Saturday, January 28, 2012

Free to sin or free from sin?

Our church is studying the book of Jude in our weekend services and Life Groups over the next several weeks. The philosophical dilemma in Jude is the influence of false teachers whose doctrine and lifestyle is called antinomianism (lit. Greek anti,"against"; nomos,"law"). This is a term used to characterize believers in the early church who wrongly thought that salvation by faith in Jesus Christ freed them from all moral obligations and that they could sin without fear of consequence or punishment.

Advocates of this teaching and lifestyle would agree that God's grace redefines the believer's position with God, but would also insist that grace redefines sin! Therefore, antinomianism means: a) the doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral, and that lifestyle is irrelevant to salvation; or b) the belief that moral laws are relative in meaning and application as opposed to fixed or universal.

Antinomianism believes the Christian is free from obligation to observe the moral law as set forth in the Old Testament or any prescribed moral guidelines from an authoritative church tradition. It is a concept that sits within discussions on Christian ethics and morality.

Application Planning
This week take stock of the current influences in your life; perhaps even write them down in a notebook. Consider if you would share these with your group later. Answer questions like these:

  • What books/authors are making a strong impression on you lately?
  • Are there any particular charismatic leaders, teachers or prophetic figures you are paying attention to?
  • What is the content of their message(s)?
  • Are you drawn toward seeking "new revelation" or knowledge? How have you been evaluating this against the Evangelical/Pentecostal tradition of our church?
  • Have you been resenting any moral constraints taught by this tradition?
  • What relationships around you help ensure that you are staying in the love of God and trustworthy teaching?

An article about antinomianism:

1 comment:

  1. Rob,

    I really like the questions for consideration that you raise here. I was reading a section of Nancy Pearcy's worldview book called "Total Truth" in which she reveals how some of the preachers during the Great Awakening seemed to put their weight more in charisma than character. It's interesting how we have a tendency to be drawn towards these sorts of speakers, but too often are ill-equipped to evaluate their positions.

    How do your Church's Lifegroups work? I'd like to hear more!