Reasons to Enforce the Duty of Contending for the Faith
Jude 1:4
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men…

The principal reason is the presence of antinomian errorists in the Church.

I. THE ENTRANCE OF WICKED ERRORISTS INTO THE CHURCH. "For there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were of old set forth unto this condemnation."

1. These men are not named, either because Jude did not care to give them the celebrity their vanity might have desired, or because their names were already known to the saints.

2. It is not possible for man to guard the Church against the entrance of such men. Even apostles themselves could not keep the Church pure.

3. The entrance of errorists is usually effected by hypocritical arts. They are "false apostles," "deceitful workers," "deceiving the hearts of the simple," "drawing many disciples after them," "false teachers privily bringing in damnable hercules." They usually conceal their real opinions; they mix wholesome truth with destructive errors; and they preach doctrines palatable to the corrupt nature of man. They usually effect an air of novelty or originality in their teaching. The best Christians may therefore be sometimes mistaken in such seducers.

4. The presence of such men in the Church does not destroy the being of the Church.

5. Their destructive influence and the retribution that awaits them were predicted beforehand. For "they were of old set forth unto this condemnation." Not in the prophecies by Peter and Paul, but in the Old Testament; for the phrase, "of old," refers to something in history. The condemnation is that illustrated by the examples recorded in the following verses.

6. It is needful that Christians should be on the watch against the entrance and the influence of wicked errorists.

II. THE CHARACTER OF THESE MEN. "Ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

1. They were godless men.

(1) They denied to God the honour due to him. They lived without relation to God. They were practically "without God in the world." "In their works they denied him." "They called not upon the Lord."

(2) They gave to the world, to sin, to folly, the allegiance that was due to God. They "served the creature more than the Creator."

(3) They sought to honour God in a wrong manner. They worshipped not according to his Word; and their service was selfish, or partial, or inconstant, or profane.

(4) Ungodliness leads to all wicked practices.

2. They perverted the doctrines of grace. "Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness;" arguing, as Trapp says, from mercy to liberty, which is the devil's logic.

(1) The true design of the grace of God. It is that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we may live soberly, righteously, godly, in this world," As the free gift of God, our election and our calling being both of grace, we are bound to see that we receive it not in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1).

(2) The perversion of this grace is effected

(a) by men "using their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness" (1 Peter 2:16), "for an occasion to the flesh" (Galatians 5:13), by "continuing in sin that grace may abound" (Romans 6:1);

(b) by rejecting the Law as a rule of life;

(c) by abusing their liberty to the offence of weak consciences.

(3) The heinousness of, such conduct.

(a) It implies the sin of hypocrisy.

(b) It is a profound dishonour to God and his doctrine.

(c) It argues a boundless ingratitude.

(d) It is almost the most hopeless of all sins against God.

3. They denied Jesus Christ. Wearing the livery of Christ, they were all the while vassals of the devil.

(1) Christ is the only Lord and Master of believers. This Lordship is based upon the idea of property. We are the Lord's, whether living or dead (Romans 14:9).

(a) He gives laws to his servants.

(b) He binds them lovingly to obedience.

(c) He rewards them according to their service.

(d) He has power both to give and to take away.

(e) There is no escape for his enemies.

We may, therefore, infer:

(a) How serious an error it is to deny Christ's Deity!

(b) How foolish to trust in any other Saviour!

(1) How blessed are believers in possessing such a Lord!

(2) These errorists denied this Lord.

(a) Doctrinally; - perhaps, like the Gnostics, they denied his true Deity and his true humanity.

(b) Practically,

(α) by opposing his gospel;

(β) by apostasy from his truth;

(c) by a wicked and lewd life. These men, by rejecting Christ's authority as well as his salvation, "forsook their own mercy." - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

WEB: For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Perversion of the Truth
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