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Called, Sanctified and Preserved (Jude 1)
by Gino Geraci
2/28/2007 / Bible Studies
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ" (Jude 1, NKJV).
Half Brother and Bond Slave of Jesus
Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3 make it clear Jude, or Yehudas, was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had no other children. Catholic Church sources believe the brothers of Jesus are actually cousins. Some suggest those brothers and sisters were children from a previous marriage of Joseph, but there is no historical support for such conjecture. Both the Bible and early church tradition teach that Mary resumed normal relations with her husband. Jesus indeed had actual brothers and sisters.
According to the Bible, James and Jude rejected Jesus during His earthly ministry. This is not surprising considering the dynamics that must have been in play as they grew up with a brother who was perfect and never did anything wrong. Just imagine for a moment what that would be like! The resurrection of Jesus is what changed their minds and revealed to them the reality of who Jesus was. It was indeed only after the resurrection that both James and Jude came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Both the book of James and the book of Jude show a strong comprehension of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and both books have faith as their central themes. In James we read about the testing and reality of faith, and in Jude we read about contending for the faith.
Jude describes himself as a bond-slave (doulos) of Jesus Christ and the brother of James. He was not ashamed or embarrassed to be identified as either the servant of Jesus or the brother of James. The word doulos means to be a slave by choice. The fact that Jude referred to himself as a slave of Jesus by choice provides a glimpse of his humility and his priority of a proper, submitted relationship to Jesus. From Jude's self description we can glean that a true minister of God embraces service to the Lord Jesus Christ and humility toward others.
Jude wanted the readers to identify him not on the basis who he was in and of himself, but on the basis of his relationship with his famous brother, and much more importantly on the basis of his relationship with his even more famous Lord. Although Jude mentioned that he is the brother of Jesus, he didn't make a big deal about being Jesus' flesh and blood brother. That relationship didn't authenticate his words or legitimate his ministry or message. Jude's authority didn't come from being Jesus' little brother; his authority came from being joined to Jesus by the Holy Spiritnot by blood only but by blood and water and the Holy Spirit.
Called, Sanctified and Preserved
Jude 1 tells us that true believers are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.
The word, "called" (kletois) means to be invited. Paul used similar language in the book of Romans where he wrote, "you. . .who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God" (Romans 1:6-7). And Romans 8:30 reads, "Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He glorified." The word can also mean "summon" much like a court will summon a person to appear.
It's important to understand that God does the callingHe summons us and we come. Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:9 writes, "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus said in Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen."
The word "sanctified" comes from the root word, hagios, which means to be made holy. The specific word here could be translated purify or consecrate. Don't miss out on who does the sanctifyingit is God Himself. The Father is the One who has set you apart. Remember the Lord told the children of Israel "BE HOLY as I AM HOLY." God's holiness expresses His divine perfection. We are unholy and imperfect, but God the Father imparts His Holy Spirit to live within us! Christians are to be a holy people (1 Peter 2:9). Again, Paul writes in Ephesians 2:19, "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
In addition to being called and sanctified, believers are also preserved in Jesus Christ.
My grandmother used to make preserves. She made apricot and elderberry jelly. She preserved peaches, pears, apples and other fruits and vegetables. With fruit Granny used sugar; with vegetables she used vinegar.
I don't think Jude had pickled preachers or prune-faced saints in mind when he wrote that we are preserved in Jesus Christ. However, in the same way that Granny preserved fruit and vegetables in order to keep them, the word, "preserved" (teteremenois; tereo) means to be kept; to be guarded and watched after.
The idea is that Christ Himself keeps and watches over us. We are watched by God, we are guided, kept and strengthened by the Lord Jesus Christ. We are protected from all the enemies of life, even death. The word is used some 60 times in the New Testament and the same word is translated "keep" in verse six of this epistle.
The word is also translated "reserved" 1 Peter 1:4: "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you."
Never lose sight of the fact that not only are you are called and cleaned, you are also kept by God in Jesus Christ the Lord!
Copyright by Gino Geraci
Gino Geraci is pastor of Calvary South Denver ( www.calvarycsd.org ). His radio broadcasts can be listened to live, M-F from 4:00 - 6:00 pm MST on www.krks.com. He can be contacted by emailing [email protected] .
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