October 06, 2022

Licentiousness (License to Sin)

Jude 1:1-25

They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

—  Jude 1:4

The small book of Jude is about people who are part of the church but mistake the grace of God for a license to do whatever they want. Jude points out that by their actions these people deny that Jesus is the Lord of their lives. If they are not serving Jesus, whom are they serving?

Many sins seem good in the moment. The question we ­often fail to ask is, “How does this actually benefit me?” Or if we do ask that question, we settle for a superficial answer. Sometimes we may not feel sure that doing things God’s way will bring much of a benefit—or perhaps the benefit God offers won’t come about for a long time.

To truly follow Christ means to live as he lived. It means treating his grace not as a license to sin but as a license to grow away from sin.

Jude makes clear that we often can’t tell when people who sin without remorse have “slipped in among” us. It’s easy to be confused because although we try to live into Christ’s freedom from sin, we often mess up too. All Christians sin, and Jesus forgives us for that. But living as if our sins don’t matter in this world can cause tremendous hurt and pain to others and ourselves.

So let’s not be fooled—real freedom belongs to those who choose to follow Christ.

Lord Jesus, show us the damages of our sin, and transform us to want to live your way always. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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