Antinomianism According to the Bible with Commentary


Lord’s Library contributor Jared Helms offers this short study on antinomianism according to the Bible, with key Scriptures and commentary. Check out Jared’s YouTube channel and two blogs: A Light in the Darkness and Blind Faith Examples.

Ministry Leaders Series BadgeOn the opposite end of the spectrum from legalism is antinomianism which would do away from the law of God entirely. These people say there is no sin, or at least no sin worth concerning ourselves with. They continually subtract from God’s word so that everyone can agree with it. They hate confrontation with the world, and with their own sinful desire so they try to eliminate the moral standard that demands such conflict.

They read Romans 5:20 without proceeding on to read Romans 6:1-4:

  • Romans 5:20: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”
  • Romans 6:1-4: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

In doing so they prove that their own appetites are the “gods” they worship. See Philippians 3:18-19: “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

The Gospel

Antinomianism According to the Bible

They tend to make Jesus all love (by which they actually mean accepting, which is the same thing as saying uncaring), and denying His holiness and wraith entirely. They require nothing for salvation beyond intellectual ascent and that only loosely. Jesus however said: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” in John 14:15. See also John 14:21, 23, and 15:10:

  • John 14:21: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
  • John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
  • John 15:10: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

Every word of Scripture, every prohibition, every commandment, every moral absolute is there to promote human flourishing. See 2 Timothy 3:16, as well as the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

Ignoring these portions of the Scripture helps no one. By the same token, turning a blind eye to any perversion of God’s design is not loving, but hateful. It is like watching a blind child playing in the street as cars rush past in every direction and encourage the child to continue what they are doing.

This makes it extremely hypocritical when these lawless individuals claim the moral high ground by virtue of “being more loving.” Jesus is the paragon of perfect love and repeatedly spoke out against all sorts of sin; just look again at Matthew 5, and do not neglect that the same God breathed out all the text of the Bible so that the morality of Leviticus, Malachi, Matthew, and Romans 1, along with the other challenging ethical passages are all equally representative of Christ’s moral standard.

The antinomians of our day seem to seek friendship with the world forgetting what the Bible says in James 4:4: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Comforting is being conflated with actual good, and ease with peace. We must say it plainly the antinomian message is a boldface lie that can only make people more comfortable on their way to Hell.

While any theology can be adapted to fit this belief system, theology tends to deteriorate when lawlessness arrives. There is little motivation to do the work of theology, or evangelism, or any sort of good work at all save the work of maintaining the position. For this reason, lawlessness is most suited to liberal environments where it has plenty of room to grow. Ironically, the antinomian freedom without structure (restraint) leads to the worst sort of captivity.

We must take a moment to note that adapting our morality and ethics to the world’s is a never-ending process. The world builds its ideas of right and wrong on shifting sands, rather than solid bedrock. The target of rightness according to the world is always moving. So, along with the captivity of lawlessness itself, there is a captivity to changing whims. Thankfully we can know freedom.

Jay Adams said: “Freedom in God’s world never comes apart from structure. When one is free to live as God intended, he is truly free indeed. “

The cure for antinomianism is ironically greater love for both God and neighbor stemming from a great knowledge of and appreciation for God. They must come to confess that human morality is inferior to God’s perfect justice and that our ideas of “fairness” are irrelevant. The lawless must humbly submit themselves to the judgment of God, and cease from passing judgment on God. In this way, we can realize the great freedom that is given to us by grace through faith in Christ alone, the freedom to live as God intended: which is the same as saying, “in the best possible way.”

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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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