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By Curtis Pugh

In what order does God work to deliver those whom He will save? The Bible is quite clear on this matter although it is contrary to the ideas of men: even contrary to the ideas of religious men.

Jude introduces his little book with these words: “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,” (Jude 1:1). Jude is, of course, writing to regenerated people who had afterward been scripturally baptized and organized into a scriptural congregation.

Notice in speaking of their salvation Jude puts the events in this order: (1) first they had been “sanctified by God the Father,” then (2) they had been “preserved in Jesus Christ,” and (3) finally they had been “called.” We know nothing by experience of our having been “sanctified by God the Father” or our having been “preserved in Jesus Christ.” Our experience of salvation begins with our being “called.”

Those whom God saves were “sanctified” or set apart for God's purpose before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 says: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” The word “sanctify” ought not to alarm us. Ladies often have dishes they use only on special occasions. When I was a boy I had school clothes, play clothes and my “Sunday best.” Each of these things are “sanctified” or set apart for a special use.

Having been thus “set apart” by God because in His own proper time He would save those “sanctified,” the devil would, of course, want to destroy these people before God brought them to saving faith. So they needed preservation or protection. God determined to save these individuals and also to preserve them in Jesus Christ. Remember that in John 7:30 it is recorded, “Then they sought to take him [Jesus]: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.” God had scheduled a time on His calendar, as it were, for Christ to be taken, tried and crucified. He preserved His Son even when He was right in the middle of His enemies until that time came. So God preserves His sheep even when they are yet lost sheep.

The third thing in order in God's salvation listed here is that God calls His sheep. This is an effective call: it brings results. Just as when Jesus called, “Lazarus, come forth,” (John 11:43), the dead sprang forth so it is when the spiritually dead sinner is called. Thus made alive spiritually by this calling he experiences godly sorrow, repentance, faith and a changed life. So it is that God sanctifies, preserves and calls His own. Jesus spoke of this effective calling when He said, “...The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live,” (John 5:25).

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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