Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
In verse 3 Jude was directed to address his readers with the term “beloved”. That is a term of endearment. We noted yesterday that Jude was a servant of Jesus Christ. It is a great thing to be a servant of the Saviour of mankind. He knows all about each person. His desire is to bless His children. So many people are missing out on God’s blessings because they refuse to submit to the true God. You cannot make up your own version of God and expect the blessings of the true God.
The common salvation is a reference to the fact that God’s salvation is for all people. Whether Jew or Gentile, male or female; salvation is the same for all. All are born as lost sinners in need of a Saviour. Jesus Christ is the only Saviour.
I was asked the question recently: when did “saved” become an issue. The person assumed it was something fairly new. He was raised in the United church. Among them and many others, salvation is not taught. They are just taught to be good. They are not told that no one can be good without knowing the Prince of Peace, and the Saviour of mankind. We need a change of heart and mind in order to begin to be good. The word “saved” is found 47 times in the Old Testament. The context is not always the same, but it is always talking of being saved from an enemy or by the Lord. The word saved is found 57 times in the New Testament.
The word “salvation” is found 119 times in 115 verses in the Old Testament. It is found 45 times in 43 verses in the New Testament. The very first time the word salvation is found in the Bible it is in reference to God’s salvation in Genesis 49:18. That is during the fledgling time of the nation of Israel. It is used there in a prophetic manner by Israel (Jacob) regarding his son Dan. Saved and salvation is certainly not a new concept. It is true that many religions do not talk about salvation. They are offended by the thought. They would rather try to coerce their people to bow to their manner of works. Most people want to work at being good so they can brag about it. God’s salvation removes all human rights to boasting. A person needs to be truly humble to be saved by God. That is not works. That is a turning to God in brokenness and seeking His salvation on His terms, not ours.
In our text, Jude was concerned about others and as a servant of Jesus Christ, he desired to help saints to be strengthened in the faith. Jude did not write on a whim. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. God was directing Jude in his writing. He needed to write to the saints and exhort them to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.
True faith was once delivered unto the saints. A lost person does not trust in God. They might talk about god, but again, their god is not the God of the Bible. They have a mystical god who they trust for certain things and when it does not work out they determine that their god had a plan for evil to happen. The saints are those who trust in the true God for His salvation. They are not without sin, but as God said of Noah, he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The word translated as “exhort” means to “call near, implore”. Christians can never be complacent. Christians have a duty to know the truth and encourage others to know the truth. This exhortation involves more than the words that come out of our mouths. We have noted before that Peter was a good talker prior to Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. He knew how to act brave, but he was not very brave. He changed in Acts 2, but still had some false doctrine that needed to be purged from his mind, heart, and actions.
There are people who are physically quite lazy, but they like to act as spiritual counsellors to others. If you do not want to live in obedience to God’s Word, you need to repent and get right with God and become obedient to Him.
Jude was directed to challenge the saints to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. Notice that the faith here is not some evolving thing. Biblical faith is rooted in the Bible. Biblical faith is defined in Genesis 15:6 in the context of Abraham. He believed God. Biblical faith is not some feeling. It is a trust in God. Biblical faith is that trust in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Biblical faith does not allow for any other philosophy or idea to distract from belief in God. True, Biblical faith is unadulterated faith in God for salvation and for life.
Adam was promised a Redeemer as a gift from God through the woman. The devil was warned that this Redeemer would bruise his head. Job knew that his Redeemer was alive and he also knew he would see the true Redeemer in the flesh. Job believed in the resurrection of the saints. Jesus Christ had not yet come to this earth at that time. Yet, Job had the faith once delivered unto the saints. He trusted God’s Word. He did not need to see Jesus Christ to believe that God would provide a Redeemer for him and for all. Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God. He was looking for a city which hath foundations. He did not want some mythology. He wanted reality. He wanted that faith that has substance. Abraham and all other saints that have died are in heaven today and resting in Jesus Christ. Their bodies will be raised up one day and they will dwell in the new Jerusalem.
It is important to note that only the saints can have this faith. Lost people cannot have it. They must turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Jesus told Nicodemus:
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
It is impossible for a lost person to see the kingdom of God and it is also impossible for a lost person to enter into the kingdom of God. A person’s spiritual eyes need to be opened to the truth. The heart needs to be awakened to the truth. God desires to do this for all. God does not support the Calvinist position at all. That is heresy. Don’t try to find some kind of justification for heresy. Reject it and believe the truth. Be blessed by the truth.
For those who know the true God, the exhortation is to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. You cannot do that when you do not obey God and get into a good church where you can be fed and then go and feed others. You cannot isolate yourself from the fellowship of the saints. It is true that good churches are becoming less and less. I was sent a statistic recently that stated that 4,000 churches closed their doors in 2020. 4,500 closed their doors in 2021. Over 20,000 pastors left the ministry. The statistic did not specify what type of churches they were or what type of pastors they were. Most likely most, if not all, were apostate anyway.
The fact is that there are less and less good churches today. However, Jesus is not a liar. He promised that He would build His church upon Himself and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. That is a promise of Jesus Christ. I believe that promise. Until the rapture takes place, there will be true churches on this earth. Church history tells us that Christians met in the bush in times past because they were hunted down like dogs. Many were murdered for trusting in the true God. We are not there yet. If true Christians will contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, God will bless their faithfulness. If true Christians refuse to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, they will be chastened by the Lord. His will is to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. Be obedient and enjoy His blessings.