In his letter to the church, Jude gives a dire warning: “To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you … 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” (Jude 1-4).
Jude is forewarning us that false shepherds will steal into God’s house with one goal in mind: to pervert the Lord’s grace. He is saying, “Satan is sending a certain false doctrine to infiltrate the church and it is going to come through preachers, teachers and evangelists. They will take God’s grace and subtly twist it, manipulating it until it produces lasciviousness in God’s people.”
Every Sunday, professing Christians gather in God’s house to worship, hear his Word, and enjoy fellowship. Yet many of these same holy-appearing people lead lust-filled lives. The devil is probably not bent on hooking you with filth and tempting you with gross sin. However, if he can get you to see grace as an excuse for permissiveness, then he can start you down a path to bondage.
If you have a truly biblical understanding of grace, the enemy cannot deceive you and seduce you. Here are three safeguards against the seductions of Satan’s lies concerning grace:
- Build up your faith by diligently studying God’s Word. Both reading and hearing it.
- Pray in the Holy Spirit, not just in church but in private.
- Be anxious for nothing, but look for our Lord’s soon return.
You have the ability within you to do all three of these and if you do them, Jude declares, you will reap the benefits: “[He] is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). Hallelujah!