JUDE — A CALL TO ARMS 4
Sanctified By God the Father
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father...” — Jude 1:1
Not too long ago, a real estate listing had the simple headline: "Converted Church." In other words, what had once been a church facility is now somebody's house.
The listing under the heading had this description: “The altar has been adapted for use as a granite and stainless steel themed kitchen, in homage to the cooking gods.” That’s the words they used — “in homage to the cooking gods!” It went on, “The choir loft has been rewired for a home theatre.” There was no baptistery, but there was a hot tub — and, among other things, a game room, a music room and an exercise studio. All this for about $2 million! One more thing: the 15,000 square foot church/home has 11 bedrooms. Nice to know people can now sleep comfortably in that church.
John Whiteside, the realtor showing the house, says, “De-sanctified churches are the number-one type of building converted to residential use.”
Sad to say, this has happened to a lot of churches, whether or not they have been converted into residences. They’ve been “de-sanctified” and have simply become comfortable places for people to gather and sometimes sleep. These are churches that have lost their way, because they forgot what they were all about.
Additionally, something out of the ordinary is taking place in our world. It seems as though the devil is getting in his last punches before the coming of our Saviour. However, we should not be discouraged or downhearted. God is able, and “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). We are on the victory side.
We are living in an age of apostasy. An apostate is one who has never trusted Christ as personal Saviour but has looked at revealed truth and turned from it. It is impossible for a Christian to become apostate because he is safe in the arms of the Lord Jesus, and as God’s child he has “eternal life.” We do not save ourselves, and we do not keep ourselves saved.
According to what the Bible teaches, we are saved and kept by the grace of God.
The Bible says, “Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.”
In our introduction, we found that Jude, the servant or bond-slave of Jesus Christ, grew up in the home of the Lord Jesus. He was born to Mary and Joseph after the virgin birth of Christ, but he does not refer to himself as a half brother of the Lord Jesus or as a child of Mary and Joseph. He makes no mention of his human relationship to the Lord Jesus. He says, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ.” There are two ways to use the word slave or bond-slave. One means “purchased or taken in battle.” The other means “from birth.” The term used here refers to a bond-slave from birth.
This letter is written to those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Jude writes “to them that are sanctified,” but what does this truly mean? Before we take a closer look at this word, let us consider what the Bible says in 1 Peter 1:13-16, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
We are to live a holy life. The Bible continues in 1 Peter 1:17-19,
“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
We have been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. For what purpose did God purchase us?
Occasionally, we take trips to the shopping mall, but when we go, impulsive buying can lead us to walk out of the mall with things that we did not intend to buy or with things that have no purpose. There should be a purpose for purchasing something. The Bible teaches that we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ for a special purpose.
Do you know that you are a Christian? Have you asked God to forgive your sin and by faith received Jesus Christ as your Saviour? If so, the Bible says that you have been redeemed or purchased by the precious blood of Christ; you have been bought by His blood. Why have your been bought? You have been bought to be sanctified.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1-2,
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Did you ever work hard to be able to purchase something? The labour may have been very difficult, but the purchase was sweet because of what you could do with it after the purchase. The Bible says that Jesus Christ endured the cross “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). No work has ever been done to compare with the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross of Calvary. The greatest work ever done on earth was the work of Christ bleeding and dying on the cross for us. He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Consider the labour of His love! The wrath of God rolled on Christ at Calvary when He became sin for us. He suffered, bled, and died “for the joy that was set before him.”