Creeping in Unawares
by Henry Morris III, D.Min.
“For there are certain men crept in unawares . . . ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4)
The special word chosen by the Holy Spirit is most helpful in understanding this warning. The Greek term translated “crept in unawares” is pareisduno, a uniquely compounded word meaning to “sink down in alongside.” What could be more descriptive? These kinds of sneaky people have been written about before, Jude says, and are prime examples of those who transpose the grace of God into uncontrolled lust.
Paul uses a similar word in his letter to Timothy to warn him about the ungodly men of the last days who “creep into houses” and undermine the lifestyles of “silly women” (2 Timothy 3:6-7). The imagery implies the subtlety and cleverness of these “ungodly men,” but there is a horrible consequence of this replacement of God’s grace with “lasciviousness.”
Jude lists the terrible judgment on the people of Israel who refused to believe the good report of Joshua and Caleb when the 12 spies returned from the land of Canaan. God “destroyed” those who embraced the fearful and faithless report of the 10 (Numbers 14). Even the angels who led the world of Noah into corruption (Genesis 6:1-4) were chained in “darkness” for their disobedience (2 Peter 2:4).
Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam, and Korah (Core) are all given as examples by Jude of God’s stern judgment on those who knew better but chose to lead a rebellion against the righteous lifestyles or leadership of God’s people. God does not take lightly the misuse of His instructions. Even the “least” of the commandments are important (Matthew 5:19). After all, “thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). HMM III