October 28 2021
Today, Thursday October 28
Identifying the Enemy
Jude 1:3-4 “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 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.”
The Christian life is a battleground, not a playground. When the enemy is in the field, the watchmen dare not go to sleep. If there was ever a time that we need to be alert and aware of the false teacher that have invaded the church, it is today. Especially with internet, social media, and cell phones, where we have instant and easy access to anything and everything, we need to understand how the enemies of the cross are just around the corner waiting to lead us astray!
In his little Epistle, Jude wasted no time in identifying the enemy.
They were ungodly (v. 4b). This is one of Jude's favorite words. While these men claimed to belong to God, they were, in fact, ungodly in their thinking and their living. They might have "a form of godliness," but they lacked the force of godliness that lives in the true Christian (2 Timothy 3:5). On the outside, they appear to be the most genuine and sincere followers of Jesus Christ, but inwardly they are full of deadly poison. Jesus said that they are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
They were deceitful (v. 4c). They "crept in unawares." The Greek word means "to slip in secretly, to steal in undercover." Sometimes Satan's undercover agents are "brought in secretly" by those already on the inside (Galatians 2:4), but these men came in on their own. Peter warned that these men were coming (2 Peter 2:1) and now they had arrived on the scene.
How could false brethren get into true assemblies of the saints? The soldiers had gone to sleep at the post! The spiritual leaders in the churches had grown complacent and careless. This explains why Jude had to "blow the trumpet" to wake them up. Our Lord and His Apostles all warned that false teachers would arise, yet the churches did not heed the warnings. Sad to say, some churches are not heeding the warnings today.
They were enemies of God's grace (v. 4d). Why did they enter the churches? To attempt to change the doctrine and "turn the grace of our God into lewdness or lasciviousness" (Jude 4). The word lasciviousness simply means "wantonness, absence of moral restraint, indecency." A person who is lascivious thinks only of satisfying his lusts, and whatever he touches is stained by his base appetites. Lasciviousness is one of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19) that proceeds from the evil heart of man (Mark 7:21-22).
Peter had already warned these people that the apostates would argue, "You have been saved by grace, so you are free to live as you please!" They promised the people freedom, but it was the kind of freedom that led to terrible bondage (2 Peter 2:13-14, 19). The readers both Peter and Jude addressed knew what Paul had written (2 Peter 3:15-16), so they should have been fortified with Romans 6 and 1 Corinthians 5-6.
The apostates, like the cultists today, use the Word of God to promote and defend their false doctrines. They seduce young, immature Christians who have not yet been grounded in the Scriptures. Every soldier of the Cross needs to go through "basic training" in a local church so that he knows how to use the weapons of spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Jesus said, “Man cannot live on bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We need to be feeding daily on His Word! Are you?