Thursday, September 22, 2005

Jesus accused of anti-nomism?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said:

There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.

It has since been repeated countless times by countless people, and everytime I hear it it winds me up. It seems to me to be leading to a reduction of sinning to a harmless inconsiquentiality, something not so uncommon already I fear. So when Dave Bish brought up the subject (see also JollyBlogger), I was tempted to fire off a comment that while that was clearly true of Paul, it could never be considered true of Jesus. You see I've been reading the Sermon on the Mount and that is all about morality. But then I thought of the comment of Jesus in the same Sermon,

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.   (Matthew 5:17)

Implied in that is that some did think Jesus came to abolish the law. I'm still not entirely happy with the Lloyd-Jones quote, but thankfully have not made any rash comments, and will think some more.


At 9:09 am, Blogger thebluefish said...

Ooops.... :)

I guess the thing is that neither Paul nor Jesus advocate lawlessness, even if they're accused of it (and Jesus gets accused of flaunting all kinds of laws)

As you observe he fulfils and completes the law - hence we don't have to.... and besides, as Paul later notes to Titus, it is in fact grace that teaches us to say NO to ungodliness... grace is misread when it fails to do that.

My experience is more often that we pile entailments on people so that grace sounds more like "be good" than Jesus is good in your place...

At 10:55 pm, Blogger Dave K said...

Still thinking...
I may post again on the same subject soon


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