Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why I'm Anti-Antinomian

Confusing enough title?  I don't typically like to be anti-anything, but this has to be.

Antinomianism is the term theologians give to the teaching that we are no longer under the Law of God therefore have no need to obey it.  We have license to do as we will, the point being to get to the place where we "will" the good things God wants us to do.

The problem with that line of thinking is this:  God reveals what He wants us to do in His Word, through His commands, precepts, instructions, and...yes...laws.

Quickly, when you talk about The Law, you have to understand which parts we're talking about.  In the Old Testament, there are three divisions of The Law:

Civil Law:  this doesn't apply to us because we're not part of the political entity of the second millennia B.C. that was called the nation of Israel.

Cultic Law:  this is the law given to the people of Israel to govern their worship.  We are no longer under obligation to this because Jesus has fulfilled this for us.  Basically, look at the book of Hebrews.  We don't worship in the temple, Jesus is our Temple.  We don't need to make sacrifices, Jesus is our sacrifice.  We don't need a high priest, Jesus is our High Priest (and on and on).

Moral Law:  it gets a little tricky here because the moral laws were wrapped in and around the civil and cultic laws and had consequences in both realms.  But my argument is that the moral law is still in force for us in this way:  NOT so that we can be right before God (only the blood of Jesus does this), but because it is the path on which we are to walk.  Furthermore, the Spirit of Jesus is in us...that Jesus, the Law-Keeper and Law-Fulfiller.  And so, it would make sense that the Spirit of Jesus would help us do what He did.  And the New Testament uses the same summations as the Old:  the law can be summarized as loving God and neighbor.

Two quick verses that help make the case and give us some wisdom when thinking about this.

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them (Prov 28.4)

If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination (Prov 28.9)

Want to be a wicked praiser?  Want to have your prayers rise like abominations to God?  I don't either.

I don't depend on the Law to make me right with God.  I'm hopeless if that's the case.  I depend on Christ and Him alone.  But I believe He empowers me, by His Spirit, to live according to God's standard.  And that's why I'm anti-antinomian.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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