Jump Start # 2423
Jude 3 “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered.”
Our verse today is one of the most known verses from the short book of Jude. It reveals a change in direction that has taken place. Rather than writing about the common salvation, there was a more pressing need. Trouble was on the horizon. False teachers and error were creeping in. Dark days were ahead for the church. And, this pressing urgency lead to the change in the tone of this book.
We understand this in other areas of life. You plan to go to a park, do some outside work but storm warnings in your area changes all of that. You adjust your plans. Funerals do that to us, as well. A death in the family and everything changes. Appointments are cancelled. We don’t go in to work. We travel to the funeral home. There has been some adjustments.
From our verse let us consider a couple of ideas:
First, there are times as a church, adjustments must be made. Sadly, some of these come suddenly and surround the death of a member. I’ve seen that a couple of times. On a Saturday, a member passes. Their passing was unexpected. Their lives touched many and many in the congregation would be in a state of shock. Rather than staying with the planned classes, they were cancelled. Everyone was brought in together. Special prayers were offered. Selected passages were read and talked about. It helped the congregation to deal with the loss and offered comfort to them. I remember, the Wednesday evening services after the 9-11 attacks. Services were changed. Special prayers were offered. I find that it is helpful to be somewhat flexible. Some places don’t seem to get this. They are rigid and staying with the plans no matter what. So a Bible class is taught but the mind of the audience is miles away as they think about the person who has just died.
Sometimes it’s not a death, but a matter of what is needed at the moment. Classes may be mapped out for the year and in the course of the year some unplanned things happen. Several are experiencing marriage issues. Several have caught wind of some idea that is pulling the church apart. Rather than staying the course with the plans for the year, it is good to make immediate adjustments. We do that at home. A meal is planned, but suddenly, a couple of the kids get the stomach bug. Plans change.
Sometimes it’s nothing bad, such as a death or marriage troubles, but something good. Several conversions and a new batch of young Christians need to be grounded and taught the word of God. Rather than tossing them into the middle of a current study, adjustments are made. A new class is formed to teach basics.
Adjustments are about seeing and realizing what the people need at the moment. Some things should not be put on the back burner. Some things ought to be addressed at the moment. Momentum can be lost because some are incapable of making adjustments.
Second, Jude was planning on writing about the common salvation. Common—it’s what we all know and what we all believe. There is something good about all of us seeing God’s word the same. The Bible doesn’t read one way for you and a different way for me. Folks have hidden behind the idea of your own interpretation for years. This allows them to do whatever they want. And, in the process, without realizing this, they indict God as a terrible writer. God authors a book in which we cannot agree upon. We can read a college biology book and agree. We can read Harry Potter and agree. But when it comes to the Bible, it means whatever you make of it. That idea screams that God cannot write in a clear and understandable way.
There is a common salvation. That common salvation is built upon the common understanding of Scriptures. That comes from the idea that we all have the same common need, and that is Jesus. Not everyone needs a new roof on their house. Not everyone needs a knee replacement. Not everyone needs to go back to school. Not everyone needs medicine. However, we all need Jesus. From the folks in Washington, to the folks in Hollywood, to the folks in between. The young, the old, the common guy and the sophisticated one, we all need Jesus. The rich guy and the bum, they both need Jesus. Among us, as different as we are, is a common need. And, there is a common solution to that common need, Jesus. And, the way we find forgiveness, grace and hope in Christ is common. It is a common salvation. It is shared universally. It is the same here as it is there. It is the same now as it was back then. It is the same in the states as it is in Europe. It is common. It is universal. We know that because the apostles were commissioned to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. That Gospel, that divine message, was the same. It is a common message. What I have to do is what you have to do. What I have to do is what my father had to do. And what I have to do is what my children have to do. Nothing unique. Nothing one of a kind. No lone wolfs, and, no Lone Rangers. Your circumstances and your background may be very different from mine, however, we stand upon the same ground when it comes to our salvation. It is common. It shared equally. It was the same for the Ethiopian, as it was for Lydia, as it was for Cornelius, as it was for the jailer in Philippi, as it was for the Corinthians, as it was for the Ephesians, as it was for you and as it was for me.
No one gets a special pass. No one gets to be different. No one is unique in this. Common salvation. Different talents. Different opportunities. Different circumstances. Yet, a common salvation. This seems to be so hard for some to get. They want to fly solo and independent from the Scriptures. They think that they are so special that they alone get to be different. Nope. It’s the same for all of us.
And, through this common salvation, we become one family. United. Connected. Speaking one voice. Having one mind. Following the one Savior. Common. We stand together in this common need. We stand together in the common solution, Jesus Christ. We stand together on the common message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You got someone boasting about a unique, special, new way—best steer clear of him. Ours is a common salvation. The new, the different, the unique, the one-of-a-kind, is likely nothing more than Satan trying to pull you away from the common salvation in Christ.
We are all in this together, working the same direction, after the same goal.