Dave Williams speaking on Jude 3. He reminds us that God chose us – that we are summoned, set apart, and loved by Him. That He resides in us and calls us worthy, beloved saints.
Intro: Jude’s Intent
- Before we dig into it I want to discuss the spirit behind the letter. The spirit behind the message is important. Jude had a purpose to this writing.
Who was he writing to?
- Jude was writing to the church. We know that at that time the church was being attacked. It was being attacked from the outside by the Romans. But the church was also being attacked from inside.
- See persecution (outside attack) only strengthens the church. However, this attack from the inside had the potential to kill the church.
- People were getting saved, but then wrestling first with if what God did on the cross was actually enough or should they add stuff to it. Then legalism started seeping into the church and converted the good news of the Gospel into a list of works. All of this slowing destroying the church.
- The next wave of attacks were focused on the heart of the Christian.
- Paul saw this too when he wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim 4:3
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth.”
- Paul saw that Christians were unwilling to be confronted with the Gospel and instead would rather be encouraged to do and be whatever they wanted to be—inside the church!
- In the Screw Tape Letters CS Lewis wrote:
. . . persuade him that the ordinary Christian life and the radical Christian life are mutually exclusive, and that he needs to choose a side. Convince him that ordinary is boring and that radical is excessive. Convince him that being ordinary is beneath him, and then convince him that being passionate is amateurish. Thus, leave him slightly bewildered and vacillating. In the end, convince him that he needs to act like and look like the world in order to fit in with the world and win the world. Obscure from him the truth that a radically ordinary life is a great threat to our purpose and mission.. . .
- This is what Jude was seeing. He was watching God’s bride being destroyed.
- Today, we find ourselves in the same circumstances. Christians have traded away the radical life that God asks us to live for comfort.
- Jude had seen enough. It was his time to write. It was his time to act. He couldn’t remain silent. I know this because of one word that he used. It is found in verse 3 of of chapter one. The word is appealing.
- That word actually means to be summoned. But it is deeper than that. It is a word that demands a direct response to the ask. Which means it’s not a suggestion. This letter is a summons to the Church. A demand for a direct response.
- Jude 3
“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.”
- Now before we dig into the message we have to at least acknowledge the words that he used to define the church.
- Two words: Beloved and saints.
- The first word: Beloved. The Greek word is Agapetos.
- It is the extension of Agape love but the word is also the combination of two words. Worthy and love.
- He is saying is that the Church is worthy of being loved – that YOU are worthy of being loved.
- One of satan’s greatest tools is to convince you that you are unlovable. Both by God and his people. But here is the sad thing. I don’t think we know what that means. So even as I say that to you I am concerned that it doesn’t go down deep.
- See if God says that we are beloved, then we have to understand what that means for us. I think the greatest definition of Love is found in 1 Corinthians 13.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.”
- See when God says he loves you he is saying that he will be patient and kind towards you. He won’t insist on his way. He will ask, invite, encourage. He doesn’t rejoice when you fail—He wont say, “I told you so.” He rejoices in the truth—when you get right. He will bear all things, believe in you no matter what, sees the best in you, and will never end.
- That is what God says when he says you are his beloved. You are worthy of all of that.
- Why: because God said so. That’s it. You did nothing to deserve it but He absolutely loves you.
- This is the beginning of the Gospel. For God so loved the World . . .
This is a Summons
- Remember this is a summons which means that this is true and requires us to walk in it. We have to get this down deep. It is what puts you on the team. This is your identity: You are Christ’s love.
- I love NBA and each year they draft new players to play in the League. Each year teams compete to have the first pick. And each year one guy is chosen to be the first pick in the Draft. Could you imagine that the team who fought to get the rights to choose first chose you and in turn you told them that you didn’t think you were good enough?
- Everyone would be in complete shock!! It would be unheard of. Yet when we question God’s love for us, and how powerful that really is, that is what we are doing.
- This is a summons. He chose you. Believe that.
- The other word he used to describe us is the word saints: it means to set-apart.
- The word saint and the word sanctuary are the exact same. That word means that we are set apart to be the sanctuary of God.
- God lives in us. It’s why we call Him Emmanuel: God with us. What makes that possible is that he calls us saints.
- That is powerful. We need to grasp that truth that God—the one that created the world, parted the Red Sea, died on the cross and rose again, now lives in you.
- And so because of that truth your title changed. You are now His sanctuary, His dwelling place.
Why talk about this?
- He chose you.
- Why are we wrestling with insecurities and self-doubt. Why do we have low self-esteem and are constantly plagued with comparing ourselves to others when the King of King, the Lord of Lords, chose you?
- He chose you. Let that sink in deep.