Is This Antinomianism?

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Blueridge Believer, Feb 13, 2008.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    If the law is no longer binding, then why can't I set up a harem? Given his premise (law is not binding), you can't deny the conclusion, logically speaking.
  2. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I agree in that grace is present throughout the scriptures so no matter where you are preaching from, grace is bound to be present. But I disagree that preachers should 'aspire' in any way to be accused of antinomianism. I have never been accused of antinomianism but that may be because mosts of the people I preach to would not know what that word means.
  3. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    He was not saying one should aspire to that accusation , at least I do not believe he was. It should be a natural fruit of Sovereign Grace preaching.
  4. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    I do deny it though.
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    That's your prerogative, I guess. You would need to show logically how I am wrong. But if there is no law binding the Christian believer, then there is no way we can say _________ action is wrong.

    And for the record, I am not positing the anarchy vs. God's law dichotomy. That's an intereting debate for another time. But my position doesn't demand voicing that dichotomy.
  6. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Jacob, with all sincerity, what does it mean to bind or to be "the rule of life?"
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    One would expect to see an immediate clarification in terms of the believer "being under the law to Christ," as we find the apostle Paul does in 1 Cor. 9:21. The failure to make this clarification, and to assert the continuing obligation of the believer to the moral law in the hands of Christ, is Antinomianism.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  8. Theogenes

    Theogenes Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with what he said about not being under the law as a covenant of life. But the moral law is a guide to our grateful obedience. We live in obedience not by obedience. Our obedience does not commend us to God one bit. We are accepted in Christ alone. But He does this in order to set us free to serve Him with the law written on our hearts and enabling us by His Spirit.
  9. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes; when the apostle says "Christ is the end of the law" he clearly states that it is "for righteousness."
  10. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Jacob, a "harem"??? Give me a break. With all of that running around Europe/Germany in those outfits you described recently, where are you gonna get time to marry one wife, let alone a harem.
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    With regard to Daily living (Psalm 1, Proverbs 1-4), I mean the moral law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments, and the general equity of its judicial applications.


    I just thought of something: Maybe the book of Proverbs is an application of the law of God.
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I grant your point.
  13. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Pursuant to the thread -

    And so:

    I would say a harem is evidence that the flesh has not been crucified...and you are not being led by the Spirit.
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The harem reference was a joke to illustrate a point. In the above Paul is presuming continuity with the moral law at the very least (ala 1 Timothy 1:8ff). This is plain westminster theology
  15. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    I've read a lot of Pastor Fortner's works here's a few things I found doing a quick search.

    Pastor Fortner's hymns:

    Don Fortner

    (Tune: Stand Up and Bless The Lord #33 SM)

    I love Your law, my God,
    Delight in its commands:
    Perfect are all its principles,
    And just are its demands.

    But I am all unclean,
    No righteousness have I;
    Should I by Your law try to live,
    I must forever die!

    Yet, Christ, Your holy Son,
    Fulfilled the law for me!
    He lived, and died, and paid my debt –
    In Him I now am free!

    Christ is my Righteousness,
    And my Redemption too:
    By faith in Him alone, my God,
    Boldly, I come to you.


    Don Fortner

    Love Your holy law, my God,
    I love it in my heart;
    And if I could I would obey
    In spirit every part.

    Your law is holy, just and good,
    All perfect and all true;
    But I'm a weak and sinful wretch:
    Its works I cannot do.

    And, yet, Your law condemns me not,
    It's all been satisfied,
    By Your own Son, my Substitute,
    When He for sinners died!

    In life Christ brought in righteousness,
    Such as the law required:
    In death He bore Your dreadful wrath,
    And there the curse expired!

    And now Your law's become my friend,
    Demanding my release:
    It points to Jesus slain for me,
    And gives me perfect peace.

    By faith in Jesus Christ I'm free,
    From condemnation free!
    For all Your law requires of me,
    Christ Jesus is my plea!

    Don Fortner
    (Tune: Only Trust Him #252 CM)

    The Jews of old their sabbaths kept,
    A picture of that rest
    Which sinners find in Christ, who said,
    "Come unto me and rest."


    Look to Jesus, He has finished
    All the law required:
    Glory, glory, Christ has finished
    All the law required!

    Under the law they sacrificed
    The blood of helpless lambs,
    Pictures of Christ, the Lamb of God,
    Who took away our sins.

    By tithes those ancient ones confessed
    That they belonged to God:
    By willing faith we consecrate
    Our all to Christ our God.

    Helpless, we never could obey
    The law's righteous commands;
    But Jesus lived and died for us,
    And met its just demands.

    God's holy law points us to Christ,
    Who fulfilled its designs:
    In Christ the law is magnified
    In Him its glory shines!

    Quotes from his site:

    From his work titled, "Basic Bible Doctrine"

    "Until we are one with Christ, we are out of harmony with God’s creation. If you are yet without Christ, come to him now. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Come, enter into that blessed sabbath of faith portrayed in Genesis 2:1-3."Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." Cease from your works as God did from his, and trust, rest in the Lord Jesus Christ as your only, all-sufficient Savior. If you do, you are a new creation in Christ!"

    From "Grace for Today" when writing about Christmas:

    " believers, we must not be brought into a bondage observance of any day. We must not honor one day above another. We do not observe holy days and sabbath days of any kind."

    From "Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures"

    "That is where you and I began this thing we call salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ, our great Joshua, brought us into the blessed possession of grace, salvation, and eternal life, and gave us rest. He called us to rest in him and graciously forced us to do so (Matt. 11:28-30; Ps. 65:4). There is no rest like the rest of faith in Christ. This is our sabbath. We rest in Christ, trusting his righteousness as our only righteousness before God, his redemption as our only atonement for sin, and his rule (his universal dominion and disposition of all things in providence for our souls’ good) as our great King."

    "And we must never allow anyone to bring us back under the “rudiments of the world,” Mosaic ordinances. The rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law: Circumcision, abstaining from certain meats, sabbath observance, and all such things were altogether typical. Christ has fulfilled them all. Any observance of such things today is sinful. All true worship is spiritual. God is not worshipped where dead men and women observe dead, carnal ordinances. There is absolutely no need for men to observe these things, seek any other foundation of hope before God, or look anywhere else for acceptance with God. Christ is all we need."

    "Christ is better than the sabbath (4:9-11). The Old Testament sabbath was, like everything else in Old Testament worship, typical of Christ who is our true Sabbath. The sabbath rest of faith in Christ was typified by God ceasing from his works of creation and resting on the seventh day, and in Israel resting in Canaan. As the Lord God ceased from his works, sinners enter into rest when they cease from their works and trust Christ alone for acceptance with God. Just as surely as Christ our Substitute has entered into his rest in glory, there is a vast multitude of sinners in this world who must also enter into his rest. They must enter in because God ordained it, and because Christ has obtained it for us."

    "Life After Pentecost"

    "It is the natural tendency of proud human flesh to say, "Grace is not enough. God requires something from man." While declaring that salvation is by grace, they add law keeping, sabbath observance, adherence to religious traditions and customs to the grace of God. In doing so, they destroy the doctrine of grace. Anything done by man, when added to Christ, or added to the grace of God, for justification, sanctification, or any other aspect of salvation, makes the blood of Christ and the grace of God to be of noneffect (Gal. 5:1-4).Grace and works will not mix (Rom. 11:6: Eph. 2:8-10). Grace producers good works. But grace is not caused by, dependent upon, or even influenced by our works!"


  16. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    If Paul says 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. how can this Law be my rule of life when I am not under it and led by the Spirit? WHat does it mean to be not under it other than to not be led by it? Is Paul saying we are led by both the Spirit and Law?


    Again I need something more than:With regard to Daily living (Psalm 1, Proverbs 1-4), I mean the moral law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments, and the general equity of its judicial applications.

    How does this become binding and the rule of life. They are vague words that can be shaped into many different understandings. Does it mean that without the ML, one would act as a heathen continuously? The Law was given to Israel, and yet they forsoke God continuously, so what is it supposed to do for the NC believers daily walk? I struggle with this question..
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  17. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    It's not that he completely misses the mark but he does deny the so-called "third use" even as he comes up with four uses above.

    He seems to grasp that the Law, in fact, condemns men and, in the recognition of our curse under it, drives us to the Cross. But then he fails to see the transition in Galatians 5 where the believer is almost said to die on one side of the Law (the curse) in Christ but rise in newness of life on the other side of the Law where the true end is found only after a man is set free from the bondage of sin and death.

    Why? Because the Law is like a multi-faceted description of the character of God. This is why it can both be a source of fear and trembling, fire and smoke for the Israelites who were in the flesh but a source of delight for David. Both are seeing in the Law a Holy God but the flesh sees one thing and the man of the spirit sees another.

    This is, in fact, his defect on the Sabbath as well where Hebrews 4 repudiates his very thinking that the Sabbath Day was nothing more than some sort of limited physical thing. Joshua and then David were pointing to enjoyment of entering the Sabbath that God entered in Creation where He ceased from His work. The reason we perpetually enjoy that one day in seven is to anticipate a final rest from sin and death and perfect communion. It's crass and dispensational to think that Joshua and other saints were simply delighting in the Sabbath for its ceremonial practice.

    Look, I'm glad that guy's not preaching Law. At least he's not telling people to trust in themselves but he also lacks the mature expression of the purpose of the Law and, in fact, the pedagogical use and delight of the Law that a believer is encouraged to seek after they are established that Christ is the end of righteousness for the Law. In seeking to guard against a legalistic falling back into the Law he over-corrects to the point where the listener cannot appreciate Paul's use in Galatians 5 and 6.
  18. Grymir

    Grymir Puritan Board Graduate

    I've heard it said too, that if you ain't accused of being an antinomian, you ain't preachin the gospel properly. And I thought that was the purpose of preaching, to get the gospel out. Because you are to convict people of their sins, to show that they can't do it, and then give them the sweet message of salvation to be found in our Savior.

    And anybody that thinks they can keep the law for even one second is deluding themselves. Real sanctification is not that we think we are doing better, but the realization that we need Jesus more.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  19. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Sorry, wasn't trying to bash you, just introducing a point.

    To recapitulate:

    It is my understanding that those without the Spirit are still under the law.

    That is - it acts as accuser and additional justification for final judgment as well as acting as a temporal restraint.

    Those led by the Spirit still delight in the law of the Lord (at a minimum the moral law) and align with it in many ways as they are convicted through the sanctification process - inasmuch as it aligns them with with Christ's commandments, but they will not be judged by it.

    However, we bring God glory by living Spirit led lives that will never dishonor or contradict the moral law.

    So the antinomian, in effect, is against the Word and the Spirit.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  20. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    We obviously need to be careful to use that as the gauge for whether or not one is really preaching the Gospel. It depends upon who is accusing of antinomianism. After all, if the maxim is true then any time someone is accuse of antinomianism then, by definition, they must be preaching the true Gospel. This is obviously not the case or, by definition, Joel Osteen preaches the Gospel properly as the charge of antinomianism is appropriate for him.

    It is certainly true that Paul always anticipates the objection that the Gospel is a license for sin against the charge of the Church of Moral Improvement but his tenor is different than the above. His tenor is that we are now free to obey and not free from God's character. Surely we are saved by Christ's righteousness but that then forms the basis and the motivation to pursue God and His kingdom - not for acceptance but because of adoption. To imply that the Law is then cut out from our thinking is to imply that everything that we can learn about our Father by looking at His Law is now immaterial.


  21. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    The important thing to bear in mind is that the word "law" has multiple meanings. R. L. Dabney notes:

    The word "Law," (hr;/T, nomo ) is employed in the Scripture with a certain latitude of meaning, but always carrying the force of meaning contained in the general idea of a regulative principle. First, it sometimes expresses the whole of Revelation, as in Ps. 1:2. Second, the whole Old Testament, as in John 10:34. Third, frequently the Pentateuch, as in Luke 24:44. Fourth, the preceptive moral law (Prov. 28:4; Rom. 2:14. Fifth, the ceremonial code, as in Heb. 10:1. Sixth, the decalogue, Matt. 22:36-40. Seventh, a ruling power in our nature, as in Rom. 7:23. Eighth, the covenant of works, Rom. 6:14.​

    We also need to recall that a key blessing of the new covenant is "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33). I would go with William Romaine when he says:

    "That thy walk with God in the way of obedience is not to fulfil the law, as a covenant of works. Thou art not required to do this. Thou canst not do it. Immanuel, thy divine surety, took it upon Himself. Because it was impossible for thee, a fallen creature, to keep the law, so as to be justified by it, He therefore came in person to fulfil it. He honoured its precepts by His infinite obedience. He magnified its penalties by His inestimable sacrifice. And this is thy justifying righteousness. Through faith in the life and death of the God-man thou art not only freed from guilt and condemnation, from curse and hell, but art also entitled to life and glory. The law is now on thy side, and is become thy friend. It acquits thee. It justifies thee. It will give thee the reward promised to obedience. The law in the hand of thy Saviour has nothing but blessings to bestow upon thee. Thou art to receive it at His mouth and to obey Him: but not from any legal hopes of heaven, or from any slavish fears of hell: for then thou wouldst come under the covenant of works again. Whereas thou art not under the law, but under grace, mind thy privilege and pray for grace to live up to it. Thou art not under the law, bound to keep it perfectly in thine own person, or in case of failing, condemned by it, and under its fearful curse. Thou art under grace, a state of grace through faith in the obedience and sufferings of thy blessed surety, and under the power of grace constrained and motivated by the love of Christ." (The Walk of Faith)​
  22. Thomas2007

    Thomas2007 Puritan Board Sophomore

    There is no contradiction in God, hence the blessing which the law offers is excluded by our depravity, so that only the curse remains. But unto the elect, whom the penalty of the law is fulfilled in Christ, only the blessing remains. Yet, we are left in these mortal bodies which contradict us and Paul says in Romans 7:22-25

    "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

    The antithesis between law and gospel is the sin in our flesh, but unto the new creature in Christ there is no contradiction. Calvin saw the law as it presented an impossible challenge to the non-elect; as Jesus Christ alone is able to keep the law, but the "wickedness and condemnation of us all are sealed by the testimony of the law. Yet this is not done to cause us to fall down in despair, or completely discouraged, to rush headlong over the brink - provided we duly profit by the testimony of the law. (Institutes 2.7.8) Hence, unto the new man, the accusatory character of the law should not depress but illumine the mind unto the true Holiness and character of God and be the infallible weapon of God's word in our perpetual fight against the world, the flesh and the devil.
  23. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Thomas I am aware of all this writing regarding flesh, Law, Christ fulfilling it etc etc etc. I know it is 'said' we are not under the curse.

    All I am asking is what does it mean to be the rule of life and how does it do that? All the rhetoric from calvin et al does not specifically answer my question. DO I need Law to remind me of when I sin? Is that was it meant by rule of life?

    Let me try this way of putting it then: Tell me what the apostle means in the first six verses of Romans 7, where he says that the believer is dead to the law, and free from the law; and let me know how that law can be his rule, when he is as dead to it, and as free from it, as a woman is from her husband when she has buried him. Is the woman still bound in ANY way to the dead husband as her rule of life? I believe she is not

    Thank you
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  24. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    I have nothing to add but to say what a thought provoking thread.:think:

    So far I've enjoyed every line of it. Absolutely stimulating.
  25. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Two lines of thought to pursue...

    the moral law is a representation of God's righteous character. When we want to see what it means to be godly, we can look at the law of perfect freedom.

    Also, the law is summarized as loving God and your neighbor. If love is a summary of the law, and law is no longer applicable what happens to the summary? Would it be fair to say that if the law is summarized by love then to say that one is antinomian they are also antilovian?

    Remember, we as Reformed folk, have to talk about the three uses of the law.

    Talk amongst yerselves...
  26. aleksanderpolo

    aleksanderpolo Puritan Board Freshman

    From Heidelberg Catechism:

    Question 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?

    Answer: No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience; (a) yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all the commandments of God. (b)

    From Belgic Confession:

    Article 25: The Fulfillment of the Law

    * We believe that the ceremonies and symbols of the law have ended with the coming of Christ, and that all foreshadowings have come to an end, so that the use of them ought to be abolished among Christians. Yet the truth and substance of these things remain for us in Jesus Christ, in whom they have been fulfilled.

    Nevertheless, we continue to use the witnesses drawn from the law and prophets to confirm us in the gospel and to regulate our lives with full integrity for the glory of God, according to his will.

    I thought this is a confessional board, am I mistaken?
  27. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    On Romans 7:

    Notice that there is only one woman, while there are two husbands. The woman is in a very difficult position, for she can only be wife of one of the two, and unfortunately she is married to the less desirable one. The man to whom she is married is a good man; but the trouble lies here, that the husband and wife are totally unsuited to one another. He is a most particular man, accurate to a degree; she on the other hand is decidedly easy-going. With him all is definite and precise; with her all is casual and haphazard. He wants everything to he just so, while she takes things as they come. How could there be happiness in such a home?

    And then that husband is so exacting! He is always making demands upon her. And yet one cannot find fault with him, for as a husband he has a right to expect something of his wife; and all his demands are perfectly legitimate. There is nothing wrong with the man and nothing wrong with his demands; the trouble is that he has the wrong kind of wife to carry them out. The poor woman is in great distress. She is fully aware that she often makes mistakes, but living with such a husband it seems as though everything she says and does is wrong! What hope is there for her? If only she were married to that other Man all would be well. He is no less exacting than her husband, but He also helps much. She would fain marry Him, but her husband is still alive. What can she do? She is ‘bound by law to the husband’ and unless he dies she cannot legitimately marry that other Man.

    The first husband is the Law; the second husband is Christ; and you are the woman. The law requires much, but offers no help in the carrying out of its requirements. The Lord Jesus requires just as much, yea more (Matt. 5:21-48), but what He requires from us He Himself carries out in us. The law makes demands and leaves us helpless to fulfill them; Christ makes demands, but He Himself fulfills in us the very demands He makes. Little wonder that the woman desires to be freed from the first husband that she may marry that other Man! But her only hope of release is through the death of her first husband, and he holds on to life most tenaciously. Indeed there is not the least prospect of his passing away (Matt. 5:18). The Law is going to continue for all eternity. If the Law will never pass away, then how can I ever be united to Christ? How can I marry a second husband if my first husband resolutely refuses to die? There is one way out. If he will not die, I can die, and if I die the marriage relationship is dissolved. Verses 1 to 3 show that the husband should die, but in verse 4 we see that in fact it is the woman who dies! The Law does not pass away, but I pass away, and by death I am freed from the Law. How do I die? When Christ was crucified, I was crucified with Him. On the hill of Calvary it was forever done
    (Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, pp.107-109).
  28. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It is helpful to note that the Confession says we are freed from the curse of the moral law. Perhaps there is some confusion on the term "no longer binding." Is the commandment against adultery binding on the Christian today?
  29. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    1689 London Baptist Confession, Chap. 19 (underlines mine)

    5 The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither does Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

    6 Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is 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 natures, 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; it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigor thereof. The promises of it likewise show them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as man's doing good and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law and not under grace.

    7. Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requires to be done.
  30. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    This was my thought as well.

    It seems to me that many see grace and the law as mutually exclusive. The divines, in their wisdom, however, see a sublime relationship between the two.

    As believers are more and more enabled to follow the Spirit, they are actually subdued to freely and cheerfully do what the moral law requires.
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