Contrary to popular opinion, the opposite of law is not grace. The opposite of law is lawlessness! Antinomianism [anti-obligation to commandments] is promoted by ministers and christians who believe, teach, and advocate an obligation-free version of the Christian faith.
This in spite of the new testaments 800 themes of grace-based obligation divinely set forth in the new testament.
Jesus himself said,”If you love me, keep my commandments! [plural] The book of James alone contains some 50 commandments for the N.T. believer.
Micheal Horton addresses the problem and the cure for antinomianism. What he says is an absolute “Selah” statement. So please stop, ponder and contemplate the truthfulness of it’s truth!
For those who advocate an “obligation free” christian faith, do so by redefining the meaning of grace and refusing to believe Paul’s gospel!
“Michael Horton “What’s striking is that Paul answers antinomianism not with the law but with more gospel! In other words, antinomians are not people who believe the gospel too much, but too little! They restrict the power of the gospel to the problem of sin’s guilt, while Paul tells us that the gospel is the power for sanctification as well as justification.”
Those who wear th badge of honor by saying they promote an “obligation free” gospel, actually do so by employing biblical terminology, but actually redefine the terms by forcing the words to mean something completely opposite of what the original author intended.
Check this out. Paul the Apostle declares that his letter to the Romans is a presentation of the gospel that he preaches. So lets look at Romans chapter 6 since it is the best example of how the antinomians put religious spin on “under grace” [nothing we do]…” not law” [no obligation to live by commandments]
Paul’s Obligation text: Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Notice the contextual flow of Paul’s Gospel argument. It is just the opposite of the Antinomian. Grace is the “operative” reason for believers being obliagted to his imperatives. Sin is transgression of the law and since we are under grace,rather than law, Paul argues that enabling grace means being commandment keeping rather than law breakers.
The point Paul makes is that the old covenant law was powerless to effect the obligation that it imposed upon God’s people. However, the Spirit of New Covenant grace enfuses every true christ follower with divine strength [grace] to obey the commanding obligation scripture imposes. Shout!
To use Paul’s own theological terms , there is no such thing as “justification by grace” that doesn’t effect commensurate “sanctifications obedience to biblical obligations. To preach otherwise, is minimally ignorance and maximally heresy!
So the issue is exactly that which Micheal Horton points out. The Antinomians guilt is that he refuses to believe the true Gospel that Paul preached and is simply content to preach another more accomadating one! Perverting grace into lawlessness.
And we all know what that means!