Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Show Mercy

Jude 1:20-23 (ESV)
But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; [21] keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. [22] And have mercy on those who doubt; [23] save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
I can’t ignore this either. Here Jude, whoever he is (very well could be the brother of James, or the half brother of Christ, neither of which makes him an apostle), shows himself to be a true Christian concerned for the true unity of the Christian church. He instructs his readers to be Christians, to build not tear down, but to build themselves up in the holy faith, to pray for each other.
More so he says have mercy on those who doubt. There is a humble spirit that comes with being a Christian that does not boast, but has mercy. Our salvation is no credit to us. Our concern should be with saving others, snatching them out of the fire, not to show them wrong for the purpose of showing them up. It isn’t about one-upmanship. Sometimes I think we in the LCMS could use a little more of that spirit. Too often it seems as if infighting is some sort of mark of the church or something among us. It shouldn’t be that way.
Tell you the truth. That is the one thing I admire most about Bo Giertz. He contended for the faith. He did. He took abuse and insult for it. And yet when he went to write, when he went to preach there was a spirit of mercy that permeated even his sharpest rebukes. You could see that his goal was always to bring his opponent over, to win his opponents over, to snatch people out of the fire. He cared, and loved the sheep entrusted to him. He sought to edify them. As I get ready to do my masters on his work, this is the reason I find it important. I don’t always have that spirit, and wish I did. I get heated in debate, and am not always as charitable as I should be. I admire that about Bo Giertz, though I fail to emulate it. If a mantle were to fall from chariots of fire… I would want it to have that spirit accompanying it.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...


So you know, this moving through Jude has been some of the best stuff I have read. Period. Excellent job, and I thank you for the benefit it has been to me.

Bror Erickson said...

Thanks Eric.

mollo said...

"to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. "

What does that mean, what's an example of mercy with fear, hating what?

I must also agree with Rev. Brown, Jude is much more of a fiery preacher than I'd ever thought. There's just so much passion in all he says. I've really enjoyed it too.

mollo said...

PS It's way too late in the morning and this may make perfect sense to me when I wake up.

Bror Erickson said...

Does it make sense yet Mollo?

mollo said...

LOL Nope, sorry.

Bror Erickson said...

Well Mollo,
My guess is that he is saying don't go so far as to join in the sin of the people you are showing mercy to. Love the sinner hate the sin.