(Article for publication week of 9-19-2013 AD)
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4).
For the past several weeks we have been exposing false profession from Matthew 7:21-23. I encourage you to go back and read the text. One of the things we noted that is fundamentally wrong with the false professors in that text is that they are in reality lawless. Though they had a fine profession, our Lord pronounced them “workers of iniquity.” Our regular readers will remember that we pointed out that the Greek word translated “iniquity” means “lawless.” At the final judgment our Lord will say to many “depart from me”, for they are antinomians, that is “lawless.” They had no regard for the law of God. They probably misused Romans 6:14 and insisted the law had nothing to do with them because they were saved by grace!
Lawlessness appears to be the attitude of most professed Christians nowadays. (And I keep reminding you who make no profession of religion that you are no better off, so don’t start thinking you are better than all the “hypocrites”; you are lawless too, as is evidenced by your refusal to worship God as He has commanded.) Antinomianism is the spirit of the age, even in the professed church. This lawlessness is two-fold. First, there is a refusal to call sin what it is, and a libertine spirit that refuses to be ruled by the word of God. You cannot tell the professed church from the world. The average church member dresses like the world, talks like the world, thinks like the world, and generally lives like the world. This generation of hell-raising church members thinks the casino and the ball game is perfectly compatible with Christianity. About the only “sin” known to the modern church is the “sin” of being “judgmental”!
But secondly, not only is there a refusal to call sin what the Bible calls sin, but there is the practice of calling sin that which the Bible does not. Our text this week plainly says, “sin is the transgression of the law.” In too many cases the professing church has accepted political correctness as its definition of sin. It is sinful to refuse to call sin what the Bible does, but it is equally sinful to call sin what the Bible does not. For example, the modern church has maligned and even reprobated our Forefathers for the practice of domestic servitude, but the Bible nowhere calls domestic servitude a sin. In fact it regulates, condones, and approves the practice. Before you start cussing me, go read Genesis 17:23; Genesis 24:35; Exodus 20:10; Exodus 20:17; Matthew 8:5-10; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 4:1; and I Timothy 6:1-5 for starters. I just use this as a vivid example of accepting some standard other than the Bible in our definition of sin. Many more examples could be cited.
Dear readers, especially you who claim to be Christians, I challenge you to think Biblically, not like the world. Do you love the law of God? Do you delight in the law of God after the inward man? Do you accept the law of God as your rule of life, even though you know you come far short in keeping it? (I have written plenty over the years showing that believers are saved by grace, not law keeping. But I have also tried to be faithful to your souls in showing that salvation by grace is not a license to sin.) May the Lord deliver us from a sprit and practice of lawlessness.