After four weeks of studying this small book with you, it’s a little bittersweet to begin writing this last post on Jude. I have absolutely loved our time in this book of Scripture, and the lessons learned within have been both convicting and timely…
- How am I being influenced by the world around me? How am I influencing others?
- What am I doing to defend and protect God’s truth?
- How do I remain godly in a godless world?
Well, we’re not quite finished yet. I’ve waited until this final week of our study of Jude to uncover one more major theme within this book, and I hope that this final week of study will shed much light and deposit much wisdom into your hearts because it all has to do with God’s grace.
Beware of perverting or abusing the grace of God.
Wait, is that even possible? How would one pervert the grace of God? What does it mean to abuse God’s grace? Is that really something that you and I could be guilty of?
Let’s back up a few steps first before answering those questions. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been wondering what false doctrine these false teachers were teaching, right? I mean, what made them false teachers anyway? What were they saying that was wrong? In Bible study, I’m always after these details. I want to know the “what” and the “why” and the “how” behind everything!
These false teachers in the book of Jude were guilty of viewing God’s grace as an excuse for open sin.
Now, before we jump to judging them for doing something so horrible like that, let’s pause for just a second and look inward…the whole point of studying Scripture—first to know God, and second, to get a more accurate view of ourselves. Is it at all possible for you and I to be guilty of this very thing, taking advantage of the grace of God?
It is for sure a question worth asking. As believers, we know that God forgives our sin. That’s not the question. What’s on the table right now is this: Do we go on sinning KNOWING that God will forgive us anyway? This is a heart issue right here. This is a matter of our motivations.
About a year ago, I was listening to a sermon and was utterly convicted to start praying this two-fold prayer every single day: “God, purify my heart, and purify my motives.” I don’t just want to do the right thing, I want to do the right thing for the right reason. Does that make sense?
These false teachers that were posing as a threat to these believers in Jude were perverting God’s grace, proclaiming that their open sin would not be an issue because God forgives anyway. Hmmm, is that really how this thing works? The Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 6:1-2:
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
This should be our attitude toward sin. This should be how we view grace. If we are in Christ, we have died to sin and been made alive with Christ. Our old patterns of thinking, speaking, and ultimately living are not to define us anymore. Being “under grace” is not an excuse to keep thinking and saying and doing all the things we used to. We are new creations in Christ. Let’s live like it, then. Let’s be marked by Christ’s righteousness and not the world’s wickedness. Let’s be influencers for Jesus. Let’s defend and protect God’s truth. Let’s be godly in this godless world. The pursuit of Jesus is so worth it, friends.