The Antinomian Error (Again):
Please consider the following actual quote:
It was while listening to a preacher that God opened my eyes and revealed to me that He is pleased with His Son (not me)! My focus [on my works, obedience] had been completely wrong!”
God “opened [her] eyes” to such error? I think not; I think it was the flesh. God opens the eyes of His people through His word… and His word clearly declares that God is absolutely pleased with the good works of His true people because He works them out in us. God wants us to strive unto manifest holiness, to provoke one another to good works, to examine ourselves carefully, and to be honest with ourselves, and seek His grace, when we see ourselves falling far short of His commands towards obedience. The same person who made the above quote also stated in a prior comment (paraphrasing) that she does not examine herself, nor look at her works, nor strive for obedience because, when she does, it leads her to despair. Now that she has stopped doing such things, now that she haw quit such introspection and self-examination, she doesn’t experience such despair, she feels much better “just looking to Christ.” The question is, did she solve the problem, or hide from it? Did she find the cure, or did she run from it? I think the answer is clearly the latter as I aim to prove below. Her abstract “looking to Christ” in some notional sense, rather than looking to him cohesively, holistically, through His word, even the whole counsel of it, may make her feel better now, but it will not bode well for her Christian growth and maturity. And yet, it isn’t enough for me to assert these things, I must prove them… so please consider the following…
Remember, to imply that God is not pleased with our works (being in Christ, with our works wrought by Him), and to say that God is ‘only pleased with Christ’ (as if to limit it to His Person alone, or to His Person and cross-work alone, apart from His people in Him, eternally yoked to Him), denies:
Colossians 1:9-10 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more [which is synonymous with progressing in sanctification, since abound more and more is a synonym for progress]. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is [right now, knowing that you are already perfectly righteous/justified in Christ, but this IS] the will of God, [even] your [current, manifest, experimental] sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:”
2 Timothy 2:4 “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please Him [God] who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
Colossians 3:19-20 “Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord.“
1 Corinthians 7:32 “But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:“
Philippians 2:12b-13 “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.”
Hebrews 13:16-17 “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.
1 John 3:22-24 “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments [note that word… “we”], and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth His commandmengts [plural] dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.”
What more needs to be said? God is our standard, His word is our standard, and not the words of the milkmen, the Antinomians, who teach men and women to believe and promote folly. God is only pleased with His Son as it relates to establishing, securing, and maintaining our righteousness, or sanctification, or salvation before Him (because Christ is such to His people). Likewise, He is only pleased with those who are in His son, in light of the Person and work of His son. However, God is absolutely pleased by our good works and yet the Antinomians constantly deny this truth. They say things like [even as a Christian] ‘I stopped looking to myself, to my works, and only looked to Christ and I feel so much better now.’ Of course such feel better now. A proverbial ostrich feels better sticking its head in the sand so as not to see the danger. If you only “look to Christ” (in the abstract), and never take purposeful, intensive, zealous heed to your walk, and your character, your conduct will reflect such neglect.
The Antinomians may maintain how moral they are, and how moral their congregations and associations are, but their walk will not rise to the level that Paul, and John, and James, and the Lord Jesus spoke of, by the Holy Spirit, in God’s holy word. When their shortcomings become clear as day, they are blind to them (at least to the degree that they should have sight of them), and this is what allows them to feel better about themselves, and about what they do, as a result. The Christian is called to examine themselves, to make their calling and elect sure, to watch, to be diligent — they are not called to play the proverbial ostrich by “looking to Christ” in some abstract sense, ignoring a vast portion of what the New Testament (and Old) instructs us to do. Failure to obey should not lead to despair but to fleeing to the blood, and to prayer for more grace and strength to obey. It may take a while to see the kind of victories we hope to see, but we should be patient, be diligent, and keep striving.
Finally, I say these things not as someone who has arrived, not as someone who obeys anywhere near how I ought; nonetheless, I am fighting (by God’s grace and effectual working) because I see the importance of doing so, with eyes to see, again…. all by God’s grace. For far too long, I embraced and internalised the Antinomian error, and my life reflects these things, unfortunately. It is only relatively recently that the conviction of the folly of that grievous error was brought home to my mind, and God led me to see the importance of obedience. We are called to serve; saved to serve; made alive so that we may (in spirit and truth) obey the One who has done such great and wonderful things for us, for His people. I do not want to live in that Antinomian fashion any longer because it isn’t living, it is mere, delusional existing. To live is to trust and to obey, by God’s grace, and He deserves that obedience.
To God be the glory, forever and ever, amen.