Summary: Jude gives three designations that are true of all believers. They are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.
*(Surnamed) Somebody’s family name: the name that identifies somebody as belonging to a particular family and that he or she has in common with other members of that family; the last name.
**(Matthew 10:3) “Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;”
( *** Luke 6:16) “And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”
(****Matthew 13:55) “Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?”
*****(bondservant) A serf: or enslaved person
St. Jude writes to all believers everywhere and not to anyone in particular or to any specific Church, that's why this epistle has been called a general epistle. When addressing the Letter, Jude gives three designations that are true of all believers. They are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ. God has called them out of the world by the gospel, to belong to Himself. Note, Christians are called to higher and better things, heaven, things unseen and eternal,—called from sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to holiness; and this while pursuing divine purpose and grace; for whom he did predestinate those he also called, Rom. 8:30. They are set apart by God to be God’s special and pure people. And they are marvelously preserved from danger, damage, defilement, and damnation until at last they are ushered in to see the King in His beauty.
The word servant (Gr. doulos) is literally “slave” and conveys the picture of a bond slave who belonged to another person. Even though, as the brother of James, Jude was the brother of Christ, he prefers that we know him as the “slave” or property of Christ. Peter *(II Pet 1:1) and Paul **(Rom 1:1) also spoke of themselves in this way; it is a ***metaphor for complete dedication. As far as the readers are concerned, we know only that they were ****sanctified, *****preserved, and called, and that they must have lived somewhere in the vicinity of Palestine in order to know who James was.
*(II Pet 1:1) “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”
**(Rom 1:1) “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God”
***(metaphor) all language that involves figures of speech or symbolism and does not literally represent real things; one thing used or considered to represent another
****sanctified (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
1) to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow
2) to separate from profane things and dedicate to God
2a) consecrate things to God
2b) dedicate people to God
3) to purify
3a) to cleanse externally
3b) to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin
3c) to purify internally by renewing of the soul
*****(Preserved) conserved, well-looked-after, well-maintained, well-preserved, well-kept-up, well-kept, unspoiled.
Now those who are called are also Sanctified: Sanctified by God the Father. Sanctification is usually spoken of in scripture as the work of the Holy Spirit, yet here it is ascribed to God the Father, because the Spirit works as the Spirit of the Father and the Son. Note that all who are effectively called are sanctified, and made partakers of a divine nature *(2 Pt. 1:4); for without holiness no man shall see the Lord **(Heb. 12:14). Observe; our sanctification is not our own work. If any are sanctified, they are sanctified by God the Father, not excluding Son or Spirit, for they are one, one God. Our corruption and pollution come from ourselves; but our sanctification and renovation are from God and his grace; and therefore if we perish in our iniquity we must bear the blame, but if we are sanctified and glorified all the honor and glory must be ascribed to God, and to him alone. The called and sanctified are preserved in Christ Jesus. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The meaning is, that they owed their preservation wholly to him; and if they were brought to everlasting life, it would be only by him. What the apostle says here about those to whom he wrote, is true of all Christians. They would all fall away and perish if it were not for the grace of God keeping them. Since it is God who begins the work of grace in the souls of men, consequently it is He who carries it on, and perfects it. What He begins he will perfect; though we are fickle, he is unvarying. He will not forsake the work of his own hands ***(Ps. 138:8).Let us not therefore trust in ourselves, nor in our stock of grace that we have already received; but, instead, let us trust in him and in him alone.