“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 4
Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Through Jesus Christ grace achieves what we cannot accomplish on our own—deliverance from the power and the penalty of sin. The Christian life isn’t difficult without God’s grace, it’s impossible! Because grace is necessary, not only for our salvation but for our sanctification, the devil works to confuse our understanding of grace.
The enemy wants to weaken and destroy the bride of Christ—the Church—by means such as persecution or infiltration. The devil has found out, however, that the Church actually grows through persecution. As the saying goes, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” While the devil can create casualties with persecution, he can create converts by using deception and confusion.
So Jude is warning his readers that these converts of confusion have subtly entered their churches to muddy the waters about God’s amazing grace. Specifically, these “ungodly people” were indulging in sinful behavior, claiming that grace protected them from any divine punishment for their actions. In other words, they were using grace as a license to sin!
Jude is very clear about this deception. If we confuse our understanding of grace with permission to sin, then we deny the lordship of Christ. That’s a blatant abuse of God’s grace. Saving grace enlightens believers to God’s Word and God’s will. We then experience His grace daily as it equips and empowers us to overcome the desires of our old nature.
Think about it, why would God give us grace to sin when Jesus died such a gruesome death to free us from its penalty and power? So yes, God’s grace is there when we mess up, but to premeditate sin based on His unmerited favor is a spiritual warning flag. Either our understanding of grace is confused, or we’re taking advantage of God’s lovingkindness.
Has a specific area of your life come to mind? Ask the Lord to forgive you for that particular sin. Then determine to keep your eyes on Jesus. As you surrender daily to His Word and to His will, your deep appreciation of God’s amazing grace will keep you from taking it for granted.