Saviour but not LordIn verse 4 Jude gets to the nitty gritty of the false teaching that is so dangerous that he deviates from his natural inclination to celebrate the salvation he has in common with his audience.
He makes two important points:
And we're going to start with his second one...
What is it that these false teachers do that has him so concerned?
In a nutshell, these people are perfectly willing to take what God offers (providence, grace and mercy) but they are completely unwilling to let God be God in their lives.
As I mentioned in the introduction to Jude, the heresy he was dealing with was an early form of gnosticism which reduced faith to a cerebral affair. Drawing from Platonism, they argued the body and soul were separate entities and, as such, the body was just the cage or vehicle of the soul. This meant that what you did with your body didn't matter. These "gnostics", who argued that their thoughts (their "knowledge" - gnosis(Greek)) were what mattered, would indulge in immorality and other fleshly excesses with impunity.
Basically, they were happy to have Jesus as their Saviour, but they didn't want Him to be their Lord.
Today there are many who fall into this trap. Maybe not as blatantly as the gnostics did, but in many subtle ways they are quick to talk about God as a forgiving and merciful God, but they are not willing to accept His laws and standards.
The first point that Jude makes is that this tendency has been around for a long time and warns us that this was as wrong then as it is now... (tomorrow we'll look at some old examples of this.)
So this is the bottom-line... False and Fake religion often boils down to this very simple point: People want to have what God offers without doing what God requires. We are not immune to this temptation - we want Him to be our Saviour, but we don't always want Him to be our Lord.
|For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude1:4)|