The Crazy Idea of Justification Not by Works

from  Sam Leith, London Teegraph 2005:

“Roughly put, antinomianism is the idea that justification by faith liberates you from the need to do good works…It can be seen, in some way, as the squaring of a tricky theological circle: the Calvinist idea that the Elect have been singled out for salvation as part of the divine scheme long before any of them were twinkles in the twinkles in their ancestors’ eyes. if justification by faith, rather than by works, is the high road to heaven, the logical extreme of the position is that works don’t matter at all.

“Divine grace, over which we have no control, brings about faith. Faith brings about salvation. Ergo, if you’re not touched by grace, there’s nothing much you can do… If, on the other hand, you are one of the Elect, whoop de doo: no amount of bad behavior is going to prevent Jesus seeing you right. This is a pretty crazy view to take, most of us would agree, and historically it has tended to be discouraged by both civic and religious authorities for rather obvious reasons.”

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One Comment on “The Crazy Idea of Justification Not by Works”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Galatians 3: 12 But the law is NOT of faith, rather “The one who does them shall LIVE by them.” (Leviticus 18:5)

    The logic of “if” is the logic of “or”.

    Galatians 3:18 For IF the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise

    Galatians 3:21 For IF a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.

    Galatians 5: 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take NO OTHER VIEW, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But IF I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!

    Galatians 2:21 if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

    Christ died for a purpose (all for whom Christ died saved) OR righteousness is through our keeping the law. No synthesis possible, no overcoming of the antithesis in Christ.

    Romans 3: 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

    Paul is not about “inclusive balance”. If by our works, then exclude faith in Christ’s finished work. If by faith alone in Christ’s death alone, then exclude our works. Faith means “not works”.

    This is why we cannot say that works after faith factor into final salvation. First, we are not saved by works. Second, faith means “not works”. Obeying the gospel is believing the gospel is true.


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