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“Turning the Grace of God into Lasciviousness”

Jude 1:4


Jude warns us to beware of “ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice that there are no charges of immorality. Were their lives notorious, for any breaches of the moral law, such open profligacy would have been mentioned. Were their conduct been notoriously corrupt, in any flagrant acts of licentiousness, they would soon have be discovered. Jude here specifically warns us of those self-righteous legalists who scandalously charge faithful gospel preachers with antinomianism, with promoting licentiousness.

These proud promoters of works religion are called “ungodly men,” because their doctrine is directly leveled against the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. They turn “the grace of God into lasciviousness,” not by using grace as an excuse for ungodly behavior, but by daring to charge the grace of God that brings salvation with leading to lasciviousness, asserting that the gospel of God’s free, absolute, unconditional grace promotes evil behavior among those who believe it. They turn the grace of God into lasciviousness by asserting that the glorious gospel of God’s free grace, which proclaims free, full, complete, irrevocable pardon to sinners through the blood and righteousness of Christ alone, opens the flood-gates of sin (Romans 3:8; 6:1).

Turning the grace of God into lasciviousness” is accompanied with “denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” They do not openly deny God’s being, or the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again. Were that the case, they could slither into the church. They deny God our Savior by denying the absolute efficacy of his free grace, teaching that we must add our righteousness to Christ’s righteousness, if we would be saved. By denying the absolute efficacy of God’s purpose and work, by denying the absolute efficacy of the Father’s purpose and love, the Son’s atonement, and the Spirit’s call, by denying that our Lord Jesus Christ actually redeemed and saves all God’s elect by his finished work of redemption, they deny the very being of God.




Don Fortner








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