“Doxology” was written by Thomas Ken, an Anglican clergyman. Ken was born in 1637, and was orphaned at an early age. He then went to live with his half-sister, Anne, and her husband Izaak Walton. When Ken was fourteen years old, he entered Winchester College, and four years later began studies at Oxford. He later returned to Winchester College as the chaplain to the bishop. While there, he wrote prayers and hymns that were often adopted by schools and churches. In 1674, Ken wrote The Doxology.
Ken established an excellent reputation at Winchester, and was eventually appointed chaplain to King Charles II. When the king decided to visit Winchester, he sent word to Ken that Nell Gwynne, the king’s mistress, was to be lodged at Ken’s house. Ken not only mounted loud objections, but also hired workmen to remove the roof to his house so that the king could not enforce Nell’s lodgment there. In that time and place, an act of rebellion against the king could cost a person his head, but King Charles was impressed with Ken’s courage. Not only did he allow Ken to live, but he even appointed him sometime later to be the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Some years later, Ken was one of seven bishops who refused to sign King James’ Declaration of Indulgence; an attempt to bring Anglicans back under Rome. For this act of rebellion, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London –– but he was later tried and acquitted. He was not able to return as a Bishop and spent the remaining years of his life in poverty. He died of natural causes in March 19, 1711 and by his request, was carried to his grave by six of the poorest men of his local parish.
Jude provides a doxology that his readers may do the same; further he offers 2 reasons why we worship God.
Beloved, our God is able.
Jude ends his letter with a doxology. The word “doxology” is a Greek compound word of glory (δόξα: doxa) and word (λόγος: logos). A doxology is a glorious word/message about God that typically would praise God for both His actions and His character.
There are two actions of God’s ability (δύναμαι) that Jude references
- to keep you from stumbling.
Jude bookends his letter with God’s ability to keep our salvation (1:1; 1:24). The latter instance carries a more significant meaning beyond keeping watch (τηρέω) to keeping guard (φυλάσσω); humans can keep watch but only God can guard.
Jude maintains the balance of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. God grants us faith and the fortitude to persevere. God keeps our salvation while simultaneously we are commanded to “keep ourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:24). We keep ourselves in God’s love by 3 actions:
- building up in the most holy faith (1:20)
- praying in the Holy Spirit (1:20)
- waiting on the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:21)
Ultimately, our entire life and salvation is in His hands.
Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
2Timothy 1:12 “I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.”
Some in Jude’s audience had stumbled and fallen away from following Jesus.
- Scoffers who deny Jesus (Jude 1:4, 1:10-11)
- Scoffers who indulge immorality (Jude 1:7-8)
- Scoffers who divide God’s people (Jude 1:19)
- Scoffers who are devoid of the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:19)
- to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy
Jude notes God’s ability to present you [make you stand] blameless [without blemish or fault]. The believer is able to stand with Jesus as blameless (Heb 9:14; 1Peter 1:19), and be declared holy & blameless (Eph 1:4), without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless (Eph 5:27; also Col 1:22).
à God is able to remove your shame, your sin, and your judgment sentence of guilt.
– – – Consider the fact that God knows everything about you but can still find you faultless in His holy presence. God knows it is not true unless you are found in Christ.
– – – Consider your household needs to regularly remove the garbage. No one should remain comfortable with garbage build up in one’s home. Likewise, the Christian is to regularly repent and remove the garbage.
God is able because He has all power. Today’s world is familiar with unprecedented power.
- Power engines to pull freight trains across hundreds of miles.
- Power engines to lift airplanes carrying hundreds of passengers and cargo
- Power engines to launch shuttles into space.
- Power electricity to light entire cities and fuel grids of sophisticated electronics.
- Power athletes
- power hitters in baseball
- power runners in football
- power forwards in basketball
- power weight-lifters
- power drinks: Gatorade, Power-Aid
All these are power resources, whereas God is the ultimate power source. God’s power cannot be compared or competed. God is the Almighty and the Omni-potent – possessing complete, full, infinite and perfect power. Nothing is too difficult or impossible for God (Gen 18:14; Jer 32:17; Lk 1:37; Mk 10:27).
God is able
- to give much (2Chronicles 25:9)
- to reveal mysteries (Daniel 2:47)
- to rescue like no other (Daniel 3:17, 29; 6:20)
- to humble (Daniel 4:37)
- to raise up children to praise him (Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8)
- to open the eyes of the blind and heal every disease (Matthew 9:28)
- to resurrect from the dead (Matthew 26:61; Hebrews 11:19)
- to build you up and give you an inheritance (Acts 20:32)
- to do and fulfill His promises (Romans 4:21)
- to make you stand (Romans 14:4)
- to strengthen you (Romans 16:25)
- to help in our time of need (1Cor 10:13; Heb 4:13)
- to make grace abound to supply all our needs (2Corinthians 9:8)
- to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
- to equip you with armor to withstand evil (Ephesians 6:13)
- to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:18)
- to save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25)
- to judge, save and also to destroy (James 4:12)
- to keep you from stumbling (Jude 1:24; cf John 10:29; Romans 8:39; 2Timothy 1:12)
- to present you blameless before the presence of God (Jude 1:24)
- to open doors that no one can shut (Revelation 3:8)
- Jude says we have great joy at God’s able power. Therefore, God’s power is released through joyous faith.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” (2Chronicles 16:9)
Beloved, our God is worthy.
Not only does Jude praise God for His actions but also for His nature.
- He is our only God …. [wise; like Rom 16:27; 1Tim 1:17]
Jude says that God is our only God. This is an emphasis on God’s exclusiveness.
à Can you say God is your only God?
- Is this seen in the way you spend your time?
- Have you spent time with God each day in prayer/Scripture?
- Have you spent time sharing your faith this week?
- Is this seen in the way you share your talents?
- Have you served God with your skills and spiritual gifts?
- Is your commitment to service more evident than your commitment to entertainment, music, health, sports, even your children’s activities…?
- Is this seen in the way you spend your treasures (money)?
- Have you contributed to God’s church?
- Have you adopted a mission? (through church or beyond…
Compassion, Missionaries, OCC, … )
- Our church seeks to identify these as a model for you… but we are not comprehensive.
- He is our Savior through Jesus Christ, our Lord
Jude says our worship belongs to God and Jesus Christ our Lord. Undoubtedly, Jude is affirming the deity of Jesus.
à Is Jesus your only Savior?
- What circumstance was your high/low of week? What does this reveal about your hopes and desires?
- When you faced trial/trouble, where did you turn? Was it food… entertainment or exercise… another person?
- When you experienced accomplishment, how did you show gratitude? Did you seek recognition by telling someone else… did you seek gratification through vice (liquor, lust…)?
- God and Jesus belong glory, majesty, dominion, and authority (cf 1Chronicles 29:11; Rev 4:11, 5:13, 19:1)
- glory (doxa: δόξα): meaning honor, significance, weight/heaviness.
à What has glory in your life?
- majesty (megalōsynē: μεγαλωσύνη): meaning greatness (mega)
- glory (doxa: δόξα): meaning honor, significance, weight/heaviness.
à How do you measure greatness?
- dominion (kratos: κράτος): meaning might, strength, power
à Do you show dominion through service to others or promoting your strengths?
- authority (exousia: ἐξουσία): meaning the right and privilege to power
à Who guides your life decisions – both the every day ones and the major life impacts?
- before all time (past) and now (present), and forever (future).
- It is sure… so it will be… The word is a declarative statement of accomplishment.
“Leading Generations” is our way of saying amen. The way we love God and love others is multiplied into every area of life and in our world.
Leading Generations is about life transformation. It is moving from head to heart to hands.
“the gap holding back most believers is not the gap between what they know and what they don’t know. It’s the gap between what they know and what they’re living. Many Christians are…educated beyond their obedience(emphasis mine).”
- Now to Him…
- Now to us…
- Now to remember the gospel in the Lord’s Supper
 Biographical info from: http://www.lectionary.org/HymnStories/Doxology.htm and http://christianheritagefellowship.com/bishop-thomas-ken-1637-1711/
 Dave Browning, Deliberate Simplicity (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), Kindle Electronic Edition: Location 515-18.