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

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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)

Westminster Confession of Faith: CHAPTER IX—Of Free-Will

1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil. (Matt. 17:12, James 1:14, Deut. 30:19)

2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God; (Eccl. 7:29, Gen. 1:26) but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it. (Gen. 2:16–17, Gen. 3:6)

3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: (Rom. 5:6, Rom. 8:7, John 15:5) so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, (Rom. 3:10, 12) and dead in sin, (Eph. 2:1, 5, Col. 2:13) is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. (John 6:44, 65, Eph. 2:2–5, 1 Cor. 2:14, Tit. 3:3–5)

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He freeth him from his natural bondage under sin; (Col. 1:13, John 8:34, 36) and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; (Phil. 2:13, Rom. 6:18, 22) yet so, that by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. (Gal. 5:17, Rom. 7:15, 18–19, 21, 23)

5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only. (Eph. 4:13, Heb. 12:23, 1 John 3:2, Jude 24)

Westminster Larger Catechism: Question 75

Q: What is sanctification?

A: Sanctification is a work of God’ s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit (Eph. 1:4, 1 Cor. 6:11, 2 Thess. 2:13) applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, (Rom. 6:4–6) renewed in their whole man after the image of God; (Eph. 4:23–24) having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, (Acts 11:18, 1 John 3:9) and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, (Jude 20, Heb. 6:11–12, Eph. 3:16–19, Col. 1:10–11) as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life. (Rom. 6:4,6,14, Gal. 5:24)

Westminster Confession of Faith: CHAPTER XIII—Of Sanctification

1. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, (1 Cor. 6:11, Acts 20:32, Phil. 3:10, Rom. 6:5–6) by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them, (John 17:17, Eph. 5:26, 2 Thess. 2:13) the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, (Rom. 6:6,14) and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; (Gal. 5:24, Rom. 8:13) and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, (Col. 1:11, Eph. 3:16–19) to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (2 Cor. 7:1, Heb. 12:14)

2. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; (1 Thess. 5:23) yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; (1 John 1:10, Rom. 7:18, 23, Phil. 3:12) whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. (Gal. 5:17, 1 Pet. 2:11)

3. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; (Rom. 7:23) yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; (Rom. 6:14, 1 John 5:4, Eph. 4:15–16) and so, the saints grow in grace, (2 Pet. 3:18, 2 Cor. 3:18) perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor. 7:1)

Westminster Confession of Faith: CHAPTER III—Of God’s Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Heb. 6:17, Rom. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Acts 2:23, Matt. 17:12, Acts 4:27–28, John 19:11, Prov. 16:33)

2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, (Acts 15:18, 1 Sam. 23:11–12, Matt. 11:21, 23) yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. (Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18)

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels (1 Tim. 5:21, Matt. 25:41) are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. (Rom. 9:22–23, Eph. 1:5–6, Prov. 16:4)

4. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. (2 Tim. 2:19, John 13:18)

5. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, (Eph. 1:4, 9, 11, Rom. 8:30, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 Thess. 5:9) out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto: (Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, Eph. 1:4, 9) and all to the praise of His glorious grace. (Eph. 1:6, 12)

6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. (1 Pet. 1:2, Eph. 1:4–5, Eph. 2:10, 2 Thess. 2:13) Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, (1 Thess. 5:9–10, 1 Tit. 2:14) are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified,adopted, sanctified, (Rom. 8:30, Eph. 1:5, 2 Thess. 2:13) and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. (1 Pet. 1:5) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. (John 17:9, Rom. 8:28, John 6:64–65, John 10:26, John 8:47, 1 John 2:19)

7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or witholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice. (Matt. 11:25–26, Rom. 9:17–18, 21–22, 2 Tim. 2:19–20, Jude 4, 1 Pet. 2:8)

8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, (Rom. 9:20, Rom. 11:33, Deut. 29:29) that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. (2 Pet. 1:10) So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; (Eph. 1:6, Rom. 11:33) and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel. (Rom. 11:5, 6, 20, 2 Pet. 1:10, Rom. 8:33, Luke 10:20)