Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write to you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write to you…
(with Titus 1:4): — Jude was probably one of Christ's brothers, and a man of position and influence in the Church. He is writing to the whole early Christian community, numbering men widely separated from each other by nationality, race, culture, and general outlook on life; and he beautifully and humbly unites himself with them all as recipients of a "common salvation." Paul is writing to Titus, the veteran leader to a raw recruit; and yet Paul beautifully and humbly associates himself with his pupil, as exercising a "common faith." But you will notice that they take up the same thought at two different stages, as it were. The one declares that there is but one remedy for all the world's woes; the other declares that there is but one way by which that remedy can be applied. All who possess "the common salvation" are so blessed because they exercise "the common faith."
I. THE UNDERLYING CONCEPTION OF A UNIVERSAL DEEPEST NEED. "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint." The tap root of all human miseries lies in the solemn fact of human transgression. That is a universal fact. Wide differences part us, but there is one thing that we have all in common: a conscience and a will that lifts itself against disliked good. Beneath all surface differences of garb there lies the same fact, the common sickness of sin. Now, do not let us lose ourselves in generalities. Whatever you may want, be sure of this: that your deepest needs will not be met until the fact of your individual sinfulness and the consequences of that fact are somehow or other dealt with, staunched, and swept away.
II. THE COMMON REMEDY. "The common salvation." There is one remedy for the sickness. There is one safety against the danger. There is only one, because it is the remedy for all men, and it is the remedy for all men because it is the remedy for each. Jesus Christ deals, as no one else has ever pretended to deal, with this outstanding fact of my transgression and yours. He, by His death, as I believe, has saved the world from the danger because He has set right the world's relations to God. On the Cross, Jesus Christ the son of God bore the weight of the world's sin, yours and mine and every man's. Further, Jesus Christ imparts a life that cures the sickness of sin. Christ deals with men in the depths of their being. He will give you, if you will, a new life and new tastes, directions, inclinations, impulses, perceptions, hopes, and capacities, and the evil will pass away, and you will be whole. Jesus Christ heals society by healing the individual. There is no other way of doing it. If the units are corrupt the community cannot be pure.
III. THE COMMON MEANS OF POSSESSING THE COMMON HEALING. My second text tells us what that is — "The common faith." If it is true that salvation is a gift from God, then it is quite plain that the only thing that we require is an outstretched hand. It is no arbitrary appointment. The only possible way of possessing "the common salvation" is by the exercise of "the common faith."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
WEB: Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.