Certain People Have Crept in Unnoticed

Today’s church has problems. Groups fight with heated disagreement over many seemingly minute differences. Why? If the different groups truly are redeemed, bought by Jesus’ blood, and bound for the New Jerusalem, then why must there be so many points of contention?

I think the New Testament book of Jude gives an answer for at least part of the problem.

Jude writes to several churches in his area about their “common salvation” (vs. 3) encouraging them to “content for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (vs. 3). Why? Jude tells us in verse 4: certain people had (have) crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation (not believers, not of the church but had crept in amongst God’s children unnoticed nonetheless). In Jude’s day, early in the life of the church, people had crept who were not believers, but were there creating division and dissention creating the need for encouragement to contend for the faith because of their common salvation.

How can we spot such saboteurs? Jude gives distinctions:

  • these people, by relying on their dreams (Geneva bible notes state dreams=void of reason) defile the flesh, reject authority and blaspheme the glorious ones (NKJV-speak evil of dignitaries) (NASB-anglic majesties)
  • they walk in the way of Cain and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error (pushing against God’s standards for the sake of monetary gain)
  • they show favoritism to gain advantage (vs. 16)
  • What can/should the church do? Jude further gives instruction:

  • vs. 17-23 Jude calls to the church to remember they had been told such people would come, people who would be without the Holy Spirit who cause division
  • build yourself up in your most holy faith
  • pray in the Holy Spirit
  • keep yourself in the love of God, waiting for mercy of Jesus that leads to eternal life (glorification, perhaps?)
  • have mercy on those who doubt
  • save others by snatching them out of the fire
  • to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh
  • May the church be on the lookout for these who cause division, and may we all seek to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

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