A. W. TOZER
["While the saved are completely freed from the Law of Moses, evangelical Christians too often forget that we are 'under law to Christ' (1 Cor. 9: 21); and the fracture of this law - practically the entire New Testament - can involve exceedingly grave consequences, though not eternal perdition." - D. M. PANTON.]
To any casual observer of the religious scene in our day, two things will be at once evident: one, that there is very little conviction for sin among the unsaved; and two, that the average professed Christian lives a life so worldly and careless as to make it difficult to distinguish him from the unconverted man. The [divine] power that brings conviction to the sinner and enables the Christian to overcome in daily living is being hindered somewhere. It would be too much to name any one thing as the alone cause, for many things stand in the way of the full realization of our New Testament privileges, but one class of hindrance there is which is so conspicuous that it must be named: I mean that thrown up by wrong doctrines or by over-emphasis on right ones. I want to point out one of these doctrines, and I do it with the earnest hope that it may not excite controversy, but rather bring us to a reverent examination of our position.
Fundamental Christianity to-day is deeply influenced by that ancient enemy of righteousness, antinomianism. The creed of antinomianism is easily stated: We are saved by faith alone; works have no place in salvation; conduct is works, and is therefore of no importance. What we do cannot matter so long as we believe the right thing. The divorce between creed and conduct is absolute and final. The question of sin is settled by the cross; conduct is outside the circle of faith and cannot come between the believer and God. Such, in brief, is the teaching of antinomianism. And so fully has it permeated the teaching of the fundamental element in modern Christianity that it is accepted by the masses as being the truth.
Antinomianism is the doctrine of grace carried by unchecked logic to the point of absurdity. It follows the teaching of justification by faith and twists it into deformity. It plagued the Apostle Paul wherever he went, and called out some of his most picturesque denunciations. When the question is raised, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" he blasts it wide open in that terrific argument in the sixth chapter of Romans.
The advocates of antinomianism in our times deserve our respect for at least one thing, their motive is good. Their error springs from a desire to magnify grace and to exalt the freedom of the gospel. They start right, but allow themselves to be carried beyond what is written by a slavish adherence to an undisciplined logic. It is always dangerous to isolate a truth, and then to press it to its limit without regard to other truths. It is not the teaching of Scripture that grace makes us free to do evil. Rather it sets us free to do good. Between these two conceptions of grace there is a great gulf fixed. It may be stated as an axiom of the Christian system that whatever makes sin permissible is a foe of God and an enemy of the souls of men.