Rejection of the Moral Law and Salvation

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Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
Ought we be concerned for the salvation of those who reject the Moral Law as binding on Christians?
The particular people that I am talking about also believe that Jesus was somehow not under the Moral Law as well. Nevertheless these people I had this conversation with were very sweet albeit wrong on this theological viewpoint.
They are not libertines but by textbook definition must be considered antinomian.
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
Ought we be concerned for the salvation of those who reject the Moral Law as binding on Christians?
The particular people that I am talking about also believe that Jesus was somehow not under the Moral Law as well. Nevertheless these people I had this conversation with were very sweet albeit wrong on this theological viewpoint.
They are not libertines but by textbook definition must be considered antinomian.


Are you asking if we should be concerned for those within the category you describe and are lost? Or are you asking if we should question the profession of salvation of all in the category?
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
Ought we be concerned for the salvation of those who reject the Moral Law as binding on Christians?
The particular people that I am talking about also believe that Jesus was somehow not under the Moral Law as well. Nevertheless these people I had this conversation with were very sweet albeit wrong on this theological viewpoint.
They are not libertines but by textbook definition must be considered antinomian.


Are you asking if we should be concerned for those within the category you describe and are lost? Or are you asking if we should question the profession of salvation of all in the category?

Both actually. I realize of, of course, that we are justified freely through Christ Jesus our Lord. I do not want to wander into works righteousness. My concern comes from those who think that that Law is in no sense binding to the Christian. If someone has made a profession of faith and yet continually contends that there is no Law and that even Christ himself was not bound to the Law during the incarnation. One wonders if they have fully understood the significance of Christ and the Gospel.
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
Paul was confident that new converts in Galatia were joined to Christ. Later, however, he did express serious concerns about their profession.

Galatians 4: 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain
Galatians 4: 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.

I have learned over the years more patience with young believers. It is curious how much we can have wrong until the Lord grows us up in the faith. Still, I believe that the level of concern over certain professors will depend on their exposure to and, perhaps rejection of more light.
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
Paul was confident that new converts in Galatia were joined to Christ. Later, however, he did express serious concerns about their profession.

Galatians 4: 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain
Galatians 4: 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.

I have learned over the years more patience with young believers. It is curious how much we can have wrong until the Lord grows us up in the faith. Still, I believe that the level of concern over certain professors will depend on their exposure to and, perhaps rejection of more light.

Thank you Bob :).

I have particular concerns here because the people I know who are espousing these views have been raised as Christians.

---------- Post added at 02:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:31 PM ----------

I suppose the root question is really just how serious of an error is their rejection of the Law?
 

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
Due to the noetic effects of sin on Christians, and the prevailing incorrect exegesis on this topic among both evangelical and Reformed circles, I believe that we have to distinguish between those who deny the continuing moral law in theory, and those who actually deny it more essentially. In other words, I wouldn't have to think someone was outside the kingdom for saying that the decalogue itself does not morally bind Christians (though it does according to Jesus, Paul, and James.) But I would be very concerned about a person's salvation if that someone said it is ok to worship idols, to lie, steal, covet, or commit adultery in general terms.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
How can a person understand the Gospel apart from understanding that the Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith? At the most fundamental level, a sinful man has to understand the weight of God's judgment in order to appeal to the mercy of God found in Christ. I'm reminded of Pilgrim's Progress where Graceless feels himself to be carrying a heavy burden that none of his family or friends can see or understand.
 

Grillsy

Puritan Board Junior
How can a person understand the Gospel apart from understanding that the Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith? At the most fundamental level, a sinful man has to understand the weight of God's judgment in order to appeal to the mercy of God found in Christ. I'm reminded of Pilgrim's Progress where Graceless feels himself to be carrying a heavy burden that none of his family or friends can see or understand.

This is my thinking exactly. That is also why I am so worried for these people. I fear they are deceived. For they claim faith in Christ but I fear they are simply victims of Churchianity.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I exhorted on Psalm 51 this past Sunday: http://www.hopeofchrist.net/2010/08/psalm-51/

Here's an excerpt that deals with how David (a believer) understood sin:
Beloved, many of us don’t know what the true issue with sin is and so Verse 4 adds something that is foreign to us. David says: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”

Most of us want to stop David right here. What are you talking about David? It wasn’t God who you looked at while bathing. It wasn’t God who you got pregnant. You didn’t send God with a letter to be killed in battle. You didn’t get God involved in any of these sins. How can you claim that you only sinned against God? Have you forgotten about Bathsheba, Uriah, Joab, and the entire nation that could have been brought down by your selfish sins?!

The issue here is that David understands something profound about sin. He understands that the whole world could pardon him of any trouble for his sin but it will provide no relief before the bar of God’s justice.

In James 2:10-11, James notes something very important about sin that David underscores here. First, James says something strange to our ears in verse 10: 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

Do you see what James is saying? We could be so perfect as to keep every part of the Law of God and fail at one point and be guilty before the whole Law. That doesn’t seem to make any sense until James explains what he means in verse 11: 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

I don’t know if you can see what has just been said but James testifies with the rest of the Word of God that the real issue with sinning against the Law is that, when we sin, we sin against a holy, eternal God. If it’s even at the seemingly smallest point, our sin amounts to raising our hand in rebellion against the God of the universe. We commit treason with every small sin and every sin is just cause for God to condemn us.

David understands the weight of this rebellion and so he reminds God in the second part of verse 4 that God is justified and blameless in His judgment against sin. He’s not coming to God arrogantly and telling God that He must forgive him but He understands that God would be perfectly just to condemn sin for what it is.

Paul, in fact, quotes this in Romans 3:3-4 when he is building a case against sinful men before a holy God. He builds an airtight case that all men are guilty before the bar of justice and that God can and should justly condemn all men.

David knows he would be toast if God judges according to what he deserves.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Are the people of concern here living in unrepentant sin? Are their lives marked by habitual sinning? We will know Jesus' disciples by their fruit. Jesus Christ Himself is the object of our faith. It is Christ Jesus that saves, through faith, by His grace. If a person has been saved by Jesus, then this grace that brings salvation will teach them to deny ungodliness and worldy lusts and to live godly and holy in this present age.

When I have a concern about someone's salvation its not because of their profession only, but a holy life. Even if the flame of God's Spirit seem small in them to me, if I sense the heat of the embers of Christ's Spirit in them, then I have hope. The hope of glory is Christ in us.

Do these folks love Jesus? love their brethren? love the Bible?
 

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
How can a person understand the Gospel apart from understanding that the Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith? At the most fundamental level, a sinful man has to understand the weight of God's judgment in order to appeal to the mercy of God found in Christ. I'm reminded of Pilgrim's Progress where Graceless feels himself to be carrying a heavy burden that none of his family or friends can see or understand.

Sound thinking, for sure. I sure don't want to sound like an apologist for dispensationalism or Klineanism, but there was a time when I erroneously thought that the entire law of God had been abrogated by Christ on the cross. Though I knew that holiness was vital for salvation. I thought that the ten commandments were out and we mostly had to just follow the directions in the epistles. I believe that I was regenerate in those days, though I had a lot to learn.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Are their lives marked by habitual sinning?

I personally hope that's not a requirement for salvation.

I think you misread my reply. The reason for my questions was for someone to get a sense if a person is saved or not. If their lives are marked by habitual sin, a lifestyle of sin, or as I like to say "The trade-skill of their life is sin." then I think we have good reason to wonder. And we ought to wonder, not only in the case of those we know and love and serve, but also ourselves.

This is the teaching of 1 John as I understand it.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
How can a person understand the Gospel apart from understanding that the Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith? At the most fundamental level, a sinful man has to understand the weight of God's judgment in order to appeal to the mercy of God found in Christ. I'm reminded of Pilgrim's Progress where Graceless feels himself to be carrying a heavy burden that none of his family or friends can see or understand.

Sound thinking, for sure. I sure don't want to sound like an apologist for dispensationalism or Klineanism, but there was a time when I erroneously thought that the entire law of God had been abrogated by Christ on the cross. Though I knew that holiness was vital for salvation. I thought that the ten commandments were out and we mostly had to just follow the directions in the epistles. I believe that I was regenerate in those days, though I had a lot to learn.

I try to avoid conjecture with respect to "Is Person X saved if they believe Y...." I simply want to note the Gospel comes to us sweetly when we understand the nature of the Judgment that we stand under. I don't know how the Gospel can be understood apart from an understanding of our sin before God's righteousness. A person might be led by bad instruction to conclude that certain aspects of God's dealing with men fell under a historical administration but the Law, more broadly understood, is known by all men. The awareness of God's eternal holiness cannot be completely overcome as this awareness is increated and the heavens and the earth utter forth speech concerning it. We all know we are creatures created by a Holy God and that we are rebels. The Law, more narrowly understood to refer to God's specific commands, serves to heighten that understanding. It is unfortunate that some would see a dichotomy between God's Law revealed in His Word and the same Law that men understand by nature. That said, they cannot really escape the latter and one would hope that a Saint who flees to the Cross from his understanding of a need for mercy from a new heart that sees the horror of his sin would eventually be instructed to see the character of the same Holy God in the Law He delivered to underline it.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
There's hypothetical antinomianism and practical antinomianism. I suppose the one can lead to the other.

Hyper-Calvinists are (sometimes) hypothetical antinomians.

Dispensationalism and liberalism creeping into evangelicalism are maybe the greatest sources of hypothetical (leading to) practical antinomianism in evangelical circles(?)

Dispensationalism and dispensational influence has led to hypothetical and practical antinomianism respecting the Fourth Commandment in particular.

Some people are just slow on the uptake. They can't understand - or haven't been taught - how the believer is freed from God's moral law in one sense (as a Covenant of Works) and yet is under it in another sense (as a rule and pattern of life). They keep repeating the mantra that they are not under law - in any sense - but under grace, but on further examination they agree that they e.g. shouldn't steal because it's in God's law. They can only keep one theological proposition out of two, especially if they may sound somewhat paradoxical, in their heads at one time.

Others - probably most - are perfectly intelligent, but have been spoon-fed poor teaching over years.

Also when you're talking about the law, they think that you're referring to Moses' law as a whole, including provisional elements in the judicials and ceremonials and their brains can't or won't extract the moral commandments and principles.

"If I agree that I'm under the law - in any sense - i will be agreeing, in principle, that I'm under the whole Mosaic Code/Torah. I can't get my head round that. Better stick with the mantra, ' I'm not under law but under grace ' "

Thankfully many such live moral Christian lives, apart from the Sabbath and some other elements, but they must be poor teachers of others on the subject of the law, leading to more and more practical antinomianism generationally and over time.

The Reformed and Presbyterian churches may have in some/many cases a lot more to learn in applying God's law consistently in its totality to every area of life. It's a process of maturing and learning in history.
 
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