Jude 1 – Called to What?

Today we at Zion will begin a new study through the Epistle of Jude. Jude begins by describing the people to whom he is writing and, by extension, all of us who continue in the apostolic tradition.

One term Jude uses to describe his readers is “called.” This term hails from the Old Testament (OT) and was used to refer to God’s electing choice of Israel. In the NT, this is one link in what has been called “The Golden Chain of Redemption” (Rom. 8:28-30).

In the NT this word is used in two notable places: in Rev. 19 to refer the call to enjoy the blessings of the New Heavens and New Earth and in a similar reference, in Matt. 22:1-9, is the parable where the guests are invited to the wedding banquet.

So this term reminds us that as believers we were selected by God to enjoy his blessings. But is enjoyment all that we were called ?

Peter tells us we are “called out of darkness and into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9) and Paul makes clear we are called to holiness (1 Cor. 1:2 and 1 Pet. 1:15).

All these links come together in 2 Thess. 2:13-15 where Paul says that we are called through the Gospel as a result of God’s election Paul’s use here is notable in relation to Jude because his emphasis is similar to Jude’s.

Paul and Jude both call us to stand in the truth and defend it by living holy lives and by spreading the truth. Both of these will be spelled out later in Jude’s epistle when he emphasizes that the false teachers live ungodly lives and that believers are to have compassion on those who are in danger of eternal judgment.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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