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Our Common Salvation

Peter L. Meney | Added: Jul 04, 2024 | Category: Editorial


Jude in his little epistle uses an interesting and unique expression to describe the gospel. He calls it ‘our common salvation’. 

In doing so he encompasses all the stages by which God’s purpose of love for His chosen people is revealed in the covenant of grace. The phrase is a kind of shorthand. Jude does not unpack the elements of so great salvation here, yet by referring to it as the salvation common to all to whom he is writing, he shows it to be the whole work of God’s grace in the salvation of His elect.

Jude has already identified his audience in his opening remarks. They are those who are sanctified by God the Father, preserved in God the Son, and called to experience salvation according to the work of God the Holy Spirit. This is a very powerful statement of God’s sovereignty and reveals the divine initiative in all the works of grace.

Our common salvation is therefore a collective term embracing all the elements put in place by our Triune God for the justification, sanctification, redemption, reconciliation and conversion of a sinner, worked out and effectually accomplished on our behalf. Salvation is first divinely secured for God’s elect, then it is applied to them according to God’s love and the good and wise counsel of His will. 

Every part of this sovereign plan is complete and entire for all believers. All of God’s elect are justified by imputed righteousness and all are sanctified in Jesus Christ. We are all redeemed and reconciled by precious blood. We have every stage in common so Jude can rightly call God’s saving grace our common salvation and common salvation culminates in a common inheritance and common glory for all who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ.

God has also delivered to the church a body of doctrine, which reveals and describes His ways and will for His people the church. This is the whole system of grace and truth to be believed and practised by those who follow Christ. Jude calls this ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’. Nevertheless, each believer’s experience of grace differs and our understanding and interpretation of God’s truth varies. No two of us have the same experience of the Lord be it in conversion or in our Christian life. 

God deals with us as individuals. He opens our minds and softens our hearts to receive His truth in varying measure. To use Jude’s word, He delivers to each a unique knowledge of Biblical truth, a diverse experience of grace and varying degrees and strengths of faith in Jesus Christ. Each believer’s experience of God’s love, mercy and providence is as distinct and diverse as we are characters in this world. 

In speaking as he does Jude gives us confidence in the shared blessings of our salvation which are bestowed uniformly upon all those loved by God the Father, redeemed by Jesus Christ and quickened to spiritual life by God’s Holy Spirit. We all possess every grace that comprises our common salvation. 

He also indicates that no two believers will have the same experience of God’s dealings in our lives and why our Christian journeys with their distinctive troubles and failures, joys and successes will always vary one from another.