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WHI-1104 | Antinomianism (Part 1)

Posted by on in 2012 Show Archive
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There is growing interest in the pure unadulterated gospel today in evangelical circles. But with all this talk about grace, are we facing a new danger of antinomianism? Maybe we've taken the gospel for granted, but are we now overreacting by taking holiness for granted? At what point should a person be considered either a legalist on one side or an antinomian on the other? The hosts will take up these questions and more on this edition of White Horse Inn.

There is growing interest in the pure unadulterated gospel today in evangelical circles. But with all this talk about grace, are we facing a new danger of antinomianism? Maybe we've taken the gospel for granted, but are we now overreacting by taking holiness for granted? At what point should a person be considered either a legalist on one side or an antinomian on the other? The hosts will take up these questions and more on this edition of White Horse Inn.




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[audio:http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2012whi1104jun03.mp3|titles=WHI 1104|artists=White Horse Inn]
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  • Guest - Robert Barrett

    I wish a bit more treatment had been done on Heidelberg Q&A 87, as that has always confused me (though I understand the goal of this program was broader in scope than the exhaustive examination of these questions) .

    We confess that while Jesus’ active obedience, death, and resurrection is the sole grounds for our Justification, keeping the moral law is still a very serious matter to God (and indeed confess that one who shows no evidence of the mortification/vivification process cannot possibly be regenerate). We admit further that we no longer keep the law as those attempting to merit salvation, but rather as those who out of overwhelming gratitude for Christ cannot help but to keep the good law that our loving Father has established; however, because of the war waging uninterrupted throughout our lives between the old and new man, we fail at keeping this law that we want to keep (Rom 7), and are constantly driven to Christ for the righteousness that comes from him.

    This is where Q&A 87 confuses me, because it attempts to answer the question “is it possible to be saved if you do not turn from your ungrateful and impenitent ways” with 1 Cor 6:9-10, a passage listing a number of odious sins which serve to identify someone as unrighteous (v9). So the answer to 87 seems to suggest that those beset by these sins are unrighteous, impenitent, and will not inherit the Kingdom.

    Yet Paul goes on, here, to make the assertion that though the Corinthian brothers he is addressing were at one time identifiable with those sins, they are (positionally) no longer because they have been washed by Christ. Thus even if a regenerate continues to be a drunkard (one who frequently abuses alcohol), he may still be a penitent believer and inherit the kingdom – hating his sin though he cannot be free of it. So can anybody answer why 87 uses this text in effort to prove that drunkards and adulterers (etc.) are necessarily impenitent and unregenerate sinners?

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  • Guest - Charles

    Chapter 19 of the Westminster Confession identifies the moral law as the ten commandments one of which requires the Sabbath to be remembered. How can this be applicable to the church age? The seventh day is not remembered in reformed circles or at least not in the OT way.

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  • Guest - Robert Bisbing

    Hey Robert, from one Robert to another. That is a great and vexing question that ends up recurring over and over again in Christian circles. I don't have an adequate answer to your question however I broke out my Heidelburg and looked at the question at hand, and then proceeded to questions 88-90 which, for me, seemed to follow through in helping to answer question #87. We, by Grace alone through Faith alone by Christ alone, inherit a righteousness that is not own but becomes our own because of the gracious imputation supernaturally imposed and applied by God the holy spirit himself. That is how we are able to be looked upon by God the father in acceptance in his site. While still remaining sinners on this side of heaven.
    SOLA DEO GLORIA!!!

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  • Thanks for an EXCELLENT treatment of this subject. Will be looking forward to part 2.

    One favor: when you paraphrase the Puritans at the end of this broadcast, speaking of not turning believers back to themselves for some sort of synergistic or self-focused sanctification effort, I would love it if you could find a more direct quote, so I can share it with attribution. :-)

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  • Guest - Chris Johnson

    So awesome to hear Gerhard Forde's name being mentioned among these men of faith!

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  • Guest - Robert Barrett

    Thanks Robert! I did a little more work on it too, and may now have a little better handle. If I understand that 1 Cor passage to mean that those fitting the description of sinners in that list will not inherit the Kingdom precisely because only those who are still in the flesh can be *identified* by those terms, then it makes sense to me. True believers (while still capable of perpetually committing the sins in that list) are in actuality not the swindlers and revilers that Paul mentions here -- because believers have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The labels thus cannot be affixed to a Christian.

    So if the question is “Can those be saved who do not turn to God from their ungrateful and impenitent ways?” and 1 Cor 6:9-10 is referenced for the answer to that question, it is as if it's saying that swindlers, revilers and the sexually immoral cannot be saved because all those who can be *called* swindlers, revilers and sexually immoral are not believers.

    If that is still a misunderstanding of the text, then it seems like the only other option is to eisegete the word “unrepentant” into the 1 Cor 6 text in front of each listed sin (…unrepentant drunkards, unrepentant idolaters… will not inherit the kingdom). I don't know, I’ll just probably have to keep chewing on it until glory :-).

    Thanks again!

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  • [...] Confession of faith.  Michael Horton, WHI  1104 | Antinomianism (Part 1), http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2012/06/03/whi-1104-antinomianism-part-1/, 03/06/2012. http://bookofconcord.org/pdf/TrigBOC.pdf [...]

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