Wednesday, April 19, 2017
A Scriptural Refutation Of Antinomianism
Antinomianism is the belief that Christians are not obligated to obey moral laws established by God. In other words, it teaches that our faith "frees" us from the requirement of living in accordance to the moral principles of God (which can only be done by His grace). The word "antinomianism" is derived from two Greek words, which are "anti" (against) and "nomos" (law). Antinomianism argues that since Christians are not saved by the keeping of the Law (which is true), God has no moral laws that He expects us to obey (which is not true). This doctrine distorts the biblical teaching on grace by formulating an unbiblical conclusion as to its nature.
We know that God has moral commandments for us to obey because He inspired the Apostle Paul to write that the unrighteous will not inherit His kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5-7). We must get our sins forgiven and removed by God. True Christians will glorify God for the free gift of salvation that He has given through good works. The New Testament operates on the Law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2), which is a law of unmerited grace. This "law" instructs us to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Thus, the law of Christ is simply the moral law of God that the Mosaic Law confirms. It reflects His character and His nature.
The "Law of Christ" is not a comprehensive list of legal codes, as was the case with the Levitical Law. The Law of the New Covenant stands on love of God and love of neighbor, just as did the Mosaic Law. True Christians desire to keep their thoughts and actions in harmony with His moral precepts. They are filled with the Holy Spirit. True Christians will obey God (John 14:15-24; 1 Corinthians 7:19; 1 John 2:3-4). We do not obey the "Law of Christ" to earn eternal salvation in heaven (nor was that the purpose of the Mosaic Law). Rather, we obey out of gratitude for the sacrificial work of His Son. We obey God because our hearts have been changed through His grace. Our new nature is one is holiness. This is not a matter of doing something in order to earn favor. It is what we are, just as the inherent properties of water ensure it is wet. The Apostle Paul describes the direction of sanctification as becoming more like Christ (Romans 6:1-2).
We shall know people by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-23). We will be judged according to our conduct in this life (Romans 2:6-13; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We demonstrate the reality of our faith by our deeds (James 2:14-26). Grace and faith do not nullify but fulfill the Law (Romans 3:31). Grace is not to be treated as a smokescreen against holiness in the Christian life. Believers ought to be good moral examples. Every person needs to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord through faith (Romans 1:5; Jude 4). Salvation, broadly speaking, is a moral transformation.