"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Jesus versus Antinomianism
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." - John 14:15
And again in verses 23-24, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. And the word that you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."
And see also I John 2:3-4, "And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says 'I know Him' but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
Too often, I hear the ignorant protest against the use of an Old Testament passage, because "we are under grace, not under law," (Rom. 6:14) wrenching that phrase out of its context. It is also blurted out indiscriminately in violation of the very words of Jesus, in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until it is accomplished." However, I have also noticed a tendency in the same folks to set up their own man-made laws, such as no alcohol, no pants on women, or a man's hair cannot pass a certain rulered length. The first part is the error of antinomianism; the latter is the error of neonomianism.
I think that the Westminster Assembly got it just right in their Confession, Chapter XIX, section 6: "Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience."
While the antinomian is right, that we do not need to keep the Law to be saved, indeed can never be saved that way, where he fails is in the lack of understanding that we must be saved to keep the Law.
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43