For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude vs. 4. (ESV)
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.Colossians 2: 20-23. (ESV)
These are extremes. They were part of the early Church and they are with us today. John and Jude fought against those who would trade upon the grace of God to live a life gratifying any of their desires. The elderly disciple John would write that “anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God.” 2John: 9. (Message). The Apostle Paul was in a continual battle against those who would want to place burdens, rules and regulations on the Church to secure a place of control. Paul would say that “they want to shut you out of the free world of God’s grace so that you will always depend on them for approval and directions, making them feel important.” Galatians 4:17. (Message). You can find Churches that are close to one extreme or the other. Most of the arguing we have among ourselves as Christians is because our doctrines lean toward one or the other. To be honest I find this battle rages inside me. So what is the answer? Jude tells us to “carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love. Keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life.” Jude vs. 20-21. (Message). Spend time in personal communion with God. Read Scripture and practice the freedom of living deeply in Christ. We are free to imitate Jesus. We are free to be the person He wants us to be. We are free to walk with Him. We are free to talk with Him. When you commune with Christ wherever it may be, the living room, bedroom, outdoors or anywhere, heaven and earth become one, the seen and the unseen. Christ is all that matters and He lives in us. What a glorious time.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3: 17-18. (ESV)