Mercy, Peace, and Love
“Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.” —Jude 1:2
JUDE, ALONG WITH James, the senior pastor of the church in Jerusalem and the author of the epistle of James, was a brother of the Lord. Actually, I think it would be better to say he was a half brother of the Lord. I say half brother because the Lord was not born through the union of Joseph and Mary, but as the Holy Spirit came upon Mary.
The book of Jude has been called the most neglected book in the New Testament. Why that is I cannot say, but Jude’s epistle needs to be read and heeded by all believers. Jude emphasizes a fixed core of truth known as “the faith”—a singular faith, a specific faith “that was once delivered to the saints”—meaning that the truth of the gospel has been delivered, and it must be defended at all costs.
Jude warns us of the consequences of mixing error with truth, as Jude brings out with his scathing denunciation of false prophets and their false doctrine.
In this second verse, Jude gives to us a triple benefit—all through grace.
The phrase, “Mercy unto you,” presents mercy as a product of the grace of God.
In the Greek, the word mercy is eleas, and it means “the pity of God on underserving humans.”
At some point in time in the distant past, God determined that He was going to deal with humanity on the basis of grace. Therefore, God must grant mercy to man as mercy is a product of grace. Simply put, in the choosing of grace, mercy naturally follows.
Theologian A. A. Hodge said, “God’s mercy … is the divine goodness exercised with respect to the miseries of his creatures, feeling for them, and making provision for their relief, and, in the case of impenitent sinners, leading to long-suffering patience.”
Psalm 103:8-18 gives us a beautiful description of the mercy of God.
The word for peace in the Greek is eirene, and it means “to join.” To make peace is to join together that which has been separated. There are two types of peace presented to us in the Bible: justifying peace and sanctifying peace.
Through the shed blood of our Lord on the cross, He has made peace between a thrice-holy God and sinful man by joining together a holy God and the believing sinner. Once the believing sinner is joined together with God, one is justified and has justifying peace.
Sanctifying peace, which Jude is addressing in our text, is a state of tranquility, well-being, and security in the midst of life’s trials. Sanctifying peace can only be experienced when one truly puts his faith in the victory of the cross, not just for salvation but also for our day-to-day living.
When you put your trust in the cross, you are, at the same time, not trusting in self. To trust in self will always translate into
fear because the Holy Spirit cannot and
will not help our trust of our own self-will.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not you heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
This is sanctifying peace.
The phrase, “and love,” is agape love—the God kind of love. It is the love that is shed abroad in the heart of the yielded saint. The greatest example of salvation is the love of God that is in us and flows from us. Because of the love of God in us, we are able to show compassion, tenderness, and sympathy to those around us.
In I Corinthians 13:13, Paul said, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love], these three, but the greatest of these is charity [love].”
Believers are to be controlled, constrained, and motivated by the love of the Lord. The love we speak of is never guided by selfish interests or personal gain, but only to be a reflection of Christ.
The phrase, “be multiplied,” plainly tells us that these attributes can grow and multiply with no limit placed on the mercy, peace, and love that the believer can walk in.
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