Sunday School Material 4-10-11: Praise Builds Us Up
(Jude 17-25; 4/10/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that believers should counter mockers with building up their faith. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to build one another up in our faith based faithfulness.
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Read Jude 17-19
I. A Reminder. In today's Sunday School material Jude talks about how the Apostles talked about mockers coming in the last days (i.e., the entire church age).
The mockers will be known for walking after their own lusts. They are known for causing separations and not having the Holy Spirit.
- Reminding one another of sound doctrine. Notice in vs. 17 in today's Sunday School material the idea of remembering the sound doctrine that has been taught.
In order for this to be a reality, several things must be in place. First, the church ought to be a place of passing on sound doctrine.
This may best be accomplished when there are loving relationships among those in the church (notice how Jude refers to the readers as "beloved").
Second, the church ought to be a place where we also remind one another of what has already been said. Those who need to always hear something new can become rather bored with the church, because we keep saying what God has already said.
We may find different ways of saying it, but at the core, our message is not changing.
Third, no matter what the church does, the individual has to receive the message and remember it as needed. Preaching, teaching, and encouraging doesn't work too well with absent members.
Let's work on doing our part in reminding one another about sound doctrines.
At the core of Christian doctrine are the matters of accepting Jesus as one's savior by faith and then living lives focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Mockers. Notice in vss. 18-19 of this section of the Sunday School material the mockers. These are trouble makers found in and around the church or congregation.
They are led by their own desires and known for causing division or separation. They don't have the Holy Spirit, which means they are not saved, since all who are saved have the Holy Spirit.
Let's work to keep mockers from causing trouble in our churches.
Working on being strong disciples, encouraging others to be strong disciples, being aware that mockers exist, and standing against the influence of mockers are strong steps in the right direction.
Read Jude 20-23
II. An Exhortation. Jude goes on to urge his readers to build themselves up in the faith in this section of the Sunday School material. Prayer is encouraged. Staying in the love and mercy of God is urged. And different people call for different approaches.
- Building one another up in the faith. Notice in vss. 20-21 the idea of building ourselves up in the faith. In other words, we should work on our faithfulness in obeying God's word, based on our faith in God.
We learned from the Sunday School material that such faithfulness should be known for praying in the Spirit. This is praying with the desire that the Holy Spirit would change what we say into what should be said (see Rom. 8:26-27).
It is praying with the desire for God's perfect will to be done. Such faithfulness includes staying in the love of God. That is living in such a way that God will act kind and merciful towards our obedience, instead of having God punishing our sinfulness.
Let's work on building one another up in the faith. This is primarily a matter of living out the spirit of "Each Reach One." That is, we need to be disciples and reach out to help others be disciples.
- Ministering to different types of people. Notice in vss. 22-23 of the Sunday School material that some people need compassion and others need snatching.
With the former, there are those who don't need you to quote scripture to them and beg them to come to church. They need your Christian example and your willingness to love them as they are with an occasional invitation.
But for the latter, they need a more aggressive approach, because their demise may be right around the corner. Think about a hot headed impulsive teenage boy or a "loose" teenage girl. It is reasonable to ask, how are we to know what to do with whom?
The answer may be found in James 1:5. We can ask God for wisdom. Let's seek the wisdom and courage to minister to people according to God's will. Ministry is not a one size fit all situation.
Read Jude 24-25
III. A Doxology. A beautiful doxology (i.e., an expression or hymn of praise) is given in this section of the Sunday School material.
God is referred to as the One who is able to keep us from falling and present us faultless. Glory, majesty, and power are to be His lot in life. God is to enjoy these things both now and forever.
- Praise God. Notice in vss. 24-25 of today's Sunday School material that God deserves our praise and we should praise Him.
The text teaches that God is worthy of our praise because of His ability to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before Himself (because Jesus paid for our sins/faults) as well as His being the only wise God and savior.
Because God is all of that and so much more, we are to praise Him. We are to call forth glory, majesty, dominion, and power for Him. We are to brag on Him and acknowledge how great He is. We are to express our admiration of and allegiance to Him.
Let's work on consciously praising God for who He is. A product of our praising God is that we often encourage one another.
And conversely, when we are non-demonstrative in worship (i.e., dead and dry), we fail to encourage one another and sometimes discourage one another.
Conclusion: Let’s work on building one another up in our faith based faithfulness. God has much for those who obey His will.
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