What is it to be a servant of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to be sanctified or to be “called”. The Book of Jude addresses all of these issues and more in the very first verse.
Jude, the servant
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
“The servant of Jesus Christ”. This gives an imagery of Jude serving at the bidding of Christ. And to an extent this is true. But more precisely being a “servant of Jesus Christ” is a reference to being the agent or agency that Christ works through. We must make ourselves capable, willing and ready souls that Jesus, through the Holy Ghost can use and enable us to advance the word of God.
For us to be able servants of the most high we must have absolute belief, faith and trust in Jesus. We must also have God’s righteousness in our hearts. This is not to say that we are to love righteousness (we are) but rather the righteousness of God made manifest is love. Righteousness is our Holy thoughts, acts and intentions toward God and our fellow man. We act in a manner that is for their good and benefit. The servant of Christ must work righteously. There is no malice or self-interest in the kingdom of God.
To be a servant of Jesus Christ we also must be in constant and fervent prayer to him. Prayer is so many things. But at its most basic level prayer is a conversation with God. It is not just telling God our problems or forfeiting gratitude and thanks. Prayer is a dialogue, a conversation and the more spiritually, mentally and physically involved we are in the conversation the more we get out of it. Fervent in spirit and fervent in prayer.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
“To them that are sanctified by God the Father” What does it mean to be sanctified? When we hear the word of God and believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Savior and receive the Holy Ghost we then are made holy. Jesus paid the price for our sins. Through Christ we receive redemption.
God made us. Jesus redeemed us. The Holy Ghost sanctifies us. Sanctification is the purification and separation of God’s children. The redeemed and sanctified are no longer of this world but of the kingdom of God. Old things pass away.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
“The ministry of reconciliation” is spreading the gospels of Jesus Christ. Being “Ambassadors for Christ” in reality is no different than being “the servant of Jesus Christ”. Both are the image and representation of our Lord. “The righteousness of God in him” is the love of God that is inside of us.
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
Love is God’s righteousness firmly planted and rooted in our hearts.
“Preserved in Jesus Christ”. This is a very accurate description. We are preserved, kept alive and protected from the devil and the world when we are in Christ and Christ is in us. It does not matter the trial, tribulation, trouble or turmoil we are preserved in Jesus. When we are weak Christ makes us strong. God’s grace is always supplied sufficiently, efficiently and always on time. And that’s an interesting point to ponder. We do not walk around with our allotment of grace as if we have been given by God a set amount or that a person has a limit of grace assigned them. God gives grace at his discretion and to the degree suitable to each person and most importantly to each circumstance. This how we are able to rise from weak to strong under the pressure of time and circumstance.
“And called”. The Gospels of Jesus Christ is the call. At some point in time in our life our spirit becomes quickened and we finally hear the message. The called are those who hear and respond to the good news message of righteousness, salvation and eternal life.
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