10th June 2016
Christians today face many threats! These threats, unique to today’s society, come mainly from the Internet with YouTube, social media and podcasts offering every form of teaching and theology from hyper-grace to hyper-law. Today, everyone and anyone can be an “armchair theologian”. The threat comes when we listen to new revelations that in the past would have contradicted the biblical principles we believed in, but today sound so good and inviting; the values that we once held dear since receiving Jesus are today questioned and even challenged. Who should we listen to or not at all? Who is right and who is not?
In the days of Jude, the recipients of his epistle would likely have been facing a similar situation because reading the epistle sees Jude exhorting his readers to contend for their faith and exposing the godless or false teachers! Hence, we shall study the Book of Jude in this sermon mini-series, “The Clash of the Titans”. This last Sunday we witnessed the battle of the Saints versus the Godless!
In vv.3-5, Jude gives 3 insights on what to do in this battle with the godless:
1. Be Alert: Contend for the Faith (v.3)
Reading verse 3 in the original language actually reveals that he is exhorting the church to put effort into the teachings that were once taught to them with authority, not to bear arms and battle as some may think. When we are faced with new revelations and teachings, Jude’s advice is to “put our effort in going back to what was taught to us with authority”, namely processing the new revelations with the basic tenets that we have learned and grew spiritually with rather than taking every teaching that comes our way at face value.
2. Be Aware: The godless have slipped in (v.4)
Jude reveals that the godless have already slipped in – not in the future, but are already among us. How then do we identify the godless? He reveals that the godless “change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”. In other words, the godless will teach or preach that you can use the unmerited grace of our LORD to do anything without the consequence of confession or repentance.
3. Be Awake: Remember who God is (v.5 onwards)
Jude said that he wanted to remind his readers – who are Christians – about how God dealt with the godless in their past. What follows from vv.5-16 reveals the consequences of being godless. Click here to see a summary in the sermon’s additional notes. Note however, that Jude was so concerned because he knew his already Christian readers are still vulnerable to falling into godlessness. This is a good reminder for us to be alerted to what Jude has advised in vv.3-4.
Join us this Sunday as we look into the 2nd part of Clash of the Titans: The Scoffers vs. The Merciful. Have a great week ahead!