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Antinomianism


One dictionary definition of antinomianism is: “The theological doctrine that by faith and God's


grace a Christian is freed from all laws (including the moral standards of the culture)”. This is not the

teaching of Scripture, because although a Christian is not subject to the law of Moses he is to be subject to

Christ. As Christ says: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me... for my yoke is easy, and my burden is

light” (Matthew 11:29). Paul echoes this in 1 Corinthians 9:21 saying: “Not as without law to God, but as

legitimately subject to Christ”.

As to evil in the world there are at least two restraints on it. Firstly, the law of the land in civilised countries provides for the punishment of thieves and other malefactors if they are caught. This means that there are punishments inflicted for evil deeds here on earth, even if they are not always effective or the punishment does not fit the crime. Paul refers to this sanction in Romans 13. Then there are the consequences of the practice of certain sins as set out in Romans 1, particularly verse 27. Sexual sins lead to things such as VD and AIDS. The excessive drinking of alcoholic liquors can result in delirium tremens, impaired judgement, slow reactions (likely to cause a car accident) and maybe cirrhosis of the liver. Heavy smoking can cause smokers cough, nicotine stained hands, and maybe lung cancer and an early death. People often reap what they sow in these things.

However, apart from these restraints that apply to all men, there are those specific to Christians. One of these is Church (Assembly) discipline. Paul makes provision for this in such passages as 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6 et seq., also 1 Timothy 1:20 and 5:20. Churches that do not exercise discipline when necessary are not keeping their house clean. They may well be letting in false teachers. Both Peter (see 2 Peter 2) and Jude go on about this matter at length. See particularly Jude verse 4. Note that in 1 Corinthians 5 Paul speaks about one called brother (verse 11), leaving it an open question whether the person was in reality a brother or not. Then there are the Lord’s direct dealings with Christians. There may be scepticism in some quarters as to whether the Lord does really discipline Christians. In Corinth where there was bad conduct Paul says that many among them were weak and infirm, and a good many had fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 11:30). See also verses 31 and 32. There are plenty of Scriptures that speak of this matter. It was said of Israel in Amos 3:2 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore

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