The highlights of the little letter of Jude, for the modern reader, are the beginning and the end and the great majority can be bewildering. Jude was the brother of James and so also, the brother of Jesus- Matthew 13 v 55. Note that he doesn't comment that he is Jesus' brother, but His servant or slave: humility is an essential characteristic of all Christians. So, we can say that Jude was a man happy to take second place. His one desire in life was to be of use to his Lord. He, along with every member of God's family, have been called by Him to duties and responsibilities in Christ's service. Jude also reminds us that we love God, because He first loved us and our foundation is that we are God's beloved. The Lord calls us to tasks, but those are not a burden, but a privilege; He calls us to service, but that of fellowship not tyranny; He calls us to judgement, but it is one of love as well as justice. We are to seek the highest good in all whom we meet. The meaning of the word APOSTLE is 'one who is sent out'. Paul called himself an apostle- Romans 1 v 1-and in some ways, we are apostles too: we have been sent out to act and live for Jesus. We are to be SAINTS, because we must live differently than those around us. We are called to live according to God's purpose. God's call goes out to everyone- it is His desire that the whole world become His children (John 3 v 16): Christian men and women submit themselves to the purpose God has for them. In verse 3, we come to Jude's reason for writing this letter. News had come to him that evil and misguided people had been spreading destructive teaching. He now set aside the work on which he was engaged to defend his flock and the Faith. There are certain truths about the Faith which we hold: 1. It is something which is delivered to us. We haven't discovered it for ourselves, it is handed down from one generation to the next in an unbroken chain going back to Jesus Christ. 2. There is an unchangeable quality in it. The permanent centre to it is that Jesus Christ came into the world to live and die to bring salvation to men and women. 3. It is something which is entrusted to God's consecrated people and is the possession not of an individual, but the Church. 4. It must be defended. Listen to the podcast 'Unbelievable' and you will hear many Christians defending their faith.
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