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“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.” (Jude 1:4)
Faithful gospel preachers are often charged with antinomianism, being against the law and turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, because we assert that sinners are saved by grace alone, without works, and that God’s saints in this world are free from the law. These things are so plainly and universally taught in Holy Scripture that they cannot be refuted.
Consequently, those who will not bow to Holy Scripture seek to overthrow the Revelation of God by scandalizing faithful gospel preachers by throwing verbal excrement upon their names. But, in this portion of Inspiration, God the Holy Ghost tells us plainly what antinomianism is.
Against whom does Jude lay this charge? Who is it that turns the grace of God into lasciviousness? Read Jude’s short Epistle, and you will see that he says nothing to imply that these were men of flagrant immorality, using the grace of God as an excuse and covering for acts of licentiousness.
Those who turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness are those work-mongers and religious legalists who assert that the preaching of absolute free grace, the believer’s absolute freedom from the law and freedom from all possible condemnation will open the flood gates to sin and lead people to live in decadence.
The ungodliness by which Jude tells us they are condemned is their imaginary righteousness, their self-righteousness by which they deny “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” — All who claim a righteousness of their own deny their need of Christ, who is “the Lord our Righteousness.”
Beware of such men and such doctrine. It creeps into churches under the guise of godliness and true holiness. But the Spirit of God here asserts that it is ungodliness. That which turns us away from Christ and teaches us to look to (to trust in) ourselves is ungodliness pretending godliness.
If God has, by his grace, put us into union with his dear Son, Jesus Christ is all our Wisdom, all our Righteousness, all our Sanctification, and all our Redemption; and we glory in him alone (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 3:3).
Faith looks out of self to Christ. We trust Christ alone. He is all our hope and our only hope of everlasting salvation. Apollyon, the deceiver, the fiend of hell, always seeks to turn sinners away from Christ to themselves, sending preachers of righteousness teaching sinners to make themselves righteous by their works.
If you fall for Satan’s lie, if you seek to find righteousness, holiness, sanctification, acceptance with God, assurance, or peace with God by your works, your experiences, your devotion, your feelings, or even your faithfulness, “Christ shall profit you nothing” (Galatians 5:1-4).