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Posts Tagged ‘Antinomianism’

The Wednesday Word: Invasion of the ‘List Men’

February 20, 2019 Leave a comment

‘List-Men’ is another term for legalizers… so-called because they come armed with lists of things for us to do (and not to do) so that we may gain acceptance from the Father in Heaven.

Their gospel (which is no Gospel at all) teaches Christ plus something else. They always add to the Finished Work teaching that, for salvation, we need more than Christ alone.

They accuse true Gospel Believers of being Antinomian, … (an odd term by which they charge that our preaching and believing is against the law). Regardless of their charges, Grace Believers strenuously oppose any law being put in the place of the Gospel. Only the doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Jesus gives us eternal life. Our salvation is found entirely and utterly in His obedience on our behalf.

However, we take encouragement from Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, the great expository preacher of the last century, who said, “The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge (Antinomianism) being brought against it.

(Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans 6).

The List -Men came in all shapes and sizes. When I was growing up, the List-Men had us persuaded that men could only wear dark clothes. They ruled that no one was allowed to go to the cinema. Theirfavourite line was “what would Jesus say if He came back and found you standing in the line to purchase a ticket for the movies.” Many and varied were their demands…which must be adhered to if ever there was to be a hope of being saved.

This was the kind of thing that was happening to the Galatians. The List-Men of their generation taught that the Gospel wasn’t enough. They insisted that circumcision needed to be added. As a result, the Galatians had left the Gospel and were following hard after these wretched List-Men. They were in an anti-Gospel spiral.

Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit, felt so strongly about this that he wrote in Galatians 1:6-7, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”

Then in verse 8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Paul was talking about two different gospels, not two different interpretations of the same gospel.

There are two gospels. One is false the other true.

In one,man stands before God on the basis of human merit.

In the other, he stands before God on the merits of Jesus Christ alone.

In one, man stands before God in the righteousness of what he has accomplished.

In the other, man stands before God recognizing that there is nothing he can do to satisfy God’s just demands. He knows he cannot do anything to satisfy God but that Christ has met all needed requirements on his behalf.

One teaches ‘Do.’

The other teaches ‘Done’

If you are a List-Man you should consider these words of Jesus, “It is Finished”(John 19:30). By this, Christ meant all of the types, symbols, emblems, and the institutions of the Old Testament—the priesthood, the temple, the altar, the sacrifice, all of it—was finished. No rules and regulations are now needed for salvation, just Christ alone!

Furthermore, Christ’s finished work was confirmed by the torn veil in the Temple (Matthew 27:51). The torn veil cries out, “It is Finished.” That 60 feet long, embroidered curtain was torn from the top to the bottom. What an act of God to demonstrate that the Old economy was gone.

So away with your lists. Who do you think you are to presume to add to The Finished Work of the young Prince of Glory?

“A curse upon you if you do” (Galatians 1:8).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

http://www.milesmckee.com

Thoughts on Christian Liberty

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment

by Tom Ascol

With the resurgence of reformed theology has come a rediscovery of the doctrine of Christian liberty. This doctrine is important for spiritual growth and health because, as Paul succinctly put it in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

There are many such yokes that well-intentioned people try to place on believers—telling us what we must do and not do or how we must live if we want to be pleasing to the Lord: “Don’t groom like that.” “Dress like this.” “Don’t drink that.” “Don’t drive (or ride) that,” etc.

The same type of pressure was placed on first-century Christians. They were admonished to be circumcised, to keep certain Jewish customs and to maintain certain dietary restrictions in order to be holy. The questions raised by these pressures are what led to the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Avoid Legalism: Emphasize the Law

by Tom Hicks

Many of today’s young evangelicals have happily thrown off the legalistic fundamentalism of their childhood. They’ve come to a greater understanding of God’s abundant grace, and the gospel has liberated them from slavery to guilt and fear. That’s a very good thing. But I submit that recovering the gospel alone isn’t enough to keep legalism at bay. We need a renewed emphasis on the law of God or else legalism will inevitably reemerge. Specifically, we need a clear emphasis on (1) the law as a covenant, and (2) the law as a standard or rule.

The Law as a Covenant

The law as a covenant says, “Do this and live” (Lev 18:5; Ez 20:11; Lk 10:28; Rom 10:5; Gal 3:12). It demands perfect obedience for eternal life (Gal 3:12; 5:3). It makes no provision for forgiveness of sins (Gal 3:10). The law covenant is inflexible and absolute. Even one sin against the law covenant brings guilt and eternal condemnation…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Threefold Use of the Law

October 28, 2015 2 comments

by R.C. Sproul

Every Christian wrestles with the question, how does the Old Testament law relate to my life? Is the Old Testament law irrelevant to Christians or is there some sense in which we are still bound by portions of it? As the heresy of antinomianism becomes ever more pervasive in our culture, the need to answer these questions grows increasingly urgent.

The Reformation was founded on grace and not upon law. Yet the law of God was not repudiated by the Reformers. John Calvin, for example, wrote what has become known as the “Threefold Use of the Law” in order to show the importance of the law for the Christian life.1

 

 

 

Read this short article here.

 

The Wednesday Word: 12 Marks of the Grace Believer!

September 2, 2015 1 comment

1. Grace Believers trust that they are saved entirely and utterly by someone else, the Lord Jesus Christ. They believe that their sole qualification for salvation is found, not in their worthiness, but in their unworthiness. The Grace Believer sees Christ as his complete acceptance before God (Philippians 3:4-9). The Grace Believer holds that Christ alone is his saviour. He believes, like the faithful of other generations that,“There is no Priest but Christ, no Sacrifice but Calvary, no Confessional but the Throne of Grace and no Authority but the Word of God.”

2. Grace Believers understand, along with the greats of the past, that to know Christ and Him crucified is not the minimum of spiritual knowledge but the maximum. The Grace believer knows that all doctrines find their hub in Christ Crucified. All doctrines indeed lead to and from the Christ of the cross. All teaching, responsibilities, and Christian activities find their centre in Christ Crucified. In Christ alone, the Grace Believer discovers the treasures of wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding (Isaiah 45:3; Colossians 2:3).

3. Grace Believers, as they grow in grace, rather than become self-satisfied and hard spirited, continue to develop in their understanding of their lack of worth. As the gospel-hammer breaks them, they increase in the comprehension that they receive favour, not because of themselves, but because of being in Christ! They understand that Christ’s worthiness is the source of all their blessings (1 Corinthians 4:7).

4.Grace Believers know that they have the full favour of God, not because of any works they have done or are doing. They have the full favour of God because of Christ alone. By faith, they grasp that the Father is well pleased with them and indeed rejoices over them. (Zephaniah 3:17) Indeed, the Father cannot be more delighted with His people than he already is. Grace Believers know they are not accepted by having their own righteousness which comes by fulfilling rules and regulations. They are in Christ and have Christ’s entire righteousness credited and reckoned to them (see Philippians 3:9).

5. As they grow in grace, Grace Believers refuse to make resolutions, vows and pledges to enable them to serve God in a fuller way. Grace Believers put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

6. Grace Believers are not so foolish as to try self-improvement techniques. Instead, they focus on Christ and his glory. They know that change comes from looking outside themselves to the glorious person of Christ. They rejoice in 2 Corinthians 3:18; “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”.

7. Grace Believers are confident of God’s past, present and future grace, yet they refuse to make a practice of abusing that grace. Grace, not Law teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Grace, not law, teaches them to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-12).

8. Grace Believers are learning to not get permanently discouraged with their performance. Instead, they are learning to focus on Christ and His performance on their behalf. One of the Grace Believer’s theme songs could be;

“It is finished!” yes, indeed,

Finished, every jot;
Believer, this is all you need,
Tell me, is it not?
Till to Jesus’ work we cling

By a simple faith,
“Doing” is a deadly thing—
“Doing” ends in death.
I’ll cast my deadly “doing” down—

Down at Jesus’ feet;
I stand in Him, in Him alone,
Gloriously complete.

9. The Grace Believer is so reduced by the sight of himself as a wretch … a sight graciously granted by the Holy Spirit in a non-condemning manner … that he soon discovers he has no room to practice arrogance and pride.

10. The Grace Believer holds that devotion to God arises, not from an obligation to repay God. On the contrary, the Grace Believer knows that we love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Devotion to God comes through the gospel.

11. The Grace Believer does not believe that blessings come as the result of our acts of consecration to God. That is to reverse God’s order. That is to teach law and not gospel. The Legalist makes man’s blessing depend on his personal dedication and devotion. Also, the legalist insists that the more we consecrate ourselves to God the greater will flow the blessing. According to his scheme, we move the hand of God by our works. To think like this, however, is to remove ourselves from the enjoyments of gospel blessings. This is to cease to look to Christ alone as our only acceptance before God.

12. The Grace Believer knows that grace has not made us a debtor to God. The Grace Believer does not try to repay the debt of grace he feels he owes. The Grace Believer holds that God, in giving His grace, did not put us into any contract with accompanying clauses and conditions. It is grace that saves and grace alone. It is faith alone which receives that which Grace alone in the person of Christ alone has accomplished. The Grace Believer does not serve God because he feels he owes God something. Rather, he serves God because He loves God and he loves God because God first loved Him.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Two things that will tempt you to give up the form of sound words

SpurgeonIII. And now, very briefly, in the third place, LET ME WARN YOU OF TWO DANGERS.

One is, that you will be very much tempted to give up the form of sound words that you hold, on account of the opposition you will met with. I do not prophesy that you will have corporeal persecution, though I know there are some poor creatures here that have to endure that from ungodly husbands, and such like; but you will all of you, in some measure, if you hold the truth, meet with the persecution of the tongue. You will be laughed at: your doctrine will be held up to ridicule exhibited in a grotesque manner, you will be caricatured in all that you believe and you will be sometimes tempted to say, “No I do not believe that,” though all the while you do. Or if you do not positively say it, you will at times be led to turn a little, because the laughter you cannot stand, and the scoff of the worldly wise is rather too hard for you. Oh! my beloved, let me warn you against being thus drawn aside. “Hold fast the form of sound words” in the midst of all ridicule. But the greatest obstacle you will have is a sort of slight and cunning trying to pervert you to the belief, that your doctrine is the same with one which is just the very opposite. The enemy will try to persuade you that something he holds is quite harmless, though opposed to what you hold; and be will say, “You do not want to be broaching these things, that must bring forth controversy, there is a way of squaring your sentiments with mine.” And you know we all like to be thought so liberal! The greatest pride in the world now is to be thought liberal in sentiment; and some of us would run a hundred miles, rather than be called a bigot or an Antinomian. I beseech you, be not drawn aside by those who are so ready to subvert your faith, not by openly attacking it, but by insidiously undermining every doctrine saying, this does not signify, and that does not signify, while all the while they are trying to pull down every castle and fortress wherewith God has guarded his truth and his Church.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Justification by Faith Alone

(The Relation of Faith to Justification)

Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Justification by faith alone was Martin Luther’s great spiritual and theological breakthrough. It did not come easily. He had tried everything from sleeping on hard floors and fasting to climbing a staircase in Rome while kneeling in prayer. Monasteries, disciplines, confessions, masses, absolutions, good works-all proved fruitless. Peace with God eluded him. The thought of the righteousness of God pursued him. He hated the very word “righteousness,” which he believed provided a divine mandate to condemn him.

Light finally dawned for Luther as he meditated on Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” He saw for the first time that the righteousness Paul had here in mind was not a punitive justice which condemns sinners but a perfect righteousness which God freely grants to sinners on the basis of Christ’s merits, and which sinners receive by faith. Luther saw that the doctrine of justification by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (per solam fidem) because of Christ alone (solus Christus) was the heart of the gospel and became for him “an open door into paradise…. a gate to heaven.”

The phrase “justification by faith alone” was the key which unlocked the Bible for Luther.1 Each of these four words he came to understand in relation to the others by the light of Scripture and the Spirit. Elsewhere this volume deals with three words of Luther’s four-word rediscovery: justification, faith, alone. My task of expounding “by” may appear at first glance to be elementary, but around this deceptively simple preposition the heart of the Romanist-Protestant debate has raged. Let’s ask and answer several pertinent questions with regard to this critical preposition which will serve to highlight the relationship of faith to justification. We will consider the preposition “by” from four perspectives: first, scripturally, by considering the basic teaching of justification by faith, together with exegetical and etymological implications of the preposition; second, theologically, by grappling with the issue of faith as a possible “condition” of justification; third, experientially, by addressing how a sinner appropriates Christ by faith; fourth, polemically, by defending the Protestant View of justification, “by” faith against the views of Roman Catholicism, Arminianism, and Antinomianism.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.