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. 4 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.
5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus[b] first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. 7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
8 In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings.[c]9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels,[d] did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) 10 But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11 What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.
12 When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you.[e] They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
14 Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”[f]
16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. Jude 3-16
Jude was the half brother of Jesus. The two New Testament writers James and Jude were both brothers of Jesus and their mother was Mary. They were born after Jesus and were conceived when Joseph and Mary came together as husband and wife. Jude would have an interesting upbringing being the brother of Jesus. It is said in the gospel at one point that Mary with Jesus brothers and sisters came to a place where Jesus was ministering and Jesus was told that they were waiting for Him at the door. But Jesus used it as an opportunity to point out that Jesus true brothers, sisters, and mother were those who faithfully followed Him and walked in obedience to His commands.
When we examine this passage of scripture we see Jude’s reason for writing this was because of false teachers who had wormed their way into the church and who were teaching that God’s grace allowed people the freedom to indulge in the lust of the flesh. Jude used many Old Testament examples of people who began with the Lord but because of disobedience ended up facing destruction.
It is God’s grace that keeps us walking with the Lord. But we are called to abide in the Lord on a daily basis. The grace of God does not give us a license to sin. The grace of God allows us to be covered by the favor of God because of the faith we have in Jesus Christ. But we are called to pursue the Lord and we are called to have the fruit of the Holy Spirit produced in our lives.
There are false teachers today upon the earth who have distorted the grace of God. The tactics of the enemy never change, they are simply repackaged in a different form. The grace of God is a wonderful thing but if the grace of God is being used to indulge in the lust of the flesh and especially sexual immorality then it is simply being abused and a continuance in this direction will in time result in a hardening of one’s heart against the work of the Holy Spirit. To claim to follow Jesus Christ but continue to indulge in the things of the flesh is to disgrace the sacrifice that Jesus paid at Calvary.
It is important that we honor God’s word and have a right understanding of God’s grace for us. It is not meant as a license to do whatever we want. It is God’s favor upon our lives but we are called to live holy lives because He is holy. We represent the name of Jesus upon the earth and we are His representatives. What does it say to a world that is lost and broken if those who claim to follow Jesus Christ are simply indulging in the same thing the world is indulging in.
The false teachers of Jude’s day were simply driven by the sensual desires that existed within them. Jesus told the disciples that people would know them by the love in their lives and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If we are to truly claim to follow Christ then we must be willing to forsake the things of the world and fully embrace all that God has for us. False teachers will always exist but it is important that we become students of God’s word to know when we are being told the truth and when we are being lied to. It is impossible to determine the existence of a lie without a standard of truth. God’s word is that standard and we must be diligent to study it on a daily basis.