's wife caused the man to turn, so he would not be destroyed by Satan. God issues threats against his people for their sins, not because he hates his people. The purpose of the threats are to call on us to turn from our wicked ways, and avoid the end result of our sins.

So many times I remember threats my mother issued to my brother and me. Some times the threats worked, and other times they did not, and we reaped the results. Of course, we issued threats against our children. At that age, Christiana would listen, but Jessica many times ignored us, and we had to carry out our threats. It seemed as though we would have to beat her to death.

God's judgments are acts of mercy.

Judgement prevents us from drowning in pride and carnal business and projects which would totally destroy us. Our nature is to get puffed up with ourselves, but God has a way of letting the air out:

2 Corinthians 12:7, (And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.) Paul talked about the messenger of Satan sent by God to prevent pride from getting the best of him.

1 Corinthians 11:32 (But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.) Justice and judgment show us that God's mercy is at work, for God's just judgments prevent us from destroying ourselves.

Seventh, in Isaiah 30:18. (And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.) we see that mercy and grace are long-suffering, or slow to anger.

If God acted as swiftly against us for our sin as we want him to act against others for their sin, he would need to create another world to raise up seed to Christ. If he were not merciful and wait upon sinners, he would have no saints. We have provoked Christ enough that we should have been cut off long ago.

Consider Paul. How many Christians desired that God would justly judge him for the evil he was doing in the church? But he did not provoke Christ enough to cut him off. Rather, the power of God converted him, and God used his past life in a mighty way to glorify Himself.

Maybe we can identify a little with Paul in our own lives.

The same as God waited patiently on Paul until the time was right, he also waited patiently for our conversion. Think of how he spared us from self-destruction and even death so many times until we were converted. It has been God's mercy that has prevented him from immediately striking us with the results of our sins.

We have not only heard of God's mercy, but we have experienced it many times over.

However, there are several instances where God did immediately strike:

Numbers 25:6-15 Justice struck in the midst of lust. God did execute immediate judgment. An Israelite man named Zimri brought a Midianitish woman named Cozbi unto his brethren in the sight of Moses and all of Israel. A priest named Phinehas rose up from among his brethren, took his spear in his hand and thrust them both through...

2 Kings 5:27 Justice struck in the midst of his lust for worldly goods, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, lied to Naaman and Elisha. He was struck immediately with leprosy.

Genesis 19:26 Justice struck in the midst of longing for the old ways. The Lord tells us to remember what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back.

Acts 12:23 Justice struck in the midst of Herod's pomp and vainglory, as he made his great speech and gave not the glory to God. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote Herod, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
Herod has always struck me. Who would have ever expected pagan Herod to give God the Glory?

In Herod, we see that it is only God's patience and mercy that prevents him from striking down the proud men who boast against God. Why is he permitting them to prosper when he struck down Herod in the very act of his pride? We can only answer——it is for God's glory.

Justice requires like punishment for like crime. Whey do some escape God's wrath? Why do some, like those above, perish in the very act of their sin, while others seem to sin with impunity? Why were we not struck down in the midst of our sin at one time or another?

The only answer is God's mercy.

Psalms 50:21, 22 (These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.) tells us that the wicked cling to their sins. The reason is that they think because God in his mercy has withheld judgement, he is like us, and overlooks sin.

Romans 2:3-11 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

God withholds justice and judgment because of his mercy.

Moreover, it is only God's goodness and mercy that supplies our daily needs, for he owes us nothing.

Eighth, God's invitation.

A. Those who come to the Lord have nothing to plead except his mercy. Paul tells us in Romans 11:35, Who hath first given him, and it shall be recompensed to him again?

B. We should acknowledge and be thankful for his mercy. Everything we enjoy is the result of God's mercy.

In 1 Corinthians 1:27 (But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;), God passed over the wise, mighty and great men of this world, and chose those of us who are weak and foolish in the eyes of the world. Why? Maybe those who seen no need to praise him for his mercy, have never experienced his mercy.

C. If we perish it is not for lack of mercy on God's part, but it is for lack of faith on our part.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ninth, let's close this section with mercy and its dangers

Mercy can lead to pride. Why did God pass over the wise, and chose us, the foolish in the world's eyes? Pride will take the glory from God and tries to place it upon our selves.

Mercy can lead to presumption. It is the Devil's lie to think that one may continue to live as he pleases, and then plead free pardon for intentional sins because of God's mercy.

"It is the devil's covenant, not God's, when you think that you may live as you list, be at your own dispose, and mercy shall be at your beck, and you shall have comfort when you please; and that you may sin freely because God pardoneth freely, as if mercy gave you a privilege and liberty to sin. In short, if a man slacken any part of his duty for mercy's sake, or lets loose the reigns to vile affections with more freedom, upon the presumption that God will not be rigorous, he wrongeth grace exceedingly." p. 66, 67.

We can rejoice in God's mercy, but must not become proud and presumptions with it.

When we understand that mercy is the cause of all the good we might receive of God, then we understand that we have no grounds whatsoever to glory in his presence. 1 Corinthians 1:29

We concluded our look at mercy with these inherent dangers of mercy:

Mercy can lead to pride. Why did God pass over the wise, and chose us, the foolish in the world's eyes? Pride will take the glory from God and tries to place it upon our selves.

Mercy can lead to presumption. It is the Devil's lie to think that one may continue to live as he pleases, and then plead free pardon for intentional sins because of God's mercy.

All of us have taken advantage of God's mercy in the past, but God in his mercy has allowed us to continue on for Christ's sake.

Now the second thing Jude prayed would be multiplied to his readers, peace.

What is peace? It is tranquillity of mind one has from his sure estate with God. It is both peace with God, which is a result of justification, and peace with our conscience, which produces joy in the Holy Ghost.

Romans 5:1 (Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:), only those justified by Faith in Christ can have peace with God. Romans 14:17 (For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.), the marks of being in the Kingdom of God is righteous living, peace with God and man, and a joyful spirit.

First, Ephesians 2:3 tells us that Adam's sin resulted in the change in his nature. Adam made himself and all of his posterity by their very nature, the children of God's wrath.

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Christ tells us (John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.) men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Men hate God because they love sin. Man's fallen nature tries to hide from God under the cover of darkness because the knows that God condemns his wicked thoughts and deeds.

He may not admit that he is hiding from God in his evil deeds, but he is.

Colossians 1:12 tells us that God through Christ reconciles to himself his former enemies who not only avoided him, but hated him.

Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

We look forward to the day when the whole world is subdued to God not through physical violence as promoted by many, but through the reconciliation work of Christ.

The next world will be a time of God's wrath, vengeance and recompense against sin, unless the sinner man listens to Spirit's call and his offer of mercy, and lays down his weapons against God. Now is the day of God's patience and mercy, but God's mercy with the sinner will one day end. 2 Cor 6:2, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

The first coming of Christ offered "Peace on earth", if men will only accept God's terms of peace. The second coming of Christ will not be a time of "peace on earth:

2 Thes. 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

According to v 6, this passage was probably speaking of the then soon coming judgement against Jerusalem and Judaism. However, we are assured there is a time coming which will contain God's general judgment against sin and the unrepentant sinner.

At this time, the whole earth is at war against God. The result is unparallel world-wide chaos. That war is obvious as the wicked openly mock and persecute the faithful followers of Christ. That war is obvious as the wicked totally ignore God's laws governing finances as well as social conduct. The whole earth is at war against God's offer of peace through the Prince of Peace.

Rather than man laying down his weapons of war against God, he is fighting against God with everything available. Fallen man is hard at work developing new weapons of war against God—science, medicine, education... Fallen man is using his evil imagination in his futile effort to make more effective weapons in his war against God.

Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

But God sits in heaven and laughs at man's foolish efforts. God only allowed the Tower of Babylon to go so far. How far will his patience and mercy stretch before he moves against the modern Towers?

Man rejoices in the thought that there is no God, the same as a guilty prisoners might rejoice that there is no judge before whom he must appear and receive his sentence.

First, man became God's enemy.

Second, I have mentioned this before; when man is at war with God, all of God's creation is at war with man.

The fire consumed Sodom.
The bugs became enemies against Pharaoh.
The earth swallowed up Korah.
Deuteronomy 28, all of the nature, weather, bugs, all manner of strange diseases and illnesses, are at war with man.

But God does not need instruments of his wrath and vengeance against man's sin.

Man, as God's enemy, is his own worse enemy. War with God means emotional turmoil within, which leads to all kinds of physical and psychological problems. Who can defend against his own wounded conscience that knows right from wrong?

First, man became God's enemy
Second, war against God means creation at war with man.

Third, Col 1:20, the enmity with God can only be solved through Jesus Christ.

Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Isaiah 53:5 tells us that the chastisement of our peace was upon him.

Our rebellion against God and his Kingdom resulted in a violated conscience and treason against the kingdom of God. Our rebellion deserved death. But Christ took the chastisement for our rebelliousness, and his people now have the peace that their penalty has been paid.

Throughout the New Testament, especially Hebrews, we are told many times over that God's wrath is appeased through Christ, and we can now approach him with a clear conscience:

Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

False religions–that is, perverted and self-satisfying methods of worshiping God–cannot bring peace to the heart, no matter how much one attempts to pay his own price for peace.

Church attendance cannot produce genuine peace with God and with our conscience.

In Ephesians 2:15, (Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;) we see that though the Heavenly Father is the one we have wronged, only he is the one can initiate and bring to pass the reconciliation:

When we wrong others, hard feelings develop. Even though we might be reconciled to that person, there is left a sore spot that never heals. The wound is always in the back of our minds. But the God is not like that.

Reconciliation with the Father through Christ unites us with the Father with a unbreakable union that leaves no scars.

Christ leaves us just as though we had never sinned in his eyes, and peace in our conscience as though we had never sinned. Our conscience does not condemn us for our confessed and forgiven sins.

First, man became God's enemy
Second, war against God means creation at war with man.
Third, the enmity with God can only be solved through Jesus Christ.

Fourth, 2 Cor 5:18, reconciliation to God through Christ brings peace.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The angels of Hebrews 1:14 are not avenging angels. Rather, they become to his people ministering spirits.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

We are told in Job 1:10 that rather than Satan having free access to us, he is restricted by God, for God has made an hedge about us.

Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

In Job 5:23, God's heirs are not only well attended by the angels at Christ's direction, but the beasts of the field shall be at peace with the heirs of salvation.

Job 5:23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.

Hosea 2:18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

Colossians 3:15 tell us that those who have been reconciled in Christ stop enmity and strife at the root, which is in their own heart. Reconciliation means peace with God, and a clear conscience.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Ephesians 2:15-19, the wall of partition between God and man, between races, between social levels, &c., has been removed, and peace is made with our fellow heirs of the kingdom in the church.

Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Reconciliation is the foundation for peace with ourselves, with God and with our fellow man. Genuine peace with our self and with others without reconciliation with God is impossible.

First, man became God's enemy
Second, war against God means creation at war with man.
Third, the enmity with God can only be solved through Jesus Christ.
Fourth, reconciliation to God through Christ brings peace.

Fifth, Philippians 4:6, the peace of God is an unknowable riddle, for it surpasses all human understanding.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Beyond understanding:

We see in 1 Peter 3:12 that though we are at peace with God through reconciliation, yet troubles remain even to a violent death at the hands of persecution.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 ¶ Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

the peace of God, which passeth all understanding is a deep mystery of God that is beyond human understanding. The promise in Proverbs 16:7 (When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.) is peace even with our enemies, yet we read of events like this:

Pastor in court After being held prisoner for more than 1,000 days, Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhanl has been ordered to appear in Iranian court on Sept. 8. Held prisoner since 3009, the Iranian pastor was convicted of apostasy–converting from Islam to Christianity. While Amnesty International and other supporters hope his court date will lead to his release, Nadarkhina faces possible execution. (World, 9/8/12)

The picture of the pastor in the article showed a man with a concerned look, but with a clear look of peace. His face was a face of peace in the face of death, a peace which passeth all understanding.


I understand that he has been released in the past few days.

How are the hated and persecuted at peace with God and his creation? The privileges of Christ's kingdom are spiritual. Though the saints be troubled on every side, and the body greatly harmed, nothing can harm their peaceful relationship with the Lord God. As we saw from Romans 8:31-39, Paul tells us that nothing can separate the saints from the love of God, for even death has lost its sting of fear. Death is at peace with God's people because of Christ.

Is the day approaching when we will need that peace in the time of persecution as Christians?

First, man became God's enemy
Second, war against God means creation at war with man.
Third, the enmity with God can only be solved through Jesus Christ.
Fourth, reconciliation to God through Christ brings peace.
Fifth, the peace of God is an unknowable riddle, for it surpasses all human understanding.

Sixth, Hebrews 4:9, tells us that in the heaven, in the new Jerusalem, there is perfect peace. All is at rest and quiet.

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

In that day, we will find rest from our sorrows and our labor. There will be no troubles nor afflictions. There will be no more concerns of God's wrath, nor fears of death. We will be free from hurt and dangers. We will be at the peak of all our privileges as saints.

Peace... What do we have here?

1.) Are we at peace with God through Christ? Are God's enemies now our enemies? Can we have peace with God as long as we are joined with the enemies of God? Our unity with God is both defensive and offensive. We are at war with Satan if we will be at peace with God.

Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

Though Christ is called the prince of peace in Isaiah 9:6, that peace is only for those who have submitted to his government, for the government is upon his sholders. His subjects have taken his yoke upon them, and have found rest. Matthew 11:29. However, Christ is the Captain of the Lord's army of wrath against those who are against him, who are not at peace with him, who have rebelled against his government.

Those who were in the military can understand that we cannot receive his blessings of peace unless we take the oath of allegiance to Christ.

2) We are pressed to make peace with God through Christ?

Do we enjoy communion with him? Those who are at peace with God find time to be with him in his word and in prayer. Do we understand that communion with him as a duty or a privilege, as a burden or a joy?

1.) Are we at peace with God through Christ?
2) We are pressed to make peace with God through Christ.

First, the careless are urged to make peace with God. We are told many times over that we were born enemies to God, for there is none that seeketh after God. In Matthew 19:16-22, a rich young man professed to love God from his youth up by keeping all that was required of him in the law. But when Christ pressed him about his relationship with God, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

In other words, a good life from our youth up will not gain heaven.
Regardless of the goodness of one's life, he must make peace with God through Christ.
Who can maintain a war with God?
Who is strong enough to withstand his wrath in that day.
Our present life is a vapor, and will soon be gone.
The unsaved will face the wrath of God.
Death will only be the start of everlasting sorrows, for no one can punish his enemies as God can and will.
The damned will screech and howl and plead, all to no avail. The torment of punishment will last for ever and ever, a concept we cannot grasp.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Where the devil is already.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Peace must be obtained here, for it cannot be obtained hereafter. God's day of patience will soon end. And in Proverbs 1:26, we are told that in the day of judgment, he will laugh at the calamity of the wicked. So now is the time to Kiss the Son, lest he be angry when his wrath is kindled but a little. Ps 1:12.

Proverbs 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

Psalms 1:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

So we see that the careless are urged to make peace with God. And those with a distressed conscience are urged to make peace with God.

Isaiah 54:10 tells us that peace is only available to those who are part of the everlasting covenant through Christ.

Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

The chastisement of our peace is upon Christ. We must lay hold of that covenant of peace with a cheerful confidence, peace dispels fear: for God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7.

1.) Are we at peace with God through Christ?
2) We are pressed to make peace with God through Christ.

3) Philippians 3:15, peace can be destructive. We must take care that we have the right kind of peace. We can mistake chastisement and judgment for a blessing. We can settle in secure presumptions and lulled to sleep with a false peace.

Though we have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, our sinful hearts are still deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Only God can know what is in the heart, so in order to avoid the destructiveness of a false peace, we could continually pray:

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

And be honestly willing to know the truth, with the Spirit's power to change into conformity to the Truth.

Destructive problems:

First, Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. Many are ignorant of or are willfully ignoring the law of God, and therefore unaware of or reject their condition. God's law of righteousness has not been preached nor taught to them, or they have fled from any preacher who might preach the law to them, so they think they are alive, when they are actually dead. They are ready and willing to perish in their false peace and comfort. Their false and carnal peace leads them hoodwinked to hell.

First, many are ignorant
Second, many seek peace through diversions.

Diversion in pleasure as they flee from one pleasure to another. They seek to suppress their conscience as they worship the god of their belly.

Amos 6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; 5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; 6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. 7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

These men to whom Amos spoke fled from their conscience with sensual pleasures of all kinds. They attempted to drown out the fact that judgment day was coming with wine, women and song: eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Diversion in work. Men flee to work to calm the troubled heart, as Cain fled to building great cities. Saul sought to kill his troubled mind and evil spirit with music. So it is common for men try to deal with their troubled conscience either with business or pleasure.

I wonder if evil men like Gorge Soros are using work and making money to find peace for their troubled hearts. We know that even they have God's laws written in their hearts.

First, many are ignorant
Second, many seek peace through diversions.

Third, many have a false peace by leaving Satan and his kingdom alone. If we leave our enemy alone, he will leave us alone. Luke 6:24, 11:21, one will have peace with the enemy, but not with God.

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

When we do not disturb the devil's goods, our own goods are in peace . When a man pleases his worse natures, those natures will leave him alone.

When one surrenders to enemy, then he will have peace with the enemy.

Yet this peace will end in trouble.

Jude 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied..

Look at v. 3. Jude's purpose is to encourage his readers to contend, or fight for, the truth of the faith as was once delivered to the saints. His primary reference is to the Old Testament saints. It is not difficult at all to see how the writings of the Old Testament saints foretold of the New Testament doctrines we are examining.

How can we contend for the faith if we do not have a good knowledge of it? The Christian faith is far more than saying "Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".

So as we are looking at these various precious doctrines of the faith. These are common terms of the faith, but many have only a restricted knowledge of these doctrines. We certainly are not dealing with them in depth, for a in-depth look would require a series of messages on each term.

Because God's people are not grounded in these various precious doctrines, they are easily blown about by strong winds of various questionable if not heretical doctrines.

So here we are.

V. 1, we examined a little of our high calling in Christ Jesus, and at the doctrines of sanctification and preservation. In v. 2, we have examined a little of mercy and peace.

Now we come to the third thing Jude prayed for his readers, love.

Defined: It is a gracious and holy affection, which the soul, upon apprehension of God's love in Christ, returneth back to God again by his own grace.

That is, through the working of the Spirit of Grace in man, man is able to return to God the love he owes to him. It is impossible for fallen man to love God, for there are none who have the natural ability to seek after God and love him. Any desire to love God as required by God's word must be a work of the Holy Spirit of God.

Jude is not referring to God's love for his people, but his people's love for him.

It is certainly difficult to restrict ourselves to one or two messages on each of these precious doctrines. How can we properly develop the doctrine of God's mercy in less than a life-time? How can we properly develop the doctrine of God's peace in less than a life time? And most of all, how can we properly develop God's doctrine of love in less than several life times?

Godly men of old have spent lifetimes on these doctrines, and still left them unfinished.

The love of God toward his creatures and man's responsibility to love God is on every page of Scripture.

I have found this study on love the most interesting of all the studies we have had so far. I had a difficult time letting it rest, for there is so much involved here. I hope you find it interesting also.

We must say with John concerning the Biblical doctrine of love, (21:25) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

So let us start this short examination of the Biblical doctrine of love with 1 John 4:We love him, because he first loved us

As we examine the Bible doctrine of love toward God, remember the definition of love as given by our Lord:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And to see that we did not miss the message, John gives it again:

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Probably for the next two messages, we will talk a lot about love for God, and that love is clearly defined as keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous.

Do we find his commandments grievous? Then we are missing the true love for God.

We are shown that love is an echo—that is, we are to return to God what we received from God.

Luke 7:36-50 (v. 47, Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.) The more we understand God's love, the more we will love him.

In addition, John tells us in 1 John 4:7 (Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.) that only the grace of God can produce love for God.

Romans 1 makes it very clear that the natural man hates God and all that is good and everything that represents God, including himself and his fellow men who are made in the image of God.

Moses gives us the key to love—that is, our required love for God:

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Love for God is a work of God in the heart of His people.

A few short comments about Moses' words here:

A) 30:2, the start of the fulfillment of Moses' words is in the context of God returning Israel from his Babylonian Captivity, and was based upon Israel returning unto the Lord thy God, and obeying his voice in all he commanded...

B) Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26, Jeremiah 31:33—the final fulfillment is found in Christ and in the Gospel Church.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

C) Matthew 22:37 (Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Mark 12:30, 12:33, Luke 10:27.) God must circumcise the heart of his enemies before they can love him.

D) God must circumcise the heart before we can live.

‘Because of thy life,' i.e., that thou mayest live, sc., attain to true life. The fulfilment of this promise does not take place all at once. It commenced with small beginnings at the deliverance from the Babylonian exile, and in a still higher degree at the appearance of Christ in the case of all the Israelites who received Him as their Saviour. Since then it has been carried on through all ages in the conversion of individual children of Abraham to Christ; and it will be realized in the future in a still more glorious manner in the nation at large. (Keil-Delitzsch OT Commentary)

It appears that Keil referred to the Jewish nation as the "nation at large". However, the promise was not to a literal nation, but to the new nation of God in Christ. That "nation at large" must be the new Israel of God, the Gospel Church.

True life is not a result of a particular physical birth. True life is the result of a particular spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God through Christ our Lord. God must move in the sinner to motivate him to come to Christ. Being in Christ will result in the Spirit motivating us to love the Father.

Peter tells us that the object of our love is to be God himself. Since God is to be the supreme object of our love, and because others are also made in the image of God, we are required to love our neighbour as our self.

We should mention that since the natural world around us also has God's imprint upon it, we are to be faithful stewards of the natural and of the animal world.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The end result of the Biblical faith in Christ, is charity. If the Spirit of God does not produce love for God and love for the brethren, we have forgotten that our sins were purged in Christ. The lack of love for God is to motive us to check on our calling and election.

Love respects God, and love respects other things for God's sake.

Here are some reasons we are to love God:

I, God not only requires but commands we love him:

Requirement: Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Command: In Matthew 27:34ff, a lawyer asked Christ, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Christ said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy might. This is the first and great commandment.

* Our God does not require things of us that are outside of our ability. He does not require that we go to the depths of the sea, overthrow mountains, pluck stars from the heavens to show our love. These things are outside of the power of men.

* Our God does not require barbarous activities, such as the offering of our first-born as is even done today in pagan nations. However, many Christians willingly offer all their children to Molech, that is the State, through the state education system. But that sacrifice is contrary to God's requirement, and meets the requirement of the world, flesh and the devil.

* Our God does not require self mutilation, as do even some professed Christian groups. We are not required to beat ourselves with whips, crawl over broken glass on our knees nor even suffer through literal, physical crucifixions such as is done today in some parts of the world in hope of appeasing the gods of the Church of Rome.

Those Roman gods can offer no peace with God, so the conscience demands self-mutilation for the payment of their sins. The people are not being taught that the Lord Christ took the justly deserved punishment of God to pay the penalty for their sins. The Christian God through Christ gives inner peace. The result is peace with God, peace with our self and peace with others. The pagan cruelties, even when done under the name of Christianity, represent devil worship.

Admittedly, physical activities are much easier to accomplish than whole hearted love which require keeping his commandments.

But God circumcises the heart of his people, so that his commandments are not a burden. In fact, he invited all who are carrying the heavy burden of a guilty conscience to come to him. He will remove that burden of guilt and fear.

Our God is gentle–He only requires total love for him which the natural man finds extremely offensive. His love is to be seen in our daily activities. Neither the desire nor power to properly love God and our neighbour is within our natural ability. So that desire and power must be a work of the Spirit of God in God's people.

In addition, what earthly ruler would give free access to himself to the lowliest of his citizens? Try to freely walk in to see the governor, a congressman or president. But our King has given us the keys to his kingdom that we might visit him and be as familiar with him as we please. He not only permits such a free access, but even commands that we take advantage of that access.

1 Q. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, {#1Co 10:31} and to enjoy him for ever. {#Ps 73:25,26}

Sadly, we lavish away our love upon trifles, while God desires every grain of our love, for he requires all of our heart, soul and might.

Again, Deuteronomy 10:12... what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

God's requirement applies to the rich and poor, learned and unlearned, exalted or humbled in the world's eyes. This love for God is a duty for which we will be held accountable.

I, God commands our love.
II, God deserves our love.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

God deserves our love even when we experience his judgment and chastisement against our sins. We must not judge him, nor chide with him, nor blame him. We must love him regardless.

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

How many children tell their parents that they hate them because they chastize them? Neither of my girls said such foolish things, but I have sure head other children say that to their parents. How many of God's professed people feel they hate God because he will not let them go their own way, nor let themget away with their sins?

God must place his love in our hearts so we might love him and love one another.

What is God's love like?

First, God's love is everlasting

Psalms 103:17 (But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;) tells us that God's love for his people was from everlasting and to everlasting. Ever since God was God, he was our God, and will continue to be for as long as he is God. From before the word was, he loved us, and when the world ceases to be, he will love us still. His love began in his eternal purpose of grace.

God's mercy was upon his people before there was a people. His mercy was there before we could show the slightest sign of love and thankfulness for him.

Romans 9:11 gives us one of the most confounding and heatedly discussed passages in Scripture which can only be accepted by faith:

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

How can we comprehend God's love for his own and his hatred of others from the beginning? When we try to reduce Romans 9:11-13 to human understanding, we only confuse the issue even more. The truth therein proceeds from God's mind, and it is beyond any human understanding. Romans 9:11 is no more difficult to understand than Hebrews 11:3, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Both are in the mysteries of God, which we may never understand, for we will never be God.

God has every good and perfect attribut. We cannot even begin to wrap our understanding around many of those attributes. He is beyond human comprehension. He has given us a glimpse of himself in his word, and we will know more when we see him, but we will never comprehend all of God even when we see him in his glory.

But we will be satisfied when we see him.

First, God's love is everlasting
Second, God's love is freely given.

In Ezekiel 16, God tells his people that they had pagan roots. When he passed by them, he saw them polluted in their own blood and filthiness, yet he love them. There was nothing in them to motivate any love in God for them.

However, he looked upon them in love, lifted them from their pit, cleaned them up and caused them to prosper.

God does not need our love, for it is of no benefit to him. But we would perish without his love, for we are nothing without him. He delights in shedding his love upon and pardoning sinners.

His holiness sets him against sinners, but through reconciliation, he now wants us to come to him in prayer. We would think that our needs and wants would be enough to motivate us to come to him, but it is God who must stir up that desire in the hearts of his people to pray.

Certainly, distress can motivate even the worse of pagans to come to him in prayer, and he may even hear their prayers, but the Spirit stirs up his people to pray.

We need to be reminded that our love is many times blinded by wrong affections to consume upon our own lusts, but God's love is not blind. There is no blindness nor passions in him who loves, though the objects of his love are anything but clean.

First, God's love is everlasting
Second, God's love is freely given.

Third, God's love is frequent.

Romans 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

We will be amazed at the last day if we are able to see the huge sum of sin cancelled through Christ's blood. We will see that our past lives were but a constant experience of sinning and of God's pardoning for Christ's sake.

Though we grow tired of every aspect of life, we never tire of sin. We have it from birth, and it stays with us to the grave. Sin is this true saying, TILL DEATH DO US PART.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

Though we easily grow weary in well-doing, God does not grow weary in his mercy and pardon to his people.

First, God's love is everlasting
Second, God's love is freely given.
Third, God's love is frequent.

Fourth, God's love is many-faceted. That is, it has many visible faces. We enjoy innumerable mercies of God. We eat mercy, we wear mercy, and we continually encounter God's mercy.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

God has given us all things that are necessary to our natural life, and necessary for our spiritual life. He has provided all things that are necessary to bring us to glory hereafter. In Christ, we have all access to all things that God judges needful in this life, and many things that are not needful.

How can we not love God with all of our being because of his goodness to us?

If we would but stop and consider God's mercy to us, we would have to say with David, O God! how great is the sum of them. Psalms 139:17. But like Israel of old, as God prospers us through his mercies, we tend to forget the author of prosperity.

God's every mercies are new every day

Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

We are surrounded by God's mercies, and they become so common that we forget their source. Consider the many things God has provided to make our time here on earth enjoyable: Music from the birds, a great variety of very beautiful and fragrant plants, light for our eyes, many fine tasting foods, beasts of burden, inventions to ease our burdens, medicines.

A), God in his mercy has furnished our homes and our tables with good things to eat. It took God 6 days to make man's home ready for him, and then God brought man into it.

How can we ignore God's love and sin against the One who has provided every good thing for us to enjoy?

Deuteronomy 26:11 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.

In John 10:32, the Lord asked, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

We cannot open our eyes and not see his love and mercy. We cannot walk outside without smelling and hear his love and mercy.
For which of his mercies do we turn from him?
For which of his mercies to we fail to love him?
For which of his mercies do we deal deceitfully with him?

B), the great effects of God's love. There are three great evidences of God's love.

a) Psalms 145:10 (All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.) the first evidence of God's love is creation.

God deserves the love of his creation. God created all parts of creation for his glory. God made man capable of reason, to love and serve him.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 (Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;), God urges man to remember his creator when he is young, with his strength, energy, vigor and freshness of youth. As the young person looks around, he should see an abundance of evidence of God love for him, and be motivated to love God.

We love our parents, for they provided life for us. How can we ignore God's love and sin against the One who created live for us?

a) first evidence of God's love is creation
b) Job 26:7, second evidence of God's love is preservation.

He preserves the world. Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. Though a feather will not stay aloft, the world hangs upon nothing,

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; He upholds our very being by the word of his power.

Isaiah 49:15 (Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.) He cares for his own and preserves them as a woman cares for her nursing child.

Deuteronomy 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Every day is new proof of God's preservation of every living thing. The proof of his preservation should cause us to love him enough to serve him.

The very beasts of the field love their masters who care for them. It is not at all uncommon to hear of a dog sacrificing himself to save his master from fire or some other destruction. Yet even God's people have a problem of acknowledging the Lord God as their keeper and preserver by obeying his voice.

a) first evidence of God's love is creation
b) second evidence of God's love is preservation.

c) 1 John 4:10, third evidence of God's love is redemption.

.1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins

Herein is love... That is, the very highest expression of God's love is his willingness to take on the body of flesh to suffer and die as the sacrifice for the sins of his people. What better proof of love than dying for another.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

He proved his love beyond any doubt though his sacrifice for those who deserved nothing but his wrath.

Others may try to prove their love for us through gifts, or even through pleasant actions to make us feel comfortable and at ease. God does not prove his love for his own by making them rich, nor by given them a life of ease, for life may be full of turmoil, strife and persecution. How many times have I felt completely abandoned by God and man, particularly as a pastor over the years when good people depart over proper doctrine.

I have had good and faithful men depart from me, even telling me the reason for their departure was over doctrine, such as—I did not support Scofield nor the rapture. Some left because I preached against "Ask Jesus into your heart", though they appreciated the fact that their families were saved under my ministry. It was obvious that the men could not lay aside their pride and admit they were caught in a lie.

One lady left because I could not prove from Scripture that their twins who died as infants were in heaven. Her husband tried to remain with us, but could not hold out against his wife.

When we doubt anyone's love or concern for us, we need to remember that Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins

There can be no greater expression of love than how God the Father satisfied his own justice for his people through the sacrificial death of his Son.

If love brought Christ out of heaven to the cross and grave, should not love carry us to heaven and to the Father.

God deserves our first place in our love above all other objects, and that love will do all it can to please him.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

I, God commands our love.
II, God deserves our love.

III. the third point is that God desires our love.

As we look at love, we must keep God's definition in mind: IF YOU LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. Just as a child shows his love for his parents and a person shows his or her love for another, love works to please that other person.

What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Love for Christ will seek to please him with our actions and with all our heart, soul and might, regardless of our feelings

Christ not only commands our love, deserves our love, but he works to gain our love. If Christ saw and dealt with us as we are, he would have nothing to do with us. He has plenty of angels in heaven whose wills and affections are always toward him. He does not need the love of any of his creature, yet he seeks to gain the love of fallen men.

How can our love benefit him?
How might our love for him increase his happiness?

For reasons known only to himself, he desires we love him, and that we would share in his glory, happiness and joy.


We have a place inside the garage door that collects keys. We do not know the locks where most of them fit, but are fearful of discarding any key. For one day, we may find a lock we cannot open, and we will have to seek through that mess of keys to open that lock. Some may even be for a lock in Front Royal.

Our God seeks key after key to unlock that door which will cause our hearts to seek after him. Here are some of the keys God uses to turn our hearts toward himself, and gain our obedient love.

First, 1 Corinthians 2:9 (But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.) he promises great things to those who love him.

If an earthly king would promise great wealth to those who would love him, he would have multitudes pounding at his door professing their great and undying love for him.

Who has even heard of a rich man pleading for or even paying for others to eat of his dainties? Yet the Lord pleads to the unlovely and unloving man, "the table is prepared, come and dine."

God has promised a glorious reward to those who will determine to love him with all their heart, soul and mind.

Second, Pro. 23:26 (My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.) he pleads for us to love him. God himself pleads with men to love him. It is our privilege as well as our responsibility to love the Lord our God.

Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

Not only we as individuals but the world as a whole is in its mess today for failing to render unto God the love that is his.

The world, flesh and devil knock on our door wanting our love, and we readily open it, and give our all. Yet the Lord stands at the door and knocks desiring our love, yet we have plenty of excuses as to why we cannot open it wide. We are as wax in the hands of the enemies of God, but as stone in the hands of the Spirit of God.

How we need the Spirit of God to replace that stony heart with his heart of flesh, so we can love God as we should.

First, he promises great things to those who love him.
Second, he pleads for us to love him.

Third, Psalms 42:1 (As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.) he gives us the ability to love, so we can love him.

The promise and great blessing of the new covenant in Christ was the giving of a new heart, for it requires a new heart in order to Love God.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

The Lord God created in every man a desire to love him. Sin corrupted that desire, so love now is self-love. Sin has replaced God-esteem with self-esteem. However, since man is made in the image of God, he still has the desire to love God. So if that love is not toward the Lord God, then that love will be toward a self-made god. That is, a god after man's own fallen imagination.

Malachi 2:15 (And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.), as God made one man for one woman, so he made man to love one God. Giving that love to anything or anyone else is idolatry.

But we are more like some of the Old Testament saints whose several wives caused severe problems for them. We give our love to many things of this world:

Ephesians 5:5 (For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.), rather than love for God, we make gods of things and even people.

Philippians 3:17 (Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.).

Rather than love for God, we love the things that appeal to our flesh—that is, the god of our belly.

As we have seen, if it were not for the mercies of God which are new every day, we would have perished long ago for our idolatry.

Only grace can redirect our love to its proper target,

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Are we willing to know the truth?

Do we want our love directed toward HIM?

First, he promises great things to those who love him.
Second, he pleads for us to love him.
Third, he gives us the ability to love
so we can love him, yet we use that ability to love the many gods around us.

Fourth, Deuteronomy 30:6 (And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.) he gives us the desire to love him.

Again, love for the Lord is defined by keeping his commandments. The new nature will have the desire to love him, and that love will be visible for others to see. There are those who will mock a love that puts God first over the things of the world, flesh and the devil.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove (with our works of love toward God) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Love for the Lord will start with a flicker, but as the Christian matures, love for the Lord will develop into a flame.


We heat with wood in our living room, and it heats the whole house. Starting the fire can be an aggravation at times. We may light it, and the kindling be a little damp or too big, and the fire will flicker and go out. Obviously, if the flicker goes out, there is no heat.

With proper care though, that small flicker will catch, and after an hour or more, there will be a hot flame that heats the stove and then heats the house.

One may make a profession of Christ, and there is a flicker of love toward him and his word. But if that flicker does not grow stronger, then there was no new creation to begin with.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Fifth, 1 Corinthians 16:22 (If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.) he threatens severe and eternal torments if we do not love him. If pleading and promising good to man does not work, he threatens a dreadful curse against those who fail to love him.

The Spirit of God places a love for God in the heart, and that love results in glorifying God with our lives. If that love is not there, the Spirit is not there.

One will either love God or perish. Remember his words, If you love me, keep my commandments. It is obvious that if those who claim to love him have little or no desire to keep his commandments, they are none of his. They face the serious threat of eternal torments.

First, he promises great things to those who love him.
Second, he pleads for us to love him.
Third, he gives us the ability to love so we can love him.
Fourth, he gives us the desire to love him.
Fifth, he threatens eternal torments if we do not love him.

Do we indeed love God? Three times in John 21, Christ asked Peter if he loved him. Peter was offended that the Lord asked him three times, but Peter did not know his own heart. When the time of trial of his love came, he denied the Lord three times. Our hearts are deceitful above all things; who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Are we willing to have the Lord search our heart, and try its reins?

"Do I indeed love God?"

1.) Those who do not give all to God, give nothing at all to God. He requires the whole heart.

We are like the exchange between Moses and Pharaoh in Exodus chapters 8 through 10. Over the years, I have found interesting.

After the frogs, 8:7, 15, Pharaoh finally agreed to let the people go, but when the frogs were gone, he changed his mind.

Then the flies, 8:21, and Pharaoh said he would let the people go, v. 25, "Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land". Moses rejected his offer, and demanded three days into the wilderness with all they possessed. Pharaoh agreed, but would not let them go very far, v. 28. The flies were gone, and Pharaoh "hardened his heart" and would not let them go.

Then the hail mingled with fire, 9:23. V. 28, he agreed to let the people go, yet when this plague was over, he refused to let them go, v. 35.

Next Moses threatened the land with locusts, 10:5. Pharaoh agreed to let the people go, but only the men were to be allowed to go, v. 11. So the locusts came.

Next came the darkness, 10:21, 22. Pharaoh then offered to let the people go, but they had to leave their possessions, flocks and herds, behind. The darkness came, and Pharaoh would not let them go, vv. 27.

Moses insisted that not a hoof be left behind, and Pharaoh offered all kinds of compromises.

But then the death angel came, chapter 11, and not a hoof was left behind.

All of that to say this: The enemy will offer all kinds of compromise as long as we do not give our total love to the Lord our God, and that love shown by our love for his Law-word.

Colossians 1:18, the Lord alone must have the preeminence in all things. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

2.) Love for the Lord has solid demonstrations.

I know a very committed "bumper sticker" Christian. The car is covered with bumper stickers that proclaim love for the Lord. However, the person driving the car has very little evidence of loving the Lord, and join the fellowship with his people.

I was surprised to see so many Christian professions on the vehicles in Kenya, and the percentage of professed Christians, may be as high as 80%. Yet when Bettie spoke with the women who work for Matt and Jennie, she found that the Christian profession does not translate into the lives of people. Adultery and fornication is still very common. What came in as sound doctrine has been hijacked by a very superficial gospel.

Those who profess love for the Lord yet are still involved in immorality, theft, stealing and lying, have no love for the Lord.

Love Demonstrated:

A.) Psalms 97:10 (Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.), Love for the Lord has a hatred of sin. When Potiphar's wife threw herself at Joseph, Joseph said, "How can I do this wickedness, and sin against God?" Gen 39:9. Love for the Lord will reveal itself in our attitude toward sin.

B.) 1 John 5:3 (For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.), love for the Lord delights in obedience.

Jacob's love for Rachel caused him to labour for her seven years as though it were nothing. Paul connects love for the Lord with work for the Lord. 1 Thes 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

C.) Luke 15:8 (Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?) love for the Lord delights in his presence. How concerned do we become when we feel we may have lost the presence of the Lord. The woman in Luke 15 searched and would not rest until she found what was lost. Do we have more concern over lost physical possessions than over lost presence with our Lord.

a.) James 1:17, every good gift is from above, but good things from God cannot be equated with God's love, unless his love is obvious in those good things. We must be careful in equating good things with God's love, for he also gives good things to evil men.

b.) 1 Cor 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Without love, our greatest gifts to God are nothing. With our love, even a cup of cool water is a great gift.

In this verse, Jude prays that mercy, peace and love would be multiplied for his readers; that is, greatly expanded.

Not only here in Jude, but throughout Scripture, we are told that the spiritual riches which are available from God through Christ are far more valuable than any material riches we might gain. Even God's enemies are provided with material riches, but they are under the wrath of God.

Mercy is listed first of the three because we deserve nothing from God except judgment. So God's mercy is the foundation of all we enjoy from God.

The purpose of the whole of scripture is to reveal God's mercy through Christ the Lord. Nehemiah 4:17 tells us that thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.

The second thing prayed for by Jude is peace. That is, tranquillity of mind knowing that our sins are forgiven through Christ. It involves peace with God, with others and with our conscience, which produces joy in the Holy Ghost. Peace can only come with Justification through Christ.

Since Adam, man has been at war with God, at war with others and at war with himself. We are by nature the children of wrath. Yet through Christ, God reconciles to himself those who were at one times enemies of God and hated him. Christ alone can bring peace to the troubled world, and it must start with peace to the troubled soul.

However, perfect peace will only be when we see the Lord in person, heaven.

Peace must be obtained here, for it cannot be obtained hereafter. God's day of patience will soon end. Proverbs 1:26, tells us that in the day of judgment, he will laugh at the calamity of the wicked. So now is the time to Kiss the Son, lest he be angry when his wrath is kindled but a little. Ps 1:12.

The careless and those with a distressed conscience are urged to make peace with God.

The world offers all kinds of things that appeal to our fallen nature to give peace, but all those things are lies, and only brings more turmoil. The world says peace, peace but there is no peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The chastisement of our peace was upon Christ, who took the punishment due our sins upon himself. We can now have peace with God, peace with our fellow man and peace with ourselves and our conscience through him.

Then the third thing Jude prayed for his readers, love. Love is a working of the Spirit of God in man by which we are able to return to God a genuine love, and with which we can love one another with a pure, non sensual affection. We will see more of this pure love in v. 3, beloved.

Jude's call shows our responsibility to love God.

Any desire to love God as required by his word must be a work of the Spirit, for we are born sinners who hate God, and will naturally war with him all our lives, unless Grace intervenes.

Jude is referring to love for God in v. 2, but in v. 3, beloved, he refers to pure love one for another, charity.

We will end our short review with this reminder:

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1 John 3:1 ¶ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

Considering the love of God toward us, what excuse do we have for not loving him, and showing that love by keeping his commandments?

Now, the last word here in v. 2:

be multiplied, or increased greatly. Mercy, peace and love are all works of the grace of God in our lives.

Three final points:

I. Why are we to grow in grace?
II. Some observations concerning growth
III. Applications

I. Why are we to grow in grace?

1. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Growth is a command of God.

Where there is life, there will be growth. We all have pictures of our children. How sad would it be if after many years, that child is still the same as in that picture. Imitation Christians do not grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. A real Christian will grow.

When a child does not mature properly, we become very concerned and have that child examined.

When Christina was about 6, we became very concerned about her slow growth. We took her to a specialized children's hospital in Indianapolis, Riley Children's Hospital. They did many test, particularly of the growth plates in her hands. The total of the tests was that she was a xxx rather than the normal female xx. A boy is xy. The result, we were told, would be slow growth, may 3 or more years behind in normal development, and maybe even sterile.

When we see Christians who are not maturing properly, we should be as concerned, and seek how we can help them.

It is not enough to have mercy, peace and love, but they are to be multiplied. What can we do to help those who are not maturing.

2. Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

Those who do not mature and go on from the first principles of the Christian faith are in danger of apostasy, or departing from the faith they profess.

In Matthew 25, the servant who did not work to increase his talent was condemned, and lost what he had.

As Christians, we are rowing upstream against our fallen nature, which is drawn like a magnate to the various false doctrines and false god's of our day. It is impossible to sit still against those strong attractions. We must either increase or decrease in our grace.

How many Christians have departed from the faith and followed the false religious gods operating under the name of Christianity because they did not leave the first principles of the doctrine of Christ? because they did not increase in the knowledge of the Lord?

Certainly, repentance and faith toward Christ is important, but that will not keep one from apostasy. Protection comes from studying and learning the deeper things of the faith.

3. Again, Hebrews 6:1, with conversion comes the desire to go on to perfection.

It has been said, "He was never good who does not desire to grow better". Can there be true holiness without the desire of perfect holiness?

4. Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. We cannot have too much grace, too much love, too much knowledge, too much fear of God. Yet we need to be careful that we do not substitute "righteousness" in actions for righteousness of heart. "Look at how spiritual I am." That is, will worship.

5. God rewards according to our measure of grace. Are there degrees of glory? He who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly.

6. Grace is not given all at once, but by degrees. Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Even the Apostle Paul said he had not attained, Phil. 3.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 And furthermore we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that ye increase more and more, as ye have received of us, how ye ought to walk, and to please God.

7. There is an abundance of Grace for us in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

We can never exhaust the treasures of grace laid up for us by the Triune God.
Romans 10:12, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Titus 3:6.

8. We should learn from our Lord who grew in wisdom and stature. Luke 2:52. He increased according to his age.


9. We should learn from the worldly and even the wicked evil men. The covetous man seeks how to advance himself. He makes it his main work to increase his wealth. He goes to bed late and rises early to gain that increase.

The covetous wicked man puts the child of God to shame in his determination to gain what his heart is set upon.

1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

We should covet the wealth from above at least as much as the wicked covet the wealth from beneath.

We have seen I. Why are we to grow in grace?

Now II. Some observations concerning growth

1. Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

That is, it requires time to grow in grace. Salvation may bring an instant change in an area of life, but growth takes place in an entire change of life style. There are times, however, when it seems that a new convert gets the "whole load", so to speak. But such cases are rare.

We do not run up Jacob's ladder, but, as did Jacob, we go up a rung at a time. It took Jacob 21 years to change from "Deceiver" to "Father of many nations". We cannot expect that change in us nor in others overnight.

2. Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

The plants in God's garden do not look alike, nor do they have the same function, nor do they grow at the same rate.

In other words, each conversion is different; each converted person is different; each converted person matures differently. Though every converted person will grow in grace, they will not grow equally.

3. 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Growth in grace is always accompanied with growth in knowledge of the Lord, the Word of God.

As we have said, If there is no desire to know the Lord better through his word, there is no salvation grace.

Grace will be multiplied through knowledge of God's word.

4. Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

All of Proverbs 4 urges the children of the father to get wisdom and understanding. In other words, we are not looking for new light, that is, new truths; Rather, we are looking for wisdom and understanding into the established truths we already know.

How many false teachers have gained a following by finding "new truths", and developing those "truths" in a way to attract followers?

6. requires a closer look:

Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Our most needed attribute in order that grace may be multiplied to us is faith.

Luke 17:5 And the Apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child crying with tears, said, Lord, I believe: help my unbelief.

Everything that goes on around us works to undermine our faith — Unsaved loved ones; political and social turmoil; health problems.

All of these things and thousands more work to tell us that God cannot or will not fulfill his promises. He must say to us all, O ye of little faith. We must say back to him, Lord, I believe: help thou my unbelief. Or, Lord, increase my faith.


Romans 15:4 tells us that the events recorded in the Old Testament were written for us so we might have patience, comfort and hope, or faith.

Bettie and I have been reading through Genesis, which has many instances of faith. My favorite is the story of Joseph, and how he simply did what he knew was right in the most trying situations. His faith did not falter even when he was sold as a servant and bound in irons. (Gen 45:8. Psalms 105:17 He, God, sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: 18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:)

His faith was rewarded many times over as God exalted him to be a father to Pharaoh, and ruler of all Egypt.

But we do not learn faith from just reading how faith worked in the saints of old. It seems we must learn faith on our own.

Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: or faith.

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

We are told many time over that faith is a result of trials and tribulations. If we want an increase in faith, we must learn to properly deal with the trials and tribulations. Faith continues to do what is right regardless of the discouraging circumstances.

Do we really want to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we really want our faith increased? What are we willing to endure so that our faith will be multiplied? What does it take to discourage us?

Must the Lord say to us, O ye of little faith? What blessings of God does our little faith miss out on?

Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief...

7. 1 Cor. 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

When we grow in grace and knowledge, there is a very real danger of becoming puffed up—becoming proud of our knowledge of the word of God.

8. Four sure signs of growth in grace.

A. More spiritual, 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

B. More solid and sound in judgment: Philippians 1:9 ¶ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

In my younger days as a Christian and being in places of spiritual authority, my decisions were many times rash and foolish. It seems like those days were not long ago, and I hate to think of some of the advice I gave others in those days. But Christian maturity brings with it sounder judgment.

C. More humble: The great Apostle Paul claimed to be the chiefest of sinners, 1 Tim. 1:15, and less than the least of the saints, Eph 3:8.

After all that took place in Job's case, whom God considered to be the most righteous man alive of his day, he had this to say in chapter 42:

1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

When one grows in grace, wisdom and understanding of our God, he will not be lifted up in self-esteem, but will say with Job, I abhor myself...

D. More hunger, more desire for the word of God. 1 Pet 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

We spent three weeks with a house full of boys. Matt and Jennie have 5 boys that are eating machines. They are always hungry. (The wheat down there has not been corrupted as ours has been. Kenya does not allow GMO, though the US has tried to tie any food aid to that country on their acceptance of GMO crops. Wheat down there is truly "the staff of life". And they had a bakery in the house.)

A sure sign of those boys growth is that they are hungry all the time. Christian growth will have a hunger for the strong meat of the word. Hebrews 5:12, 13.

9. 1 Cor. 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

The plants in God's garden require effort, as do plants in our gardens. They must be watered and cared for. Though we may care for a plant to the best of our ability, God is the one who must give the increase. In other words, no matter how much we may "work" to multiply mercy, grace and peace, God must give the increase.

Conclusion to v. 2:

Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

God has an abundance of riches. We should be discontent with the grace we have from the Lord.

Contentment with what we have in the Lord and from the Lord is a sign of hardness of heart; it is a sign of lack of faith.
Contentment shows how far one is from being Christian.
Contentment leads to falling away from communion with the Lord, and disregard for the Christian Sabbath.
Contentment cannot sit still; rather, it goes backwards.

We are to be discontent with our spiritual maturity for we will either grow in grace, or we will fall away from that grace, and return to the old ways from which the Lord delivered us at one time.

We must work at multiplying the mercy, peace and love for the Lord. And we multiply by growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord as revealed in his word.