When I was a kid, one of my favorite board games was called “Aggravation.” I would even set up multiple players (all played by me of course) if others weren’t available to join me in a game. Playing it at my aunt and uncle’s house was a special treat. When I returned home, however, my parents would have to set me straight on the official rules, as my aunt and uncle played the game according to their own “house rules.”
Jude 3 reminds us that efforts to undo the absolutes of Scripture have occurred throughout history. When Satan first tempted man to disobey God, the evil one twisted the truth to suit his own purposes (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1). Even Jesus wasn’t exempt from the devil’s perverse attacks against truth (Matthew 4:6). So we shouldn’t be surprised that the call to “defend the faith” (Jude 3) rests on us as well.
We set ourselves up for danger when we believe that we’re too wise to be caught in Satan’s lies (2 Corinthians 11:3). Deception doesn’t come with glaring lights and sirens. It creeps in with quiet craftiness and blurred lines. It comes when we care about man’s opinions more than God’s.
For some, the door to deception swings open when they reason away the lines of clarity drawn by Scripture. The tide of public opinion—and their need for acceptance—drives them to compromise. To others, deception has a standing invitation when—through willfulness—they choose to enthrone their opinion above that of heaven’s. Whatever our justifications for allowing the truth to be muddied, grace and truth are inseparable.
God sets the standards, not us. Anything less isn’t good news, and it’s guaranteed to lead us to a losing game of spiritual aggravation.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 28:15-31
Read 2 Timothy 4:1-4 to see why we must be willing to allow others to call us to account, even when they say things we don’t necessarily want to hear.
How have you recently been tempted to bend what God’s Word says? Why does God hold such firm standards when it comes to the truth of His gospel?