“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 The word lewd is somewhat outdated, but refers to something vulgar or obscene, especially that which is sexually immoral.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.
Years ago, 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.
The book of Jude is a rich little epistle with a message to Christians everywhere to be aware of false teachers and to contend earnestly for the faith. As a Christian you have been entrusted with God’s Word and the gift of eternal life. There are many people seeking to deceive and destroy those that are not aware. Jude wants us to recognize the dangers of false teaching. Here he is writing against the godless teachers who were saying Christians could do as they please without fear of God’s punishment. In the world today there are more heretics and apostates than ever before which makes this epistle relevant and necessary. This is Jude’s warning against living a nominal Christian life.
1. Notice in verse 1, Jude introduces himself the same way his brother James did: As a bondservant. Both James and Jude did not build upon their special relationship with their half-brother Jesus Christ, and didn’t elevate themselves because of that relationship.
2. Jude is writing to those who are called, those who have responded to the call of God, those that are sanctified, beloved by God the Father and preserved in Jesus. Jude begins this epistle with assurance. We all have been called, but not all have responded. Have you responded to the gift of salvation? The keeping power of the Lord awaits you.
3. Verse 2 is a salutation of mercy, peace, and love; we need all three. Notice God’s mathematics; He’s not adding but multiplying. God wants these things for us in abundance. Are you doing all you can to bless others by multiplying mercy, peace and love?
4. Verses 3 & 4 tell us that Jude had begun a letter to the beloved to encourage them in their common salvation. He felt it necessary to set them back on the right track which was calling them back to the basics of their faith. As Jude puts it, “exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith.” According to verse 4, what did Jude hear about that caused him to start a new letter?
5. In our culture today we have false teachers that have crept in unnoticed. They are twisting the Bible’s teachings to justify their own opinions, lifestyles, and behaviors. If we refuse to learn correct doctrine we are susceptible to false teaching because we are not fully grounded in God’s truth. When we are fully grounded it will show up in how we act and the deep respect we have for God, and the sincere desire to live according to His Word. Are you diligently seeking to grow in the truth of God’s Word? Have you ever recognized false doctrine and had to contend earnestly for your faith?
6. In verses 5-7 Jude gives us three examples of rebellion and how God dealt with each of them. These examples are here to show us that if God punishes the chosen, how much more would these false teachers be severely judged? What are the three examples of rebellion?
7. Verse 7 talks about those that do not believe. There are those today that believe that God will not sentence anyone to eternal fire for rejecting Him. The Lord Jesus clearly teaches this in Matthew’s Gospel 25:46. The warning that Jude gives is to all that rebel or refuse the only way, truth, and the life of salvation. Do you know people that believe this false doctrine? Are you contending earnestly for the faith?
8. There are certain attitudes that are typical of false teachers. These attitudes are selfishness, pride, greed, and power (to name a few). In verse 11 Jude gives us three examples of men who did whatever they wanted. Who are they? Study each of them and determine how they disregarded the will of God.
9. Verse 21 says “keep yourselves in the love of God.” Jude is telling us that we are to keep ourselves in a place of blessing so God can do the things He wants to do for us. When we realize that Jesus is coming soon, the grip of the world is loosened on us. It does things to our heart. It….
• Makes you want to reach for heaven.
• Makes you want to purify yourself.
• Causes you to change priorities.
• Urges you to share the gospel to a world that is dying.
Are you keeping yourself in the love of God or are you still clinging to the world and living in the wilderness?
10. In verses 24 & 25 Jude ends his epistle with praise by giving glory to God. Back in verse 1 Jude wrote to those who are called, sanctified, and preserved in Jesus Christ. Here in verse 24 the word keep takes on the same idea as preserved. If we remain faithful even though there is an abundance of false teaching around us, God who is able to keep us from stumbling, will bring us into His presence and give us everlasting joy. According to verse 24, what will be our ultimate condition when we finally see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face? Grace and Peace to You.