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Antinomianism is Heretical and Dangerous
Special Edition Evening Devotional for 10/6/2023
Listen to the audio devotional above, and/or read the written devotional below.
“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
Churches, and even denominations, have flirted with antinomianism with the rise of modernism at the end of the 19th century, and adherents have been recorded as far back as the 16th century. Yet it has become much more prevalent in the past two or three decades, in the U.S.A. most especially. What is antinomianism? Dr. Strong defines antinomianism as that:
“…which holds that, since Christ’s obedience and sufferings have satisfied the demands of the law, the believer is free from obligation to observe it.” —Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology, The Judson Press, Chicago; 1953, pg. 875
This heretical doctrine rests upon a misinterpretation of Romans 6:14,
…since you are not under law but under grace.
Such a misinterpretation implies a laxity in the eternal holiness and unchangeableness of God; and by its mischaracterization of God, as well as the atoning work of Christ, it is a heresy which opposes the spirit and life of Scripture (2 Cor 3:6b).
“But why is it so dangerous?” you may ask. When we dismiss or discard God’s law and commandments from our lives, we are communicating to others that our saved lives is the standard of goodness, holiness, and righteousness rather than the Lord Jesus Christ. This danger is four-fold.
Antinomianism lowers God’s rule and standard for life because we are not yet glorified beings due to the corruptions which still remain in our mortal flesh (1 Cor 15:51-54; 1 Jn 3:2).
Antinomianism causes our lower standard to slide inconsistently upon a subjective scale since individuals differ in growth and character (Rom 12:3, 6a). This becomes a confusing witness for our children, our disciples, and for unbelievers in the world we desire to evangelize.
Antinomianism will ultimately lead to legalism because of its subjective nature (2 Cor 10:12). The antinomian practitioner will set the rule by his own growth and then demand others meet that low standard.
Antinomianism will ultimately fail to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ by exalting a perversion of God’s grace (Matt 5:19-20). Jesus Christ alone fulfilled God’s law (Matt 5:17-18).
“How may we combat this, Brother Jon?” you may ask. Keep your eyes of faith upon Christ Jesus. Desire to know Him, love Him, and serve Him; for this is the chief end of man (Deut 6:4-9; Micah 6:8; Phil 3:10).1 Hallelujah! What a Savior!
The answer to “What is the chief end of man?” from Mr. Spurgeon’s Puritan Catechism is: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” And while its Scripture proofs are Psalm 73:25-26 and 1 Corinthians 10:31, I have somewhat expanded upon the Puritan divines blessed truth to mean that, for the Christian believer, to glorify God is to know Christ Jesus, to love Him, and to serve Him. This pattern is specifically based on Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” This pattern is found in other portions of Scripture (and if the Lord is pleased to allow such, perhaps I will write a book upon it).