The Antinomian

by David Bishop

1 Corinthians 15:56  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

The Corinthians were under the impression that the most efficient way to overcome the power of sin was for God to remove the imperative demands of His law.  In other words, if there is no more law, then there is no more law to violate, and therefore, violation of the law can no longer be charged to me.

The problem with this is that it is actually a form of self righteousness.  If there is no law anymore, then I live not because God charged Christ’s righteousness to me, but rather because there is no more law that I can violate.  I’ve earned my right to resurrection, you see.  Why should God raise me from the dead?  Because I have violated no law, for there is no law to violate.

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8 thoughts on “The Antinomian

  1. Over the past two years, I have heard this argument from those wishing, no demanding our denomination accept Homosexuality in our pulpits and in church leadership. Clergy have even declared the Law of God is passed away and there is no Sin in what they practice! I am sickened by their rhetoric of Sin and I despair for my chosen denomination. They are Preaching it from the Pulpit! The ONLY Law that has been nullified is the Law of Sin (the wages of Sin is Death) for the Believer because of God’s Promise given in John 3:16. For the Non-Believer it is Still in force.

    They are using Love as an excuse, saying we must Love our brethren. To an extent, I do agree but I modify it that we can Love the Sinner BUT HATE the Sin. That idea is rejected by them because it is “Too Hard”. Even when I Cor 6:9 says:

    1Co 6:9 Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves — people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality,

    To me, that speaks directly to the problem. The Law is NOT passed away! This is just a very real example of what we, the Body of Christ, need to be aware of and be willing to fight against!



  2. That is a good article, but all such need to clarify what is meant when speaking about “law.” It is true, as the author stated, the law of Christ is NOT the gospel. He did a good, brief job explaining the nature of the law of Christ. What he did not do was contrast the law of Christ with the law of Moses. They are related but they are not the same. The law of Moses carries the penalty of death (as noted); the law of Christ carries no such penalty. Charles Leiter’s book, The Law of Christ, is an excellent examination of this topic.


  3. Hi Mike, thank you for the article. I’d like to make a few observations and I hope that you’ll give me some feedback.

    The law demanded Christ’s death only in so far as He died for our sins. He, the Holy One, the sinless, spotless Son of God, willingly laid down His life for us, John 10. Now, when speaking of the elect, those of us for whom Christ died, Mr. Bishop says, “Their sinning is still sinning” which is true, however, he goes on to say, “their violation of the law is still a violation of the law” and that claim is confusing in light of Scripture.

    Paul, speaking specifically to his Jewish brethren in Romans 7:1-16, says they have, “become dead to the law through the body of Christ” and in that he reaffirms and goes beyond what he already says to all believers in Romans 6, specifically Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” So, the Scripture says it’s not just that we are “not under law” it is, just as we have “died to sin” so too have we “died to the law” Romans 6; 7:1-16; Galatians 2:19. Clearly, whether the issue is antinomianism or legalism, the gospel of Jesus Christ destroys both.

    Now, sadly, I’ve encountered many who say the law is done away with or there is no law, one individual even said to me, quote, “the law is dead.” It’s interesting because I’ve also encountered many who say though we have been delivered from the law as a covenant of works and from the penalty of the law, the law is still our rule of life, or our rule of conduct, etc., etc. I don’t know, but it sounds like Mr. Bishop is saying something similar to that effect. Some questions that come mind, the first is similar to what Paul asks in Romans 6 regarding sin, “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” In regards to the law, how can we violate something to which we’ve died? How can something to which we have died be our rule of life?


  4. I completely agree that Christians are subject to the law of Christ. My comment was in response to confusion as to what exactly Mr. Bishop is saying.


  5. I agree completely that Christians are subject to the law of Christ. My comment was in response to confusion as to what exactly Mr. Bishop is saying.


  6. Bishop is not saying we are subject to the rule of Moses, but to the rule of Christ. The Law was fulfilled in Christ therefore those of us in Him are subject to His law.


  7. Exactly, the rule of Christ, which is love.

    “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:15-16; Romans 13:10

    Thank you for the clarification, and, I apologize for the double post.


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