Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Antinomianism


I believe the whole debate about antinomianism is confused, and has been for a long time. The trouble is that there is a fundamental problem in the way we understand the word itself. The typical way of thinking about antinomianism is that it is the opposite of legalism. Antinomianism is commonly called "license". The problem is stated thus by theologians: on the one hand you have legalism, which says you have to obey the law in order to be saved, and on the other hand you have antinomianism (or license), which says you don't have to obey the law and are free to do whatever you want. Both of these are seen as bad, and so theologians try and come up with a middle ground -  a middle ground that does not exist in Scripture. Either we do have to keep the law or we don't. Such is the very nature of things and I do not see how we can escape it. As Christians, our gospel message is precisely that we do not have to keep the law in order to be saved. If that is true (and it is), then we must fall into the so-called "antinomian" camp. In that case, being accused of antinomianism is rather a great honor, since it places us with men such as Stephen, Paul, and even Jesus Himself, who were all accused of being antinomians. Of course, being accused of antinomianism is not the same as actually being an antinomian. Nothing could be further from the truth, than that these men were antinomians.

There's a problem in the way we are understanding antinomianism, and as long as this persists, people will not see clearly and therefore will not be transformed. We have set antinomianism as the opposite of legalism, when in reality legalism is antinomianism. Antinomianism means "against the law" (anti = against, nomos = law). The question of who is an antinomian is the question of who is against the law. Stephen was accused of being against the law:

"And they set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceases not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law." (Acts 6:13)

Paul was accused of being against the law:

"Men of Israel, help! This is the man that teaches all men everywhere against the people, and against the law, and this place..." (Acts 21:28)

This is the Biblical perspective on antinomianism. The Christians were accused of antinomianism by the religious people of their day, and Christianity must suffer the same charge against it by religious people throughout all ages. The day Christianity stops hearing the charge of antinomianism, that is the day Christianity ceases to be. It is not that Christians are in fact against the law, but that this is the perception. It is precisely because we teach that a person is justified freely by grace through faith in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and that this way of righteousness is "without law" (Rom. 3:21) that we are accused of it. Thus, it is the gospel that makes us antinomians in the eyes of the world, a world that doesn't understand what it is saying. They do not understand Christ. The preaching of the cross is foolisness to them. They cannot see how an ungodly sinner can be be accepted on the basis of grace, while those who are trying to obey are rejected - it seems so wrong and against the law! But the Christian sees otherwise.

Paul anticipates the charge of antinomianism in Romans 3:31: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the law." How we understand this verse is of paramount importance. Paul is not saying that through faith we are led to obey the law and that therefore through that faith-driven obedience we are justified. In the following verses he goes on to say how "the one who does not work, but believes on God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted unto righteousness" (Rom. 4:5) and that righteousness is "without works" (Rom. 4:6). So we are not saved from the accusation of antinomianism by the above explanation. Justification is in fact without any obedience to the law, received by faith alone. Sadly, many theologians are so desperate to be freed from the charge of antinomianism that they bend and twist the gospel of grace through faith in such a way that on the other side it no longer really looks or feels like justification through faith without works anymore, though it technically is in their minds. But our gospel shouldn't be such that it can no longer be accused of antinomianism. The true gospel will always be accused of it. By the sound of many gospel presentations these days, most would never be accused of the things Paul and Stephen were accused of, because it no longer sounds like Paul and Stephen anymore.

The amazing truth is this: only by believing in the gospel of justification through faith alone without works is the law actually honored and upheld. Only a Christian is not an antinomian. It is the purpose of the law to bring us to this faith, in that it shows us the unattainable standard of righteousness that is required and drives us to despair of our attaining it by our works, making us look outside of ourselves to Christ for salvation (Gal. 3:21-25). As long as a person is attempting to obey the law for justification, they are acting against the law, not listening to it, not seeing its righteous requirements, lowering the standard, and trusting in themselves. To such people, the law is really not all that glorious. The purpose and honor and righteousness of the law are not established until a person believes in Christ crucified for their salvation. Christ crucified, and justification by faith alone in Him, fulfills the law's purpose and prophecies, does honor to the law's righteous standard, and acknowledges the law for what it is: beautiful, holy and beyond our ability to attain by our works. Thus Paul could say, "I am not against the law by preaching Christ alone for salvation, I am for it!" In fact... it is the very ones who accuse the Christians of being antinomians, the legalists, that are themselves the true antinomians! They are against the very law that they are supposedly championing. This is seen so clearly in the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees.

At one time Paul was persecuting the Christian Church for this very issue. He thought they were antinomians, but he was later changed and began "preaching the faith which he once destroyed." (Gal. 1:23) He learned that what he thought was valuable in achieving righteousness before God (his works) was actually useless for this purpose (dung, to be exact), and that a man under law was only under a curse. He learned through Christ crucified that righteousness could never come by the law, for otherwise Christ would never have died, (Gal. 2:21), and he learned the sublime mystery, that only a man who is dead to the law can be alive to God. In fact, the very purpose of the law is just that - to make you die to it: "For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." (Gal. 2:19). Notice that through the law you die to the law. That is, it is the law's purpose and goal to make you die to it as your means of righteousness, and therefore, whoever is not dead to the law - still seeking to be righteous before God by the law - is in fact acting against the law (the true antinomian). Simply amazing.

So I reject the false notion that antinomianism is the opposite of legalism. Legalism, the belief that keeping the law is the way to be right with God, is itself the true antinomianism, and though Christians will always be accused of it because of our belief that righteousness before God is apart from the law through faith alone in Jesus Christ, we are the only ones who actually establish the law and acknowledge the law for what it is.

But what about the question of those who profess faith in Christ but have seemingly no desire for holiness (such as the many professing Christians in the Bible belt)? I truly believe the answer is, that though one may have the right doctrinal formula, that is not the same as really grasping the reality of what you profess. Certainly saying you believe something doesn't mean you believe it. But my sincere guess is that most traditional Christians who grow up in the Bible belt don't really grasp what Christianity is all about. I certainly did not, even though I grew up hearing the right things my whole life. Christianity is about realizing your sin and the holiness of God and the amazing love of God revealed in the righteous grace of Christ crucified for our sins. It is something personal, moral and relational, not merely academic. A person must see through the facts to the meaningful reality behind them. This is part of the problem.

But another major part of the problem is that in the Bible belt the gospel is hardly ever preached. Yes, what passes for gospel presentations are weak, adulterated, twisted, shallow, amoral, self-help, sentimental, lenient preaching of Jesus that fails to communicate the truth as it is in the New Testament. Also, much preaching in the Bible belt amounts to an erroneous attack against what they think is antinomianism. They pit legalism against license, attacking them both, leaving people with a non-existent middle ground, and thus the honor and majesty of the law is obscured and the beauty and power of the gospel is taken away. So much preaching has to do with doing, rather than believing in God and what He has done. If true good works come from a heart full of thanksgiving, and true zeal for God has its basis in the love of God in Christ, then where there is a lack of good works and zeal, there also is a lack of the truth of the gospel. We look at the problem and try to fix it, without considering the root. The root of our Christian lives must not be a desire to be right with God. It must be our rightness with God - the fact that we are right with God - which is God's amazing gift. Or to put it the way I like best: Assurance of salvation does not come from our works, but our works come from our assurance of salvation. Otherwise, what is the source of our works? It is nothing but an ugly source if it is not out of love for God because of the love of God. Thus the answer is not to move from the gospel, as if it were deficient and we needed to preach something additional, as many have done; the answer is to preach the gospel more clearly and strongly.

We must clear away traditional confusions and see that the good news is not deficient. The good news - the awesome revelation of God the Father through God the Son - does not merely save our souls, but it itself is the power for us to live our lives here and now; lives that are zealous for good works (Titus 2:12-15). This was Paul's secret (Rom. 8:28-39, Gal. 2:19-20). It is not the gospel, but our view of the gospel, that is deficient, and needs a makeover.

16 comments:

nate said...

Your view on antinomianism is interesting, but I have to admit, it is a bit hard to follow. I can't quite see how people who accuse others of being antinomians are the real antinomians, and how Evangelical Christians would be the real legalists, and I read through your essay several times.

You are also quite hard on your brethren in the Bible belt, who give presentations that are "weak, adulterated, twisted, shallow, amoral, etc." Are you sure you are being fair to them?

Do you think there might be a bit of dissonance here? Does the gospel really have to be this complicated? What's wrong with preaching the simple things Jesus said, and trying to do it?

The thing I most agree with what you say is: "The purpose of the law is to show us the unattainable standard of righteousness that is required...and look outside ourselves to Christ."

This is how I live the law. First I try, and I fail, and I turn to Christ for forgiveness, and ask for his help to be a better person. Then I feel his forgiving power flow into me, and divine spirit strengthen me in my resolve to overcome my weaknesses and addictions. Then I keep trying to keep the law. Why? Because Jesus asked me to keep it, and I want to be close to Him. What do I care about salvation in the next life? I want Jesus NOW. I want salvation NOW. I fall from it daily, and daily I pick up my cross and beg for it again.

The Evangelical grace paradigm seems confusing to me, because it seems to be about some vague notion of one-time salvation in the afterlife: some really nice place in the next world, which you can get just by confessing Jesus Christ crucified. And if somehow you missed your chance or rejected Christ, you burn for eternity, even if you were a good person. That sounds fishy to me.

But what about those, like Mormons, Catholics, or Jews, who try to keep God's commandments, who cry unto God, their support, their arm, their salvation as part of their daily walk? What of their testimonies, the forgiveness granted them, the divine strength bestowed upon them as they strive to work righteousness? The ravings of Evangelicals seem confusing to them. Grace and works are constantly intertwined. Every good work is given of grace, and every grace inspires good works. Trying to separate them seems non-sensible and counter-productive.

I can see how Paul's grace paradigm makes perfect sense when trying to get a group of converts to abandon the law of Moses, but I just don't see the point in the modern world. To me, it seems like you are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel trying to twist Paul's scriptures into some kind of universal interpretation that everyone seems to be misunderstanding.

Sure, it's a true principle that salvation is free and we won't be saved by works. But so what? What about after that? We go and get saved, and then get back to work. It doesn't seem that complicated, yet Evangelicals make a big deal about the fact that you don't have to work. This is confusing because the Bible is full of admonitions to work.

The Evangelical church if full of "saved" people. Why do they need to hear more that they don't need to work for salvation? They are already saved. So they need to get to work! As Jerry Falwell said, he doesn't want bare bones salvation, with all the slacker Christians. He wants to get the best salvation, the best mansion in heaven, and to get that, you have to work for it.

Chris Morris said...

Great post!

Eli said...

Hey Nate,

The issue of antinomianism can seem confusing, but it really isn't. It's just a matter of asking who is honoring the law for what it is.

Let me ask you a question with regards to the grace/works issue that is very simple:

What exactly does a person need to do in order to receive the forgiveness of sins?

nate said...

Good question. It actually gets to the root of the conflict. (Sorry about my rambling rant in my first comment.)

I believe that to receive forgiveness of sins, one must repent. What does repentance mean? For me, it means two things: the acceptance of Christ's grace, as well as a commitment to change our behavior so that we don't commit the sin again. Without that commitment, and our imperfect efforts to follow up on that commitment (works), I don't think you can call the repentance sincere.

The forgiveness comes first, and we follow up with works to honor our commitment.

Of course Christ will forgive us again if we repeat the sin, (seventy times seven, even infinitely). But we must continually repent in order to keep our justification before God current.

I would be interested to hear how your belief differs.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eli,

I appreciate your insights. They are very clear.

In Christ's Love,
Logan

Eli said...

Nate,

You first said that in order "to receive forgiveness, one must repent." You defined repentance as 1) accepting the grace of Christ (I'm not sure what you mean by that) and 2) committing to change your behavior so as not sin again. You said that the committment must be followed up by works, which you insinuated would be imperfect.

So a few more questions:

1) What do you mean by accepting the grace of Christ?

2) Have you repented according to your definition?

3) Why must our repentance be imperfect? Do you believe we cannot obey? Do you believe we have to sin? Do you believe God gives commands we can't keep? What is the ultimate reason why we sin?

But then you said, "forgiveness comes first, and we follow up with works to honor our commitment." I'm a bit confused by this, because before you said that we needed to repent (which included following up on our commitment) in order to receive forgiveness. Can you clarify?

Thanks, Nate,
-Eli

nate said...

Ok, I'll do my best to clarify.

1. Accepting the grace of Christ would mean accepting Christ's forgiveness of our sins and thereby becoming clean before God in that moment. We don't have to "prove" anything to him in order to accept this grace. We just need to commit our life to Him. We accept forgiveness in that moment. But that cleanliness only lasts as long as we don't sin again.

2. Have I repented? Yes, many times, and been forgiven many times. Forgiveness is freely given when we repent, but because we sin over and over, we have to repent continually. Inherent in each repentance is a sincere desire to change our behavior. The "works" happen as we try to keep the commitment we made during repentance. If we sin after our repentance, we again become unclean before God, and must repent again because we have fallen again into error.

3. Why must our repentance be imperfect? I believe our repentance is perfect if we do it sincerely. Repentance only includes commitment. Not follow up "works." We can be perfect in our commitment. We will again make mistakes, but that is the future, and those mistakes will drive us to repent in the future.

Do you believe we cannot obey? I believe that technically we can, but because of the weaknesses of our flesh, we don't. But I also believe that God gave us our weaknesses that we would be humble, and turn to Him for help in overcoming these weaknesses, "thorns in the flesh" if you will.

"Forgiveness comes first." You said you were confused because I said "repentance includes following up on our commitment."

Actually, I shouldn't have said this. Forgiveness and repentance are separate from the "follow up."

If we don't "follow up" then we have sinned again, so we start a new repentance process. It doesn't really effect the last repentance process. Our sins are not retroactive. They only affect our future.

Hope that helps clarify...

Eli said...

Hi Nate, thanks for replying.

Actually, this seems more confusing and less clear. In such a view, I do not know how anyone can ever know they have been cleansed, since cleansing depends upon repentance, but repentance is so undefinable.

How can a person know they are sincere and have comitted? You seem to separated a person's work from the person himself, as if one's work is no reflection upon one's motives and desires. However, it is just the opposite. Our actions reveal the intentions, motives and desires of our hearts, and therefore if a person is sinning, that reveals their desire is for themselves and not for God, which calls their commitment and sincerity into question.

In Deuteronomy 5:27, the people of Israel tell Moses to go to God and find out everything He wants them to do, to come back and tell them, and then they promised they would do it. God replies by saying: "You don't have a heart in you that is for Me, because if you did, you would keep all of My commandments all the time." (v.29) If we are morally honest, we know that the only reason why we sin is because we don't want to obey (since we are able to obey if we wanted to). If we had the heart to obey, we would do so, since God doesn't give us commands we can't keep. If we don't obey the commands, it shows that we don't actually have a heart for God.

One cannot escape this. If you are sinning, then you aren't repentant, and you haven't followed through on your commitment to obey. If you haven't repented, then you aren't cleansed. In your own view, Nate, you said that if you sin then you are unclean. In that case, we are all unclean, myself and yourself included, and are all in serious trouble.

Essentially, you are saying that cleansing depends upon our not sinning (our works), and that is just not what the Bible teaches. One ought to be extremely uncomfortable with such a view, not only because it disagrees with the Bible, but because if it is true, then we are all condemned.

nate said...

So in your view, does repentance have any place in the gospel? Or is it merely a one-time acceptance of Christ? Does one ever need to repent more than once? When Jimmy Swaggart had an affair, did he need to repent because of his lack of obedience to the works of God, or had he already been saved, so no need?

Does the disagreement lie with the purpose of repentance? In my view, the purpose for repentance is not to collect a one way non-refundable ticket to heaven, just to "get saved."

And I am not equating "cleansing" with "salvation." There is a difference between being clean and free from sin, and being "perfect" as Christ commanded us.

Over time, as we repent again and again, and try to keep our commitments to him, we are able to become more like like Jesus. "Be ye therefore perfect" Jesus commanded. It has nothing to do with "where" we are going (heaven or hell), and everything to do with "who" we are becoming. Heaven would be hell for us, if we were filled with sinful and selfish desires. And hell would be heaven for us, if we were filled with the love of God and a heart for Him.

Repeated acceptance of God's grace into our hearts can soften it, warm it, mold over time, so that our heart of stone can be replaced with a heart of flesh. But this doesn't happen at once.

I'm not sure how this contradicts the Bible. It's not about "saving ourselves" through works. It's about accepting Christ's grace daily to perfect our imperfect walk.

If we do works without repentance, without accepting Christ's grace, we won't get anywhere, not because it is theologically impossible or forbidden, but because it is universally impossible. We will fail over and over. No one can do it. But if we do our works while relying upon the grace of Christ continually, then we will find ourselves succeeding, and gradually overcoming our errors and having a new heart and a new spirit.

Eli said...

Hi Nathan,

The trouble is with your definition of repentance and your view of obedience and disobedience.

In the first place, you are using the word repentance in a very narrow and erroneous way, as the LDS church has taught their members to use it. In Mormon theology, repentance is a five step process of dealing with your sin: recognize, sorrow, confess, make restitution, forsake. When those steps are followed then repentance has occured. In this view, repentance has to do with dealing with your sin.

But this is not a warranted definition of repentance at all; it comes neither from the Bible nor from extra Biblical usage, and has more to do with the tradition of Roman Catholic penance, an idea foreign to the Bible. The English word "repentance" (an unfortunate translation due to its roots in penance) is the translation of the Greek word "metanoia". Metanoia simply means to "change the mind", and both in the Bible and in extra Biblical usage it has the widest possible range of application and is in no way limited to having to be about sin.

In fact, there are common examples of the word being used in extra Biblical Greek writings to show a change of mind from doing right to doing wrong! That is, they repent and do evil! In the Bible, God "repents" many times. This doesn't mean that He recognized and deal with His sin! It just means that He changed His mind.

Thus, when we read and talk about repentance in the Bible, we cannot just assume it means dealing with your sin. If someone is commanded to change their mind, the natural question is, "About what?" Jesus gives us the answer: "Repent(change your mind) and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15) Not stop your sin, but change your mind and believe the gospel.

Or Paul in 2 Timothy 2:24-25: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." Here repentance is a change of mind from believing a lie to acknowleding the truth.

And what is the truth? What is the gospel? It is the news that God justifies the ungodly through faith in Jesus Christ without any works whatsoever, because of what Jesus did on the cross for sin. HE dealt with sin, not we, and we simply trust in Him. Unless a person has believed this gospel, they have not repented; no matter how much they try and deal with their sin, they are ignoring the truth.

Eli said...

So must a person repent in order to be forgiven? Yes, of course, the Bible makes that abundantly clear. But repentance unto salvation doesn't have to do with dealing with your sin but believing the gospel. This is why it is a one time thing.

The second problem with what you are saying, Nathan, is that you seem to not be making sin an issue of justice. It sounds like for you sin is merely an issue of becoming a better person, being comfortable in heaven, improving yourself and being happy. While I will not argue that sinning has disruptive consequences, obedience and disobedience is about so much more than these things. They're about justice. Granted, if you kill someone you will feel horrible and so will the victims family, but beyond this plain fact, you have committed an evil that God, who is the just judge, must punish. You yourself are condemned before a just God. Justice is really the main issue of the atonement and we dare not ignore or lessen it. When we sin, besides all the obvious consequences, we must face the realities of justice.

Sin must be dealt with, and we sin every day. If dealing with sin to escape the demands of justice depends upon us (as the Book of Mormon teaches, 1 Nephi 15, Alma 42, etc.), then we are truly damned. If God's wrath is only turned away from us if we meet the conditions of obedience, then we are all doomed. If, on the other hand, God's wrath is turned away from us by grace through the blood of Christ, as the Book of Romans teaches, then we have great hope.

So the ultimate issue is the issue of justice, and everything else is penultimate. When you sin tomorrow, what must be done in order for God's just wrath to not fall on you? That's the issue. That's the issue the Bible focuses on from Genesis to Revelation.

nate said...

Your definition of repentance have helped clarify the problem for me. Yes, we do see repentance in a very different way. It is true that in Mormon culture, the rhetoric about the repentance "process" sometimes overshadows the role of grace within the process. But the Book of Mormon is very clear about the role of grace, and that it is only through Christ that these sins can be forgiven, and not our works.

If I'm not mistaken, in the Evangelical view, repentance and acceptance of Christ's grace is primarily a question of justification. That is, having sinned, the price must be paid, and we cannot pay it ourselves, and must therefore be damned. Acceptance of Christ's grace, (repentance as belief only), justifies us. Once that justification is complete, there is really no need to perfect ourselves through works, because in the Evangelical view, justification through grace is a one-time occurrence, and Christ carries the full weight of the justification for us. Am I correct in stating your view on this?

Mormons actually believe similarly in the concept of justification: that is, that the blood of Christ pays the price for our sins when we repent. (Although there are "steps" to repentance, we still believe this doesn't pay for the sins, but merely proves the sincerity of our belief and desire to change.) But we do not believe that justification alone is sufficient. It only cleanses us of sin. But Christ commanded us to "be perfect." We can be "clean," but still be weak, and prone to sin again.

There is an additional concept that is equally important, which we call "sanctification." Sanctification is the process of becoming "perfect" as Christ commanded us, which happens through continual effort (works) in concert with continual repentance and acceptance of Christ's cleansing of our sins. So grace and Christ's blood cleanse the believer continually, day after day, every time he repents. Far from being "salvation through works," it is a life full of grace and works, with the humble acceptance that we are always inadequate without Christ's grace to help us in everything we do.

The root of this doctrine lies in our views on the afterlife, which includes varying degrees of glory, the concept of eternal progression, and becoming "a god." But even though we progress, step by step through our efforts, it is always "through the atonement of Christ," and would never claim that we can progress through our works alone, but through grace in constant concert with our works.

However, Mormons are not alone in speaking of progression, and varying degrees in heaven. Even Jerry Falwell has spoken about different levels in heaven, and that he doesn't want to be in the lowest level with all the lazy Christians, but in the highest, with the real Christians who make genuine sacrifices for the gospel. This sermon was recounted in the book "In The Land of the Believers." And C. S. Lewis also talks a lot about perfectionism, even going so far as to use the Biblical language "becoming gods," which Mormons take literally.

So to sum up, we believe in justification and sanctification: Justification: limited and temporary, but continually given to us each time we repent, with no works needed. Sanctification: ultimate perfection achieved through both works and the repeated process of regular justification through the atonement of Christ.

Where we go from here, I don't know. At least we may both may have a better understanding of where our differences lie. But if you can admit that even among Evangelicals, there exists the concept of continuing progression, different levels in heaven, and eventual "perfection," after one has been "saved," then we may really not be as far apart as we think.

Eli said...

Hey Nate,

I wouldn't go to either Falwell or Lewis for theology. Neither of them were theologians. I disagree with them both on the point you have shared.

The issue for me hasn't changed since my last few comments. If repentance is required for forgiveness, then none of us are forgiven, since none of us have repented.

Every time we sin we make a freewill choice. The very thing that makes sin sin is that that we choose to do what we know is wrong, and we don't have to do it. If we had to do it, it wouldn't be sin. If we didn't know better, it wouldn't be sin.

But the reality is, we all sin everyday. We are without excuse everyday. Our sinning shows that we are not truly repentant. If someone actually wanted to obey, they could obey. Our actions reveal the intents of our hearts. Therefore, if the atonement of Christ and the forgiveness of our sins depends upon our repentance, desire, willingness, obedience, etc, then we are all unqualified because we all show that we are truly disobedient at heart.

It must be by grace to undeserving sinners. It must be offered to unworthy sinners by faith alone. This is what the Bible is all about.

Joe said...

Wow! Thank you Eli for such a well thought out article. May the Lord speak to the heart of all who read it. Amen

Ken said...

As Eli mentioned, we are all unqualified because we all show that we are truly disobedient at heart. As Jesus clearly defined for us in Math 5:27-28, the true issue is the very heart of man. Sin is the very essence of our being. Even man in his very best estate is all together vanity(Psalm 39:5). We can't add anything to the salvation process. Even our repentance, desire, willingness and obedience are tainted by this sinful nature that is within us all. What about the thief on the cross that turned to Jesus in the last few moments of his life? Did he have a penitent heart? The scripture doesn't tell us that he repented, but he obviously saw his need and saw that Jesus was an innocent man and the he and the other thief were getting what they deserved. The thief through himself on the mercy of God and asked to be remembered when he entered his kingdom and Jesus' response was "today you will be in paradise with me." It's a conscious decision that we are to make based upon truth not feelings". Whosoever shall upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!

Anonymous said...






On this article on Antinomianism.

Let’s consider what is the Etymological root source of the word Antinomian. It’s a term used by Jesus Christ in the Epistles as a heinous sin. (Matthew. 7: 23) “I never knew you; depart from me you that work‚ (Greek Strong # 458) ANTINOMIAN.”

Now allow us to peel off the theological bark and shine the spot light on this ancient dogma to learn the bare truth of what Antinomianism is in the Greek Epistles (Strong # 458, 459, 560, Antanomia.) Yet, what does this term in the Bible really signify to be Greek Strong # 458, 459, 560, Antanomia i.e. Anomia, meaning Antinomian i.e. Antinomianism. As Jesus and others who spoke concerning Antinomianism again in the Epistles all were in relation to a public rebuke of sinful wickedness.
Just look at one verse (Matthew. 7: 21-23) Who are those that find themselves expelled by Jesus.? ? ? Who are these people? ? ? The Antinomians being talked about here that call Jesus “Lord” and even do good works in His name.

They expect to inherit eternal salvation, nevertheless find themselves expelled by Jesus from salvation.

The Greek term in (Strong # 458, 459, 560, Antanomia.) used a singular “A” prefix letter to abbreviate for “no,” “not,” “without” or “ANTI.” “A” prefix letter attached to a Greek word gives the word a negative meaning, same as “A” prefix letter attached to English words as Amoral, Atheist, etc. The disposition exhibit in the meaning of this word is that those who consider themselves as antinomian are against the Lawgiver IE they are the anarchists of God’s Law. The Scriptural Law is the (Greek Strong’s # 3551 NOMOS.) Antinomianism is antithetical to the Lawgiver’s scriptural sovereignty.

(Lev. 4:2) express this reprimanded sin as “Against the Commandments of God.” or Anti-commandments. The Torah (Hebrew Strong’s # 8451) signify the scriptural Law, is interchangeable with the (Greek Strong’s # 3551 NOMOS) and the Greek term “Nomos” is the word used by the ancient translators of the Septuagint to translate the Biblical Torah (Hebrew Strong’s # 8451) to the Greek Bible. As used in (Hosea. 8: 1) “They transgressed My covenant and transgressed against My law [Torah.]” As Hosea expression Against God’s “Torah,” is coined in the Greek by the word Antinomian.

“Antinomian” has been alternative form of expression for over two millennia meaning against the scripture Lawgiver and His Law. It’s from the term in the Epistles {Greek Strong # 458, 459, 460, Antanomia i.e. Anomia.} As cited in (Heb. 1: 9) “Love righteousness and hate (G Strong # 458) ANTINOMIAN.”

Jack