Jude: The fine line between freedom and self-indulgence

May 26th, 2007

I’ve never been a big fan of discipline and restrictions. When I was at school I didn’t feel a great urge to join the cadets and march around in uniform doing drills and getting shouted at by officers and continually getting in trouble for not having shiny enough shoes or for not standing in line straight enough or committing any other offence which seems to make them really angry. I have never enjoyed getting punished or told off, and I have never enjoyed having to repent when I have done something wrong. But even I could spot a problem when I met some people who said that they were Christians but wanted to take the concept of freedom much further than Jesus did…

The Letter from Jude

1:1 From Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, who are loved by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ. 1:2 May you overflow with mercy, peace and love.

1:3 Dear friends, I really wanted to write to you about the salvation which we share, but I find it necessary to write to encourage you to fight for the faith which was given once for all to the believers. 1:4 Some people have secretly infiltrated you. Their condemnation was written about long ago, and they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into a pretext for immorality, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

1:5 I want to remind you, although you already know this, that after the Lord rescued the people out of the land of Egypt, he destroyed those who did not believe. 1:6 Angels who did not keep within their allocated authority, but deserted the place where they lived, have been kept by him in everlasting chains in darkness, awaiting judgment on the great day. 1:7 Sodom and Gomorrah and the nearby cities indulged in sexual immorality and various perversions, and they have become an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. 1:8 In the same way, these dreamers also contaminate their own bodies, reject authority, and insult angels. 1:9 Even the archangel Michael, when fighting the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, did not dare to insult him. Instead, he said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”

1:10 But these people insult anything they do not understand, and they are destroyed by the things which they understand instinctively, like unthinking animals. 1:11 Woe to them! They have followed Cain’s example, and have made the same mistake as Balaam by trying to make money, and have been destroyed in their rebellion like Korah. 1:12 These people are hidden rocky reefs when they join you at your communion meals, fearlessly feeding themselves; clouds without rain, carried along by winds; autumn trees which are doubly dead, without fruit and pulled out by the roots; 1:13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

1:14 Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them, “The Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, 1:15 to judge everyone, and to punish all ungodly people for all the ungodly things which they have done, and all the insults which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 1:16 These people are grumblers and complainers, following their selfish desires. They boast about themselves, and flatter people to win favours.

1:17 Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 1:18 They told you, “In the last time there will be cynics, living according to their own ungodly desires.” 1:19 These worldly people who do not have the Spirit are the ones who cause disputes. 1:20 Dear friends, keep building yourselves on the foundation of your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, while waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and eternal life. 1:22 Show mercy to people whose faith is wavering, 1:23 and save others by snatching them out of the fire. Show mercy to others, but be careful, hating even clothing which has been stained by sin.

1:24 Now, to the one who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before his glorious presence with great joy, 1:25 to the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and majesty, power and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Entry Filed under: Courage

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. choosethecross.com » Fig&hellip  |  June 9th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    […] this means that churches face problems in dealing with people who exhibit anti-social behaviour. In his letter, Jude refers to difficult people and the troubles they can cause for the church: Dear friends, I really […]

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