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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Wednesday, April 25

Jude 1:1 now addresses God's true people who are given three essential promises: they are "called," "loved" and "kept."  God calls (past), God loves (present) and God keeps (forever).  Jude wants to assure his people of God's power and purpose in calling His people and sustaining them. 

None of these three aspects of faith begin or end with ourselves; it's all from God.  This teaching has understandably caused a great deal of controversy.  On the surface, it seems to negate human free will and our right to choose.  The argument is, "If we are called solely by God, then why make any effort to turn to Him?  We are not robots.  We have the right to choose with our own free will."

Also, many are troubled since not all appear to be called.  If it lies within God's sole responsibility and not our own to be called, then apparently God overlooks many or possibly calls only a chosen group.  If so, the promises are not to everyone but to a select group.  It seems grossly unfair and smacks against passages that teach that God loves and desires to save everyone (John 3:162 Peter 3:8-10).

John Calvin never began with the call of God in understanding this, but with our total inability to turn to God given our being "dead in sin" (Ephesians 2:1-4).

However we understand this, the Bible is clear that God's call is a reality.  The issue then is not whether or not this is true, but rather how it is true.  Certainly we are told to "believe."  Peter addressing the crowd in Acts states: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."

Salvation is not a passive act in which we have no part.  Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 1:4, beginning with God's call, yet adds our need to believe in Ephesians 1:14.  There is a mystery here that we can neither fathom nor dismiss.  We simply accept it with humility and thanks.

Our assurance rests not in our keeping ourselves in God's grace, but rather God keeping us!  We are "kept" in the sense that we are God's possessions, and as a result not one of His children will be lost.  Here are some passages related to this subject for future reference:

https://www.openbible.info/topics/called_by_god

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