I love how Jude, the brother of Jesus opens this letter.
To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ. (1)
This phrase bookends with the last two verses.
To him who able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more. Amen. (24-25)
All very encouraging words. That we are loved by God and kept, not by our own power and strength, but by Jesus Christ himself. And these things are essential for us to understand in the light of Jude’s reason for writing.
Why did he write? Jude tells us,
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. (3)
A couple of things that are important to note here.
First, the gospel has been entrusted to us and it is complete. As we saw in John’s second letter, there is no need to go “beyond” it. (II John 1:9)
Anyone who claims to have deeper truths than the gospel the apostles preached is lying. The faith we have was entrusted to us once for all time.
Second, we need to contend for it. We need to fight for it. Why? Because Satan is always trying to tear it down. And if he can’t destroy it from without through persecution, he will try to destroy it from within through deception.
This was happening all the way back in the time of the apostles. Paul warned against this (Acts 20:30-31), as did Peter (2 Peter 2:1), John (I John 2:18-19), and now Jude.
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (4)
Things have not changed in 2000 years. People still claim to be Christians, justifying their sinful ways by saying, “Oh, it’s okay. I’ll just sin and repent later, and God will forgive me.”
In doing so, though they claim Jesus as Lord, they deny him by their actions.
What’s worse is when they teach others to think and live this way as well.
And so Jude tells us we need to contend for the faith. To contend with these false teachers and false teachings.
But as we contend for the faith, remember that the victory has already been won. We’ve been called by God, loved by him, and kept by Jesus Christ. And because of Jesus, we will stand before God one day, without fault and with great joy.
So let us never be discouraged in our fight, but let us contend strongly for the faith until Jesus comes again.
Maranatha. Come soon, Lord Jesus.