What Are Legalism and Antinomianism?

“Antinomianism works on people’s consciences by convincing them that God does not require us to turn from our wicked ways. Antinomianism presents a Christianity that requires no personal effort or spiritual striving against sin. It offers a counterfeit freedom to the true freedom that Christ gives believers.

(Ligonier) What are legalism and antinomianism?

The terms legalism and antinomianism describe two false teachings regarding the relationship between the law and the gospel. Legalism is the insistence that a person is accepted by God on the basis of his law keeping. It teaches that we are declared righteous before God through our own observance of either God’s law or man-made rules and regulations.

Antinomianism says that God does not require a believer to obey the moral law (i.e., the Ten Commandments). In its more extreme and perverted form, antinomianism permits immoral behavior based on the leniency of grace.

When did they begin?

Legalism and antinomianism are rooted in the fall of Adam. All mankind is predisposed to these two moral and theological errors. Accordingly, countless forms of legalism and antinomianism have surfaced throughout history. Legalism and antinomianism undergird all forms of false teaching and heresy. View article →


Heresy: Antinomianism


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