dI wonder how many times in life I’ve said to someone, “I wanted to do something and had full intention of carrying it out today, but something came up and I won’t be able to do it. The little, short book of Jude begins with just such a statement. In verse 3 he said, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” As someone who has spent lots of time in life writing both books and articles about things that I felt that were needed at a particular time, I think I understand what he was saying. There are tons of times when one is eager to write about something that they really believe in strongly and believe that it would do lots of good. But something comes up, either at church or in more general life and suddenly the very thing you felt so eager to write about seems to be of less importance now but that you need to focus your attention on some problem or issue that has arisen that seems far more like an emergency that must be handled right now.c
Picture Jude, who identified himself as a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. It demonstrates humility on his part since he was also, a half brother of Jesus the same as James. But instead of using the family background to claim physical kin to Jesus he simply pictured himself as the brother of James who was a more well known disciple of Jesus. He addressed his letter to those who had been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. That is a powerful way to describe any group of people as called, loved and kept by members of the Godhead.
of Focus for a moment on his eagerness to write about the salvation he shared with the people he was writing too. Salvation is an exciting word in just about any context. If one is terribly ill and the doctors work on him and give him the very medicine he needs to overcome the illness it is a form of salvation from the illness. If one is under some kind of attack by an enemy but another rushes in to help and saves the person from being beaten or abused by the crowd it is a form of salvation from some enemy. But it wasn’t that type of salvation that Jude had in mind. He was thinking of the salvation that he shared with the brethren who had been called by God, loved in Christ and were being kept by the Lord for their ultimate salvation in Christ.
This shared salvation relates to the reality that every person in the world has a sin problem. When we are small children God doesn’t hold us accountable for our sins until we reach the time of life we are capable of knowing right from wrong in life. But even as children we mess us and do the wrong things it just isn’t marked up against us by our loving and grace-filled God. The reality is that “All have sinned and fallen short of the will of God.” Every person is under sin and in need of the salvation that comes in Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of God’s grace he made the plan through which anyone who wants to be saved can follow the simple plan by faith in Jesus and have total salvation, their sins completely forgiven and become totally new Creatures in Christ Jesus. Our longing from that point on is to live in a way that pleases the God who saved us. We make mistakes and fail the Lord at times but we long to grow more like him and have the heart of Jesus so others can see the difference in us as his saved person in Christ. It would seem natural that God would want him to write about such a great topic to encourage them in their salvation.
But there was a greater need at the moment that God called him to write about. He felt th e compelling power of God to urge these Christians to contend for the faith that had been entrusted to them as God’s holy people. While being grateful for our redemption and salvation in Christ is vital and we should express ourselves with. a “Thank God” often in life, there is also a tremendous need for us to be able to stand up for the truth of God’s word no matter who we may have to stand against. Jesus made the point to the early followers that they would be called before rulers and authorities to defend their faith. He told them when such a thing happened not to worry about what they were going to say. It would be given to them in the very hour needed. God’s word would be given to them to defend the faith by which they were saved.
I have little doubt in life that many times we hold our peace when God’s word is under attack because we fear we will embarrass the faith in the Lord even more because we don’t know all the answers to things that people may raise against the cause of Jesus. But the salvation for all has been placed in the hands of those who are called, loved and kept. We must trust in God and believe his word to the degree we can stand on his truth all the time and be the people who stand strong on the faith in Jesus. There have been a few times in life when the word of God has been under greater attack than today. We need to go back and read the little book of Jude and make our stand on the truth there given so that we know the Lord and help others to come to that salvation like no other that will bring us to the ultimate redemption in him.