A slave of Jesus Christ – the one sure sign a person is a Christian.

Jude 1 Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James


Jude begins his letter by introducing himself as ‘a slave of Jesus Christ’. Later in the letter he refers to Jesus as our ‘Master and Lord’ (vs4). It’s unusual to hear someone refer to himself as a slave, especially if his master is his half brother. Most commentators agree that both Jude and James are the brothers referred to in Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas (or Jude) and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” It was not until after Christ’s death and resurrection that Jude, his brothers and sisters came to a true saving faith. Their physical blood tie to Jesus did not and could not save them.

Jesus made it clear that their relationship to Him must be a spiritual one based on trust, faith and obedience. On one occasion while Jesus was talking to a crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Then pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:49-50)

It is only faith, which trusts and submits to Jesus as Lord and Master that unites us to Him and makes us part of His family. After the brothers and sisters of Jesus were converted they instinctively called themselves ‘servants of Jesus Christ’ because they saw themselves in a new relationship with Him. He had become their Lord and they had become His followers. After Jesus had ascended to heaven we find the believers meeting in the upper room for prayer. We are told that they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14). J.C.Ryle in commenting on this verse said ‘Never let it be forgotten that at one time they did not believe on Jesus; but now their unbelief was gone, and they were true disciples.’

The one sure sign that a person is a Christian is that they say ‘Jesus is Lord’. This lies at the very heart of the Christian faith and influences everything we do and believe. Calling Jesus ‘Lord’ means we affirm His deity as the supreme ruler over history and creation, as the only Savior and High Priest who gave His life as a ransom for our sins, and who has the sole right to be the ruler of our lives. By His death, He has defeated death. By His resurrection He has conquered the grave. He has ascended to the right hand of the Father where He rules until all enemies will be made His footstool. He will come again in great power and glory.

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.