By Teena Myers
Ephesians 4:4-6 NAS95
(4) There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
The one faith Paul talked about in this verse can only be Abraham’s. He is the father of our faith. Abraham’s faith is easily corrupted, because it is a faith that works by love, and true love is not selfish. We are born with a sinful nature that tends to be selfish. That sinful nature often distorts the meaning of the one and only faith that pleases God.
Jude 1:3 NAS95 (3) Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Jude wrote his letter about 40 years after Jesus died. In less than one generation, it became necessary to “contend earnestly” for the faith “once for all handed down to the saints.”
It did not take long for the concept of faith to become distorted. Jude tells us why.
Jude 1:4 NAS95 (4) For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
The “certain persons” Jude described have muddied the waters for God’s people from the Serpent in the Garden of Eden to this day. Enoch, the 7th generation from Adam prophesied God will
Jude 1:15-16 NAS95 execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (16) These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.
Note what their sins are:
Say harsh things about God.
Follow their own lust
Flatter people to gain an advantage over them.
As a young Christian, sinners were defined to me as people who went to bars, got drunk, were addicts and adulterers. Yes, they are sinners, but that is not the way Jude defined the ungodly and their deeds. We can stop doing the things the church defined as sin and still be an ungodly sinner if we do the things on Jude’s list.
Paul warned the Ephesians about wolves in sheep’s clothing, and he admonished the Galatians to reject any gospel different from the one he taught them. To the present day the church contains ungodly sinners who preach a different gospel than Paul did and that makes it difficult to maintain the one faith God taught Abraham. A pure message communicated through flawed human vessels picks up dross and ungodly sinners repeat the dross until it becomes “GOD SAID.” The ideas ungodly sinners add corrupts our faith. When our faith corrupts our understanding of what it means to love God and each other corrupts.