I recently traded emails with a brother and the question about Jude 3 came up and what exactly is the “common salvation”. Well I am not as well read in Jude as I should be, but I had my Johnny Mac with me and I wrote out his commentary. Not wanting that to go to waste, I thought I would post it here, in the hope it would be available for you down the road….Enjoy!
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 3
beloved. compare to v. Jude 17, and Jude 20.
I found it necessary. compare to 1 Cor 9:16. This verse implies that Jude had intended to write a letter on salvation as the common blessing enjoyed by all believers, perhaps to emphasize unity and fellowship among believers, and remind them that God is no respecter of persons. But he was compelled, instead, to write a call to battle for the truth in light o the arrival of apostate teachers.
contend earnestly. While the salvation of those to whom he wrote as not in jeopardy, false teachers preaching and living out a counterfeit gospel were misleading those who needed to hear the true gospel. Jude wrote this urgent imperative for Christians to wage war against error in all forms and fight strenuously for the truth, like a soldier who has been entrusted with a sacred task of guarding a holy treasure (compare 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7).
The faith. This is the whole body of revealed salvation truth contained in the Scriptures (compare Gal. 1:23, Eph. 4:5, 13; Phil. 1:27; 1 Tim. 4:1) see also Jude 20. Here is a call to know sound doctrine (Eph. 4:14; Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 John 2:12-14) to be discerning in sorting out truth from error (1 Thess. 5:20-22), and to be willing to confront and attack error.
once for all delivered….saints. God’s revelation was delivered once as a unit, at the completion of the Scripture, and is not to be edited by either deletion or addition (compare Deut. 4:2; Deut. 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18-19). Scripture is complete, sufficient and finished; Therefore it is fixed for all time. Nothing is to be added to the body of the inspired Word because nothing else is needed. It is the responsibility of believers now to study the Word (2 Tim. 2:15), preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) and fight for its preservation.
saints. Believers are identified as holy, since they are set apart from sin to God.