Is God Able To Keep You From Falling?
Nov 24, 2016 4507
I know you’re meant to just love every single bit of the Bible, but here’s is a verse from the Bible with which I’ve had a love-hate relationship for ages…
To him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24, KJV).
I love it because it is a promise that God will present me before his throne without fault, not just grudgingly, but with great joy!
But I hated it because I have never understood how that promise was to be fulfilled. You see, I always understood it to be referring to stumbling into temptation. And my problem was that I was always stumbling into temptation. So I couldn’t understand how it was that God wasn’t keeping his promise! But when you see what I have learned, you will never look at this verse in the same way ever again!
The Greek word that is translated here as “falling” in the KJV is better translated as “stumbling” (NKJV, NIV, etc.). This word is never used in relation to temptation or to sin in the entire New Testament; basically because it is the only time that it is used in the whole New Testament. So you have to look at its context in the little book of Jude in order to see to what it is referring.
In verse 20, Jude is telling the readers to build themselves up in faith, and in verse 21, Jude tells them to keep themselves in God’s love. Verse 22 is a warning against not doubting. So, as Jude concludes in verse 24, it is clear that the “stumbling” that he is talking about is any stumbling in the walk of faith. He is not saying that Christians never sin, or that it is promised to them that they will reach such a condition this side of eternity.
Jude says that God is able to present us faultless before the throne of God. The Bible never says that that will happen because we will stop sinning. Not at all!
Have You Got Your Robe On?
In fact the Bible also talks about people who specifically stated as being presented “without fault before the throne of God” in Rev 14:5. This is symbolised by their wearing white robes (Rev 7:9). However, here in Revelation, we get to find out specifically how they are able to stand spotless before the throne, because the question is asked,
Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from? (Rev 7:13).
And here is the answer:
They have washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. 15 This is the reason they are before God’s throne (Rev 7:14–15, CEB).
Yes, God can certainly present us faultless before his throne. But we cannot present ourselves as faultless there, even a little bit faultless! It’s God who does it, by cleansing our lives in the blood of the Lamb.
Our “faultlessness” only comes to be when God accounts us as faultless because our sins are forgiven. That happens when through faith we accept God’s gift of the blood that he shed on our behalf. When we do that, we are counted as faultless. And that’s the only way.
And from now to eternity, God has promised that if you want him to do it, he is able to keep our faith in Christ’s atoning blood strong, so that we won’t stumble in our faith.
Now that I understand it, I love Jude 24! – Eliezer Gonzalez