After learning about Jude, I now look to whom he writes to. There is no specific data as to who Jude is writing to. It is not known which church or which location he is targeting. But what is known is that Jude addresses them as the called in God the Father having been loved and kept by Jesus Christ. These attributes (called, loved and kept) not only characterizes Jude’s recipients of the past but also the church of today. I will dissect from the first of these three attributes.
First let me define how Jude uses the word “called” in this context. Here the word “called” is in respect to salvation and sanctification. The context of Jude is not dealing with the idea of vocation (i.e. what is my calling in life and the church) but in relationship to God the Father. Some have taken “in God the Father” to be part of the second attribute “having been loved”. But I take “in God the Father” to be part of the first attribute “to those who are called”. In doing so, “the Called” is found in the realm of God the Father. Here are some principles that you can take from it.
A. The Called is Defined by God the Father
Many would like to be the ones to define their calling in God but this is not true. When people try to define God’s called ones, believers get confused. But when believers take God at His Word, their calling is clear. In His Word, God says that the Called are to be holy and righteous, thus they will strive to be holy and just (1 Pet. 1:16). Whatever God demands and commands the Called will accept even when it is difficult for them. The Called will fight through the flesh and submit to God’s definition of calling.
B. The Called is Confined in God the Father
The Father’s confinement depicts protection and safety. The Called will at times fail to uphold God’s demands and commands. But since the Called are found in God there is grace. In His grace the Called can turn away from their sins, learn from their mistakes and grow in sanctification.
C. The Called is the Father’s Community
Jude is writing to a corporate body. He is not isolating individuals in terms of salvation and sanctification. God has called a body of believers so that they will uphold one another in God’s calling. This community is known as the Church.
These three principles work in unison. God’s confinement will take place in His Church. God will manifest his protection over his flock through the members of His body. A healthy believing community will constantly be nourished and practice the Word of God. If you ever find yourself confused with God’s calling in light of salvation and sanctification just remember that God has set up these three truths to support you and clarify any misconceptions. Now God the Father is not the only One who was and is at work in our salvation and sanctification. The next blog will reveal the other Person involved in our calling and reflect upon the other two attributes: love and kept.