Monday, March 15, 2021

The Evil of Antinomianism

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient." (Ephesians 5:6)

Antinomianism is the heresy that says that we are no longer obligated to obey God’s law. From the beginning of the church, antinomians have said that we should just love God and love other people, and then do what comes naturally. We don’t need to study the law, and we certainly don’t need to submit to it. No, we are free, and we can do as we please.

Paul dealt with this in Romans writing that faith does not make void the law, rather faith establishes the law (Romans 3:31). Anyone who has met Jesus has met the King. Anyone who trusts God will desire to obey God. Anyone who wants to please God will want to grow in wisdom, and thus will study the law.

One of the worst forms of antinomianism ever to crop up in the history of the church is promoted today. It is the view that it is possible to have Christ as Savior without having Him as Lord. This evil doctrine divides Christ into two beings, and is straight from the pit. If we don’t acknowledge Christ as Lord, then we don’t have Him as Savior. There is only one Christ and only one God. We either have a relationship with God or we don’t. We cannot have only half a relationship with Him.

Paul says that those who teach antinomian doctrines are full of “empty words” and are “disobedient.” They deceive God’s people. Paul goes on to say that such people are often involved in shameful secret deeds (v. 12). When all the facts are in, one of the primary reasons people adopt antinomian error is because they are involved in secret sins. We have seen this in recent years, as several well-known teachers of antinomianism have been exposed as involved in secret sexual immorality. Such people seek to justify themselves in their own eyes by holding to antinomian doctrines and by seeking to get other people to think as they do.

Paul says that we were once living manifestations of darkness but now are living manifestations of light. God is light. As His children we are to live as lights, obeying the law. Just as light banishes darkness instantly, so the righteous light of the believer exposes the fruitless deeds of people who are still dark, especially the wicked deeds of antinomian teachers (vv. 8–14).

What kind of power does light have over darkness? Think back to Genesis 1:3–4 as you answer. That is the power that the Spirit of God has given to the church. Simply by living righteously and proclaiming the truth, we banish darkness. If darkness is still present in this world, whose fault is it?