Summary: God’s word reveals the types of sins we are to repent of lest we become “hidden reefs” in the Love Feast.
INTRO: 2 kinds of heresy have always threatened the church:
1.) Heresy of DOCTRINE.
2.) Heresy of HEART.
Jude is enjoining Christians to fight against heresy - of both kinds.
The false teachers that Jude = dealing with were guilty of BOTH...we tend to focus on defending against doctrinal heresy...easy to spot...But today, I want us to focus on the danger of heresy of the heart. And particularly as it relates to the Lord’s Supper.
TEXTUAL PARAGRAPH- Jude warned his readers about the presence of false brethren taking part in their love feasts.
“love feast” = the agape, & even the Lord’s Supper-- continued for several centuries. However...became merely a charity supper for the poor & at other times a lavish banquet for the wealthy...
It was finally abolished at the end of the 7th century. A few Christian groups, however, still observe the agape.
The “men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts” refer to false TEACHERS or LEADERS infiltrating the assembly, but their sins apply to each of us.
RELATIONAL PARAGRAPH: There are many different traditions regarding the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
Some see Lord’s Supper = Sacrament
Others = Ordinance... Open or Closed communion...
VARIED FREQUENCY: Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly...
Whatever a churches tradition is, one thing is certain from scripture, the Lord’s Supper is a very serious act of worship.
It demands spiritual preparation & repentance prior to partaking of the bread & cup lest we be guilty of spiritual heresy. Paul wrote the church in Corinth:
“For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.(1 Cor. 11:29)
What does that mean? I believe it refers to the principle found in scripture:
THE GREATER THE PRIVILEGE, THE GREATER THE RESPONSIBILITY.
“For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”(2 Pet. 2:21)
Judgment = greater upon those exposed to truth.
It is possible for you to partake of the Lord’s Supper in such a way that you...
...eat & drink damnation upon yourself.
...are a “blemish, a stain, a hidden reef” in the church that shipwrecks the faith of others.
Are you a hidden reef? Will partaking of this supper be beneficial for you or a disaster? It will if you have not repented of your sins. Paul says:
(1 Cor. 11:29) “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
God’s word reveals the types of sins we are to repent of lest we become “hidden reefs” in the Love Feast.
What are the types of sins?
1.) The sin of IRREVERENCE. “they feast with you without fear”
One of the characteristics of the lost according to Paul is that “Their is no fear of God before their eyes.”(Rom. 3:18). A professing believer who lacks a healthy fear of God = like a “fruitless autumn tree, doubly dead, uprooted.”
Faith bears fruit in repentance!
Paul gave a stern warning to the church at Corinth regarding their irreverence at the Lord’s Table. (1 Cor. 11:26, 30)
Chuck Colson in his book: THE BODY - story of Pat Novak & a patient admitted w/ undiagnosed ailment...wasting away... unable to swallow for 2 weeks. God urged him to ask John if he wanted to take Communion. “I can’t!” he cried. “I’ve sinned and can’t be forgiven.” Confession...cure.
Have you a reverent attitude towards this high & holy moment?
TR] These “hidden reefs” were guilty of another type of sin...
2.) The sin of SELFISHNESS. “caring for themselves”
A selfish spirit results in all kinds of pathologies:
a.) DISUNITY.(1 Cor. 11:18)
UNION is essential for COMMUNION. There is no communion w/o unity! In fact, taking part in the Lord’s Supper w/ enmity against a brother or sister MAKES A MOCKERY of COMMUNION.
Disunity is actually the result of another pathology...
b.) NEGLECT OF OTHERS.(1 Cor. 11:21)
Have you been so self-centered that you neglect others?
“caring for themselves” poimainontes = literally,
[TR] Selfishness is a symptom of yet another sin...
3.) The sin of FAITHLESSNESS. “clouds without water”
Do you horde all you can of the goods of this world with no thought of the next?
If so, you’ve been a professor w/o practice.
Have you merely been “carried along by winds” with no spiritual core anchored in faith in Jesus Christ? If so, cry unto the Lord: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”
[TR] W/o faith, it is impossible to please God & bear fruit...
4.) The sin of FRUITLESSNESS. “autumn trees without fruit”
Is there any fruit in your life? Is there the fruit of the Spirit? Evangelism? Ministry?
Jesus said: (John 15:5) Is the reason you bear no fruit because you don’t abide in Christ?