Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
The book of Jude is a rather small book. It was written about 66 AD. God directed Jude to write and warn saints about the apostasy that was already present in his day and would continue until God would put a stop to it at some point in the future.
The Bible is clear in teaching that the heart of man is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked. The fall of man was the greatest disaster that could ever have happened. The mercy of God provides the only way for man to be redeemed from this disaster.
Jude was directed to begin this letter by giving a little information about himself. He identified himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for “servant” here speaks of a “bond servant.” A bond servant is one who gives up his rights for the purpose of being used by God for his glory. Every true saint should be a servant of Jesus Christ. He bought us with His precious blood. True saints serve Jesus Christ because the love of God is in them. As we will see, it is not a dreaded place to be. It is important to know who you are and what your place is in life. It is important to be a servant of Jesus Christ. It is a blessing to be a servant of Jesus Christ.
Jude also identified himself as a brother of James. There were three men with the name of Judas who were mentioned in the New Testament. Jude is another form of the name Judas. We know of Judas Iscariot. He is the one who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. He later committed suicide and has his place in hell. Jesus also chose another Judas as one of His disciples. Jesus also had a half brother named Judas. Joseph and Mary had children together after the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We do not know for sure which Jude this was. It is likely that this is Jesus’ half brother since he does not identify himself as an apostle. Jesus also had a half brother named James.
Jude was directed to write to those who are sanctified by God the Father. Jude was writing to saints. Saints are made holy by God the Father. Saints are different from the world. Saints need to be warned and reminded of the importance of walking humbly and faithfully with the Lord. This was necessary in the first century and it is still necessary today.
The Catholics have their “saints”. They are lost people who have been elevated by a corrupt religion. They have not been made holy by God because they reject the true God. They are more interested in worshipping Mary than God. They reject the efficacy of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation. Jude is not writing about them. He is writing to those who are truly saved through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice as well that saints are preserved in Jesus Christ. It is important to note that saints are watched over or guarded by Jesus Christ. God wants His children to serve Him faithfully all their days. He does not want His children to be on a roller coaster ride. There needs to be a steadiness and a progression to greater holiness. Having Jesus Christ as Saviour provides for that. True Christians are not left to fend for themselves. They have a Father who makes them holy and they have a Saviour who watches over them to keep them in the right way.
True saints are also called. Jesus called twelve disciples early on in His ministry. One of them was a devil and he ended his life tragically. Saul was called by Jesus Christ as the replacement and the true twelfth disciple. His name was changed to Paul to reflect authority and ownership. At salvation he belonged to God. Christians are privileged in being called to serve the true and living God.
It is a privilege to be known by God the Father and by Jesus Christ. It is good to belong to the true God. So many are drifting along aimlessly. Many are dying without purpose. They are dying of drug overdoses and in despair.
Jude was directed to declare God’s mercy and peace and love upon the saints. We are saved by God’s mercy. We also walk as His children according to His mercy. We fail God so often, but He is merciful and restores His errant child. He does not shrug off our sin, but He is willing to forgive it. There are consequences to sin, but forgiveness is granted to the repentant saint. It is better not to sin and those who are saved want to be free from the bondage and stain of sin.
God’s peace is essential as well. It is a blessing to be able to live in such a way as to be at peace with God. We need that peace and we can be blessed with that peace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The true child of God is also blessed to live within the love of God. His love is what reached out to save us. His love is also there to guide and direct the true child of God in his or her walk with God. It is because of love that saints are preserved in Jesus Christ. True love cares about the spiritual well-being of the person. It is not an emotional and fleshly thing. It is a desire to see a person know the Lord and serve Him and be at peace with Him.
Notice that Jude was directed to desire these to be multiplied. God is not in short supply of any of these blessings. He wants His children to have an abundance of them in their lives. What a blessing to be reminded of these important gifts from the merciful and loving God and Saviour.
God gave us this information about Jude in preparation for the important message that He has for us. We will look at this message in the days to come.