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Summary: We are loved by God.

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Intro:

1. In the 1980s, people shelled out thousands of dollars to own a potbellied pig, an exotic house pet imported from Vietnam. Their breeders claimed these mini pigs were quite smart and would grow to only 40 pounds.

Well, they were half right. The pigs were smart. But they had a tendency to grow to about 150 pounds and become quite aggressive.

What do people do with an unwanted potbellied pig? Fortunately, Dale Riffle came to the rescue. Someone had given Riffle one of these pigs, and he fell in love with it.

The pig, Rufus, never learned to use its litter box and developed this craving for carpets and wallpaper and drywall. Yet Riffle sold his suburban home and moved with Rufus to a five-acre farm in West Virginia. He started taking in other unwanted pigs, and before long, the guy was living in hog heaven.

There are currently 180 residents on his farm. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, they snooze on beds of pine shavings. They wallow in mud puddles. They soak in plastic swimming pools and listen to piped-in classical music. And they never need fear that one day they'll become bacon or pork chops. There's actually a waiting list of unwanted pigs trying to get a hoof in the door at Riffle's farm.

Dale Riffle told the reporter, "We're all put on earth for some reason, and I guess pigs are my lot in life."

2. How could anybody in his right mind fall in love with pigs?

I'll tell you something even more amazing. An infinite, perfectly holy, majestic, awesome God is passionately in love with insignificant, sinful, openly rebellious, people - people like you and me.

3. Beloved by God the Father.

Trans: We are looking at the Descriptive Greeting. We have seen the Author of the Greeting; Now we are looking at the Audience, who are Called by the Spirit of God; and Beloved by God the Father.

Immediately we have a textual variant - NKJ has "Sanctified by God the Father; while NAS has "Beloved in God the Father."

"Those who are called are described as those "who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ." The NIV translation does not represent the view of many commentators in its translation of this verse. The KJV and NKJV reflect a different textual tradition in the first phrase and read "sanctified by God the Father" rather than "loved by God the Father." The KJV tradition depends on the Majority text, but the textual tradition overwhelmingly supports "loved" rather than "sanctified." The variant reading in the KJV signals to the reader the difficulty of the expression used by Jude. Some scholars and translations understand the first participle phrase (en theo patri egapemenois) to say "beloved in God the Father" (RSV, NASB, NRSV). Such a rendering is attractive because often the verb "love" (agapao) is linked with the preposition "by" (hypo) if agency is intended. The preposition en, on this reading, suggests the sphere in which God's love is exercised. Such an interpretation of the phrase is certainly possible, but I think it is unlikely because the participle "loved" is passive, and God is the agent of the passive verb. Hence, it seems that the NIV rightly captures the meaning here. Believers have been loved by God the Father, and his effective love is the reason they belong to the people of God."


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