«Antinomianism: A Modern Heresy, Summarized and Refuted by William D. Pratney Last Updated 07-02-2012 (British Calendar System) Taken and Adapted from ...»
5. Asked Jesus not to forget about him when He entered His kingdom, evidencing the reality of his faith in Christ (Luke 23:42)
All this was done in light of Luke 23:32-39, which reveals:
A. He was led to Calvary and cruciﬁed with Jesus (vs 32-33), which made him privy to B. Christ's prayer on the cross to His Heavenly Father (vs 34) C. The rulers deriding Jesus as the Christ (vs 35) D. The Roman soldiers mocking Jesus as the King of the Jews (vs 36-37) E. The idea that if Jesus was the Christ, He could save him (vs 39) * "We mean by WORKS 'the whole of our inward tempers and outward behaviour;' and how do you know the outward behaviour of the converted thief? Did not his reproofs, exhortations, prayers, patience, and resignation, evidence the liveliness of his faith, as there was time and opportunity?" (4G)
8. We have no need to focus on good works, because "the love of Christ constraineth us" to abound in every good word and work.
St. Paul, who spoke those words with more feeling than you*, thought the contrary; as well as his blessed Master, or they would never have taught a second justiﬁcation by works.
* 2 Corinthians 5:10-15 If the love of Christ is always sufﬁcient, then why do those who have tasted of Christ's love sometimes return to sin as dogs to their vomit, or mother pigs to wallowing in the mire? Why can they be guilty of idolatry, fornication, or even incest? (2 Peter 2:20-22; Revelation 2:20-23; 1 Corinthians 5:1) "If love alone is always sufﬁcient, why did our Lord work upon his disciples' hearts, by the hope of 'thrones and a kingdom,' and by the fear of a 'worm that dieth not, and a ﬁre that is not quenched?' Why does the apostle stir up believers to 'serve the Lord with godly fear,' by the consideration that 'he is a consuming ﬁre?' Illustrating his assertion by this awful warning, 'If they (Korah and his company) escaped not,' but were consumed by ﬁre from heaven, because they 'refused him (Moses) that spake on earth; much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven!' Why did St. Paul himself, who, no doubt, understood the Gospel as well [just as good] as [antinomian professors], 'run a race for an incorruptible crown, and keep his body under, LEST he himself should be a castaway?'" (4G) Luke 22:29-30; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 12:28-29, 25 (Numbers 16:1-35); 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul writes that in the "day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" God "will render to every man according to his deeds:" to them that continue "in well doing..." (here is the true perseverance of the saints!) "eternal life!" But "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil," and "glory, honor, and peace, to every man who worketh good...For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:5-11) "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body," not according to that he hath believed, whether it be true or false, but "according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men..." (2 Corinthians 5:10-11) Christ taught, "...they that have done good, [shall come forth] unto the resurrection of life;
and they that have done evil, [shall come forth] unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:29) "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27) "...the tree is known by his fruit....out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justiﬁed, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:33-37) Therefore our words are like works in that we will be justiﬁed or condemned by them in the day of judgment.
Both Paul and Christ emphasized the value of our good works in light of judgment day.
9. It is the enemies of the Gospel of grace–the Pharisees–that preach the legal doctrine of justiﬁcation by works in the day of judgment.
And what do you imply by that? That the doctrine is false? If the inference be just, it will follow there is neither heaven nor hell; for the Pharisees publicly maintain the existence of both.
Christ said in Matthew 23:2-3, "the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." His issue was not with their telling people to keep Moses' law. The law of Moses was a law essentially that Christ had ordained. For He is the same One that gave Moses the ten commandments, and the rest of the laws in the ﬁrst place. And He is the same, "yesterday, today, and forever." His issue was not with their telling people to keep the law of Moses. His issue was with their hypocrisy.
It wasn't that what they were saying was wrong, it's that they weren't actually keeping the law that they were teaching! At least, not in it's most important aspects. They were paying great attention to the less important parts of it, but completely neglecting the most important parts - justice, mercy and faith. (Matthew 23:23) The Pharisees believed that obedience to the law was necessary for justiﬁcation, but they failed to attain to its righteousness, because they "sought it not by faith," and to abide by the spirit of it, which upheld justice, mercy, and faith. They had an outward form of the law, but failed to practice it as it was intended. They failed, not in their preaching of the law, but in their outworking of it. Thus, Christ did not contest what they taught or preached (in this context), but their hypocrisy in failing to practice it; they failed to practice what they preached.
HOWEVER, as participants of the New Covenant, and NOT of the Old, we emphasize not "the law of Moses," but that which preceded and fulﬁlls it, the law of God.* A building analogy of salvation The Pharisees focus largely on interpretations and application of Mosaic law, sometimes to the neglect of true justice, mercy and God's love. They are only concerned with the details of carrying out obedience to God's laws. i.e. law and works Ministers that preach a ﬁnished salvation ("free grace preachers," and otherwise called) focus largely on "justiﬁcation by faith" and "being in Christ", sometimes to the point of discarding the necessity for good works and obedience to God's laws. They are concerned almost exclusively with grace and faith.
If our salvation be compared to a building, the Pharisees are concerned with the roof, and the free grace preachers the foundation. Just as a roof, unsupported by solid walls, is unstable and can crush a person to death, so a foundation, without a roof is not much better than the open air. In fact, you wouldn't really consider it a building, just the beginning of one. You can camp out on it, but it won't protect you from the threatening elements. A salvation with only a foundation, like a building, is far from complete. Therefore, 'wise master builders,' like St.
Paul, must be concerned with having both in their proper places. Like him, when the foundation is well laid, 'leaving the ﬁrst principles of the doctrine of Christ,' they 'go on to perfection;' nor forget, as they work out their salvation, to remember that it is grace that covers the whole building, from the very foundation upon which it rests, to the uppermost part–the chief corner stone–which binds the solid arch together.
* "...God's law...is the perfect rule of right, and the moral picture of the God of love, drawn in miniature by our Lord in these two exquisite precepts, 'Thou shalt love God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself.'" (4G)
10. Were I to accept the doctrine of justiﬁcation by love and good works on Judgment Day, the majority of Christians would rise against me, and my dearest Christian friends would fear me as as a blind legalist and pity me as an unawakened Pharisee.
Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad when all men (the godly not excepted) shall say all manner of evil of you falsely for Christ's sake, for preferring Christ's holy doctrine to the loose tenets of antinomianism. And know that it is as great an honor to be called legalistic by modern, popular Christians for Christ's sake, as it was in John Wesley's day to be branded with the name Methodist by the sots who gloried in their shame.
So, What Does the Opposite of Antinomianism Look Like?
An acknowledging of and submitting to the holy requirements of God. A loving God with all one's heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving one's neighbor as oneself. A working of no ill towards one's neighbor. An outward conduct guided by inward obedience to God's laws and truth. It is a true faith which works by love and is evident in good works.
For the sinner, it begins by a humble acknowledgment of ones genuine need for a Savior, and recognizing Christ Jesus as that One. It continues by demonstrating its faith in genuine obedience to Christ's Gospel, namely a complete repenting of and forsaking of one's sins, a turning in faith to God based on His demonstrated love in Christ, and a continuation in obedience to Him, including submission to baptism and love for the brethren.
It results in a heart and life marked by:
love for God love for others love for oneself good fruit (love, joy, peace, etc.) good works (examples: lodging strangers, washing saints' feet, relieving the afﬂicted, etc. [See 1 Timothy 5:10]) Objections to the Necessity of Living According to God's Law "Should it be objected, that St. Paul says to the Galatians, 'I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God;' and to the Romans, 'Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ:' I answer, in the apostle's days, that expression, the law, frequently meant 'the whole Mosaic dispensation;' and in that sense every believer is dead to it, dead to all that Christ has not adopted." (4H) For,
1. He is dead to the Levitical law, "Christ having abolished in His ﬂesh" "the law of commandments contained in ordinances;" "Touch not; taste not; handle not."
2. He is dead to the ceremonial law, which was only "a shadow of good things to come," a typical representation of Christ and the blessings ﬂowing from his sacriﬁce.
3. He is dead to the curse attending his past violations of the moral law; for "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us."
4. And lastly, he is dead to the hopes of recommending himself to God by the merit of his obedience to the moral law; for in point of merit, he is "determined not to know any thing...save Jesus Christ, and him cruciﬁed."
When we are talking about God's law, we are not talking about the Law of Moses!
So, "dead to the law" means dead to the Old Covenant, and NOT dead to God's unchanging, holy requirements...God's law!
"Dead to the law" means dead to the entire way of relating to God based on the laws He gave through Moses, the "whole Mosaic dispensation;" dead to the Old Covenant (also known as the Old Testament*), the Mosaic Covenant, which was abolished** and completely "done away" with in Christ by His utter fulﬁllment of it.
However, all that Christ has done for us does not exclude the necessity of our obedience to God. Whatever He asks now of us under the New Covenant is as much a part of our relating to Him as were the things asked of Israel under the Old. Men died for failing to observe His laws in Moses' day. We are warned by St. Paul to remember their examples (1 Corinthians 10:5-11). Likewise, the author of Hebrews warns of the vengeance and recompense of God on those who sin willfully as partakers of the New Covenant (Hebrews 10:26-31).
*The Old Testament in this case is an alternate word to "covenant," and refers not to the scriptures which precede the Gospels, but to the testimony of God to the children of Israel, issued at Horeb and given by the hand of Moses.
**The Mosaic Covenant has been abolished (2 Corinthians 3:13; Ephesians 2:15-17). It has been replaced by a newer covenant instituted by One greater than Moses - the LORD Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:6-10:31, 12:24; Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25) Once the LORD (the One Who gave the law to Moses in the ﬁrst place, and met with Him at Horeb) came Personally in the form of Jesus Christ, we got a better way to relate to God than through the law of Moses; namely, through Jesus Christ Himself.
What Antinomianism Looks Like, Actually It allows people to be "in Christ" WITHOUT being new creatures in Him, and "new creatures" WITHOUT casting "old things" away. It allows them to be God's children WITHOUT God's image; and "born of the Spirit" WITHOUT "the fruits of the Spirit."
It makes men believe, that though adultery and murder are damning sins in the unconverted, that they are but spots of God's children in favored Christians: that God is the most partial of all judges; some being accursed to the pit or hell for breaking the law in the most triﬂing points; while others, who actually break it in the most ﬂagrant instances, are richly "blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places" and that, while God beholds "no iniquity in Jacob, no perverseness in Israel," he sees nothing but odious sins in Ishmael, and devilish wickedness in Esau.
Obedience to God and Working Out One's Own Salvation Antinomians speak of obedience and working (with regards to salvation) as if they were the mark of a legalistic spirit. Their favorite passage is when Paul and Silas' jailer asks them, "'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.'" But they fail to take into account the jailor's immediate
1. Washing Paul and Silas' stripes (a good work)
2. Undergoing baptism (a public display of an inward commitment to Christ)
3. Bringing them into his house (a good work)
4. Giving them something to eat (another good work)