Mike Ratliff – What is Antinomianism?

4 Πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν καὶ τὴν ἀνομίαν ποιεῖ, καὶ ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία. 5 καὶ οἴδατε ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ἐφανερώθη, ἵνα τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἄρῃ, καὶ ἁμαρτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν. 6 πᾶς ὁ ἐν αὐτῷ μένων οὐχ ἁμαρτάνει· πᾶς ὁ ἁμαρτάνων οὐχ ἑώρακεν αὐτὸν οὐδὲ ἔγνωκεν αὐτόν.
7 Παιδία, μηδεὶς πλανάτω ὑμᾶς· ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην δίκαιός ἐστιν, καθὼς ἐκεῖνος δίκαιός ἐστιν· 8 ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστίν, ὅτι ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ὁ διάβολος ἁμαρτάνει. εἰς τοῦτο ἐφανερώθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα λύσῃ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου. 1 John 3:4-8 (NA28)

4 Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that he was manifested to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 No one who abides in him continually sins; those who continually sin have not seen him or known him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you; the one practicing righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous 8 The one practicing sin is of the devil for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this cause the son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:4-8 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Antinomianism means “opposed to law.” Antinomian views are those denying that God’s law in Scripture should directly control the Christian’s life. Dualistic antinomianism appeared early in the Gnostic heresies. The Gnostics taught that salvation was for the soul only, making bodily behavior irrelevant both to God’s interest and to the soul’s health. The conclusion was that one may behave riotously and it will not matter.

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Lex Meyer – A Man After God’s Heart

What does it mean to be a man after God’s own heart? We are told that David pleased God, and that he was a man after God’s own heart. We also recognize him as a model of what it means to be a man of faith. We know that he wrote many of the Psalms, and was considered a very good King, but are these the things that make him a man after God’s own heart? Lets examine the Scriptures to find out what was so special about David.

And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will. (Acts 13:21-22)

We know that God was not happy with Saul, which is why he was eventually replaced by David as king. But what did Saul do to displease God?

And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:13-14)

Samuel makes it very clear that the reason Saul was removed is because he did not keep God’s commandments. This is in contrast to what a man after God’s own heart would do. He was seeking a king who would keep His commandments, and so, he selected David to become king.

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Michael Boling – “House Rules”

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I recently completed a Netflix binge watching journey through all 8 seasons of the medical drama called House, M.D. I am not quite sure what drew me into watching this program. Perhaps it was the allure of the drama itself, specifically the medical aspects of the show. Maybe it was also the fun of watching Dr. Gregory House and his team of diagnosticians solve the mystery of why their patient was suffering from whatever malady all other doctors were unable to cure.

One thing is certain about Dr. House. He plays by his own set of rules, both medically and personally. His excuse for playing by a fast and loose standard of medical guidelines is so that he can solve the medical puzzle. Whatever it takes to solve that puzzle is the road he will go down often regardless to the consequences of those around him. His personal rule set is rooted in his belief there is no God. When patients and families of those patients referred to faith or a belief in a higher power to cure them or to give them strength, such a belief was viewed with scorn by Dr. House. It seems this personal struggle with God led to his lack of bedside manner, let alone his difficult relationships with co-workers, friends, and family.

As I reflected on this 8 season adventure, I was reminded of the reality that as believers, we have a set of “House Rules” to abide by, ones provided to us by God in His Word. While Dr. House played by his own personally established “House Rules”, they were just that, something he created for his own use based on his perspective there is no God. If there is no God, there is no standard of behavior, no loving God and others that defines how you live.

We often try and live by our own “House Rules”. Even believers, those who declare they have a relationship with God, often reject the established rules of living provided by God. We seek our own path because for some strange reason we believe we can figure out the puzzle of life better than God. This was the pretense of Dr. House in his exploration of the weekly medical puzzle. His method seemed to work so he was allowed by the hospital leadership to lead a personally destructive lifestyle regardless of how it impacted the hospital or the general working environment. He saved lives so the “House Rules” were allowed.

How many times do we fall prey to that same perspective on life? Surely Scripture cannot be applicable to what we are going through today? Does God really mind if I forge just a little small footpath that diverts just a tiny bit from the straight and narrow? I will get back on the right path in just a bit, but if I take this shortcut, I can do something good for myself or someone else. Sounds familiar right? It is Dr. House rule set and not the God’s house rules that drive such a thought process.

Being a child of God means by definition that the Father has given us His rules for behavior. We can kick against them all we want, but disobedience to those rules never brings about a good end. It may seem like a good result was had, but the result is noted in Scripture as the path to destruction and wickedness. We may think we know better as to how to live our lives, but we really do not. God, as the Father, knows what is best for His children. This is why He has established His “House Rules”.

Scripture repeatedly declares that if we love God, we will keep His commands, His “House Rules”. If we say we love the Father, as His children we will be obedient to that which He has declared are the boundaries by which we are to live. Those boundaries are the very definition of what it means to love God and our neighbor. Stray outside those fence posts and we enter the realm of rebellion and ego driven actions, the world where Dr. House resides.

Which set of “House Rules” are you living by? Are they the ones adhered to by Dr. House, namely the do whatever I want and whatever it takes to save the patient despite the reckless and feckless nature by which those actions take place? Or are they the rules God has established which truly save and which truly provide safety, comfort, and healing? I trust as a child of God it is the latter. While the “House Rules” of Dr. Gregory House may make for some interesting television watching, ultimately they are not the rules we as the people of God are called to live by or embrace.

The law of God is perfect, restoring the soul. God’s “House Rules” give life and they are a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Why? Because as the Great Physician, God knows what is good for His people and He is a much better diagnostician of the human heart than Dr. Gregory House.

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Burk Parsons – Delighting in Our Duty

When we think of the law of God, the first thing that should come to mind is love—God’s love for us as fallen sinners, directing us to love Him, enjoy Him, and glorify Him. God’s law is a gracious gift to us, and it has three primary uses. First, the law functions as a teacher by showing us God’s perfect righteousness and our unrighteousness and sin, and it shows our danger of God’s judgment, leading us, by God’s grace, in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ who fulfilled all the righteous demands of God’s law (Rom. 3:20; 4:15; Gal. 3:19–24). Second, the law functions to restrain evil in all realms of society, preserving humanity and, thus, serving God’s overall plan of redemption for His covenant people (Deut. 19:16–21; 1 Tim. 1:8–11). Third, the law functions as a guide to righteous living for all men, and it directs us as God’s beloved children by teaching us what pleases our heavenly Father and fulfills the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21; 1 Thess. 4:1–8).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17). Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, and in fulfilling it, He set us free to love the law, to delight in keeping the law, and to repent for our lawbreaking as we live by faith in Christ for the Glory of God in all that we do (Rom. 3:31; Titus 2:11–14; 1 John 2:3–4). Even in the Great Commission, Christ commanded that we make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe (“to keep” or “to obey”) all that He commanded. And to His disciples Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), promising to send the Holy Spirit to indwell us, help us, comfort us, and sustain us.

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