3 "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."
In verse three Jude says we need to contend for the faith. The Greek word translated to contend is also the word from which we get the word agonize. To contend for with agonizing gives the idea of some serious intensity. What kind of faith are we contending for? Jude says it is the faith that was delivered once for all.
Do you remember Hebrews? Do you remember how it described the sacrifices in the old testament and how they were offered day after day. Then Jesus came and he was the better sacrifice and He offered Himself once for all. The lambs and goats and bulls etc... were only shadows pointing forward to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world - once for all.
If you have been noticing pretty much every letter written to the churches in the New Testament has one thing in common. They all address some twisting of the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. In Colossae it was the heresy that Jesus was not enough and more must be added. In Philippi it was the heresy that when my prayers are not answered as I think they should be Jesus is not taking care of us. In Galatia it was the heresy that Jesus plus law keeping will save us. In Romans it was several things.
Now Jude is tackling an issue we haven't quite seen though it was alluded to strongly in Romans. It is opposite to the heresies in Colossae and Galatia. This heresy is that Jesus has done everything so how we live now doesn't matter at all. They have as Jude puts it, turned His grace into lewdness.
I am a pastor. Statistics say 60% of husbands cheat on their wives and 40% of women cheat on their husband. Cheating on a spouse is one of the most serious crimes a human being can commit. It is so serious that Jesus even allows that marriages can be dissolved because of it. However the truth is some marriages survive adultery - more often than you might believe actually.
Now imagine a couple suffering through the ravages of an affair and the one who cheated is forgiven by their spouse. Then he or she goes out and cheats again without remorse or regret because through the process of working through the first affair they learned that they are loved and forgiven.
Does that make any sense?
"She says she forgives me and she will always love me so I can cheat as much as I want!"
Jude says this "gospel" is a denial God and Jesus. It turns grace - which is a gift from God through Jesus designed to bring restoration to a broken relationship - into a license to be a narcissistic, selfish fool.
God's love is unquenchable and unchanging but to have a loving relationship requires two. His grace awakens our love. If we abuse His grace the relationship will die in spite of the fact He will continue to love us for eternity.
One sided love is not a relationship. It is lewdness and abuse and evil. It was the abuse of God's love and grace that ignited sin in the universe and marred heaven and polluted the earth. Only those who respond to His grace with reciprocal love will experience the universe made new. This is life eternal. Anything less is a lie.
This does not mean we will love Him perfectly everyday but it does mean we will never cheat on Him without regret or remorse. Those who spurn the undeserved love of another are described in the Bible as fools.