"Dear Sir, friend G informs me you wish me to write to you, and inform you what law it is that I say the believer is in no sense under. I therefore write to say [though I cannot help thinking you must know] that it is the Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai, commonly called the Moral Law, or Ten Commandements, recorded in Exod.XX, and hinted at, with its curses annexed to it in Deut.XXV11. This Law I intend, and do venture to say that the believer in Christ is in no sense whatever under it; so that it is not a rule of life to that man who is led by the Spirit. As you promised to answer me if I should write to you, I will propose to you a few questions, and I hope I shall do it in the fear of God, and shall expect you to answer them in plainness of speech;
1st. If the Law is the believers rule of life, I shall thank ye to tell me what is intended by the letter written by the apostles and elders, and sent to the believing Gentiles, as recorded in Acts XV and shall expect you to explain the chapter.
2ndly Hope you will tell me what the apostle means in the first six verses of Romans V111, where he says that the believer is dead to the Law, and free from the Law; and let me know how that Law can be his rule, when he is dead to it, and free from it, as a woman is from her husband when she has burried him. Should you be disposed to say that the believer is dead to it as a COVENANT, but not as a RULE of life; you will, no doubt, point to thoses scriptures which make a distinction between the Law as a Covenant and as a rule of life; for, unless you do this, you will not move me.
3rdly You will have the goodness to inform me what is intended by the first four verses in Romans V111; and let me know how it comes to passs that the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the Law of Death, and yet that Law of Death [called in another place the killing letter] is my rule of life; and how it is that it is my rule of life after it has killed me, and I am made free from it.
4thly You will read 2 Corninthians 111, and let me know how it is that the administration of death, written and engraven on stones, is the living mans rule of life, and how this can be consistent with what the apostle observes in verse 11 where he says it is done away, and in verse 13 where he says it is abolished. Now my dear sir, you are to tell me how that Law which is done away and abolished still remains the believers perfect rule of life.
5thly You will also show me how it is that the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that when faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster, and yet that this schoolmaster is our rule of life after faith has come [Gal 111:24-25]
6thly You would inform me how it is that if we be led by the Spirit we are not under the Law, and yet that the Law is a perfect rule of life to that man who is led by the Spirit [Gal V:18] There are many things in the epistle to the Galatians which you will find worthy of your attention in this business. I hope you will read the whole.
7thly Shall expect you to tell me how it is that the handwriting which against us, and contrary to us, is taken out of the way, and nailed to the cross, [As Col 2:14] and yet remains a perfect rule of life. Should you be dispossed to say that the Ceremonial Law is here intended, you will tell me how that Law, which was the gospel in its day, came to be against the believer, and what there was in it contrary to him.
8thly You will be sure to inform me how it is that that Law which is not made for a righteous man is the righteous mans rule of life [1 Tim 1:9]
9thly As Christ was made under the Law, to reedem them that were under the Law [As Gal 4:4,5], you will say how it comes to pass that they still remain under it in any sense that Christ was made under it, seeing He was made under it to reedem them from under it.
10thly But as whatsoever the Law says, it says to them that are under the Law, [As Romans 3:19] and as the believer is not under the Law, [As Romans 6:14,Gal 5:18] you will inform me what the Law says to them who are not under it.
11thly If the Law contains the whole will of God, as to matter of obedience, as Fuller and others have said, you will let me know upon what ground you prove that unbelievers have no right to be baptized, and partake of the Lords supper, seeing that what the Law says it says to them that are under it; and if it contains the whole of obedience it must require unbelievers to be baptized. You will be sure to reconcille this if you can.
12thly You will infrom me how it is that while men contend for the Law being a perfect rule of life to the believers and call those ill names who do not, they can and do, openly, knowingly, and designedly, break the 4th commandment every week. You will inform me whether doing EVERY sort of work on the 7th day is walking according to that rule which says "Thou shalt not do ANY work, no, not so much as kindle a fire" [Exod 35:3]
13thly, and lastly. You will inform me how it is that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth [Rom 10:4] and yet that the believer, who is got to the end of the Law at once, namely, by faith in Christ, must come back again, and begin at the beginning by taking it for a perfect rule of life.
It does appear that most preachers think there should be a distinction made between the sheep and goats; but it does not appear that the greatest part of preachers, in this day, are attempting to give to the goats what belongs to the sheep, and to the sheep what belongs to the goats? for when on the one hand they address the unconverted, they tell them it is there duty to look to Christ, and believe in Him, and that they are waranted to offer them all the blessings of the Gospel, thus making the Gospel the unconverted mans rule of faith and practice; they, on the other hand, send the sheep to the Law of works, and tell them that their comfort depends upon their walking according there unto. And when any poor soul is in darkness, through the power of the world, the flesh, or the devil, instead of pointing them to Christ, and telling them that it has pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell, they tell them to remove the cause, and the effect will cease; and thus the goats are sent to the Law of life, and the sheep to the killing letter.
But there will be a reckoning day by and by; and a thousand to one but some of these men will be proved to have got over the wall. Thus my dear sir, I have proposed a few plain, simple questions and shall expect you to come to the point in your answers, and it shall be my prayer to the great Head of the Church that God will be with you.
Waiting your answer, I remain, yours, tried, cast, and condemned, upon the evidence of Diotrephes, by the Associated Ministers, Love-Truth. Manchester August 8th 1806
My post was a snippet from a small book of sermons from William Gadsby who was a Strict and Particular Baptist (England). The full title of the said sermon is: The Present State of Religion;or, What are the people miscalled Antinomians?;being a dialogue between Love-Truth,Investigation and Others. It runs for 48 pages.....
Where did I get it ? from a second-hand book shop here in Bournemouth , England.
Its quite a hot one as over 100 have viewed but none commented on its content.
The reason only one has even bothered to reply could be for several reasons:
1) People are tired of reading of this topic since you have hijacked so many threads with your insistence that Christians are no longer bound to the Moral Law of God, etc... and you don't listen to either the biblical record nor what they have replied to you. So why bother?
2) Antinomianism has been so soundly refuted and so many times over the centuries that the amount of information available is staggering. If you can't find it, then you have more pressing problems then.
3) The History of the Church shows that the overwhelming majority of Christians, pastors, theologians, apologists have all embraced the perpetuity and binding character of the Moral Law as a rule of life for the sole purpose of conforming the believer to the image of Christ. To believe otherwise is therefore quite novel and to be honest, absurd. Thus, perhaps most here can't see wasting their time arguing against someone who holds to heretical views concerning a subject that is so obviously true.
4) To the normal Christian, to even suggest that a Christian need not keep the Moral Law of God is so ridiculous that perhaps no one can take your position seriously.
5) Last and not least, your initial post contains so many questions that it would be too time-consuming to try and answer every one of them in a reply. You could have offered one or two of Gadby's propositions rather than then entire lot.
Bookmark I thought this is interesting by Huntington. As for me personally I am still trying to study things out which is a hard thing to do for someone who can not even name the twelve apostles. God help me please.
Let us not be afraid of the name Antinomian, which in our days is given by graceless professors to those who are partakers of the Holy Ghost; for a bad name will never hurt a good man. A real Antinomian, in the sight of God, is one who "holds; the truth in unrighteousness;" who has gospel notions in his head, but no grace in his heart. He is one that makes a profession of Christ Jesus, but was never purged by His blood, renewed by His Spirit, nor saved by His power, With him carnal ease passes for gospel peace; a natural assent of the mind for faith; insensibility for liberty, and daring presumption for the grace of assurance. He is alive without the law, the sentence of the "moral law" having never been sent home to him. The "law of faith" was never sealed on him, the "law of truth" was never received by him nor the "law of liberty" proclaimed to him. He was never arraigned at, nor taken from, the throne of judgment." He was never justified at the "throne of grace," nor acquitted at the "bar of equity." The tremendous attribute of righteousness was never seen or felt by him. The righteousness of the law was never fulfilled in him; the righteousness of the law was never fulfilled by him; the righteousness of faith was never imputed to him; nor the fruits of righteousness brought forth by him. He is an enemy to the power of God, to the experience of the just, and to every minister of the Spirit; and is in union with none but hypocrites, whose uniting ties are "the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity." He is one that often changes his opinions, but was never changed in heart. He turns to many sects and parties, but never turns to God. In word he is false to Satan, in heart he is false to God, false to Satan by uttering truth and false to God by a false profession. He, is a false reprover in the world, and in the household of faith a false brother. He is a child of Satan in the congregation of dissemblers, and a bastard in the congregation of the righteous. By mouth he contends for a covenant that cannot save him, and in heart he hates the covenant that can. His head is at Mount Calvary, his heart and soul at Mount Sinai. He is a Pharisee at Horeb, and a hypocrite in Zion. He is a transgressor of the law of works, and a rebel to the law of faith; a sinner by the ministry of the letter, and an unbeliever by the ministry of the Spirit. As a wicked servant, he is cursed by the eternal law; and, as an infidel, he is damned by the everlasting gospel, And this is a REAL ANTINOMIAN in the sight of God.
Interesting quote! But knowing the author, it's not surprising that he would say what he did; avoiding the theological/biblical definition of an Antinomian. The accepted and working definition of an Antinomian is one who rejects that the Moral Law of God, especially those 10 Laws which were written by the finger of God in stone tablets on Mt. Sinai are immutable, perpetual and binding upon the hearts and minds of all men and are particularly applicable to true believers as a rule of life.
Antinomians are most often heard to charge those who hold these things to be true, again particular that the 10 Commandments, being the expression of God's holy nature and define what holiness and righteousness is for Christians are "Legalists", which is unwarranted. For a "Legalist" is one who holds that the keeping of the law is necessary to obtain Justification and/or to maintain the grace of salvation through Sanctification. This charge is a strawman and there is no truth to it whatsoever. (1Cor 1:30)
Just wanted to make sure that all parties are working with the same definition of terms.
Yes that was good what you wrote. I personally can not see any child of God rejecting his moral laws and we can never look at our keeping of them as a grounds for our Justification. Salvation is in the object of our faith Jesus Christ.
Does the word also in this verse refer to the moral character of God AND his law? 1Jo 3:4 ¶ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Yankee said: Does the word also in this verse refer to the moral character of God AND his law? 1Jo 3:4 ¶ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Perhaps by giving you that same passage in another translation, (for this purpose, I am using Darby's Translation), which might help clarify what the Apostle John meant?
1 John 3:4 (DBY) "Every one that practises sin practises also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."
The opposite of v. 3:4 can be seen in 2:29; i.e., "righteousness". And what the Apostle is here doing in v. 3:4 is emphasizing that side of sin "lawlessness" (opposition to and disregard of God's law), which makes "sin" the very opposite of "righteousness". Both "righteousness" and "lawlessness" are strong forensic terms: as the righteous Judge God declares what is righteous (2:29) and what violates His law.
"Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4 NKJV
Regarding this verse, The MacArthur Study Bible says:
"3:4 'commits sin.' The verb, "commits'" in the Gr. conveys the idea of making sin a habitual practice. Although genuine Christians have a sin nature (1:18), and do commit and need to confess sin (1:9,2;1), that is not the unbroken pattern of their lives. A genuinely born again believer has a built-in check or guard against habitual sinning due to a new nature ("born of God"--v.9;Rom.6:12). 'sin is lawlessness.' The first reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because sin is incompatible with the law of God which they love (Ps. 119:34,77,97;Rom.7:12,22). The term "lawlessness" conveys more than transgressing God's law. It conveys the ultimate sense of rebellion, i.e. living as if there was no law or ignoring what laws exist (James 4:17)."
Dr. MacArthur has more on the passage, but if you have a MacArthur Study Bible you can look it up for yourself. If you don't have one, get one, it is an excellent source for exegesis of Scripture and has other valuable information.
In my opinion, Dr. MacArthur is an excellent Bible teacher, specializing in the epistles of John. I hope this helps.