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Strolling Through the Book of Jude January 1, 2014

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the Epistle of Jude with the aid of a commentary by Thomas Manton. I should note that I’ve previously read through Jude. As in my recent stroll through the book of Titus, I hope to comprehend Jude as a whole. In particular, I would like to compare Jude with the Pauline epistles.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Manton’s commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on Jude 1-2.

Summary: Jude begins by referring to himself as an apostle; he also refers to his relative, James. He greets the elect, who are:

  • sanctified by God the Father
  • preserved in that state by God the Son.

Jude concludes by praying that the elect would receive more and more of:

  • mercy from God
  • tranquility of mind arising from the sense of a definite relationship with God
  • a gracious and holy affection that the soul returns to God through His grace.

Thoughts: In verse 1, Jude notes that the elect are “kept by Jesus Christ.” Manton offers two thoughts on this point that are difficult to reconcile. First, we have:

Again, we do not say that a believer is so sure of his state of grace that he does not need to keep on being alert and watchful.

Then, we have:

It is not as if an elect person could be driven out of the state of grace, for he will be saved at the end. He cannot fall from grace and godliness unless his whole person consents to this. He may sin badly but will not fall away completely, nor finally.

The bulk of Manton’s notes on this verse emphasize the role of God in preserving the elect in their “state of grace,” and so I infer that Manton essentially hewed to Calvin’s view of salvation. Of course, Manton’s thoughts do not resolve the ancient debate between those who advocate free will and those who advocate pre-destination. Can a believer cease to be “alert and watchful,” and if so, what are the consequences? Can the “whole person” of an “elect person” consent to “fall from grace and godliness?” Since Manton states that this “will not” happen, why must a believer “need to keep on being alert and watchful?” Perhaps Manton believed that all believers who “sin badly” will receive fewer rewards in the next life than those believers who do not “sin badly,” though this is just a hunch.

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1. False Teachers and Their Destruction | Ringing In - July 26, 2014

[…] When I read through this passage, I was reminded of my stroll through the book of Jude. Thomas offers some insights on this […]


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