Posts tagged ‘antinomians’

God & His Law Is Love!

1John 4:8
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

I have come across a lot of these so-called born-again Christians who claim to saved, yet their new found faith seems to have made no change in their lives. They still love their sin, it’s just that now they are happy to know they are going to heaven because of the lip service they have offered God in accepting Jesus into their hearts. Biblically, no one can receive Jesus unless they repent (Mark 1:15) because from the fall every man has received a righteousness of self that is contrary to the righteousness of God (Gen 2:17 & 3:4-7). A fallen man’s heart is an idol factory because his chief end is himself and he has only asked Jesus into heart with the hope of a better life. There is no repentance or conversion of heart in such a man, & the love God represents to such a person is a love which accommodates his sin. It doesn’t strike such a man in the least, the price Jesus paid for sin (Is 53:3-11), because such a man loves his sin more than he loves Jesus Christ.

Rom 6
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? …
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

While the hyper-grace antinomian sees lawlessness as grace, the Bible on the other hand refers to lawlessness as sin (1Jn 3:4). Very often I have read bumper stickers which say “My Life – My Rules”, this is nothing but indicative that people in general, who naturally estranged from God, being in Adam… wise in their own eyes (Gen 3:5-6) and a law to themselves (Is 5:21). The natural man therefore pictures God as a love which is hippie fashioned, where you can live as you please… do drugs, fornicate, steal etc. and God will just keep loving you just like the hands of a clock, which keep turning. Yes, the Bible does say that it was while we were still sinners that Jesus died for our sins (Rom 5:8), and yes, Jesus did come to call sinners, not the self-righteous (Luke 5:32/2Cor 7:10), and yes, saving grace is unmerited favour (Eph 2:8-10), it is not earned; but if you claim to know Jesus and without any obedience to show for it (Jn 14:15), then you are only fooling yourself if you think you are saved because though we are not saved by obedience but by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is the obedience that makes the saving grace we have received in Jesus evident in our lives (James 2:18).

Gal 5
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Rom 7:22 to 8:2
22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in [p]the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

It is said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and this is true in the case of the hyper-grace antinomian who believes that law has to do only with sinners/punishment, and has nothing to do with those who are under grace. We ought to understand that what attributes are true of God are true of His Moral Law because the Law is the very nature and character of God. So, if we look at the above two passages of scripture, we notice that those who are a law to themselves, living in direct opposition to God and His Law (nature & character), these die by the law (Rom 2:12/Prov 8:36), because if we are to live in this world, we are to live by his terms but for those who are a new creation in Christ, these are by nature the doers of the law (Rom 2:13) because this is their new nature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). The law is written on their hearts (Jer 31:33), and these believers are truly born-again, the image/nature/character of God that was broken in Adam is restored to them in Christ (Rom 5:17).

1Cor 13
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Now from the above verse we know what Biblically is love. So, let’s go verse by verse to show how this is the very nature of God and His Law. Looking at 1Cor 13:4-5 you will notice it is saying the same thing as Eph 4:32, which teaches us to “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” This is strikingly similar to John 13:34 where Jesus says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Still, we know from 1 John 2:7-8 that this is not a new commandment but an old one, because it contextually speaks of not breaking Gods commandment as Cain did, as mentioned in 1 John 3:11-12. So, we see that 1 Cor 13:4 is a teaching that is coming straight out of the Law/commandment of God, which is love in itself because God is love and His Law which is His very nature, is also love. Now coming to 1Cor 13:6, we know from Exo 9:27 & Deut 32:4 that God is righteous and truth, just as we know from Ps 19:9 & Ps 119: 142, 151 that the Law of God is righteous and truth. Hence the definition of love which is in 1Cor 13:6 is describing the very nature of God, which is His Law. Coming to 1Cor 13:7, in the light of Job 4:6 we understand that these things talk about waiting on the Lord, and concerning waiting on the Lord, the Bible says in Isaiah 40:31Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Now take a look at Isaiah 42:4, which says “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” It’s almost as though Isaiah 42:4 rephrases Isaiah 40:31 but this is because the Law is the very nature of God who is love. Hence the Law is also love. Now, from 1Cor 13:8 we understand that Love is pure, perfect and eternal, which is just as how the Bible describes God in 1Jn 3:3, Deut 32:4 and Gen 21:33 as being pure, perfect and eternal respectively, and this same way, the Bible also describes God’s Law in Ps 19:8, Ps 19:7 & Ps 119:7-8 as being pure perfect and eternal.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Rom 5:17
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

To conclude, the only love the world knows, is a love for sin viz. idolatry, fornication, avarice, covetousness, drunkenness and substances abuse. It’s no wonder that the Bible says in Jer 17:9 that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The love of God on the other hand is not one of lawlessness, but it is the very nature of God, presented to us in His Law. The fallen man from Adam however, hates discipline (Hebrews 12:8) and therefore fails to see God’s Law as love because it doesn’t serve his own wicked interests. Nevertheless, if you were to look at the Ten Commandments from Exo 20:2-17 in the light of Mat 22:36-40, you will see that these are instructions teaching us how we are to love God first with all our strength and second how we are to love our neighbour as ourselves, but this cannot just happen, because this is not within the nature of the fallen man. This is only possible in Jesus Christ (Jn 1:12-13), who paid the wages of our sin in full (Rom 6:23) while imbuing his nature in us through God-the-Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

The Righteousness of Christ!

It was once implied to me in a conversation that Adam fell because he was innocent and knew nothing of sin. Well, such is the view of many Antinomians, who fail to see the extent to which reprobate man has fallen short of the glory of God. The thing is, when there is a nature to sin then it is not sinning that make a person a sinner, for the thought needs to occur to him first and then the desire to materialize it and this is what makes a person a sinner for the act of sin would not be birthed if the nature to sin did not exist. A famous theologian once said that Satan is just the midwife but it is our will and lust which is father and mother to our sinful actions.

Romans 5
17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

There is a difference between Adam in his unfallen state and the believer who goes over to the other side of the grave. Adam had the capacity to fall because he was given a condition that could bring about his spiritual death, which was eating the forbidden fruit. As for the believer on the other side of the grave, His promise is eternal life in Christ (Titus 1:1-2), which means he no longer has the capacity to fall because then the promise would not be eternal. When Adam was created, his nature was not corrupt, so he was better off than the reprobate man in his resistance towards sin. As Jesus has said that even the thought of entertaining a sin is a sin committed in the heart (Mat 5:28) and as James 2:10 says that he who stumbles even on a single point of the commandments becomes guilty on stumbling on them all.

Hence the same verse Gen 3:6 in which Eve saw the forbidden fruit was good, is the same verse in which she also ate of it and gave Adam and he ate of it too. That was the time their eyes were opened meaning they received a righteousness of their own i.e. having a standard separate from God concerning what is right and what is wrong. Everything changed for them instantly, their view concerning even themselves was different from what God had concerning them because by themselves they turned ashamed of their nakedness (Gen 3:11). This sin has been passed through Adams loins to all his posterity and so now man determines what he is to believe concerning God. This is the Spiritual death permeating through the generations of Adam where reprobate man’s nature discerns the Law (James 4:11) of his maker thus bringing himself under His justice (Romans 2:12).

When man was created, God breathed life into him (Gen 2:7) and this was the Holy Spirit for His Spirit refers to that which God breathed and giving life. So the death of Adam and Eve in their disobedience was actually in their Spirit. The reprobate man therefore does not know the righteousness of God until he is touched by the Holy Spirit and it is for this reason that, in the entire Bible the only person of whom it is said that he can sin without even knowing it (Numbers 22:34) is the biologically alive man, for sin comes naturally to him.

John 20
.21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Notice from John 20:22 that Jesus breathed on his disciples and said receive the Holy Spirit. If you were to read the Nicene Creed, which is a statement of faith of the early Church, you would find in reference to the Holy Spirit and He is the giver of life. It is for this reason that the Bible too is referred to as God breathed or Spirit inspired, because it gives life to those whom God foreknows (foreloves), it is the believers sustenance (Mat 4:4). It is important to see here that Christ is the fulfillment of Gen 3:15, because through the accomplishment of Christ work on the cross, Spiritual life was made available to the believer, that life which was lost in Adam. This was the very undoing of Satan’s deceit, for in his very attempt to thwart the redemptive work of Christ; he was dealt a fatal blow.

Phil 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Romans 8:10
10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Just as Eve’s sin was the moment she saw the fruit was good to eat, in the same way the sacrifice of Christ is received by the believer at the very moment he believes the Word. The very moment from the Father’s call to the believer to come unto Christ (John 6:44), sees the Holy Spirit impute the Seed/His Word into believer, which becomes the very beginning of the believer seeing a righteousness develop in him that is not his own but of God’s (John 1:13). So begins the process where the believer dies to his flesh and becomes alive in His Spirit (Romans 6:4) and he then steps forward to witness Christ in the sacrament of Baptism. The same thing is with the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, unless the believer is imputed by the Holy Spirit to receive in faith Christ’ redemptive sacrifice, the Holy Eucharist is only as much as bread and wine as Baptism is of water.

Romans 6:4
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

The dying to oneself is brought about through repentance (Luke 13:3), where man acknowledges that his righteousness was nothing but filthy rags (Is 64:6) before God i.e. he doesn’t justify himself before Christ but acknowledges himself as a sinner before his Savior and Almighty God.

Romans 3
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

Luke 15
21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’

Romans 1
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Do you remember the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15? The Father sees him, the repentant son from a far and runs out to welcome him while he is still on his way i.e. the believer is joyously acknowledge before God in his repentance (Luke 15:10) while is still far off being led by the Holy Spirit into sanctification (Exodus 31:13). You notice he puts His ring on his finger, which is probably symbolic to the repentant son receiving the righteousness of God. This righteousness is not of men but of faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 3
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe;

Sovereign grace Vs Legalism and Antinomianism

There are large numbers of Christians, who have become subject to views of antinomianism or those which are legalistic. Legalism is that which says that one is saved purely by works of Law while Antinomians hold a view that the grace of God covers them to the extent that even though their carnal nature is not made subject to true repentance, they are still saved because of grace. Mat 1:21 speaks to both these extreme apostate ideas by showing the legalist that Salvation is in Christ alone, while it shows the antinomians that Christ’ deliverance is not “in our sins” but “from our sins”

Mat 1:21
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

A preacher once said: one can only enjoy the benefits of Christ’ Cross when he bows before the claims of Christ’ Crown. What this refers to is essentially that one truly receives Christ in his life only when he receives Him as SAVIOR AND LORD. For those who try to merit Salvation it shows they have not truly received Christ as their Savior and for those whose nature shows no elements of any sanctification, they have not truly received Jesus as their Lord.

Sanctification is the work of His Spirit. To many believers, the Holy Spirit is generally associated with how much noise can be made at a spiritual gathering. The work of the Holy Spirit is very deep and for one to associate the Spirit primarily with the gift of tongues today is almost blasphemous. The gift of tongues was given only to the early Church, who did not have the compilation of the Bible, once the Bible was compiled in about the third or fourth century, the gift of tongues and prophesies ceased because the Bible is complete and sufficient to edify the Christian and cursed is that person who tries to add or take away from it. It is for this reason, that the many noise makers in spiritual gathering do not find one interpreter today for three of these people who are said to have this gift of tongues.

Quoting from the Nicene Creed, which was a faith declaration of the early Church, this is what is stated when it speaks of the Holy Spirit: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life”. We know when God created Adam from the soil, He breathed life into Him. We also know that scripture in God breathed. So though it was His Holy Spirit, that God had put into Adam to give him life, which Adam lost in his disobedience. In the same way the Word of God in the Bible, is God breathed (Holy Spirit) proceeding from Father and Son as One, given to us in scripture that we may believe and have life.

It is interesting to note that the Exodus came before Mount Sinai, what I mean to say is that God first delivered His people from Egypt and then gave them the Law at Mount Sinai. It was not the other way around. As a preacher I know once said, it took God one day to get His people out of Egypt but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of His people. We see from all of this that though a believer is saved by grace and not His own merit, lawlessness cannot be a part of his life. He is always subject to the Moral Law of God, where He puts God first and his neighbor at par with himself.

1Thes 2
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

You see the reason, we can do the stuff that is pleasing to God, is ONLY because of the life given to us in Christ i.e. His Holy Spirit. Had we not received Christ, we would not know or have the slightest inclination to please Him. So the word of God in the scripture, is the life given to us in Christ, which His Spirit i.e. God; who is at work, in us who believe. Thus even after we have been sanctified, the only statement we shall render to God is the one in Luke 17:10.

Luke 17
10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'”

Such is Sovereign grace, that he who receives it humbled not exalted in himself, for the very meaning of grace is unmerited favor i.e. when one receives (especially concerning Salvation) what he does not deserve. I need to emphasize here that sanctification is not our work but the work of God in us, it is hence seen from the parable of the master who calls people to work in the vineyard that he who is called to work even at the very last moment, receives full wages i.e. even the person who is on his death bed and repents unto Christ, he too receives the full measure of Salvation; for just as Salvation is of the Lord (Lam 3:26), Sanctification too is by Him (Lev 20:8) and so He does with what is His own as He pleases… Sovereign Grace!

Mat 20
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

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