Many commentators I read on Jude either interpret him deterministically or avoid the subject. In fact, when I first read it I too read it deterministically. (Oh how conditioned we are; the WIT translation is in full operation.) But upon closer examination I found synergism to have full expression throughout Jude. So let’s take a second glance:
To those who are called [Jude 1:1]
Interpretation: “Called” and other related terms find their fullest theological expression in Ephesians 1 and must always be understood corporately (“in Christ”), i.e. as to “the Church”, whoever has joined the body of Christ by faith [Ephesians 1:13].
who are… kept by [“for” or “in”] Jesus Christ [Jude 1:1]
Interpretation: Jude confirms the interpretation of corporate calling by making reference to those who are kept “in Christ”. Still, the Greek word for “kept” [τετηρημένοις] means, “to keep watch” or “guard” and in its structure it is a “passive verb”. In other words, those who remain (passive) in his arms will be guarded. Nothing can remove you from the love of God. Apostasy must be deliberate (proactive), you cannot slip out of God’s hands, you must leave willingly (even forcefully).
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago [Jude 1:4]
Interpretation: It was written about and foreshadowed in the stories of the Exodus, of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam and Korah. That is, as Paul writes, those stories were given “as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” [1 Corinthians 10:6 or as the author of Hebrews similarly warns in Hebrews 3:16 ff.]. These stories do not tell about anyone in particular, but only that this is the pattern of apostasy which has been common among the people of God from the beginning, and that Jude is declaring was occurring among the church he was writing to.
[They] deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord [Jude 1:4]
Interpretation: A reference to those who have watered down the grace of God and turned it into an opportunity to sin. They deny the Sovereignty and Lordship of Jesus Christ because – obviously – Christ is not reigning as Sovereign Lord in their lives. By their lives they are denying that he is their King.
Keep yourselves in God’s love [Jude 1:21]
Interpretation: This verse was silently passed over in Part 1 and is equally silently passed over in most commentaries because it sounds too much like something Arminius would say. John Wesley says, “Jude 1:21 exactly answers the introduction [Jude 1:1].” This synergistic parallel is very reminiscent of Philippians 2:12-13 and is in line with our interpretation of “kept” above.
[Praise] Him who is able to keep you from falling [Jude 1:24]
Interpretation: God’s ability, God’s Sovereignty is never the issue. He can do whatever he wants and is certainly able to keep you from falling. But he will not force you to remain in him (cf. John 15:10 w/ John 14:23), which in fact is the point of Jude’s whole Epistle. If a deterministic approach to Jude’s Epistle is accepted uncritically then Jude might as well have kept his pen in his desk and saved the paper.