Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nuggets of Jude 4

The final nugget reads: 'to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.' This refers to those in the context of Jude's readers who are falling into sin, particularly the sin of excessive freedom (antinomianism). The believers are to show mercy to them, indicating the grace of God demonstrated to them. 'Mixed with fear' is difficult and could be the fear of the sinners, fear of judgement or of God generally. It is probably the latter two, fear of God and the consequences of sin. In other words, show grace and mercy to these people but do so with a determination not to fall into sin. The final statement reinforces this, the believers avoiding interaction with them and so being corrupted. This resonates with 1 Cor 5 where Paul urges the expulsion of a sexual sinner from the Corinthian church because of the dangers of the church being corrupted.

So we have insight into how to respond to false teachers. We are to be merciful and gracious to them whilst being careful not to fall into the same sin and so the wrath of God. We are to avoid being corruped by their influence.

Here endeth these nuggets from Jude. It is an interesting little book. We tend to focus on the big books, Romans, 1 Corinthians etc; but there is a lot in these little ones.

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