The Glories of Our Common Salvation in Jude

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Jude’s purpose in his letter for his readers is clear: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). 

It’s funny that, even though Jude clarified that he wanted to write about our common salvation but wrote about something else (contending for the faith against false teachers), he did end up saying a bit about salvation along the way. There is actually much of the ordo salutis to be found in this short letter.

First, we see ourselves described as “beloved in God the Father” (Jude 1). This love in the Father goes back to eternity past, a love that moved him in his sovereign grace to choose us unto salvation and all of its blessings (Eph 1:4–5). Here we see our election.

Because of his electing love, God effectually called us to himself through the gospel (Jude 1, “those who were called”). In doing so, he imparted his very life to us (regeneration), enabling us to exercise our repentance and “most holy faith” (Jude 20; cf. Acts 11:18; Heb 6:1). Whereas we had been stained by the flesh and could only expect the Lord to execute his judgment on us one day (Jude 14–15, 23), we were shown mercy, saved, and snatched from the fire (Jude 22). 

Though Jude does not mention it, we know that this faith brings about our union with Christ (Col 2:11–12), justification (Rom 3:28), and adoption as sons into the family of God (Gal 3:26). (At the same time, Jude 3 calls us “saints,” implying our justification by labeling us according to our holy status before God.)

Knowing such a salvation, we make progress in our sanctification by “building . . . up” our faith and “praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). We persevere as we “keep” ourselves “in the love of God” (Jude 21). God likewise preserves us as he is “able to keep” us “from stumbling” (Jude 24), by and “for Jesus Christ” (Jude 1, 24; cf. John 6:37; 10:28–30).

Assured of this salvation through our faith and obedience and these promises, we are “waiting for the” fullest expression of “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 21). This mercy comes at our glorification when God will “present” us “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24). Then, what was his “before all time and now,” we shall ascribe to him “forever,” “through Jesus Christ our Lord”—“glory, majesty, dominion, and authority. . . . Amen” (Jude 25).

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David Huffstutler

Pastor First Baptist Church, Rockford, IL

David pastors First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, and teaches as adjunct faculty at Bob Jones University. David holds a PhD in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His concentration in Christian Leadership focuses his contributions to pastoral and practical theology.