(Jude 3) Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.
It is no news to say that we are living in days that are increasingly becoming spiritually dark. The Apostle Paul said that in the last days, perilous times would come and a part of that peril would be the promotion of a form of spirituality that denies biblical truth. (see 2 Tim 3:1-5) In a similar manner, Jude addresses the issue of spiritual contamination as well. ‘Defend the faith’ Jude admonishes us. But what does it mean by ‘defending’ the faith?
We might think that Jude is encouraging us to draw a clear line of distinction between the Christian faith and other world religions. Or, Jude might be referring to a need to preach the gospel. Indeed in a day when biblical truth is being attacked, there is a great need for God’s people to be more bold to proclaim salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. But surprisingly, that seems to not be what Jude is referring to. ‘Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else. . .’ Apparently Jude’s original intention was to write an encouraging letter about the glories of their salvation; but now, something else has come up. What? Let’s continue to read his important letter –
I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4)
What does Jude say is the issue attacking the church? First of all, Jude tells us that a part of the infection seeking to invade the church is a false teaching that says that grace is a license for believers to live anyway they want! Secondly, Jude tells us that such false teaching also denied the Lordship of Jesus Christ. “They even deny that we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord.” (CEV)
Some Bible teaches feel that these false teachers were denying the fact that Jesus is Lord or God; others feel that they were denying the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (i.e. – grace frees us from the responsibility to submit our lives to Christ as our Lord or Master)
Unfortunately, anytime anyone today says anything about the need for holy living, some scream- “Legalism!” Anything that calls for the need to live a separated life is considered to ‘anti-grace.’ But is that what the Bible teaches?
So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Tomorrow we will continue our study in the book of Jude. Today I want to us to ask ourselves – are we living in a day similar to Jude’s? Have we somehow been deceived into believing that we can claim to be a Christian, yet live however we please? Has serving Christ, attending church, studying His Word, and even making changes in our lifestyle all become negotiable?
What are your thoughts about the need to ‘defend the faith’?