Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Modern Face of Antinomianism: Looking at the Law

Yesterday I had the privalege of gong to Crawley to hear (nearly-doctor) Richard Barcellos speak on the use of the 10 commandments in the Christian Life.

The two lectures given addressed the issue of antinomianism. Literally the word means 'against law'. It's implications are that the moral law is not a binding rule for the Christian today. Barcello argued that the law is applicable today as it was for the Old Testament believers. Not that we attain our righteousness by the law. No, we receive righteousness through faith in Christ. But that the breaking any of the ten commandments is seen as sin in the eyes of God (1 John 3:4).

Here are my notes from the first session: Looking at the Law
1) Through the Baptist Confession of Faith (BCF)
2) Through Calvin
3) Through Scripture

1) Through the BCF

BCF 4:2 after words ‘having law of God written’ there’s a reference to Rom 2:14-15.
This text proves that there is somewhat a law written on the natural mans heart.

God wrote the basic elements of the 10 commandments on the hearts of Adam and Eve. After the fall our constitution changes although the revelation of the law gets through. This is the law that the religious man tries to satisfy (wrongly).
Law written on the hearts = the natural law.
A and E also received a positive law: ‘don’t eat from the fruit of the tree’. Obedience to this law can win Adam into a immutable state.
The obedience of Adam could have attained our righteousness

Adam and Eve transgressed the positive and moral law.
BCF 6:1
BCF 19:1-5 God gave Adam a law of universal obedience.
The moral law transcends covenants and cultures because it is originally written on our hearts at creation.

Jews got the law revealed to them on their heart and in the tablet.
Christians get the law via the scriptural canon, the natural heart, and at regeneration.

Moral law = the inscription of the natural law.
Natural law = the law on the heart.

The moral law is an administration of the natural law.

The fundamental law of the OC = the same law written on the hearts of men.
Besides this law God gives ceremonial and judicial laws to point to Christ.

2) Through Calvin

Calvin is not clear on some of the questions concerning the 4th commandment although it is clear that he believed in the law after creation as creation write the 10 commandments on the heart.

General rev = law on the hearts
Special rev = the 10 commandments

Calvin believes all 10 of the 10 commandments are relevant for Christians. See the institutes.
On Gen 2:3 Calvin comments that the creation Sabbath is incorporated into the NC.

According to Calvin the Sabbath is:
A day of public worship
A day of rest for servants

Calvin wasn’t clear on the absolute necessity of worshipping on the first day.

3) Through Scripture

This passage is evidently a prophecy of NT life.
Whenever ‘My law’ is used in Jeremiah it always refers to a law that had been previously revealed by God to Israel (6:19, 9:13, 16:11, 26:4, 31:33, 44:10).
Everyone in this covenant will have the same redemptive privileges.
God wrote the law explicitly with His finger (Exodus 31:18).
See 2 Corinthians 3:3 for a fulfilment of Exodus 31:18 and Jeremiah 31:31-33.
The 10 commandments don’t need to be repeated as they pre-date the OC and are based on creation.

Romans 13:8 proves that all commands for Christians can be summed up by love.
The commandments can be reduced to there bare essential elements see Romans 7:7.

It is the essence of the commandment that is morally binding not a particular form in which the commandment is expressed.

Notes from the 2nd session to be uploaded soon. Books by Barcellos

No comments: