CHRISTIAN FREEDOM AND FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
A. The freedom that Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God and the severity and curse of the law: Jun . 3:36; Ro. 8:33; Gal.3:13.
B. and being delivered from this present evil world from slavery to Satan , and dominion of sin: Gal. 1: 4;Eph. 2: 1-3; Col. 1:13; Acts. 26:18; Ro. 6: 14-18; 8: 3.
C. From the evil of afflictions, fear and sting of death, victory over the grave and eternal damnation: Ro.8:28; 1 Corinthians 15: 54-57; 1 Thes. 1:10; I have 2:14, 15.
D. And also to their free access to God, and pay obedience to him, not by a servile fear, but by a filial love and a willing mind. Eph. 2:18; 3:12; Ro. 8:15; 1 Jun. 4:18.
E. All this was also substantially applicable to believers under the law: Jun . 8:32; Psalm 19: 7-9; 119: 14, 24, 45, 47,48, 72.97; Ro. 4: 11.05; Gal. 3: 9; I 11:27 33.34.
F. But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians widens much more because they are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law was holding the Jewish church, and now have more confidence to approach the throne of grace, and have a communication more complete with free Spirit of God who ordinarily were believers under the law: Jun . 1:17; I 1: 1,2a; 7:19, 22; 8: 6; 9:23; 11:40; Gal. 2: 11ss.4: 1-3; Col. 2:16, 17; I 10: 19-21; Jun. 7:38, 39.
A. God alone is Lord of the conscience: Stg. 4:12; Ro. 14: 4; Gal. 5: 1.
B. And made free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any way contrary to His Word or not contained therein: Acts. 4:19; 5:29; 1 Cor 7:23; Matthew 15: 9.
C. So believe such doctrines , or obey such commands out of conscience , it is to betray true liberty of conscience: Col. 2:20, 22, 23; Gal. 1:10; 2: 3-5; 5: 1.
D. And require an implicit faith , and an absolute and blind obedience is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason: Ro. 10:17; 14:23; Acts. 17:11; 4:22 June.; 1 Corinthians 3: 5; 2 Cor 1:24.
A. Those who under the guise of Christian liberty , do practice any sin , or cherish any lust, as well pervert the main purpose of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction: Rom. 6: 1.2.
B. Consequently, completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty, which is that, being delivered from the hands of our enemies, we may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives: Lk. 1: 74.75; Ro. 14: 9; Gal. 5:13; 2 Peter 2: 18.21.
The doctrine of perfectionism holds that holiness or perfect love, produced by the grace of God, can be reached by all Christians in this life and frees believers from willful sin. This doctrine emerged with the teachings of John Wesley and continued with the early Pentecostal movement. Achieving perfection is regarded as the second work of grace that is wrought instantaneously in the heart of the believer.
A modified view is that after this second blessing the believer is more and more victorious over "willful sin". Any sin that remains in that person be an accidental sin or sin committed by ignorance.
The difficulty with this view is that of two primary mistakes. First, it reduces the rigorous demands of God's law. Any real understanding of the breadth and depth of God's law and would exclude the perfectionist doctrine. Second, it has an inflated view of their own spiritual attainments. To sustain this position it is necessary to overestimate the self-righteousness.
The vast majority of evangelical churches throughout history, and the Reformed Churches in particular find this abhorrent doctrine. Even the neo-Pentecostal movement has nearly abandoned the doctrine.Martin Luther taught that human beings are regenerated at the same time justified and sinners. Believers are considered righteous in God's eyes under the atonement and the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.
God considers the righteous believers "in Christ." Left to fend for themselves, regardless of the work of Christ, believers remain sinners. While the process of sanctification means that the believer is becoming increasingly less sinner, this process is not complete until death, when the believer is glorified.
Perfection is certainly the goal of the Christian life. We not reach it should not be an excuse for sin. As Christians we must move forward to the goal of our calling in Christ.
1. The perfectionism teaches that there is a second work of grace in which believers experience holiness or perfect love in this life.
2. The modified perfectionism teaches that Christians can overcome the willful sin.
3. Perfectionism is based on a low esteem of God's law and high esteem the performance of humans.
4. God justifies us while we are still sinners.
5. The process of sanctification, which lasts a lifetime begins at the instant of justification itself.
6. Christians will be made perfect in glorification only after death.
In English there is a little poem that constitutes the theme song of antinomianism. Says: "Free the law, blessed condition, can sin all I want, just have remission."
Antinomianism literally means "anti-legalism." Negates and gives less than the importance of the law of God in the believer's life role. It is the counterpart of its twin heresy, legalism.
The anti-nomian acquire this nuisance by law in various ways. Some believe they are no longer required to keep the moral law of God because Jesus has freed them from this obligation.
They insist that grace not only frees us from the curse of the law of God but frees us from any obligation to obey God's law. Grace then becomes a license to disobey.
What is surprising is that these people hold this view despite Paul's vigorous teaching against it.
Paul, more than any other New Testament writer highlighted the differences between law and grace. He gloried in the New Covenant. However, it was also the most explicit about its condemnation of antinomianism. In Romans 3:31 he writes: "Do we then by faith nullify the law in any way, we establish the law?".
Martin Luther, expressing the doctrine of justification by faith, was charged with antinomianism.However, along with Santiago he said that "faith without works is dead." Luther argued with his student John Agricultural on this point. Agricultural denied that the law had any purpose in the believer's life. He even denied that the law served to prepare the sinner for grace.
Luther responded to Agricola with his work Against Antinomianism in 1539. Agricultural then recanted his teachings antinominianas, but the debate continued.
Subsequent Lutheran theologians confirmed the view of Luther on the law. In the Formula of Concord (1577), the last of the classical Lutheran statements of faith, determined three uses for the law:
(1) The reveal sin;
(2) The rules establish general decency to society as a whole; Y:
(3) Providing a rule of life for those who have been regenerated through faith in Christ.
The main error of antinomianism is confusing justification with sanctification. We are justified by faith alone, without the intervention of the works. However, all believers should grow in faith by keeping the holy commandments of God, not to win God's favor, but in gratitude for the grace that has been given by the work of Christ.
It is a grave error to assume that the Old Testament was a covenant of law and the New Testament is a covenant of grace. The Old Testament is a monumental testament to the amazing grace of God to his people. Similarly, the New Testament is literally filled with commandments.
We are not saved by the law, but we must show our love for Christ by obeying his commandments. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) Jesus said.
We often hear this statement: "Christianity is not a lot of rules, to do this, this and that and not to do this, this and that". There is some truth in this conclusion, since Christianity is much more than a mere collection of rules. It is a personal relationship with Christ himself.
However, Christianity also is nothing less than rules. The New Testament includes several things to do and others not to do. Christianity is not a religion that sanctions the idea that everyone has the right to do what feels good. By contrast, Christianity never gives anyone the "right" to do what is wrong.
1. Antinomianism is the heresy that says Christians are under no obligation to obey God's laws.
2. The law reveals sin, it is a foundation for decency in society, and is a guide for Christian life.
3. Antinomianism confuses justification and sanctification.
4. The law and grace are found in both the Old and the New Testament.
5. Though obeying God's law is not a meritorious cause of our justification, it is expected that a righteous person seek earnestly to obey the commandments of God.
PASSAGES BIBLICAL REFLECTION
John 14:15, Romans 3: 27-31, Romans 6: 1-2, 1 John 2: 3-6, 1 John 5: 1-3.
Legalism is the opposite heresy of antinomianism. While antinomianism denies the importance of the law, legalism exalts the law above grace. Legalists in Jesus' day were the Pharisees, and Jesus his most severe criticism was reserved for them. The fundamental distortion of legalism is the belief that a person can earn his place in the kingdom of heaven.
The Pharisees believed that because of his position as children of Abraham, and in strict compliance with the law, were children of God. In fact, this was a denial of the gospel.
A corollary article of legalism is adhering to the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. For the Pharisees could believe they could enforce the law, they had to first reduce it to its narrowest interpretation and rude. The story of the rich young man is an illustration of this point. The rich young man asked Jesus how he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to "keep the commandments". The rich young man believed that he had kept all. But then Jesus revealed what the "god" who had served before serving the true God their "god" were his riches. "Go, sell what you have, and dala poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Matthew 19:21). The rich young ruler was saddened.
The Pharisees were guilty of another form of legalism. He had added their own laws to God's law. Their "traditions" had been elevated to the same level as the law of God. They had robbed people of their freedom and had chained, where God had liberated. This type of legalism did not end with the Pharisees. It has also plagued the church throughout their generations.
Legalism often arises as antinomianism excessive reaction. To ensure we do not slip into the moral laxity of antinomianism, we tend to make more stringent than God himself has imposed rules. When this occurs, legalism introduces a tyranny over the people of God.
Similarly, various forms of antinomianism often arise as excessive reaction to legalism. Their battle cry is usually that of freedom from oppression. It is the moral quest for freedom has bolted. Christians, when they defend their freedom, be careful not to confuse liberty with license.
Another form of legalism is to focus on the least important. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for having neglected the weightier matters of the law while scrupulously obeyed the less important matters (Matthew 23: 23-24).
This trend continues to be a constant threat to the church. We tend to exalt a supreme level of piety have any virtue and downplaying any of our vices. For example, I can consider that it is of great spirituality the not dance, while I consider my lewdness a small matter.
The only antidote to legalism and antinomianism is the diligent study of the Word of God. Only then can we properly instruct us what pleases him and what displeases God. So we can be free of many erroneous fallacies for the believer.
1. Legalism distorts the law of God in the opposite direction antinomianism.
2. Legalism elevates human traditions at the same level as divine law.
3. Legalism commits the people of God where God - given freedom.
4. Legalism gives value to the least important, and detracts from what matters most.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
Romans 5: 8, 1 Corinthians 15: 42-57, 2 Corinthians 7: 1, Philippians 3: 7-14, 1 John 1: 5-10.