Saturday, November 30, 2013

Following the Law... sort of

Let me explain something theologically.  It is utterly ironic that I will get labelled antinomian, and here's why.

I found this quote on-line (not sure of where it originally was stated):

"Following God’s Law in your life will always make your life more blessed than if you had sinned. Keeping the 6th commandment will make you happier than breaking it. It really will. That doesn’t mean you’re marriage will always be happy – but it will certainly be happier than if you had broken the 6th commandment… Likewise, confessing Christ will always make you happier than denying Him. It also might get you killed. But you’ll still be truly happier dead in the flesh and awaiting the resurrection than alive in the flesh and dead to God, right?" HT: Heath Curtis

And here's the thing - it's true, but not complete.

Yes, life would be better if we followed God's Law. 

However, when I think of the 6th Commandment, I do not say, "Ah, yes, see how well I have followed it" (even though I was a virgin when I married and have never had relations with a woman not my wife!).  I think of Christ's teaching in Matthew 5.  I think of the ways in which, while to all accounts outwardly righteous - indeed, surpassing many - I know my own sin, and it is ever before me.

As an axiomatic statement, yes, doing what God commands is good for us.  The only problem is that... how am I to think that I actually follow these things?  Is my model for my approach to life to be the Rich Young Man - All these I have done from my youth?

While we are to strive to follow the commandments... the reality is, we don't.  And the problem I have is this: when we treat the commandments as things that we actually, fully, really do... we gut them.  The Law of God is a standard too high for man to obtain.

This is theological truth.

Or put it this way?  What good ever in the New Testament when a man says, "Oh yes, I've done this"?  The young man goes away sorrowful... even though Jesus loves him.  The Pharisee and the Tax collector - he goes away not justified.

So yes, there is admonition.  Yes, there are exhortations and encouragement towards good.  But those are still Law, those still speak to what I have not done.  If I were one who followed the Law, would I need any exhortation?  The healthy have no need of the Doctor!

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So, if it is the case that I see, know, and understand, whenever the Law is proclaimed, that I have fallen short... how is it that I am antinomian for seeing or pointing out this fact?

Do you see the irony?  I would contend that if you contend that you have followed the Law that you in fact do not see its depths, its fullness.  Now, I do not assert that Pastor Curtis thinks he follows the law - but rather, I think sometimes in our zeal to teach and instruct and encourage people (why do we not talk about encouraging folks... or comforting folks... often the word in the NT is parakalo - paraclete, comfortor) we can forget that even that good advice and wisdom will show them their sinfulness... and indeed, no matter how we exhort, or how nice they are outwardly... they are always poor, miserable sinners.

Thus is life for the sinful man.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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