The Letter of Jude
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The Letter of Jude

Jude 1:1–2  (ID: 3586)

The book of Jude is a brief letter written by one of Jesus’ half brothers to urge the early church to keep the faith and to warn them about false teachers. But before broaching those subjects, Jude begins by establishing several truths that are vital for God’s people everywhere to understand. Alistair Begg introduces a study in Jude by looking at these opening verses, which remind us that as believers, we are called, beloved, and kept by God and recipients of His unending mercy, peace, and love.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in Jude

Contend for the Faith Jude 1:1–25 Series ID: 16501

Sermon Transcript: Print

I invite you to turn with me to the letter of Jude, which is the second-last book of our New Testament, and to follow along as I read from here. The letter of Jude; there is only one chapter:

“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.

“To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

“May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

“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. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position[s] of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

“Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.’ But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

“It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’ These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

We humbly pray: take your Word—take the food of your Word; plant it deep in us; shape and fashion us in your likeness,[1] Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

When I was last in the United Kingdom, I noticed while I was riding on the Tube, on the Underground, a whole series of announcements or guides or warnings—whatever you might call it—that ran all the way along the place where you could see where the various stops were and so on amongst various advertisements. And it simply says on the notice, “See it. Say it. Sorted.” “See it. Say it. Sorted.” And I just thought to myself, “Now, what is this that we’ve started here?” And I realized that it was there—because I saw the insignia—it was put up there by the British Transport Police. And what they were saying was, in order to safeguard ourselves, in order to keep ourselves secure as we travel around the city, that if we see things that are unusual—if we, for example, see somebody sitting with a bomb on their lap—it might be a good idea to say something about it. And then the encouragement is that if you see it and you say it, it will be sorted. In Britain, they use that verb frequently: “Did you sort it?” “Have you fixed it?” and so on. And actually, as I researched it a little more, the advice that was given was as follows: “Please remain vigilant for anything that seems out of place or unusual.”

Now, of course, security at every level in our world is a matter of great significance. It is important to us all, at just about every level, and not least of all here at Parkside. Because at Parkside, I think unobtrusively and yet very directly, we are seeking to ensure that no one who might cause harm will be able to creep in unnoticed. And if your Bible is open, you will see that that is the very terminology that is used here in verse 4: “For certain people have crept in unnoticed.” Jude, he tells us, had been planning to write to them expressly about the wonder of salvation. You will see that in verse 3: “I was keen to write to you about our common salvation. But,” he says, “I have found myself compelled to change track. I am going on now,” he says, “to another course. It is,” he says, “a matter of some urgency, and I’m going to address it very clearly with you.”

Now, you may well be asking this morning, “How did we get from Psalm 139 to Jude?” And now, by means of this introduction, some of you who are not very alert to what’s going on here are immediately saying to yourself, “Oh, there must be somebody creeping around Parkside, or whatever it is, and he’s found it out, and so, instead of going to the person directly, he thought he would tell everybody.” They may well be, but I know nothing of it. That’s what I want you to know.

In actual fact, we came very, very close to beginning a series on Revelation. And if I had paid attention to some of my colleagues, that’s where we would be this morning. For those of you who are disappointed, there’s another crowd that are breathing a sigh of relief and saying, “Oh, good; I’m glad he didn’t start that.” I guess it’s somewhere still out there in the future. But no, we have arrived at this this morning by default rather than by design. I didn’t want to go into a long study, but I wanted to study, I wanted it to be expositional, and here we have these twenty-five verses.

It was a matter of urgency for Jude, and it really is a matter of urgency in every generation. Because we become aware of those who, by their conflicting voices, plunge God’s people into confusion and into chaos. The issue that he’s addressing here is not the issue of secularism. He’s not talking about all that is coming from outside of the church, buffeting it and so on. No. It is something far more sinister than that, and that is the confusion and the chaos that emerges from the collapse of conviction in the hearts and minds of those who once believed these things but have lost their confidence in them.

It’s not uncommon for me to receive letters from folks via Truth For Life, people who sometimes have actually been in our church fellowship and have moved to another part of the nation and have gone with our blessing and gone with our encouragement that they will find a place where the Bible is clearly taught, where the authority of Scripture is clearly unfolded, and where convictions concerning all that God has revealed of himself are made plain. Actually, this is from one such couple. You would know them, but I won’t embarrass them by using their names. But they wrote, and in the midst of the letter—and I made a note of this, because I said, “We must pray for this”: “The struggle to find solid teaching and a high view of God and his Word is very real. We visited over ten churches, and rarely did one begin with the opening of the Word of God.”

That is not an unusual letter. That comes on a weekly basis, and it folds one upon another upon another. It is true throughout our Western world, particularly. And for those of you who been following the events in the United Kingdom vis-à-vis the Anglican Church’s voting on various things, you will know, too, that the African bishops particularly have turned their backs on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Welby, because of his willingness to allow the blessing of same-sex unions. The African bishops speak for about 75 percent of the Anglican Communion, the largest part of those who are under the jurisdiction of Anglican thought and under the rubric of the Thirty-Nine Articles. They were unhappy to continue on that basis, and what has happened is that the people who have decided that they are not going to go with the Scriptures are now accusing the people who have decided that “we will go with the Scriptures”; they are accusing them of being schismatic and of being disruptive and of destroying the unity. And these people are saying, “No, I think you’ve got this upside down. I think we are the ones who are saying, ‘The Bible is the Bible. The truth is the truth.’ And we continue under that, and you’re turning from it.”

Well, whatever way you want to look at it, in every generation it’s vital, along with Jude, to recognize the threat, to heed the warning, and to keep the faith. And so that’s really what we’re going to be doing over these next few Sundays as we consider this letter. We’ll only deal with verses 1 and 2 this morning, noting, first of all, the greeting—this initial greeting, as with normal letter writing of the time. We’re familiar with it as we read the letters of the New Testament.

The Writer

And we’re introduced, first of all, to the writer: “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.” Now, there is only one Jude in the New Testament who has a brother called James. And you will find him when you read in the Gospels, and particularly I can quote to you from chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel; you will find it there. Verse 53: “And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, … coming [in]to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?’” Note: “‘Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James … Joseph and Simon and Judas?’” And here in Jude, the name is shortened, I think, so as to make sure that nobody is going to assume that the Judas that we are receiving this letter from could be the very one who denied the Lord Jesus Christ. “‘Are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get … these things?’”

It is this Jude who identifies himself, notably, by his family relationship with James. All right? “If you want to know who I am, I am the brother of James,” he says. Because James was famous. James is the one who in Acts 15 is giving leadership to the Jerusalem church. James is the one who has given us his letter, the five chapters that some of us have studied in the course of things.

“But wait a minute,” you must say to yourself. “If he was the brother of James, that means that he was the half brother of Jesus.” Because James was the half brother of Jesus. So if Jude was the brother of James, then surely the key relationship that he had was with Jesus.

Now, just think for a minute: If it had been you or me, don’t you think we would have played that card? “I’m Jude. You’ve heard of Jesus. Well, actually, I am his half brother.” But not Jude. That isn’t what he does. “I am a brother of James,” he says, “and I am a servant of Jesus Christ.” A “brother of James” and “a servant of Jesus Christ.”

In many ways, the story of the Bible is the story of God’s free decision to call out for himself a people that are his very own.

We read again in the Gospels that the brothers of Jesus did not actually believe in Jesus during his earthly ministry. On one occasion in the Gospels, when the family of Jesus hear the things that Jesus is saying, they go to get him, believing that he’s out of his mind, that he’s saying all these things.[2] And so it was the resurrection that brought about this great transformation. And as a result of that, he introduces himself, as you will note, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ.” Look down at verse 4 and “our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Dick Lucas says it very well when, in just a sentence, he says this is pointing out “that no-one is too privileged to be exempt from the need to be converted.”[3] “No-one is too privileged.” The fact that he grew up in the same house as Jesus doesn’t mean that he gets a pass. The same is true of Mary, the mother of Jesus, although I know that’s very offensive to our Catholic friends. She needed to be converted. We all need to be converted. And Jude is pointing this out as he introduces himself: “I am the brother of James, but I am a servant”—or a slave, actually; the word doulos—“of Jesus Christ.”

The Readers

So, from the writer to the readers: “To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” Unlike some letters, there is no indication of who these people are. No names are mentioned concerning the readers. There’s no indication, actually, of where they are—no geographical pointers to help us with that. But they are all described in terms of what they are. And Jude is actually one of, really, seven letters which are regarded as General Epistles or, depending on where you come from, Catholic Epistles, in the sense of catholic, “universal,” being “general”—in other words, not actually addressed to a specific geographical locale and to a specific group of people, at least not in the greeting.

And when Kenneth Taylor in his Living Bible paraphrases the opening, in light of that he writes, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and … brother of James. To: Christians everywhere.”[4]To: Christians everywhere.” Because these designations that we’re about to consider are true of people who are the followers of the Lord Jesus. But, of course, with that said, we recognize that the specifics of the letter—and they’re very specific aspects—they point to the fact that Jude is actually addressing, without identifying it, a particular church or a particular group of churches or of congregations.

And he addresses them in these three words: “called,” “beloved,” and “kept.” “Called,” “beloved,” and “kept.” In order to remind myself of this this week, I wrote down in my notes, “Central Bank of Kenya.” And then I couldn’t remember why I wrote that down. But it was in order that I would remember these three words: “Called,” “beloved,” and “kept.” Let’s just look at them.

The Bible refers frequently to Christians in all kinds of ways. But one of the ways in which it addresses the believer is someone whom God has “called.” And the word that is used here means something more than simply “invited.” It’s not that these people have only been invited. For example, when Paul was preaching to the Corinthians, and when he later wrote to the Corinthians, and he was extending the call of the gospel as widely as he could, he then writes, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”[5]

Now, you see, this is what makes it so clear, isn’t it? Because when a person actually comes to faith in Jesus, when somebody comes out of whatever religious or irreligious background to an understanding of who God is and what he has done in the Lord Jesus Christ, then that individual immediately finds themselves standing in a long succession of individuals, stretching way out behind me and stretching out beyond me, of those whom God has called—the call that goes all the way back to Abraham himself: that God calls Abraham out of the Chaldees, Ur of the Chaldees. If you’ve been reading through Exodus in M’Cheyne’s readings, you know that again we’re seeing this call of God upon his people—so that in many ways, the story of the Bible is the story of God’s free decision to call out for himself a people that are his very own.[6] “And those he predestined, he also called.”[7]

Now, here’s the question: When the call of God goes out—when, for example, we study the Bible together, and perhaps we end by singing the hymn “Come unto me, ye weary, and I will give you rest,” or “Come unto me, ye wand’rers,” “Come unto me, ye fainting,” and we have the great affirmation that comes in the chorus,

“And whosoever cometh,
I will not cast him out.”
O welcome voice of Jesus,
Which drives away our doubt,
Which calls us very sinners,
Unworthy though we be,
Of love so free and boundless,
To come, O Lord, to thee.[8]

All right. So that is a general call that goes out. It goes out in the preaching of the gospel. It goes out in the singing of a hymn like that. But that doesn’t mean that everybody who heard that call came. And there may well be people here this morning for whom this designation does not immediately fit, because you have never actually come to Christ in that way.

We’ve used the illustration before, but I think it stands the test of time: You know, when you were a kid waking up in the morning, when you had to go to school, sometimes you were so deeply out of it that it just sounded like there was a voice somewhere. And then, as you came a little bit out of your slumbers, and then you said, “Oh, it’s actually… This is actually a voice calling. It’s calling. What are they calling about?” And then, as you come a little bit more out of it: “Oh, they’re calling me! They’re calling me!”

‘You are beloved in God’—a love which stretches all the way across the Old and the New Testament; a love which is unimpaired by time or by distance; a love which is enjoyed in Jesus.

That’s, for some of us, the way we have come to Christ. Friends have told us about Jesus, told us about the gospel, told us about the call of God. We heard it as a kind of vague noise in the background. And then we began to consider and think a little more, until suddenly, one day, in our car, in our home, on our knees, reading a book, whatever it is, you said, “O Lord, you called me! You called me. I am the weary one. I am the wanderer. I am the fainting one.” That’s to whom this letter is addressed: those who are called.

Secondly, those who are “beloved.” Notice the preposition: “beloved in God.” I looked at that, and I said, “Well, surely it’s beloved by God.” Well, the preposition is used purposefully. These individuals are beloved by God, but they are beloved in God. In other words, it addresses the issue of the sphere into which these people have come. They’ve been brought, if you like, within the unfolding orb of God’s grace and his goodness. “Beloved.” The love of God: “not that we loved God,” as John says, “but that he loved us” and that he gave “his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”[9]

I wonder if you’ve thought about this in relationship to the words of Jesus as he moves towards the time of his crucifixion. And as he gathers with his disciples in the upper room and as he seeks to explain to them the wonder of what has happened to them in becoming his followers, much of it is shadowy for them. They don’t put it all together, necessarily, until after the resurrection. But at one point he says, you know, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”[10] “Make our home with him.” There’s a dimension to it which is not simply—it is not cerebral. It is, insofar as it engages our minds, but it is a far more significant thing than that. He says to them, “I want you folks to know, that I’m writing to you, that you are the called of God.” (“We’re the people of God, saints every one, because of the blood of Jesus Christ the Son.”)[11] “And you are beloved in God”—a love which stretches all the way across the Old and the New Testament; a love which is unimpaired by time or by distance; a love which is enjoyed in Jesus.

I met a fellow this week. His name was Benjamin. They called him Ben, but I think Benjamin is a great name. And every time I meet a Benjamin, although I did not say it on this occasion—I didn’t think it was necessary—but I often say to a Benjamin, I say, “You are a man with a great name. A man with a great name.” And the reason I say that is because in the blessings that come to the people of God in Deuteronomy chapter 33, the blessing of Benjamin is as follows: “The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety,”[12] “for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”[13] I think that’s the closest I can get to the idea of “beloved in God.” You take the picture of the shepherd picking the lamb up, putting it between his shoulders, and bringing it safely into the fold; all of us like sheep going astray,[14] coming up with our own ideas, heading in our own direction, and the call comes, the call of the Shepherd: “Come to me. I am the Good Shepherd. I give my life for the sheep.”[15] And he picks us up and carries us on.

So, “called,” “beloved in God the Father,” and “kept for Jesus Christ.” “Kept.” “I’ll keep that for you,” the best man usually says. And depending on who the best man is, I look at him and say, “Well, you’d better make sure you have it when I need it.” I’m referring to the wedding ring for the girl. Every so often you find a clown who thinks it’s funny to pretend that he lost it, and nobody actually has ever found that remotely funny. Because you’ve really got one job, Charlie, and that is just give us the ring. We need it.

Now, keeping, the keeping power of God, is important here. We’re not going to delay on it, but you will notice this word, this verb, to keep, throughout these twenty-five verses. For example, staggeringly in verse 6, these angels have been “kept in eternal chains.” In terms of the readers of his letter, he’s urging us in verse 21 to “keep yourselves in the love of God”—in other words, that we’re not brought into the realm of passivity, where we just sit back and wait for God to do everything. No, we are kept, and so we are to keep ourselves, in the awareness of the fact that when we finally reach the end in verse 24, it is in the company of God who will “keep [us] from stumbling.”

When we read the Psalms and at the beginning of the Psalms, we have that great opening moment where, in Psalm 2, the psalmist says that God will give the nations as his inheritance[16]—a Messianic Psalm, speaking of Jesus: “And you will have the prize for which you died, an inheritance of nations,”[17] as we often sing it, so much so that when you get to the book of Hebrews and in chapter 2, Jesus is saying, “Behold, here I am and the children you have given me.”[18] “You called them. You loved them. I’ve kept them. Whoever loves me will keep my commandments, and I, too, will love him, and I will show myself to him, and he will live in my house with me. You can be sure of that.” That’s what he’s saying.

Now, this is something that is vast enough for the greatest mind to ponder, and it is simple enough for the little child to get. When we used to sing it at Sunday school—and I don’t know if we sing it here—but the hymn “When he cometh, when he cometh to make up his jewels, all his jewels, [all the bright ones, the] loved and his own,” speaking there of the wonder of what is doing as he adds children to his family; and the hymn writer says, “[And] they shall shine in their beauty, bright gems for his crown.”[19]

We all have bits and pieces in our story we’d like to change. We all have disappointments that we look back on with regret. But the God who called us, who loves us and keeps us, is the God of mercy.

Now, you see how good a pastor Jude is here. Because look at what he’s doing. You paid careful attention as I read the balance of this letter, and there’s a lot of material that is coming that is quite devastating. But before he delves, if you like, into the woes that are about to follow, he establishes the truths that it is vital for the people of God to understand—hence the Central Bank of Kenya: “called,” “beloved,” and “kept.” See what he’s saying? In all of this, he is “a servant of Jesus Christ.” “I didn’t introduce myself as the half brother of Jesus. I’m the brother of James, and I am the servant of Jesus Christ.” In other words, “What I’m writing to you is also true of me. I am one with you in this.”

Jude’s Prayer

And then, in verse 2, “And I am praying for you.”

Now, what you’re going to discover as we study this together is that Jude is very keen on these little three statements or three words that all go together, little triads. And here you have another one. For me it is the Milwaukee Public Library, if that’s helpful to you, to help me remember these three words. What are they? Let’s just look at them as we close.

“Here’s my prayer for you,” he says. “I pray mercy.” “Mercy,” whereby God does not give us the things that we deserve. The great wonder that dawned on the self-righteous Pharisee Saul of Tarsus when he looks back on things and he says, “To me, I was shown mercy.”[20] “I was shown mercy.” He didn’t think that he needed mercy. He thought that he was in perfect shape until God showed him that he was in need of his mercy. “What grace is mine that called through the night to save my hidden soul,” or “hiding soul,” “and from his wounds poured mercy that would plead for me.”[21] “May mercy…” Do you think much about mercy? You think if God gave us what we deserve what a predicament we’d be in—that if he didn’t give Jesus to bear the punishment that we deserve, we would be hopeless.

Samuel Rutherford, the great Scottish divine, left in his memoirs sufficient material for a Presbyterian minister’s wife called Cousin to write a poem which spans some thirty-three verses, about five of them sequestered as a hymn which begins, “The [sand] of time [is] sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks.” But in the course of that poem, one of the stanzas that she put together from Rutherford’s words goes like this: “With mercy and with judgment my web of time he wove, and aye”—routinely, consistently—“and aye the dews of sorrow were lustered by his love.”[22] It’s a wonderful picture, isn’t it? He says, “As I look back over my life, I realized: with mercy and with great judgment he has woven my story together.” We all have bits and pieces in our story we’d like to change. We all have disappointments that we look back on with regret. But the God—the God—who called us, who loves us and keeps us, is the God of mercy.

Now, this is very important not only for these readers to think about it in relationship to themselves; it is vitally important because they’re going to have to move amongst people who are involved in destroying and creating chaos. And he’s preparing them for the fact that if you don’t understand mercy for yourself, you will not be merciful to others who are in need: to those who are drifting from the path, to those who are losing confidence in the Bible, to those who are tempted to say, “Well, surely the influence of the culture matters so much that we must go with that if we’re going to be relevant, if we’re going to be involved, if we’re going not to be a strange group of people left on a side street somewhere.” All of that rings in our ears. No, we’re going to know mercy.

“Peace.” “Peace.” Peace in the face of disruption. Peace in the face of opposition. “May mercy and peace…” The prophet Isaiah says, “You will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on you.”[23]

And “love.” “Love.” Part of our reading this morning was, what, 1 Corinthians 13, wasn’t it? And I thought about it just as I read it earlier: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.”[24] This is very important, loved ones. Because I’ll tell you: it’s not uncommon to hear series on Jude that get so excited about contending: “We’re contending.” And so the guy, his vein gets more and more… “Contending! Contending!” Right? Okay. You got that picture in mind. And watch for it. If you see it in me, you come back and say, “Wait a minute. What about the opening two verses?” Because the same “contending” does not involve being contentious. Because “love is patient and kind.” It “does[n’t] envy or boast; it[’s] not arrogant”; it’s not “rude. It does[n’t] insist on its own way; it[’s] not irritable or resentful; it does[n’t] rejoice at wrongdoing”; it “rejoices with the truth.” It “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”[25]

“Mercy, peace, and love”—notice—“be multiplied to you.” Remember those days in school when you learned the multiplication tables? It was such a great day, wasn’t it, that you knew that twelve 7s were 84, and that meant that seven 12s were 84 as well? It’s amazing discoveries. Twelve 9s were 108, and I don’t know what else it goes from there. But this is fantastic, that God multiplies things.

Before we went to sleep last night, Sue and I were reading from a book, and we were pondering the fact that God could have made just one fish, could have made one animal, could have made one flower, could have made, like, fifteen stars and be done with it. Why doesn’t he do that? Because he’s God! He’s the multiplying God. So he says, “My prayer for you is that these things will not just simply be, you know, like, added to your portfolio but that they will be multiplied to you. Because I was planning on writing, really, all about this—all about salvation. But I decided that I needed to appeal to you. But I want you to understand, before I come to my appeal, that you are called, that you’re beloved, that you’re kept, and that I’m praying that mercy, peace, and love will be multiplied to you”—which, of course, bears testimony to the wonder of salvation itself.

Well, there we have it. Let’s pause for a moment in silence, and then we’ll sing a closing song.

God, grant that we might hear your call to us so that we find ourselves believing in you.

[1] Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, “Speak, O Lord” (2005).

[2] See Mark 3:21.

[3] Dick Lucas and Christopher Green, The Message of 2 Peter and Jude: The Promise of His Coming, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1995), 167.

[4] Jude 1 (TLB).

[5] 1 Corinthians 1:23–24 (ESV).

[6] See Titus 2:14.

[7] Romans 8:30 (NIV).

[8] William C. Dix, “Come unto Me, Ye Weary” (1867).

[9] 1 John 4:10 (NIV).

[10] John 14:23 (ESV).

[11] Wayne Watson, “People of God” (1982). Lyrics lightly altered.

[12] Deuteronomy 33:12 (ESV)

[13] Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV).

[14] See Isaiah 53:6.

[15] John 10:11 (paraphrased).

[16] See Psalm 2:8.

[17] Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, “O Church, Arise” (2004). Lyrics lightly altered.

[18] Hebrews 2:13 (paraphrased).

[19] William Cushing, “Jewels” (1856).

[20] 1 Timothy 1:16 (paraphrased).

[21] Kristyn Getty, “What Grace Is Mine” (2009). Lyrics lightly altered.

[22] Anne R. Cousin, “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” (1857).

[23] Isaiah 26:3 (paraphrased).

[24] 1 Corinthians 13:4 (ESV).

[25] 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.