4 Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that he was manifested to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 No one who abides in him continually sins; those who continually sin have not seen him or known him.  1 John 3:4-8 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)  Read verses 7-8 on the site.

Antinomianism means “opposed to law.” Antinomian views are those denying that God’s law in Scripture should directly control the Christian’s life. Dualistic antinomianism appeared early in the Gnostic heresies. The Gnostics taught that salvation was for the soul only, making bodily behavior irrelevant both to God’s interest and to the soul’s health. The conclusion was that one may behave riotously and it will not matter.

A “spiritual” antinomian puts such trust in the Holy Spirit’s inward prompting as to deny any need to be taught by the law how to live. Think of those who are continually telling us how God speaks to them audibly, directing them to say and do things rather than simply teaching and preaching God’s Word. Freedom from the law as a way of salvation is assumed to bring with it freedom from the law as a guide to conduct. In the first 150 years of the Reformation era this kind of antinomianism was common. The Corinthian church may have been in the grip of this error as well since Paul warns them that a truly spiritual person acknowledges the authority of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 14:37; cf. 7:40).

Another kind of antinomianism begins from the point that God does not see the sin in believers, because they are in Christ, who kept the law for them. From this they draw the false conclusion that their behavior makes no difference, provided they keep on believing. However, 1 John 1:8-2:1 and 3:4-10 point us in a different direction. It is not possible to be in Christ and at the same time to embrace sin as a way of life.   View article →