In the opening verse of his brief letter, Jude refers to Christians as beloved who are “kept for Jesus Christ.” Those of a Calvinistic persuasion would see this phrase as an indication that a Christian can never fall from grace. “If we are ‘kept’ for (or by) Christ,” they ask, “how could we ever be lost?”

The answer is: whereas the Lord has provided all of the necessary blessings to insure our ultimate redemption, we must still exercise our personal initiative in remaining faithful. Notice verse 21 of this same letter:

“... keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

Note that personal responsibility — keep yourselves. So, circle the term “kept” in verse 1, and marginally note: See verse 21.