Sanctified, Preserved and Called


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.”                                                                                                                                                                                       (Jude 1:1)


Jude’s doctrine is stated in simple, clear, unmistakable words. He tells us that those who trust Christ are “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” And his doctrine is as sweet as it is clear.




Here we are told that God’s people were sanctified by God the Father before the world began. He writes “to them that are sanctified by God the Father.” Paul tells us that God the Father chose us in electing love in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be “holy and without blame before him,” and “in love” predestinated us to that glorious end (Eph. 1:4-5).


        The word “sanctified,” as Jude uses it, does not refer to the internal work of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration, but to the eternal work of God the Father in election. It is a word that may be properly translated, “made holy,” “consecrated,” “purified,” or “hallowed.” If we read it that way, the meaning is that God the Father, looking on his elect in Christ, being one with Christ, made us holy, righteous, and accepted in Christ, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” which is plainly stated in Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:6. But as it is used in Jude 1, the word, “sanctified,” refers to the electing love of God the Father (Jer. 31:3). Jude is telling us that God the Father, loving us with an everlasting love, set us apart to himself as the objects of his love, approval, and delight from eternity. The Lord Jesus used this word in exactly that way with reference to himself as our Mediator in John 10:36.


        No word in the Bible is more delightful, precious, and honoring than this word “elect.” Nothing more sweetly endears our God to us than his electing love. Our Savior himself wears the title God gives to all who trust him. He is the Elect One of God (Isa. 42:1), and we are the elect ones of God. Let us ever rejoice in God’s electing love, that love by which we were sanctified, set apart from all other creatures and consecrated to our God in his eternal purpose of grace, for the praise of his glory (1 Pet. 2:9; Ex. 19:5). It is from hence that we date all our mercies. It is to this source, the election of grace, and our being given to Christ, and chosen in Christ, that we are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13-14).




Next, Jude tells us that, as the objects of God’s everlasting love, being sanctified by him in eternal election, we are, always have been, and always shall be preserved in Jesus Christ.” Who can imagine what blessed things are included in those words? I am sure that we will be discovering their fulness throughout eternity! — “Preserved in Jesus Christ!”



        We were “preserved in Jesus Christ” before we were called and after being called. We were “preserved in Jesus Christ” in eternity, when he betrothed us to himself, when he received us as the gift of his Father, before the foundation of the world. God’s elect are in a blessed, eternal union of grace with Christ, by which we were secretly preserved in him and beheld as one with him, before we had any being in our father Adam.


        Our preservation in Christ did not keep us from falling with the whole human race in Adam, because it was not so intended. Yet, it kept us from eternal ruin through the fall. Indeed, our fall in Adam, according to the purpose of God, was one of the many means by which our heavenly Father ordained that all the blessings and benefits of redemption by Christ would come to us. Though we fell in our father Adam, we were “preserved in Jesus Christ” when we fell. Though we came forth from our mother’s wombs speaking lies, we were “preserved in Jesus Christ” throughout the days of our rebellion. Though we all “had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, and were by nature children of wrath, even as others,” we were “preserved in Jesus Christ” throughout the days of our rebellion. Even after being called from death to life by the power of his omnipotent grace, we are still “preserved in Jesus Christ.” Every day we live, we are more and more debtors to God our Savior for his infinite grace!


        Who can calculate the wonders of this preserving grace? We were preserved in Jesus Christ before we were called to Jesus Christ, preserved in all the stages of life, when called by grace, until grace is finished in glory. Let us daily meditate upon, rejoice in, and be humbled by this unceasing, wonder of God’s infinite grace. Though it is constantly experienced by us, yet little of it is known to us in the experience of it! We must enter eternity and look back over the everlasting hills, through all the path the Lord has brought us, before that we shall have any real sense of and appreciation for the unspeakable blessings contained in these four words, “preserved in Jesus Christ.




Take in one more great, soul-refreshing drink from this well of salvation. — “And called!” Here Jude is referring to the great, irresistible work of God the Holy Spirit in omnipotent mercy calling us from darkness to light, from bondage to liberty, from death to life to be the sons and daughters of the living God by faith in Christ. The same Almighty Spirit, who in the old creation of nature moved upon the face of the deep, and said, “Let there be light,” is he, who in the new creation of grace, commands the light to shine out of darkness in the hearts of chosen, redeemed sinners to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (Gen. 1:3; 2 Cor. 4:6).


        There is a beautiful order in all this. So infinitely blessed and important is this great grace of God the Holy Spirit that until it is performed no child of God can have any apprehension, either of the Father’s electing love in election, or the Son’s accomplished redemption. It is by the work of God the Holy Spirit that we are made “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world, through lust!’ (2 Pet. 1:4-5).”