Saints Among Apostates
8 July 2018 AM – Jude 1:1-2 – Jude18 – Scott Childs
Introduction: (2 Timothy 4:3) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” We see this happening in churches today. Many who once claimed to be Christian now reject Christ totally. Others claim that all religions lead to the same god. “Christians are inviting Muslims, Jews, Hindus, American Indian practitioners of ‘native religion,’ and others to join in worshiping ‘the one true god, regardless of the name you may give to him or her.’” Christinprophecy.org 2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us there will be a falling away or apostasy before the Rapture. Jude wrote to warn us about apostasy.
Transition: After a brief introduction, I want to point out several truths you need to know about the saints.
1. Introduction to Jude
a. The author Jude
1) The author identifies himself as Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James. James was the pastor of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15), and the half-brother of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 13:55) “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” Though there is some debate over the identity of this Jude, most commentators agree that he must have been the half-brother of Jesus, yet he humbly called himself the servant of Jesus Christ.
2) Jude wanted to write about salvation, but the Holy Spirit led his to warn about apostasy. The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines apostasy as “An abandonment of what one has professed; a total desertion, or departure from one’s faith or religion.” I do not believe a true Christ can reject Christ and become an apostate, but he may be led astray if he is not careful.
b. The recipients
1) Jude describes the recipients but he does not clearly identify them. They were probably believing Jews or Proselytes as Jude assumes they were familiar with characters and events in the Old Testament (New Testament Commentary 359).
2) Jude may have written this book about 70-80 A.D.
2. Jude Wrote to Saints Among Apostates
Jude describes the saints with three words (v.1)
a. Saints are called
1) The word “called” is an adjective (it describes a noun). He was writing to “the called ones.”
2) McGee said it well. “The word called, as it is used in Scripture, is not only an invitation that is sent out, but it is an invitation that is sent out and accepted and made real because of the Spirit of God.” God has sent out his invitation to salvation and all who answer the invitation are the called.
3) The false teachers and apostates of whom Jude wrote had at one time claimed to answer God’s call to salvation, but their lives showed that they had never truly been saved.
b. Saints are sanctified by God the Father
1) Sanctified means to be set apart from sin unto God’s service. The Lord told Paul that sanctification was a result of salvation. (Acts 26:18) “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” When you got saved, God cleansed your heart and gave you the Holy Spirit that you might serve him.
2) The grammar of this word literally means “having been sanctified.” God the Father sanctifies believers at salvation and that never changes.
3) However, it is important to note that the Bible speaks of three stages of Christian sanctification. Initial sanctification takes place the moment of salvation at which time God makes the sinner holy in his sight ((1 Corinthians 6:11) “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”; Heb 10:10, 1 Pet 1:2). This never changes, thus assuring the believer of eternal life. Progressive sanctification continues throughout the Christian’s life on earth as the Christian separates from sin through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1) “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”; Rom 6:1‑11; 2 Pet 1:5‑8; 3:18). Those who refuse to separate from sin and progress in holiness become carnal (1 Cor 3) and will lose rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:15; 2 Cor 5:10). Final sanctification will take place the moment the Christian enters the presence of the Lord (2 Peter 1:4) “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”; 1 The 3:13; 5:23; 1 Jn 3:2; Php 3:20, 21) (Bancroft 266-7). At that moment, we shall be changed completely that we might live holy for eternity (1 Cor 15:51-54).
c. Saints are preserved in Jesus Christ
1) Again, the grammar of the word “preserved” literally means, “having been preserved.” They had been and still were preserved in Christ Jesus.
2) Preserved means guarded, kept, and cared for. Jesus Christ is not going to lose anyone who has received his salvation. True believers are in his protective care.
3) Jesus Christ saves us by his grace (Eph 2:8) and he keeps us also by his grace (John 5:24; 10:28-30). The believer does not have to “hold on tight” lest he slip and fall from salvation. Jude uses the same word four other times. In Jude 1:6, it is translated “kept” and “reserved.” In Jude 1:13 it is “reserved.” In Jude 1:21 it is “keep.” Using a different word, Jude assures us that Christ is able to keep us from falling (1:24). Though Christ keeps us saved, He does not keep our lives sinless. We are responsible for depending upon the Holy Spirit for victory over daily temptations. If we fail, we lose rewards, not our eternal life (1 Cor 3:14-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 12:5-8).
O Do the words called, sanctified and preserved describe you? Have you answered God’s call to salvation, been sanctified and preserved in Jesus Christ?
3. True Saints Can Enjoy God’s Blessings
Jude wished that three blessings be multiplied or increased on the saints (v.2) Philip Schaff states, ‘Mercy’ is God’s feeling towards them; ‘peace’ is their condition as the result of it; ‘love’ is … God’s love to them that are called, in the manifold expressions of it…
a. He wished that God’s mercy be multiplied
1) Mercy is kindness or goodwill toward those in need.
2) We all need God’s mercy. We want Him to show us kindness and goodwill, especially when we don’t deserve it. We need God’s mercy since we are so prone to sin.
3) Peter Pett states, “It is only because of His continuing mercy that we can continually be forgiven and can walk with Him.”
b. He wished that God’s peace be multiplied
1) Peace is the absence of hostile feelings. TDNT tells us that peace denotes a state rather than an attitude.
2) It is not just mind over matter. It is a fact. Peace is a state of harmony or tranquillity.
3) As Schaff pointed out, we can have peace if we first receive God’s mercy. (Romans 5:1) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” We may have peace during trials if we will give them to God (Philippians 4:6-7).
c. He wished that God’s love be multiplied
1) God’s love is the affection and good will He gives to all who have become His saints through faith in Christ.
2) The apostle John tells us that God is love (1Jn 4:8)
Conclusion: If you are a true Christian, you have answered God’s call, God has sanctified you and Jesus is preserving you. God wants you to be progressing in sanctification – to become more like Christ. If you are not closer to Christ today than you were last month, you need to let God continue to make changes in your life. Praise God for his mercy, peace and love! If you are not sure you are a Christian, let me help you.
Song: Jesus loves Even Me! 492