Friday, April 26, 2013

A License to Sin

Peter, John and Jude deal with false teachers, and though the teaching varies, there is a common theme behind those who pervert the truth.

Jude 4 "turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ."

1 Jn 1:4 "the one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' yet doesn't keep His commands is a liar."

1 Jn 1:9 "The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness."

2 Pet 2:19 "They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption."

Though each of these passages may deal with very different false teachers who have infiltrated the church, there is a common theme: the false teaching leads to and/or is motivated by a desire to license and legitimize sin.  For all the elaborate arguments, cunning deceptions, and empty promises - behind each is the simple desire to appease one's (and others') conscience and to make sin seem good and normal.  The beliefs differed greatly, whether the docetism (Jesus only appeared to be human) combated in 1 and 2 John, or the antinomianism (Christians don't have to live morally) in Jude.  However, the common thread is attached to man's rebellious nature: each of the false teachers and those who follow them are condemned for ungodly lifestyles.  I have found this sadly and helpfully true - when those I know slip into doctrinal error, often times there's a sin motive behind the willingness to capitulate on truth.  The false view begins to sound good when it would allow you to sin without feeling guilty.

The encouragement to persevere and the warnings against falling away will have their intended affect on Christians - to stir us to the action we need to take.    Those of us who are "kept by Jesus" must "keep yourselves in the love of God," (Jude 1,21).  Don't trifle with sin, or seek to appease your guilty conscience.  Confess your sin to God and ask Him to provide godly Christian brothers and sisters to help you fight sin.

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