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#10438 - Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:37 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ? *****  
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BookMark said:
Pilgrim, your definition of "legalism" must mean that Samuel Bolton is a legalist as he sets up the Law as a rule for sanctification (see his Against Antinomians)

It is one thing to recognize (Bolton didn't set up anything) that the moral law of God, being the expression of His very nature and the definitive standard of holiness and righteousness and is thus the rule by which believers are to be guided by. And, it is the same immutable standard by which all men are going to be judged and either be found guilty of trangressing it or innocent having kept it perfectly.

Quote
Christians are sanctified by faith that is in Christ (Acts 26:18) not in law keeping which is "works righteousness" is it not ?

You are confusing the issue unnecessarily. I have many times previously said that Christ is both our Justification and Sanctification (1Cor 1:30). Salvation is accomplished 100% by the perfect life and atoning work of the Lord Christ and that alone (aka: active and passive work). That work is then imputed to the one who has rests their faith in HIM; the person of Christ, believing that God has accepted HIS sacrifice as meeting all the demands of the law.

I say, BOTH, Justification AND Sanctification, for even though one is justified by faith, that doesn't mean that the individual can then live a life of sin thereafter. Righteousness, the perfect keeping of God's moral law, which the Lord Christ did, is not abrogated because the effects of Original Sin are partially eradicated. I say, partially, because although the guilt, which was imputed, is removed and replaced by Christ's imputed righteousness, the inherited corruption of nature is only partially removed in regeneration. And, it shall not be totally removed until after the death of the believer, aka: glorification. However, there is a radical work done in regeneration where the soul is "recreated"; given a propensity to righteousness and holiness and true knowledge, (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10). And this new man desires to be conformed to the image of Christ; to be perfectly holy. (Matt 5:48; Lk 1:74, 75; Jh 15:16; Rom 8:28, 29; Eph 1:4; 2:10; 1Thess 4:7; 2Tim 2:19; 1Pet 1:15, 16; 2Pet 1:5-11; et al).

Since Christ, to be holy and perfect before God to accomplish redemption for His people, had to do all that the law required, can it possibly be that those who are to follow Him as their example do otherwise? Is there some other standard by which "holiness" and/or "righteousness" are to be found other than the very same moral law which He kept, that men are to keep? Or, even more unlikely, can it be that believers are not bound by any law (lawlessness) when the Scripture everywhere condemns all those who transgress the law, even those who profess to believe in Christ? (see Rom 6)

Further, it is crystal clear that all who profess to believe on Christ; to be His disciples are to "keep His commandments" (Jh 14:15; 15:10; Lk 6:46). And the Apostle John says that believers are to "keep God's commandments". In fact they are to find them pleasing to do and not a burden. (1Jh 2:3, 4; 3:22, 24; 5:2, 3; Rev 22:14)

The Moral Law defines what holiness and righeousness is. They are the road map that guides a believer to do that which is pleasing in God's sight, which is his main desire. The doing of that law is done out of a heart of love for God. Love is the motive, Law is the duty, or substance of love expressed.

Quote
What is the difference between "legalism" and "Neonomianism" ?

Depending upon how you define those terms, they can mean the same thing or something totally different. Antinomians use the term "Neonomian" to designate anyone who believes that believers have anything to do with the law; thus a strawman term meant to justify their own heresy.

Hebrews 12:14 "Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:"


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#10439 - Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:09 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ? [Re: Pilgrim]  

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Here is part of an article entitled: Against Neonomians - An answer to Samuel Bolton.

At the outset it must be emphatically stated that the Gospel Rule believer rejects the the label Antinomian.For any committed Christian this is a misnomer,as by definition he will love the law or Word of God,as it is an expressionof the Logos or Living Word;the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. To further suggest that such a one holds to loose moral standards or is a "loose-liver", is a calmuny and a direct breach of the very "Moral law" which Neonomians claim to uphold(Le 6:5;9:16;Ps101:5).

It is a fact of Church history that many of its most Godly Saints have been unkindly and untruthfully branded Antinomian by those who claim to adhere to the "Moral law".
In the NT we need look no further than Stephen who was stoned to death by "moral law" adherents for preaching Grace.He was condemned for speaking against Moses and the Law (acts 6:11-14). In the 18th century, the saintly William Huntington was mercilessly attacked as an antinomian for the same reasons. In the 19th century,men such as Gadsby, Tiptaft, Warburton, Kershaw and many other righteous preachers endured similar, unremmiting slanders from "Moral law" men..........

Bolton states ,:"That which was morally good formerly is morally good now, and is to be persued and practised". Yet in Acts 15 the Apostles, speaking by The Holy Ghost, released the the Gentiles from adherence to the Mosaic Law(vv5,9,10,19-29). Peter stood up and said " Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we are able to bear." (verse 10).
He was refering to the Mosaic law(verse 5) which embodies the so-called "moral law". Peter acknowledged that neither the Patriarchs nor the apostles themselves "were able to bear" these precepts; yet men such as Bolton insist on that professing Christians today are to gladly observe them and "delight" in them !
In Colossians 2:14 we read that Christ hath blotted "out the handwriting of ordinances that was AGAINST us and CONTRARY to us,and took it out of the way,nailing it to His cross" The context makes it abundantly plain that the supposed "Moral law" is in question. Again ,men such as Bolton insist:"that which was morally good formerly is morally good now, and is to be pursued and practised".If the ordinances in view were morally good, why did Christ take them out of the way and nail them to His cross ? If they are morally good, why are they said to be against us and contrary to us; and why did Christ blot them out ? In Ezekiel 20, we read, " Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgements whereby they should not live," The plain meaning of this text is often denied, but Paul said, "Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed (Christ) should come..." (Gal 3:19).......

Bolton agrees that we cannot be justified by the law, but he insists that we are sanctified by it. Here we must part company with him. The elect saint is not sanctified by the law any more than an Israelite was justified by it. On the contrary, we "are sanctified by FAITH" that is in Christ(Acts 26:18). Sanctification is often spoken of as an accomplished act in scripture " To them that are sanctified" (1 Cor 1:2) " But ye are sanctified" (1 Cor 6:11), " Among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32), "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification.."(2 Thess 2:13)
Sanctification is expressly sated to be by "The blood of the covenant"(Heb10:29;13:12) And it is said to come by the hand of God, rather than by obsevance of a "Moral law" (1 Thess 5:23)Yes, The Lord Jesus prayed " Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth"(John 17:17).
And Paul spoke of Christ sanctifying and cleansing His church"with the washing of water by the word"(Eph 5:26), but this is the Word implanted in our hearts by The Spirit(Col 3:16). Slavish obedience to the written code is not in view.

Gospel Rule adherents are led by a rule of life and conduct much higher than the OUTWARD OBSERVANCE of a "Moral law". We do not follow the letter which killeth but THE SPIRIT of the law written on the fleshly tables of our hearts (2Cor3:3). Isn't this the main thrust of the sermon on the Mount (Matt5:20) ?

Man centerd "works righteousness" is revealed in Boltons words;"We desire to conform ourselves" and ;"Our obedience". True, his position seems to soften as he draws to a close; so much so thathe seems to argue against himself. But allow me to be unequivocal: Our bedience is ALL OF GOD. It is He who makes us willing in the day of His power(Ps 110:3)Not only our salvation , but our sanctificationis "of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9). So witnesse the overwhelming testimony of scripture: Hos 14:8;Eccl3:14;Jer32:40;Prov16:1;Isa26:12;Lam5:21;Mic7:19,1Cor3:9;Eph2:10;Ph2:13;1Cor12:6;2Pet1:3,4;Ps138:8; Acts15:8,9;2Cor3:4,5;Jn15:5; & c.
This is the Gospel rule: SOLI DEO GLORIA; Glory to God Alone.

Written by the editor, Derek Owers of "The Common Salvation" newsletter vol 1 issue 6 August 1998

#10440 - Tue Feb 03, 2004 10:01 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  
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Mark,

I don't know why you posted that clip. Perhaps you could explain why you did so? I mean, what was the point other than to show that the author is unfortunately confused and doesn't have a clue as to how the word "law" is used in Scripture. I cannot accuse him of deliberately twisting passages as I don't known him. But again, he is faulty in his exegesis and interpretation of many texts.

He further doesn't even understand Bolton nor what he loves to call "Neonomians" (although he doesn't want to be called Antinomian). The Moral Law is the means by which one is sanctified; it is a guide that gives meat to the bones of sanctification. The Law no more sanctifies a believer any more than faith saves him. Faith is the means by which one is justified; Christ is the one Who saves and God Who justifies on the basis of His work. Likewise, the same Moral Law neither sanctifies but it is the means by which God has chosen to bring believers to sanctification; i.e., purity of life, holiness and righteousness.

Quote
Gospel Rule adherents are led by a rule of life and conduct much higher than the OUTWARD OBSERVANCE of a "Moral law". We do not follow the letter which killeth but THE SPIRIT of the law written on the fleshly tables of our hearts (2Cor3:3). Isn't this the main thrust of the sermon on the Mount (Matt5:20) ?

This is really a silly statement to make. The New Testament is filled with passages which affirm the Moral Law of God as that which will condemn ALL who fail to keep it; even those who profess to be believers. (cf. Rom 1:30; 1Cor 6:9-11; 2Tim 3:1-8; 2Pet 2:1ff; et al)

Here's the Antinomians major obstacle, IMHO. The moral laws of God were written in the very being of Adam as the "imago dei". In short, men KNEW it was wrong to kill, to steal, to break the Sabbath, etc. An example is Cain. He KNEW that what he did was wrong when he offered that which was not acceptable (Gen 4:5-7). After killing his brother and in his reply to God, he speaks of his fear of vengeance by others, reprisals, etc. (Gen 4:14) And there are myriad other examples that could be offered which show that men were aware of what was morally right and wrong long before the Ten Commandments were given on Sinai.

Was David not a true believer? Then why is it that he extols the law so highly? In fact, Psalm 119 is an incredible monument to the Scriptures, but specifically to God's commandments, precepts, law etc. Is the believer of today no less bound to abstain from adultery than was David or Noah? If not, then how is the Sixth Commandment no longer binding and/or a guide to sanctification today?

Next, what was it that the Lord Christ was bound to obey to secure salvation for His people? Was it not the moral law of God in it's fullest extent? Was it not the punishment due to His sheep which He Himself bore on the cross; the breaking of God's moral law? Is not the righteousness imputed to them the perfection of the moral law? Did not Christ come to save His people FROM their sins and TO holiness? And what is it that defines righteousness and holiness, if it isn't the moral law of God?

Next, what is it that the Lord Christ taught His disciples? Was it not "all that the Father had given to Him"? (Jh 14:10; 17:6-8). In short, Jesus didn't teach anything NEW in the sense that He abrogated the very core of what holiness, righteousness, sin and punishment were based on. Jesus taught what was already written. He explained the Scriptures and applied the Scriptures rightly as opposed to the distortions, additions and deletions of the Pharisees. But would you have me believe that the moral standard by which Christ had to live perfectly, the breaking of which brought about the punishment and condemnation of the human race, of which is imputed to those who believe upon Him, to which the entire N.T. often refers to, is NOT to be followed by Christ's disciples?

Next, are you suggesting that the moral law which men are condemned for breaking and which Christ taught His disciples to keep (Matt 5:17; 7:12; 22:36-40; et al) is lesser than some other law which is not written down in God's inspired Bible? I find that rather novel, personally, especially since the Epistles of the N.T. everywhere affirm the validity, perpetuity and purity of the law in their own lives. (Rom 6; 7:7-12; 14-16; 22, 25; Jam 1:19-25; 1Jh 1ff; et al) If you follow some moral standard which is not written down by inspiration, where does it come from? May I assume that you are following some "leading of the Spirit", ala Charismagic teaching? or perhaps it is via some "Oral Tradition", ala Roman State Church?

MUCH more could be said in defense of the traditional, historical, classical view of the perpetuity and binding character of God's moral law upon ALL men, but that should give you enough to ponder, hopefully.

In His Grace,


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#10441 - Tue Feb 03, 2004 12:51 PM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ? [Re: Pilgrim]  

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There is much for me to ponder.

I was reading Bolton on the Highway and I thought about that article . Thanks for the care taken in your reply Pilgrim. Needless to say, this has caused me much concern over the years and it has come to surface again recently and I'm chewing on it once more. Having read much of the Puritan debates on this between 1640-1700 ,I am not convinced either way as yet. These things take much time,study and prayer for me to get to grips with so I thank you for your patience once again.


Btw, I dont think I'm going charismatic on you <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#10442 - Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:17 PM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  
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Mark,

I am encouraged that at least you have shared your consternation on this subject. And, I am also encouraged that you admit to wanting to study more on the subject too.

It might help if you would at least answer SOME of the questions I have posed to you in this thread and other places. It is often helpful in working through a topic if that is done as it forces one to find inconsistencies in their logic and to see if everything squares with Scripture. grin
In His Grace,


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#10443 - Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:16 PM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  

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BookMark,
I was looking in Martyn Lloyd-Jones' book Sermon on the Mount about this question of the law and the Christian. Chapter 19 covers the area you are struggling with. You might want to get a used copy to read more.
Quote
Matthew 5: 17-20 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.




Quote
...His teaching is in no way inconsistent with that of the law and the prophets; but secondly, it is very different from the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees. Our Lord has not come to make it easier for us or to make it in any sense less stringent in its demands upon us. His purpose in coming was to enable us to keep the law, not to abrogate it. So He emphasizes here that we must know what the law is, and then must keep it: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.' p. 199-200

...Now let me ask the question that is probably in your mind at this point. What then is our Lord teaching? Is He teaching salvation by works? Is He saying that we have to live a life better than that of the Pharisees in order to enter the kingdom? Patently not, because ' there is none righteous, no, not one'. The law of God given to Moses condemned the whole world; 'every mouth has been stopped'; all are 'guilty before God' and have 'come short of the glory of God'. Our Lord did not come to teach justification or salvation by works, or by our own righteousness. ' Very well,' says the opposite school; 'is He not teaching that salvation is by means of the rithteousness of Christ alone, so that it does not matter at all what we may do? He has done it all and therefore we have nothing to do.' Now that is the other extreme, and the other error. That, I argue, is an imposible exposition of this verse because of the little word 'for' at the beginning of verse twenty. It links with verse nineteen where He said, 'Whosoever therefore should break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.' He is emphasizing the practical carrying out of the law. That is the whole purpose of the paragraph. It is not to make it easy for us or to enable us to say, 'Christ has done it all for us and therefore it matters not what we do.' We always tend in our folly to consider things as antitheses which are meant to be complementary. Our Lord is teaching that the proof of our having truly received the grace of God in Jesus Christ is that we are living a righteous life.You know the old argument of course about faith and works. Some say the one is all important, some say the other. The Bible teaches that both these views are wrong: it is faith showing itself by works which is the mark of the true Christian.

Now lest you may think this is my doctrine, let me quote the apostle Paul, who of all others is the apostle of faith, and of grace. "Be not deceived', he says--not to the world, but to church members at Corinth--'be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers...nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.' It is no use saying, "Lord, Lord," unless you do the things that I command you", says Christ. It comes to this, that unless my life is a righteous life, I must be very careful before I claim that I am covered by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. For to receive the grace of God in Jesus Christ means not only that my sins are forgiven because of His death for me on the cross at Calvary's hill, but also that I have been given a new life and a new nature. It means that Christ is being formed in me, that I have become a partaker of the divine nature, that old things have passed away and all things have become new. It means that Christ is dwelling in me, and that the Spirit of God is in me. The man who has been born again, and who has the divine nature within him, is a man who is righteous and his righteousness does exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. He is no longer living for self and his own attainments, he is no longer self-righteous and self-satisfied. He has become poor in spirit, meek, and merciful; he hungers and thirsts after righteousness; he has become a peacemaker. His heart is being purified. He loves God, yes unworthily, alas, but he loves Him and longs for His honour and glory. His desire is to glorify God and to keep and honour and fulfill His law. The commandments of God to such a man 'are not grievous'. He wants to keep them, for he loves them. He is no longer at enmity against God; but he now sees the holiness of the law and nothing so appeals to him as the living of this law and the exemplifying of it in his daily life. It is a righteousness that far exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. pp. 207-209

#10444 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:10 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  

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Thanks Susan.As MLJ says, the law of God given to Moses condemned the whole world.Was this law given to all who lived before Moses - including Adam ? If so, what is meant by Deuteronomy 5:3 " The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers,but with us,even us,who are all of us here alive this day" ?
The sum total of Gods commandments to Christians are to love God and to love your neighbour . This is living by faith.Faith is a friut of The Spirit.

What law had Abel, Enoch, Noah,Abraham,Jacob and Isaac ?
They had the law of faith (Romans 3:27)
Abraham lived by faith some 430 years before the law of Moses entered the world.
Yesterday, a shy Highway member sent me this to read :
http://www.ipotts.freeserve.co.uk/ianp3html

Btw, I believe Gadsbys article might have been answered near the time he penned it (1806). Does anyone know more about this. as I would like to read it ?

#10445 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:40 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  

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Hello,

I'm new to this board, but am interested in this discussion and note that Bookmark above has posted a reference to an article on my own website. Actually his link is wrong, it should be:-

http://www.ipotts.freeserve.co.uk/ianp3.html

In case anyone is wondering I am not that 'shy' member which Bookmark references above, so someone else have obviously referred him to my article.

Anyway, as will be obvious from my article I am in agreement with the point that Bookmark has raised regarding the fact that believers are not under the law (Romans 6:14).

Bookmark is right to point out that Abraham and others before Moses were not under the law - it hadn't been given yet.

It is said that the 'moral' law is eternal. Could someone please point out some scriptures which show this? Eternal means without beginning as well as without end. Which scriptures describe the law as eternal? Also how does that idea square up with the verses which tell us that the law 'entered' and 'was added because of transgressions'430 years after the promise to Abraham (see Galatians 3:16-29)?

What IS eternal is God's righteousness. So no one denies that the believer should be righteous in the sight of God and should live a life characterised as such. The point is not a question of whether murder, for instance, is right or wrong (of course it is wrong, always has been, and no believer would contemplate it) but of the principle by which the believer walks. Does he walk by a set of rules (which also have sanctions condtional upon breaking them, which still apply - law doesn't change) or does he walk by faith. He walks by faith, having no desire to break the law, but not using the law as the means by which he walks - he looks unto Christ, the author and finisher of faith.

Last edited by Ian_Potts; Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:38 AM.
#10446 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:51 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  

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Welcome to the Highway Ian . Sorry about the wrong link

You made a good point about "eternal" law.

"For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed where there is no law" Romans 5:13.

How could there have been a time"where there is no law" ,if it were eternal?

#10447 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:23 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  
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Quote
BookMark said:
Welcome to the Highway Ian . Sorry about the wrong link

You made a good point about "eternal" law.

"For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed where there is no law" Romans 5:13.

How could there have been a time"where there is no law" ,if it were eternal?

Mark,

This is a strawman argument at best. As an explanation for those writers that have referred to the Moral Law as being "eternal" in regard to man knowing them, etc.... the word "eternal" cannot be restricted to one solitary meaning ("psycho-statistical mean" hermeneutics). There are many instances where "eternal" can be seen to have a beginning, e.g., Gen 17:9; and an end, e.g., the promises given to Israel concerning the land, e.g., Ex. 6:4. Thus the words, "eternal", "everlasting" and "forever" should not and cannot be restricted to one meaning only.

Secondly, the text you chose to quote actually goes against your Antinomian view and answers the question beautifully when taken in context:

Romans 5:12-14 (ASV) "Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:-- for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come."


Paul's point is to show that the Moral Law was existent long before it was written on tablets of stone and given to Moses on Sinai. Sin was "in the world", says Paul. The wages of sin is death and all men died, thus they sinned. And sin is the transgression of the law. If there was no law, no one would have died or had sin imputed to them, which they did. I've elsewhere challenged you to explain how men could have experienced guilt and fear for the things they did which were direct violations of those laws which are found in the Ten Commandments, but thousands of years before they came into existence? (cf. Gen 6:5, 6) How could God punish people for doing something "wrong" (aka: sin) if there was no law against what they did? If Sodom wasn't guilty of breaking what the 7th Commandment forbids, then on what legal ground did God destroy those people? (cf. Gen 13:13) How could Er have been "wicked" if there was no standard of moral righteousness known by which he was judged and consequently killed by God? (Gen 38:7) And the same for Onan his brother, whom the Lord also killed for being "wicked". (Gen 38:10)

Paul says, "but where there is no law, neither is there transgression." (Rom 4:15) And since the biblical record shows that there were millions of people who were punished as sinners, surely they transgressed some Moral Law of God. The truth is inescapable; the Ten Commandments were not "new" but iterations of that which had been known intuitively.

In His Grace,


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#10448 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:46 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ? [Re: Pilgrim]  

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Pilgrim,

What is the "moral law"? You are trying to say that those who were not under the law, as given at Sinai, nevertheless sinned and are held accountable for their sins.

True. But your conclusion is that they are therefore judged according to a "moral law". You are using a term which is not given in scripture. What existed before the Mosaic Law was RIGHTEOUSNESS. God's righteousness existed then and is eternal. That is the standard by which men are judged. You seem to be calling it the "moral law" but that just confuses it with the written 10 commandments given at Sinai.

Romans 2:12 (and 16) tells us with regard to the Gentiles "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law"..."In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel".

This shows that some perish without law. Well what standard are they then judged by? By the Gospel, in which the righteousness of God is revealed, Romans 1:16-17. This is that righteousness of God WITHOUT the law which is manifested in the Gospel, being witnessed by the law and the prophets Rom 3:21.

So righteousness exists apart from the law. What is the full revelation of God's righteousness? The Mosaic law? NO! Christ IS. He is the express image of God's person. Heb 1:3.

All mankind will be judged according to that standard of righteousness as revealed in the Gospel in Christ. This is a standard which is HIGHER than that revealed in the law, which is why in Matthew 5:20 it says "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." The scribes and pharisees knew the law, and tried to keep it to the letter, but Christ revealed the righteousness of God in the Gospel which exceeds what the law required, and which He actually imputes to His people through His blood.

This is the righteousness of God, the righteousness of faith, Romans 10. It is in this standard of righteousness which the believer walks, in a new principle of faith, not just outward obedience to commands engraved in stone, but obedience from the heart, by faith, to the law of faith as written upon the fleshy tables of the heart.

This is why the New Covenant as seen in Christ is so much more glorious than the Old - it fully reveals God's righteousness, and through Christ's perfect work all believers are made righteous in Him.

The Mosaic Law however isn't righteousness itself. It is a Law. It is a rule of righteousness with sanctions attached. In that it contains commandments those commandments certainly describe righteousness but they are nevertheless a 'rule' a 'law' with sanctions. The believer isn't under that. He walks in righteousness, but not in a 'law' principle, but in grace, by faith. There is no condemnation to the believer (Rom 8) because His sin has been atoned for by Christ, so he cannot be under law because law still threatens sanctions upon being broken. Walking in the Spirit by faith, he looks unto Jesus who is his righteousness.

Last edited by Ian_Potts; Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:51 AM.
#10449 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:27 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ? [Re: Pilgrim]  

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Pilgrim, I am not yet an antinomian- nor am I yet a neonomian or legalist.

As before stated,I am still trying to sort this out in my mind before I become dogmatic about it.

I would like to hear the views of the "regulars" here, especially those who admit to still being students of these things.

Do you expect me to agree with you in a week ?

Last edited by BookMark; Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:28 AM.
#10450 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:27 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  

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1saved said:
Greetings Yankee,

"Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4 NKJV

Regarding this verse, The MacArthur Study Bible says:

"3:4 'commits sin.' The verb, "commits'" in the Gr. conveys the idea of making sin a habitual practice. Although genuine Christians have a sin nature (1:18), and do commit and need to confess sin (1:9,2;1), that is not the unbroken pattern of their lives. A genuinely born again believer has a built-in check or guard against habitual sinning due to a new nature ("born of God"--v.9;Rom.6:12). 'sin is lawlessness.' The first reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because sin is incompatible with the law of God which they love (Ps. 119:34,77,97;Rom.7:12,22). The term "lawlessness" conveys more than transgressing God's law. It conveys the ultimate sense of rebellion, i.e. living as if there was no law or ignoring what laws exist (James 4:17)."

Dr. MacArthur has more on the passage, but if you have a MacArthur Study Bible you can look it up for yourself. If you don't have one, get one, it is an excellent source for exegesis of Scripture and has other valuable information.

In my opinion, Dr. MacArthur is an excellent Bible teacher, specializing in the epistles of John. I hope this helps.


Absolutely! This verse is often quoted in the way it is translated in other versions eg. AV as "sin is the transgression of the law" which seems to define righteousness as only being according to the Mosaic law, and sin as breaking that law.

That isn't correct, and isn't what the original Greek means. As you have stated the original says 'sin is lawlessness' which as you say "The term "lawlessness" conveys more than transgressing God's law. It conveys the ultimate sense of rebellion, i.e. living as if there was no law or ignoring what laws exist".

Sin is anything contrary to God's Holy righteous nature. That isn't fully revealed in the Mosaic law as is often claimed (people claim the Mosaic law to be a transcript of the divine nature). But it is fully revealed in the Righteousness of God which is revealed in the Gospel (Rom 1:17, 3:21) in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ is the 'express image of (God's) person' Heb 1:3, not the Mosaic law. Christ is the transcript of the divine nature, and it is in Christ, and His Gospel, that the Righteousness of God is revealed, apart from Law - Rom 3:21.

#10451 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:27 AM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  
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Quote
But your conclusion is that they are therefore judged according to a "moral law". You are using a term which is not given in scripture.

How often have people used this weak argument to try and circumvent the "essence" of biblical truth? Perhaps the similar long-standing reply will suffice here to say that the word "Trinity" isn't found in Scripture either, but would you therefore say that the doctrine of Trinity is to be rejected? "Moral" refers to that which is holy and righteous; i.e., that which is according to the standard which reflects the nature, character of God and by which all men are to be, held responsible and will be accountable.

Quote
Romans 2:12 (and 16) tells us with regard to the Gentiles "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law"..."In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel".

This shows that some perish without law. Well what standard are they then judged by? By the Gospel, in which the righteousness of God is revealed, Romans 1:16-17. This is that righteousness of God WITHOUT the law which is manifested in the Gospel, being witnessed by the law and the prophets Rom 3:21.

So righteousness exists apart from the law. What is the full revelation of God's righteousness? The Mosaic law? NO! Christ IS. He is the express image of God's person. Heb 1:3.

I must reject your interpretation of these texts as they are 1) taken out of context, and 2) contradict other clear statements in Scripture which affirm that the "law" being referred to is, in fact, the moral law, aka: Ten Commandments. Romans 12 is actually a statement of clarification (commentary) on what Paul had previously said in verses 6-11. What Paul is saying is that it matters not whether a person has heard of the law (Decalogue) or not, but whether they have lived according to its requirements. Even though the Gentiles did not know the law (Decalogue) they are going to be held accountable for breaking it. That it is the Ten Commandments which Paul is referring to in his use of the word "law" is obvious from verses 21, 22. (see also Rom 13:8-10) Men are judged for their "sins", i.e., the "transgression of the law".

William Hendriksen makes a valuable point here when he writes:

A word of caution is necessary at this point. It must be borne in mind that at this juncture the apostle is not drawing a contrast between justification by faith and justification by the works of the law. Those who would so interpret what he is saying would be making Paul contradict himself, for the very purpose of this letter is to show that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Christ. No, the antithesis he is discussing here in 2:12, 13 is that between two groups of people: (a) those who not only hear but also obey, and (b) those who merely hear. Cf. Matt. 7:24-29. It is, of course, the former who are pronounced righteous by God. Cf. Lev. 18:5, "If you obey them [my statues] you shall live."


So interpreted, that rule holds even for those believers who are living in the new dispensation. Precisely because they have been delivered from the curse of the law, they are all the more deeply obliged not only to hear but also to obey the gospel. By their good deeds, resulting from gratitude, they show that by God's sovereign grace and power they have given their hearts to him. In him alone do they place their trust. From him they have received their status of being righteous in God's eyes.


Quote
All mankind will be judged according to that standard of righteousness as revealed in the Gospel in Christ. This is a standard which is HIGHER than that revealed in the law, which is why in Matthew 5:20 it says "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have already dealt with this idea in a reply to BookMark a few days ago, but I'll summarize it once again here for your benefit. There is to be no bifurcation between the moral law and Christ's righteousness as found in the Gospel. For, Christ came to "fulfill" the law and thus establish that law once for all through his perfect active obedience. There are not two "laws" of righteousness. And Christ did not inaugurate a different "law" than what had been established at creation and then again iterated to Moses on the two stone tablets.

The Lord Christ did not bring his own righteousness which surpassed the righteousness required in the Ten Commandments. Jesus Himself confessed that all that He spoke and did was not of Himself but that which the Father had required of Him. (Ps 40:7, 8; Jh 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; Phil 2:7, 8; Heb 10:7-9) The Lord Christ was to live perfectly before God according to that which was required by ALL men; i.e., the righteousness defined by God's perpetual moral law. The Lord Christ was crucified so that the punishment due those for whom He came to atone for; as per the requirements of the moral law, would be fulfilled. The curse of the law was put on Him. (2Cor 5:21)

Further, it is expected that those who say they have faith in Christ; who love the Lord Christ will obey His "commandments". (Jh 14:15; 15:10) His commandments are not different than His Father's commandments, but identical to them, for they are one and the same. (cf. 1Jh 5:1-3)

Lastly, in regard to the Pharisees, it nowhere can be read that they are rebuked for keeping the law, in fact the text you refer to (Matt 5:20) shows that the Pharisees' keeping of the law didn't go far enough. They had externalized the law, distorted the law, and added to the law and thus were rebuked for doing THAT. Christ's point in saying that our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees is that one must keep the law in all its depth perfectly if one is to be justified; an impossible task. So that to obtain that perfect righteousness, one must embrace Christ as their righteousness.

In His Grace,


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#10452 - Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:02 PM Re: The people miscalled Antinomians ?  
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Welcome to the Highway Mr.Potts!

I really have to disagree with your statement that the Mosaic Law (or the 10 Commandments) do not reveal the full righteousness of the gospel or God's righteousness. The obedience of Christ, in fulfilling the Law perfectly, reveals the true righteousness found in the law. The Pharisees did not follow the full interpretation of the law, just that which they "felt" was the keeping of the law, adding their own restrictions and admonitions to it!

What exactly is the "righteousness of Christ" that we are to live by? Is it not that law which He was in perfect obedience to? Does Jesus not tell us to obey His commandments if we love Him? What commandments are these? Are they different than His Father's commandments? Yes, we are to walk by faith, faith that Jesus has performed all that the law requires of us, and that we are to imitate Him, and follow the Law! Not for our justification, but for our sanctification! To conform us to His image.

The gospel does not tell us something new in the law, it reveals the full extent of the same law, the law that shows us the holiness, justice and perfection of God.

In His Hands,

Ruth


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