â€œJude, the servant ofÂ Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.â€ Â (Jude 1:1)
Although the Scriptures have much to teach about each of these precious terms, Jude is the only New Testament writer to use them together in sequence. This is also the only passage that identifies specific roles for the Persons of the Trinity in the lives of believers.
God the Father is said to â€œsanctifyâ€ us (separate, consecrate), but He apparently does this through the Holy Spirit based on the Fatherâ€™s foreknowledge (1 Peter 1:2). We are not told all that is involved, but our sanctification does include our â€œbelief of the truthâ€ (2 Thessalonians 2:13) and the â€œoffering of the body of Jesus Christâ€ (Hebrews 10:10), who â€œwas foreordained before the foundation of the worldâ€ (1 Peter 1:20).
Jesus Christ â€œpreservesâ€ us. The common use of this term in the New Testament is to â€œguardâ€ or â€œwatchâ€ over something or someone. The believer is most often the subject of this verbâ€”e.g., we are to â€œguardâ€ our obedience to the instructions of God (1 Timothy 6:14;Â 1 John 2:3). Judeâ€™s use, however, highlights the special attention that our Lord gives to each of us so that our â€œwhole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christâ€ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The sanctification and the preservation comes with the â€œcalling,â€ the invitation that is issued from God to those who are â€œthe called according to his purposeâ€ (Romans 8:28). It is a â€œhigh callingâ€ (Philippians 3:14) and a â€œholy callingâ€ (2 Timothy 1:9), and once we are â€œcalled,â€ God will â€œjustifyâ€ and â€œglorifyâ€ (Romans 8:30). The twice-born of God are â€œa chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should shew forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous lightâ€ (1 Peter 2:9). HMM III