I do find it entertaining that I am often called an antinomian, that I am looked down upon and told that I don't encourage enough works in my sermons, that I don't preach enough sanctification (sigh: as though you "preach" sanctification... you proclaim God's Word, both Law and Gospel, and the Holy Spirit will use it as He wills).
I have come to realize the complaint isn't really that I don't encourage works. Or even good works. Or that I don't exhort. It's that I'm a baker who gets yelled at by cake decorators.
Think about a wedding cake -- everyone will ooh and aah at the frosting, the decoration - the stuff that everyone sees. But you know what makes up the cake... the cake. The stuff you bake. The things that are hidden that no one sees, but when you eat the cake, that's the main thing.
You know what I exhort folks towards. Loving their neighbor. When no one can see. To be the wonderful treat that gives life and joy and "body" to the lives of your neighbor.
Too many folks want frosting preachers, preachers who will add the nice finishing touch the decorations, who will make a pretty flower or add a lovely splash of color.
My wife likes cake decorating. I got her a kit for her birthday -- it came with a practice pad, a silicon sheet where you could work on your designs.
That's what I find many of these rabble rousers to be... nicely decorated, but no cake. And empty piece of plastic with sugar on it to appeal to the world. Piety but no compassion, appearances that are well kept but lacking love, fingers more apt to wag than to be about making peace. Patience and kindness are absent, but there is a covering of self-righteousness for all to see and praise. Gentleness and goodness are not even thought of, unless it is the neighbor's lack of goodness.
Like Whitewashed tombs.
It is simple. We are sinners. We are forgiven. The Holy Spirit stirs up in us good works. He will point us that way through the Law. And you know what -- those works are directed at your neighbor. Anything else... well, show me your frosting and I'll show you my cake.