Monday, June 7, 2010

Agricola/ Christ have Mercy

Why am I on this detour?  At some point a blogger I read called another blogger I read and "antinomian" and dropped all contact with him.  It has bothered me all this time, because I like both bloggers.

Today, I read  this article about Agricola, the antinomian, trying to figure out what the exact position of the antinomian is. The antinomian is one who thinks the law has no more role to play at all in the believer's life.

This is what Agricola said:

Christians do out of love and desire, everything God demands of them.
For they are sealed with the spontaneous Spirit of Christ. Therefore no law ought to force them,
for no law is given to the righteous (1 Timothy 1:9). Moreover, as
soon as the gospel becomes a matter of compulsion and a rule, then
it is no longer the gospel.

The truth is that the law still moves to repentance and that is how it has to be, otherwise we would already be perfect, which we are and are not, being simultaneously saint and sinner.  However, the primary role of the law is still this driving to Christ, not the measuring of  your performance, although, I don't see though how that could be separated.  If you want to be driven to Christ, you have to take the law seriously enough to check your performance and properly let that frighten you.  Otherwise it is a toothless law, which is no law.

You don't want to be merciful?  This is a denial of God, we are told.
Yes, it is definitely a cause for repentance.  It's working for me.


Steve Martin said...

The correct formula (not really a formula), the correct order (better) is law ...then gospel.

Both are needed.

But the law cannot make one righteous.

The law does not make one do what he ought be doing (for righteousness sake). In civil a certain extent.

For righteousness' sake, the law always accuses and kills.

St. Paul called the law "the ministry of death".

The gospel, and only the gospel, brings forth authentic life from that death that the law brings.

Brigitte said...

The gospel changes the heart and the entire disposition, Only it can do it. No doubt about it.

Thank you.

Brigitte said...

Steve, I found us a verse, today. I've never sung it or heard it. #290 in my old hymn book. Stumbled on it.

Oh, well of life, Jesus Christ, your grace is limitless and immeasurable (the well won't run dry). Therefore, I also shall be lacking nothing, when my faithful shepherd takes care of me; he has possessed my heart. With his Gospel, he makes my heart and body so cheerful, that I cannot forget him.

O Lebensbruennlein, Jesu Christ, dein Guete unerschoepflich ist, niemand kann sie ermessen; darum mir auch nichts mangeln wird, wenn mich versorgt der treue Hirt, der mir mein Herz besessen. Mit seinem Evangelio, macht er mein Herz im Leib so froh, dass ich sein nicht vergesse.

1612, Saxony, Johann Muehlmann.

Brigitte said...

It always loses in translation.
It is very warm and has nice meter and rhyming.

Steve Martin said...

That one is terrific, Brigitte!

Thanks very much!