Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Jude tells his readers the first of many things these certain, ungodly men are guilty of. They are "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness". Grace, of course, is a bestowing of favor, especially unmerited; and if it helps, lasciviousness also means licentiousness. Since that probably does not help, both words mean "unrestrained by law or general morality, or immoral, especially in a sexual manner". With this simple definition, it is easy to see what a grave offense this truly was and is. What Jude says with this phrase is that not only are these ungodly men attempting to deceive by playing the part as Christians, but they are spitting in the very face of God. The grace that God showed by sending His Son to die that we might have salvation (Acts 14:3; Rom. 3:24, 4:4), the "grace heaped on grace" Christ gave by coming (John 1:16), the grace that God gave Christ (Zech. 4:7), the grace that Christ was full of (John 1:14), the grace that He told Paul is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9), the grace that we serve God by (Heb. 12:28), the grace that is in a child of God's lips (Ps. 45:2), the grace that He gives the lowly (Prov. 3:34), the grace that was given to the apostles (Acts 4:33) and that they returned (Rom. 1:7; II Pet. 1:2; II John 3), the grace that allows us to stand before a Holy God (Rom. 5:2), the grace that we're under instead of the law (Rom. 6:14), the grace that He gives more of to resist sin (Jam. 4:6), the grace that we grow in (II Pet. 3:8), the...Well, we get the picture. God's perfect grace, these ungodly men are turning into their own immoral ideas. Instead of taking it for all that God says it is, they in turn decide to make of it something unrestrained by God's law. Remember another group that did this? The Hebrew people had been taken out of brutal Egyptian slavery by the strong hand of God, and immediately don't trust Him and think He's taken them out to die. But He saves them. Again they won't trust Him to lead them into the Promised Land, and He has them wonder in the wilderness for forty years until everyone over the age of twenty at that time, save two people, die off. Again and again they complain and rebel, and God provides and stays his hand. On one occasion before their forty year punishment was handed down, Moses goes up to Sinai to get the Ten Commandments. Everyone else, left waiting, decides that they have been abandoned and demand a new graven "god" be made. They take God's grace that He handed down time and time again, and turn it to lasciviousness as they worship a golden image and dance naked around it. When Moses comes down, he is astonished, and by God's leading orders a punishment that ends up killing some who were worshipping. So will it be with these ungodly men. Their deeds are marked, their deeds are serious, and their punishment is certain.