Beware of Antinomian False Teachers. 

Recently while I was scrolling through Facebook and I came across a post that made me stop dead in my tracks!  So I had to take a screen shot of the said post so that I could decipher further what this person was saying.

Mind you this person is in the same city as I and I have seen a few people that I know like some of his posts. This post in particular a local Pastor’s wife had liked. I don’t normally take screen shots of people’s personal Facebook posts, but in this case something needs to be done.

In cases like this I believe it is important for believers to point out error and apostasy.  For someone to equate God’s law with what is deemed as the mark of the beast is absurd and very dangerous.  It is important to note that we as believers do not believe that the Law justifies us in anyway.  We are solely justified by what Christ accomplished on the Cross and we have been given faith to trust and to believe in that work.  We also believe and affirm that through God’s Law we know the character of God.  We know that the law will no longer condemn us which in turns sets us free to accept it as our own guide for please the One who died in our place (RSB).

So lets first talk about antinomianism.  I am going to use an article from The Reformation Study Bible because it does a great job of explaining antinomianism.  Antinomianism simply means against law or anti-law.  It denies or downplays the significance of God’s law in the life of the believer.  It is opposite of its twin heresy, legalism.

Antinomians acquire their distaste for the law in a number of ways.  Some believe that they no longer are obligated to keep the moral law of God because Jesus has freed them from it.  They insist that grace not only frees us them from it.  They insist that grace not only frees us from the curse of God’s law but delivers us from any obligation to obey God’s law.  Grace then becomes a license for disobedience.

The astounding thing is that people hold this view despite Paul’s vigorous teaching against it.  Paul, more than any other New Testament writer, emphasized the differences between law and grace.  He gloried in the new covenant.  Nevertheless, he was explicit in his condemnation of antinomianism.  In Romans 3:31 he writes, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

Martin Luther, in expressing the doctrine of justification by faith alone, was charged with antinomianism.  Yet he affirmed with James that “faith without works is dead.”  Luther contested with his student Johann Agricola on this issue.  Agricola denied that the law had any purpose in the life of the believer.  He even denied that the law served to prepare the sinner for grace.  Luther responded to Agricola with his work Against the Antinomians in 1539.  Agricola later recanted his antinomian teachings, but the issue remained.

Subsequent Lutheran theologians affirmed Luther’s view of the law.  In the Formula of Concord (1577), the last of the classical Lutheran statements of faith, they outlined three uses for the law: (1) to reveal sin; (2) to establish general decency in the society at large; and (3) to provide a rule of life for those regenerated through faith in Christ.

Antinomianism’s primary error is confusing justification with sanctification.  We are justified by faith alone, apart from works.  However, all believers grow in faith by keeping God’s holy commands – not to gain God’s favor, but out of loving gratitude for the grace already bestowed on them through the work of Christ.

It is a serious error to assume that the OT was a covenant of law and the NT, a covenant of grace.  The OT is a monumental testimony to God’s amazing grace toward His people.  Likewise, the NT is literally filled with commandments.  We are not saved by the law, but we demonstrate our love for Christ by obeying His commandments.  “If you love me,” Jesus said, “keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

We frequently hear the statement, “Christianity isn’t a lot of do’s and don’ts; it is not a list of rules.”  There is some truth in this deduction, inasmuch as Christianity is far more than a mere list of rules.  It is, at its center, a personal relationship with Christ Himself.  Yet Christianity is also not less than rules.  The NT clearly includes some do’s and don’ts.  Christianity is not a religion that sanctions the idea that everyone has the right to do what is right in his own eyes.  On the contrary, Christianity never gives anyone the “right” to do what is wrong.

I think it is time to start really looking and examining people’s teachings according to what we see in Scripture.  Statements, like the one above, are dangerous, damaging, and destructive.  It is time to point out these errors in love with the truth of Scripture as our weapon.

Grace and Peace


Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter XVI—Of Good Works

1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His holy Word, (Micah 6:8, Rom. 12:2, Heb. 13:21) and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention. (Matt. 15:9, Isa. 29:13, 1 Pet. 1:18, Rom. 10:2, John 16:2, 1 Sam. 15:21–23)

2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: (James 2:18, 22) and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, (Ps. 116:12–13, 1 Pet. 2:9) strengthen their assurance, (1 John 2:3, 5, 2 Pet. 1:5–10) edify their brethren, (2 Cor. 9:2, Matt. 5:16) adorn the profession of the gospel, (Tit. 2:5, 9–12, 1 Tim. 6:1) stop the mouths of the adversaries, (1 Pet. 2:15) and glorify God, (1 Pet. 2:12, Phil. 1:11, John 15:8) whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, (Eph. 2:10) that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life. (Rom. 6:22)

3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. (John 15:4–6, Ezek. 36:26–27) And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure: (Phil. 2:13, Phil. 4:13, 2 Cor. 3:5) yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them. (Phil. 2:12, Heb. 6:11–12, 2 Pet. 1:3, 5, 10–11, Isa. 64:7, 2 Tim. 1:6, Acts 26:6–7, Jude 20–21)

4. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do. (Luke 17:10, Neh. 13:22, Job 9:2–3, Gal. 5:17)

5. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, (Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4:2, 4, 6, Eph. 2:8–9, Tit. 3:5–7, Rom. 8:18, Ps. 16:2, Job 22:2–3, Job 35:7–8) but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: (Luke 17:10) and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit; (Gal. 5:22–23) and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment. (Isa. 64:6, Gal. 5:17, Rom. 7:15, 18, Ps. 143:2, Ps. 130:3)

6. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him; (Eph. 1:6, 1 Pet. 2:5, Exod. 28:38, Gen. 4:4, Heb. 11:4) not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God’s sight; (Job 9:20, Ps. 143:2) but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. (Heb. 13:20–21, 2 Cor. 8:12, Heb. 6:10. Matt. 25:21, 23)

7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: (2 Kings 10:30–31, 1 Kings 21:27, 29, Phil. 1:15–16, 18) yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; (Gen. 4:5, Heb. 11:4, 6) nor are done in a right manner,according to the Word; (1 Cor. 13:3, Isa. 1:12) nor to a right end, the glory of God, (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16) they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: (Hag. 2:14, Tit. 1:15, Amos 5:21–22, Hosea 1:4, Rom. 9:16, Tit. 3:5) and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God. (Ps. 14:4, Ps. 36:3, Job 21:14–15, Matt. 25:41–43, 45, Matt. 23:23)