The Staff's ROD
a Review Of Doctrines held at Mission Bible Church
Our 7th emphatic belief states "that any teaching aiming to destroy the role of the law of God is incorrect." This point addresses antinomian accusations before we get to our 8th point, which we explain next week. So what is antinomianism?
Anti means 'against', and nomos refers to the law; hence, it is a system of teaching dismissing God's law from any role in a believer's life. Webster's dictionary defines it as "one who holds that, under the gospel dispensation of grace, the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation." It is closely related to easy-believism (i.e., just believe in Jesus, no need to repent), but it is the total opposite of legalism. What is at issue is the role of God's law for NT Christians.
The Bible is clear a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. We are saved 1,000% by God's grace plus zero works. This is the doctrine of justification. The law (i.e. the Mosaic covenant) cannot save, as it was never designed to do so. God through Paul wrote the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane. The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.
He also asks, Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Believers "establish" (lit, cause to stand) the law by telling others how comprehensive it truly is, reaching into men's hearts and thoughts. Believers see it, fear, and obey; unbelievers don't.
However, when you preach and teach this, you'll be accused of promoting a lawless lifestyle – just like the Apostle was (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say, Let us do evil, that good may come)! No, true believers have a new-found fear of God and His righteous statutes, finding repentance a sweet and needful thing in their life. The process of sanctification begins after their new birth. They know they can't keep God's commandments perfectly, but it is their goal, and they agree with God that He is right. The Psalmist cries, O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. Their enlightened eyes know the law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, and they're happy for it.