The Jude Project: honoring the gift…

I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭4‬ NLT

Time to pick up the Jude Project again. When last I tackled this letter, I wrote about the need to fight for or defend our faith – not as a means of striving against others, but of striving against the things in our daily lives that might cause us to stray from our call to be faithful.

In Jude’s day, there were those who believed that forgiveness was a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card when it came to sin. Let’s be honest, there are many in our world today who treat their faith the same way. They live in ways that are hurtful, prideful, materially-focused, or even wasteful of the gifts God has given them on Monday through Saturday, and then look to be cleansed and pardoned on Sunday.

Jude says: that’s not ok. That’s not how it works.

Yes, of course, Jesus can cleanse us from every sin. He can wash it all away – the shame, the things we don’t want to think about, the things we don’t dare to speak about. He can – he HAS – made us clean, new, spotless. That is the whole point of the cross. We are forgiven. We are free – from sin, from shame, from the darkness that dwells within.

But that doesn’t give us license to go douse ourselves in more sin, shame and darkness. If we recognize the gift for what it is, then our lives should honor it, should pay homage to it, should seek to share it with others who need to know that they can be forgiven, too.

So, Jude says, contend for the faith, fight for it – by living the Way, the truth and the life.

May you live a life that honors, pays homage, and ultimately – most importantly – shares the gift.