“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ; may mercy, peace, and love be multiplied for you.” Jude 1-2
This short 25 Verse book is often overlooked in our Bible studies but it has an amazing litany of encouragement for us. We don’t know to whom the book was written or the exact date it was written, but its theme is undeniable.
In verse 3 he makes it clear that his intentions in writing were quite different from the present content of the book. He writes, “Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
Jude had wanted to write to the people about strengthening their faith in Christ, but because of false Christians (v. 4) he had to change the tone of the letter.
The book becomes a plea to “contend for the faith” and not to give in to the false teachers, heresy, and unbiblical teachings. The rest of the book gives an insight into the kind of people who were infesting the church and infecting the people with their destructive practices and corrupt morality.
However, what I want to look at in this post is verse two. Before we begin, I find it interesting that Jude is the brother of James but the servant of Jesus. Since James was Jesus’ half-brother and Jude was James brother then he would automatically be Jesus half-brother as well.
Jude was willing to associate with his famous brother, but he could only fall on his face before Jesus, his Lord and Savior. Jesus was much more than a family member to Jude, He was the incarnate God who came to save His people from their sins. The concept of servant in verse one means slave.
Jude tells us three things in verse one that are of vital importance for us as Christians. First, we are called. This is not the idea of our being called up on the phone by someone, however. The word used has the meaning of a summons. When you receive a summons to appear in court for instance, it is not a suggestion, it is a command. Jesus has called us, summoned us to hear His voice.
Secondly, Jude says we are, “beloved in God the Father.” We are summoned to put our trust in Jesus redeeming act at Calvary and God’s amazing love for us. So many Christians believe God doesn’t love them and that He is out to get them. They think that He keeps all their sins locked up in Heaven and can haul them out at anytime He feels like it to condemn them.
But, Jude writes we are, “beloved in God the Father.” The Father has a crazy love for us that never lets us go or abandons us or casts us aside. His love is everlasting and all encompassing.
Listen, God doesn’t love us because Jesus died for us, Jesus died for us because the Father loved us. When Jesus died on the cross it was so much more than paying the penalty for sin, it was a declaration of absolute, unmovable, never-changing love for humanity.
Did Jesus become my substitute and take my place in death so I cold live? Absolutely! But, the reason for that sacrifice runs much deeper than fulfilling the curse of the law for sin. It was an outpouring of God’s love.
God loves you, so live in the delight of that reality. When everything bad in the world seems to crash down upon you, hold onto that love. When Jesus pours His love out to you, accept it and bask in all that He gives you. The greatest gift God gives us is assurance of our salvation through Him.
Thirdly, Jude says we are kept for Jesus Christ. In verse six Jude tells us the Angels that rebelled are kept in eternal chains until the judgment. What a contrast to those who are called through the love of the Father. We are kept in Christ. We are assured of our place, our redemption, and our connection to God through His love for us.
There is nothing I can do to save myself and there is nothing I can do to earn the Father’s love because I have it already. And that very love that was proven and provided at Calvary keeps me in Christ. As long as I keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus I am assured of my redemption because the God who loves me wildly says so. (See John 3:16)
* Please take the time to read some of the stories of Christians who are experiencing persecution for their total commitment to Christ. They need our support and prayers.. http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…