Jude and Peter both knew that in order for Christians to live faithfully as God’s people, they need to look both backward and forward—backward to what God has done throughout redemptive history, and forward to what God has promised to do in the future.
In the midst of a world that often seems out of control, knowing our ultimate destiny is a source of great comfort and motivation to press on in the face of serious challenges and opposition to the gospel. Jude and Peter both knew that in order for Christians to live faithfully as God’s people, they need to look both backward and forward—backward to what God has done throughout redemptive history, and forward to what God has promised to do in the future. Both these realities are found in God’s word, consisting of “the predictions of the holy prophets [i.e., the Old Testament] and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles [i.e., the New Testament]” (2 Pet. 3:2). In it we find “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This word is the result of men speaking “from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). As a result, it is sufficient for everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3–5).
The God who speaks in this word is the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Jude 20–21). Each person of the Trinity works in cooperation to accomplish the redemption of God’s people. Peter and Jude put the Son on center stage in redemptive history, stressing his authority as Lord and Master (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 4). He is not just the Savior of his people (2 Pet. 1:1, 11; 2 Pet. 2:20; 3:2, 18), but he is also the one who will render final judgment on all God’s enemies (2 Pet. 2:4–10; 3:4–13; Jude 5–15).
Given the priority and importance of God’s word, it is no surprise that false teachers attack it. Throughout redemptive history they have followed a pattern first used in the garden by Satan himself. They begin by questioning God’s word, subtly seeking to undermine one’s confidence in what God has said (2 Pet. 3:16; Jude 4). From there they move on to directly contradicting God’s word, arguing that God cannot be trusted to tell us the truth and nothing but the truth (2 Pet. 3:4; Jude 6–18).