Today, I would like to share some things about Jude.
“to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”
Who is Jude?
The book of Jude is a small letter and that is like Jude. Jude is humble as he tells people who he is, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.” Jude is actually the brother of Jesus. And I would guess, that Jude made himself apart from Jesus, because Jesus is the Son of God, and Jude wants to simply serve his Lord.
We can take something from this, to be humble and serve the Lord. Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
This book is parallel to 2 Peter 2, with the same ideas and wordings.
Why are they so similar?
One idea could be that they talked together about this or even helped each other to write these. Another idea could be that Peter wrote his letter before Jude, and then Jude expounded more upon some ideas, or vice versa.
The main thing is about theses letters is that they have a united front against threats in the world.
Who is Jude writing to?
Nobody knows specifically who Jude is writing to! His audience could be Gentile Christians in Turkey, or Jewish Christians. We only know from verse 1, “to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” To Christians.
Here is a triplet: “sanctified”, “preserved”, “and called”. And I would like to meditate briefly on this triplet.
First there is the word, “sanctified” this means to “set apart”. Christ asks the Father for us to be set apart from sin. “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (John’s gospel 17: 15 -19, NKJ) We are sanctified by the Truth, by reading the Word of God every day, remembering what God has done for us. But not only that but keeping ourselves in the light and love of God, in his glorious presence.
The next word, “preserved” means to be kept. Many people knew what it was like to be preserved. (for example) The children of Israel say, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed.” (Joshua 24:17) And David also knew, “Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.“(Psalm 37:27-29) We are preserved every day, every year, for all eternity in God’s love and care.
Then the last of this triplet, “called” – 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” What a blessing that God calls us. I am thinking of how Jesus called the first disciples: “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19, 9:9, John 1:43), and the call is still the same today. What is our response? In Sunday School we sing a song: ‘Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus: anywhere, everywhere, I will follow on’. Is that your response?
There is another triplet of words in verse 2, (NKJ) “Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” Jesus has these attributes. He is merciful, peaceful, and loving. Psalm 37:26, “He is ever merciful“. 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace.” John 14:21, “And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
What is Jude’s purpose for writing?
He tells why he is writing in verses 3+4, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” He is writing because of these men, these false teachers. Warning the Christians about them. We too should be aware of them. But we’re not going to go into this warning about the false teachers.
Let’s instead take something from this phrase, “to contend earnestly for the faith“. There is two routes this word “contend” can take us.
The first is of a race, having to race for the finish line, the apostle Paul, says something about this. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Paul commands the Corinthians to “Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” This is an imperative, and imperatives are commanding statements. We also should “Run“, but in what way?
Well Hebrews 12 tells us how we should run. (Verse 1 +2) “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
What is this prize? Is it just a gold medal? By these verses, it isn’t just a gold medal but “an imperishable crown.” This means an eternal crown, one that will not fade away. Paul also says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Here is repetition, “I press” It emphasizes that we should “press on” and “press toward” God’s “goal” for us, and even going through the hard times. But as we are running we should be “looking unto Jesus” because he has suffered more than us, he knows what it’s like.
But the other route, is more like a conquest, a contest, a battle. As Paul writes to Timothy, he tells him what confession every Christian should have. “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.”
We should also have on the armour of God, (Ephesians 6: 11 -18) “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints“
We can see the repetition of “stand“, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 +14, NIV) Paul repeats this to emphasize that this is important. He also commands them to do this, “Stand therefore” with an imperative statement, making sure the reader gets the idea in their head.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen”