Sermon #2 Jude Sermons
Title: Sanctified, Preserved, and Called
Text: Jude 1:1
Date: Tuesday Evening—October 12, 2004
Tape # Jude #2
Readings: David Burge & Bobbie Estes
(Jude 1:1) "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."
This opening verse of Jude is full of instruction, setting before us in the simplest of terms some of the most profound and soul-cheering truths of Holy Scripture. In these opening words of his Epistle, Jude sets before us the most fundamental and essential revelation of Holy Scripture, the doctrine of the trinity. — “There are Three that bear record in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are One (1 John 5:7).
Jude tells us that all God’s elect are a people “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” All Three Persons in the Godhead are equally gracious. All three are involved in the work of saving our souls. In fact, whenever the three Persons of the Holy Trinity are presented together in the Scriptures, it is always in connection with redemption, grace, and salvation. The only exception I have found to that is in the Genesis account of creation (Gen. 1:1-3). But, even there, as I showed you in our study of Genesis, the creation itself is a picture of God’s salvation. Whenever one Person in the Trinity is presented alone, the result is judgment.
Sometimes God the Father is presented alone, as when he stood upon Mt. Sinai, clothed with thunder and lightening, delivering the law to Moses. So terrible was his presence that the very mountain shook in the prospect of God’s awesome judgment (Ex. 20:18).
Sometimes God the Son appears alone, as when he appears in his glorious second advent. Then men and women who have despised and rejected him will cry for the mountains to fall upon them and pray in terror that they might be saved from “the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:14).
When God the Holy Spirit is represented alone, the consequences are the same. Those who blaspheme him, committing that sin which can never be forgiven, are reserved as reprobates unto everlasting judgment (Matt. 12:31-32).
Whenever one Person in the Trinity is presented alone, the result is judgment. However, when all three of the Divine Persons are set before us together, the consequence is always mercy, grace, redemption, and salvation (Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4-6). If I understand the implications of this fact correctly, it is one more way of assuring us of that which is taught throughout the Scriptures. The whole Being of God, in all his attributes, in all his glory, in the Trinity of his Persons is set for the everlasting salvation of his elect (Jer. 32:41; Rom. 8:28-32).
(Jeremiah 32:41) "Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul."
(Romans 8:28-32) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
This is one of the many great gospel truths Paul shows us in the first chapter of Ephesians. As the three Persons of the eternal Godhead are equal in Divinity, but distinct in personality, so all three of the Divine Persons are equal in grace, but distinct in the operations of grace.
God the Father is set before us as the Fountain of all grace.
(Ephesians 1:3-6) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
It was God the Father who, in the covenant of grace, proposed redemption, devised the plan, and chose the people whom he would save by his almighty grace. He found a way whereby his banished ones could be brought back to him and never expelled from his presence. Then, “in the fulness of time,” he sent his Son to be the Medium or Mediator of grace to his chosen.
(Galatians 4:4-6) "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the channel of all grace.
(Ephesians 1:7-12) "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
All grace comes to sinners through Christ the Mediator. In Ephesians 1 Paul tells us fourteen times that everything God does for sinners and gives to sinners is in Christ. Apart from Christ there is no grace! God will not deal with man, but by Christ. Man cannot deal with God, but by Christ. Christ is the Revelation of God, the incarnation of God, and the only way to God.
· Am I chosen of God? I am chosen in Christ!
· Am I blessed of God? I am blessed in Christ!
· Am I predestinated by God? I am predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ!
· Am I adopted as a son of God? I am adopted in Christ!
· Am I accepted of God? I am accepted in Christ!
· Am I redeemed by God? I am redeemed in Christ!
· Am I forgiven by God? I am forgiven in Christ!
· Am I justified before God? I am justified in Christ!
· Am I sanctified by God? I am sanctified in Christ!
· Do I know God? I know him in Christ!
· Do I have an inheritance from God? I have it in Christ!
· Am I called of God? I am called in Christ!
Do you see what I am saying? All grace comes to us through Christ. There is no other way the grace of God can reach a sinner. Let no rejecter of God’s Son imagine that he shall be the beneficiary of God’s grace! It is the work of Christ upon the cross that has brought grace and justice together in the salvation of sinners. It is through his blood, only through the blood of the cross that “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps. 85:10).
Blissfully lost in the contemplation of God’s matchless grace in Christ, John Bunyan penned these rapturous words…
“O Thou Son of the Blessed! Grace stripped Thee of thy glory. Grace brought Thee down from heaven. Grace made Thee bear such burdens of sin, such burdens of curse as are unspeakable. Grace was in Thy heart. Grace came bubbling up from Thy bleeding side. Grace was in Thy tears. Grace was in Thy prayers. Grace streamed from Thy thorn-crowned brow! Grace came forth with the nails that pierced Thee, with the thorns that pricked Thee! Oh, here are unsearchable riches of grace! Grace to make sinners happy! Grace to make angels wonder! Grace to make devils astonished!”
The Fountain of all grace is God the Father. The medium of all grace is God the Son. And…
God the Holy Spirit is the Administrator of all grace.
(Ephesians 1:13-14) "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
It is God the Holy Spirit who effectually applies the blood of Christ to chosen, redeemed sinners.
· He regenerates the dead by omnipotent power
· He calls the redeemed with irresistible grace.
· He gives faith to the chosen by almighty operations of grace.
· He seals God’s elect unto everlasting glory.
Note: In Hebrews 9:12-14, the Apostle describes our twofold redemption: Accomplished and Applied!
Without the sovereign, gracious operations of God the Holy Spirit in conversion no sinner would ever become the beneficiary of grace. He takes the things of Christ and shows them to his people. He quickens those the Father chose, reclaims those the Son redeemed, and leads to the Good Shepherd everyone of those lost sheep for whom the Good Shepherd laid down his life (John 10:11).
“He conquers the stoutest hearts and cleanses the foulest spiritual leper. He opens the sin-blinded eyes and unstops the sin-closed ears. The blessed Holy Spirit reveals the grace of the Father and applies the grace of the Son.”
The Apostle Peter speaks in much the same way, telling us that all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are — “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (1 Peter 1:2).
All three Persons in the Godhead are equally gracious; and all three must be equally praised.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”
Jude’s doctrine, though stated in different words, is exactly the same as that of Paul and Peter. He tells us that those who trust Christ are — “them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”
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 it 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 as being in Christ and 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 this word, “sanctified,” might also be translated “loved” or “beloved.” If we read it that way, it refers to o the electing love of God the Father (Jer. 31:3). Both readings are accurate.
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.
(John 10:36) "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
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, and we are the elect ones of God. The Lord God says of his Son, our Surety, —“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth! (Isa. 42:1).
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 Peter 2:9) "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."
(Exodus 19:5) "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine."
It is from hence we date all our mercies. It is to this source, from 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). — “We are bound to give thanks always to God, for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; whereunto he called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2. Thess. 2:13, 14).
Look at Jude 1 again. He 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 they are secretly preserved in him, and beheld as one with him, before their being in Adam, is brought forth in time.
Though this preservation in Christ, did not keep us from falling, with the whole human race Adam, because it was not intended to, it is that which 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 goodness and 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, in the ten thousand times ten thousand instances of it? Preserved in Jesus Christ, before called to Jesus Christ. Preserved in all the after 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 on our way; before that we shall have any real sense of and appreciation the unspeakable blessings, contained in these four words, “preserved in Jesus Christ.”
Go back to Jude 1 again, and take in one more great, soul-refreshing drink from this well of salvation. — "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."
“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. As it is set before us in the Book of God, our entire salvation reveals the hand of each glorious Person of the eternal Godhead, bringing the objects of his everlasting love into everlasting glory (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-10; Tit. 3:3-7).
“And so infinitely blessed and important is this great grace of the Holy Ghost, in calling, that, until it is wrought, no child of God can have any apprehension, either of God the Father’s love in election, or God the Son’s grace in redemption. It is by regeneration 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).”
· Blessed forever be God our Father, for sanctifying, setting apart, choosing, and electing us in Christ, before all worlds, that we should be holy and without blame before him forever!
· Blessed forever be God the Son, for uniting us to himself, making us one with himself, giving us an eternal, unbreakable union with himself, preserving us before all time and preserving through all time, and redeeming us to himself, as his own holy bride, that he might impart to us all the bounties of his boundless free grace here and all the blessings of eternal glory and bliss hereafter, and forever!
· Blessed forever be God the Holy Spirit who has called us, made us partakers of the divine nature, given us life and faith in Christ, who has revealed Christ to us and revealed Christ in us, who has sealed to us all the blessings of God’s everlasting covenant grace and has sealed us unto eternal glory!
· Blessed forever be the Holy Three in One, the triune God, our God for all our mercies in time, and to all eternity (Eph. 1:3-6; Hos. 2:18-19; John 17:2; 2 Tim. 1:9).
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”