Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Does Antinomianism Characterize My Church's Doctrines?

Because this year marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we reviewed the “Five Solas” that are sometimes called the Doctrines of Grace.  After discussing Sola Gratia (salvation by grace alone), someone asked me, “Is ours an antinomian church?”   Here is my answer:

I hope not but it seems to be evident in the minds of a lot of church attendees, these days, who want to make excuses for all kinds of sin.

I try to avoid using secular dictionaries to define spiritual or biblical terms, mainly because our language is constantly changing according to contemporary usage and not according to what words actually meant when they were first used.

The simple contemporary dictionary definition for antinomianism is the belief that, under the gospel dispensation of grace, the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.

So, let me reemphasize—Our salvation is by GRACE ALONE.  That simply means that it is an action that results from God’s goodness and cannot be earned or deserved by any attempts on our part, to be good or do good.  God saves unworthy sinners.  Keeping the law perfectly is impossible so if any part of our salvation were based on our works, we would all fail, and all fall short of His glory, and all be condemned to eternal judgment.
The dictionary definition is fairly accurate, but it only mentions the moral law which is still in effect on Christians today.   I think the definition needs some clarification.
The problem (or confusion) arises in the heresy that twists the definition by implying that, because we live in a dispensation or “age of grace,” we are no longer bound to any of God’s laws including His moral laws; we’re saved by grace and therefore we are eternally secure.  We don’t even need to try because God will simply overlook all our sins.

Antinomianism is contrary to everything the Bible teaches.  God expects us to live a life of morality, integrity, and love.  Jesus Christ freed us from the burdensome commands of the Old Testament Law, but that is not a license to sin; but rather a covenant of grace.

There are nominal Christian sects that teach that.  But that is not what you hear preached in our pulpit as has been evidenced in our pastor’s recent sermons on the Ten Commandments. 

And that is the whole point of the epistle from James.  Obedience and good works are the evidences of salvation and without the evidence, there is good reason to doubt an actual conversion.  When God saves us, He begins the process of cleaning us up and making us fit to live forever in His presence.

The ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sin and bring us to repentance and obedience.  To ignore Him, and His laws, is tantamount to blasphemy and violations of the First, Second, and Third Commandments, and God will not tolerate it nor will He accept our worship.
There are many, many people today, who are resting in a false assurance that, because they responded to a preacher’s altar call, walked an aisle, and repeated a prayer, they are saved, but the real evidence of a new birth is an obedient life.

I hope this helps and I trust you are convinced that we are not identified as a church that teaches or practices antinomianism.

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