Handfuls on Purpose
by James Smith, 1943
Like James, Jude was not an apostle, but just an ordinary disciple. James, his brother, had been martyred a few years before Jude wrote this letter. He laid himself out to write a great treatise on (verse 3), Salvation, but abandoned it under the constraint of the Holy Spirit, to write a half-page letter giving a history of Apostasy, from the very beginning, and to warn his readers of that peril.
The words "keep" and "kept" are mentioned five times, and form a helpful study.
I. The Lord's People are Kept Ones. Kept by God from sin for the Lord Jesus. "Preserved in Jesus Christ" (1) is the R.V. "Kept for Jesus Christ."
II. Some Angels "Kept Not their First Estate" (6), so are "kept" (R.V., instead of Reserved) in chains.
III. We Must Keep Ourselves in the full constant assurance that God loves us (21).
IV. He is Able to Keep Us, not merely from "falling," but as R.V., from "stumbling," for it is stumbling which precedes falling (24).
(Jude 6, 7, 21)
Three eternal things are mentioned in this letter.
1. Life (21).
2. Chains (6).
3. Fire (7).
Salvation is called "common," not because it is cheap and worth little, but because:
I. It comes from a Common SourceóGod, the Love of God.
II. It is Offered to All Classes. "Commons" are open spaces belonging to the public, and held by Corporations or Councils for all to share and enjoy alike. So salvation is for all.
III. It Supplies a Common or General Need.
IV. It is the Common Theme of all the sacred writers.