Thursday, January 15, 2009

Antinomianism - Comments (5)

I shall continue with my comments on the Antinomianism article:

E. Christ-centered Antinomianism

Fifthly, there is the so-called Christ-centered antinomianism. The idea is that a believer is united with Christ, he is in Christ, and his life is hid with Christ in God. God sees Christ, who kept the law perfectly, and God sees no sin in the believer because God sees him through Jesus Christ. So the believer is therefore able to violate God's law. lt makes no difference to God. But that is all pure nonsense, isn't it?

I like the name of this category: Christ-centered.  The description also fits perfectly what NCC is preaching and I believe: A believer is united with Christ, he is in Christ, and his life is hid with Christ in God.

Many churches today under-esteem Christ Jesus.  Yes, they say, Jesus' death on the cross took away our sins but now we have to follow the law to live a holy life.  Jesus is reduced to merely playing the role of the ordinary sacrificial lamb.

Jesus - Lamb of God

Jesus is no ordinary lamb - He is the Son of the living God!  Christians often say Jesus' blood washed away their sins but many Christians also believe and say that all their sins up to the point when they accepted Christ have been forgiven.  After that, they have to keep confessing whatever sins that they have committed in order to be forgiven.  That kind of belief lowers the blood of Jesus, the Son of God to the level of the blood of bulls and goats.

Hebrews 10: 1-4 (NLT)
1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
 3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The blood of bulls and goats only cover sins; they cannot take away sins.  That is why the sacrifices have to be repeated again and again.

Only Jesus' blood cleanses perfectly; Jesus' blood removes sin once and for all.  "God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time(Hebrews 10:10). That is why there is no need to confess our sins again and again - they have ALL been forgiven, past, present and future.
(I have discussed this in detail in my previous posts)

Jesus - Beloved Son of God

Matthew 3:17 (NIV) 
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Many Christians do not appreciate or understand how much God loves his son Jesus.  That is why they cannot appreciate the value of being in Christ.  When you are in Christ, God is well pleased with you.  When you are in Christ, you stand righteous before God.

1Corinthians 1:30-31 (NASB)

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."  

If you would rather stand before God as you alone, in your own righteousness with all your "law abiding good works", then I say you think too highly of yourself.  You are just like the stiff-necked Israelites who said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do!" (Exodus 19:8)  All our good works are like rubbish, they cannot make us righteous before God.

Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV)
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Jesus - Our High Priest

Hebrews 8:6 (NLT)

But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.

Our standing before God is wrapped up in our High Priest, therefore whether we are acceptable before God depends on whether God accepts the High Priest.  Obviously we are acceptable because our High Priest is Jesus - it is no longer about us, whether we obey the law or not but rather it is all about Jesus who has fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17).

Jesus is also the mediator of a far better covenant with God for us, based on better promises. What are the better promises?

Hebrews 8:10-12 (NLT)
10 But this is the new covenant I will make
      with the people of Israel on that day, says the L
   I will put my laws in their minds,
      and I will write them on their hearts.
   I will be their God,
      and they will be my people.
11 And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
      nor will they need to teach their relatives,
      saying, ‘You should know the L
   For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
      will know me already.
12 And I will forgive their wickedness,
      and I will never again remember their sins.”

"The believer is able to violate God's law. It makes no difference to God."

The author makes the above accusation against Christ-centered antinomianism and says it's pure nonsense but why is it nonsense?

In Hebrews 8:12, God says He 'will forgive our wickedness and will never again remember our sins'.  Therefore, technically the believer is able to violate God's law and it makes no difference to God because the sin is forgiven and God remembers it no more.  In fact, you can sin all you want!

Yes, you read correctly: You can sin all you want!  However, let me highlight to you that the key word is not "sin".  The key word is "want".  

Why do you WANT to sin when after you have accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, you are no longer a sinner but a new creation? (2Corinthians 5:17)  

Why do you WANT to sin when you have died to sin and should no longer be living in it? (Romans 6:2)  

Why do you WANT to sin when your old self has been crucified with Christ so that you are no longer slaves to sin? (Romans 6:6)

So what do you want?  You would be like what Paul said in Romans 7: you want to do good
(please read my previous post "You can sin all you want" for a more detailed discussion)

You do not need to observe the law as a guide to holy living.  God will teach you and guide you through the Holy Spirit. God himself says that He will put His laws on your mind and write them on your heart; He will be your God (Hebrews 8:10).

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