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Heresy of the Day #16: Antinomianism

by | Dec 8, 2022

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Antinomianism is a heresy that has been present in various forms throughout the history of Christianity. At its core, antinomianism is the belief that believers are not bound by moral law, and that they are exempt from following God’s commands. This belief is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Bible, which clearly state that believers are to obey God’s law and follow his commands.

The word “antinomian” comes from the Greek words “anti,” meaning “against,” and “nomos,” meaning “law.” Therefore, an antinomian is someone who is against the law and believes that they are not bound by it. This belief is based on a misunderstanding of the grace of God, and the way that it works in the lives of believers.

The earliest recorded instance of antinomianism can be found in the writings of the apostle Paul, who encountered a group of believers in the city of Corinth who were teaching that since they had been saved by grace, they were no longer bound by the law. In response, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and strongly refuted this belief, stating that those who claimed to be exempt from the law were in fact living in sin (Romans 6:1-2).

Throughout the history of Christianity, various groups and individuals have embraced antinomian beliefs. In the 16th century, for example, the English theologian John Agricola was accused of holding antinomian beliefs, as was the English Puritan John Eaton. In both cases, their beliefs were condemned by the church as being contrary to the teachings of the Bible.

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One of the key problems with antinomianism is that it ignores the importance of obedience to God’s commands. The Bible teaches that believers are saved by grace, but that grace is not a license to sin. Instead, it is a gift that enables believers to live in obedience to God’s commands and to follow his will for their lives.

Furthermore, antinomianism undermines the importance of good works in the life of a believer. The Bible teaches that good works are an essential part of the Christian life and that they are the natural result of being saved by grace. Antinomianism, on the other hand, encourages believers to focus solely on their own salvation and to neglect the importance of good works in their lives.

In conclusion, antinomianism is a dangerous heresy that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. It undermines the importance of obedience to God’s commands and encourages believers to focus solely on their own salvation. Yes, it is by grace alone that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9), but if we continue this passage, we see that we are saved for the purpose of carrying out good works (Ephesians 2:10). True Christianity is based on a life of obedience to God’s law and on the pursuit of good works as a natural result of being saved by grace.

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