Wise words from brother Jude

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Jude only wrote one short letter in the New Testament, yet his words drip wisdom just as relatable today as when penned. He was the younger half-brother of Jesus, the full brother of James (Matthew 13:55), and a non-believer until Jesus resurrection (John 7:5; Acts 1:14). Jude is the only New Testament letter given wholly to confronting those deserting Christ while remaining in church attendance. These pretend believers spread their disbelief and sin like malignant cancer (Jude :4, 8, 10-13, 16-19).

Wise words from brother JudeWhat’s unusual about this short letter, is that Jude changed his mind as to the subject he would write about. “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude :3). Jude’s passion was to write of the salvation that all believers shared in Christ. However, Jude knew the more urgent matter was to exhort his readers to “contend for the faith.” Notice that Jude does not say “for their faith.” The primary thing being challenged by these fraudulent people was not their personal expression of belief.

No, these troublemakers were attempting to change the very nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This other gospel included a host of the worst sins imaginable being portrayed as acceptable behaviour. So, Jude wisely begins by placing three foundational, unmovable, doctrinal truths on a pedestal to encourage and affirm the saints. “…To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” (Jude :1b). Sovereign election, adoption, and sovereign security.

Confused, struggling believers need, as we all do, the rock-solid truth which “the faith” stands on. The apostle Paul penned a similar verse with the same truths, which will assist our understanding of Jude’s choice of words. Romans 8:30; “those whom he (God) predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Those God calls to salvation have already been predestined by God for salvation. I suspect John Calvin would refer to this as ‘Irresistible grace,’ when the Lord opens the eyes of blind sinners to salvation in Christ alone by faith alone.

Paul and Jude assure Christians; since you are called by God, understand that God has personally taken full responsibility through predestination to ensure you arrive through the gospel at faith in Christ. The Almighty has left nothing to chance, his invitation to you was not wasted, you responded in faith as intended.

Next Jude affirms that those who are ‘called’ arrive in the most privileged relationship imaginable, justified as beloved in God. The sinner is declared innocent through faith in Jesus substitutional death, and the Father welcomes them not as an enemy but as beloved children. What a breath-taking transition, from cursed to beloved. Christian, it does not get any better than this!

Finally, Jude tells the weary believers that they are “kept for Jesus Christ.” What God begins; He finishes. We sinners could not get ourselves saved, we cannot keep ourselves saved, and we cannot deliver ourselves at salvations destination, which is in Christ in heaven. God the Father intentionally designed every step of our salvation with the predetermined goal of glorification. So, we conclude with the reassuring words of Paul; “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

I encourage you to praise God for the certainty you have in Christ. From His calling to an unchangeable glorification prepared in heaven with His Son, you are safe in Christ.

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