“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jude warns of those who turn grace into lewdness. The word lewd is somewhat outdated, but refers to something vulgar or obscene, especially that which is sexually immoral. Jude is referring to those who think the grace of God allows for behavior which is clearly forbidden in the Word of God. It is important to remember, grace does not excuse sin, but provides forgiveness when we fail.
Recently, I heard a politician say how pleased he was with the states that voted for same sex marriage. His rationale held, since God created all of us, we should all have the same rights and privileges. I think this is a good example of forgetting that the grace of God does not condone sinful behavior. Sexual sin, whether it is homosexuality, marital infidelity, or premarital sex, is all clearly forbidden in the Word of God. To suggest that grace somehow overshadows the clear directives of God’s Word, is to misunderstand grace. Instead of releasing us to live however we want, grace provides a way for us to be forgiven and restored, no matter how we have failed. Perhaps you are married, and have been unfaithful to your spouse, grace does not excuse your behavior, but screams out that you can be forgiven, and your marriage restored. Perhaps you are a young person who has been drawn into the homosexual lifestyle. Grace calls out to you, that you can have your sins forgiven and be restored to relationship with God.
Instead of looking at grace as a license to misbehave, we should see it as an expression of God’s love. It is His desires that we spend eternity with Him. Let’s not cheapen His grace, but rejoice that He would pardon sinners.