|Change of Plans|
Jude 3, 4
The Story: What was to be a cordial and encouraging letter, exhorting these unknown readers to greater appreciation of their faith, came to be something else entirely as Jude (apparently) received intelligence concerning a problem that had arisen within this particular community. While folks weren’t paying attention, certain people had become associated with their ranks whose motives, views, and way of life were not consistent with the teaching of the Gospel. It seems that only of late had the community become aware of the problem and perhaps appealed to Jude for help. It is a pastor’s duty to keep close watch over himself and the teaching which is presented within his congregation (1 Tim. 4:16). In this case, better late than never. There are many false teachers in churches today who have not yet become “noticed” for their unbiblical views and ways. Whoever teaches salvation by any other means than through Jesus Christ, or discipleship as anything other than submission to Jesus as Master and Lord, and who does not keep his teaching within the parameters of what the Church has always in every place believed – such a person needs to be called on his false views and warned of the “condemnation” that awaits him unless he repents.
The Structure: Jude does not hesitate to put forth the magnitude of the problem he intends to address. This is not just a matter of differing views or interpretations; tolerance of others’ ways was never in Jude’s mind. The grace of God was being perverted, either by a false plan of auto-salvation (salvation by works) or, more likely, of grace leading to moral license (“I’m saved and forgiven; God accepts me just as I am.”). Either way, the supremacy of Christ was being called into doubt, and those responsible were in danger of eternal condemnation. When such troubles appear in a congregation, it’s best not to mince words.
What means does your church have in place to make sure all the teaching conducted in the name of your church is what it ought to be?
For a more interactive study of Jude, order Carolyn Nystrom’s 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: 12 Studies, from our online store.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.