Jude 1:3-7 (ESV)
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Following up on Ken’s devotion from yesterday, Jude warns the early church that false teachers have and will slip unnoticed into the church, and pervert the Gospel. Because we are no longer slaves to the Law, does not give us license to do whatever we want, whenever we want to do it.
We are under the Law of Grace, but as Paul says in Romans 6:1-4 (ESV) “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
So let us learn from Paul, and Jude, and the other early Church Fathers about living in gratitude, as Ken said yesterday. Let us do what pleases the One Who bought our freedom, and what a price! If we are to be slaves to someone/something, let us be slaves to righteousness, slaves to Christ. Let us live in the freedom from the Law, but without forgetting our obligation to serve the Master.
The way to be aware of false teachers is to know the truth. If you know the truth, you will recognize falsehood when you hear it. But the devil is slick. He does not come in and tell big lies. He starts slowly, little changes here and there, and pretty soon, you are so deep that it is tough to get back to the truth. I believe this is what has happened to our nation, and is happening in many of the “Christian churches” today. There are many who have bought the false teachings about alternative lifestyles, and not calling people to account for their sin.
So let us be always on our guard, and check everything against the Scriptures.
by Virgil Stripes