Christians are saved by grace, but we’re also called to live a life in Christ. This week we’re joined by the Guestcast, Brittney and Jake, to talk about criticalism and carefreeism, or more formally known as legalism and antinomianism. By definition, legalism in Christianity is the belief that obedience to the law or a set of rules will gain favour with God with a misunderstanding of His grace, while antinomianism is the teaching that Christians are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality. We dig deeper into each extreme, their differences and also discuss the ‘middle way,’ or balance, to finding our best life with Christ.
Who are our guests?
Brittney Dagneau lives with her husband, Isaac, and daughter, Primrose, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. When Brittney isn’t serving at her local church, she’s playing music, hanging out with her family and friends, and cooking something delicious.
Jake Lowell is currently a student at Trinity Western University and has been involved in pastoral leadership with youth and young adult ministries. He lives in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and enjoys music (in and outside the church), church ministry, and good community.
Isaac Dagneau: Welcome to indoubt. This week on the show, we talk with Jake and Britt from the guest cast on legalism and antinomianism. Two views that misunderstand law and grace, yet many of us can fall into thinking these ways. Your life needs to be a balance of grace and truth. Grace to understand that we have been saved, but also truth of why have you been saved and what have you been saved from. Because we’re being saved from something as well and that’s a life of sin and death.
Isaac Dagneau: Hey, it’s Isaac here, I hope you’re all well. Indoubt, if you didn’t know exists to bring the gospel to the relevant issues of life and faith and we all face everyday cultivating conversation. Now the primary way in which we do this is through what you’re actually listening to right now. A radio podcast show that looks into various topics of life and faith with a recognized Christian author, pastor or leader or someone like that. We also write articles, we produce Bible studies. Just head to our site to access all 143 conversations. Plenty of articles digging into culture and faith and our free Jude video Bible study for group and individual use. All this at indoubt.ca.
Isaac Dagneau: Well this week we have a great conversation with some friends of ours on really what it means to be a Christian in some sense. We talk about legalism and antinomianism. So here it is.
Isaac Dagneau: Hey, it’s Isaac, glad you’re with us this week. I have the immense pleasure of having with me again the guest cast. Hey Jake.
Jake Lowell: Hey, how you doing?
Isaac Dagneau: I’m so good. And Britt.
Britt Dagneau: Hey.
Isaac Dagneau: How are you guys doing? It’s been three weeks. Lots can happen in three weeks. Anything new.
Jake Lowell: It’s been good. Not too much new, but it’s been good.
Isaac Dagneau: How’s school?
Jake Lowell: Aah. Good.
Isaac Dagneau: You know everybody loves school. Everybody [inaudible 00:01:54] just raving about school. It’s the best time.
Britt Dagneau: Well the first couple weeks of school are always … You know, it’s new. It’s a new semester.
Jake Lowell: You gotta pick your seat. No matter how old I am, there will be at least one class where we’re doing attendance and my voice will still crack when I say here. Here. Here.
Isaac Dagneau: That’s awesome. So I have little quiz for you both. Kind of like an icebreaker. I know we three are just always a little bit nervous around each other. So I just thought we need to cool off a little bit. Just get to know each other a little bit more. So here’s a quiz I made up called Canadian city or celebrity dog name. So we’re gonna go back and forth. I’m just gonna say a name and you have to decide whether it’s a Canadian city, a real Canadian city or a real dog’s name owned by a celebrity. Cool? So there’s nine of them so that means one of you will win.
Jake Lowell: What do we win?
Isaac Dagneau: Oh, it’s a surprise.
Britt Dagneau: Hey, can we win one of those indoubt mugs?
Jake Lowell: Yes.
Isaac Dagneau: Okay.
Britt Dagneau: Game on.
Isaac Dagneau: All right, so we’re gonna start with you Jake. So I’m gonna say a name and you have to guess if it’s real Canadian city or a celebrity dog name. Are you ready?
Jake Lowell: Yes, I’m ready.
Isaac Dagneau: Okay. Esmeralda.
Jake Lowell: City.
Isaac Dagneau: Wrong. That’s Anne Hathaway’s lab.
Britt Dagneau: Come on Jake [crosstalk 00:03:09].
Isaac Dagneau: All right. Are you ready Britt?
Britt Dagneau: Yep.
Isaac Dagneau: So you have zero right now. Okay Miss Brittney. Flossie.
Britt Dagneau: Dog name.
Isaac Dagneau: True. Drew Barrymore’s chow-chow lab mix. Chow-chow.
Britt Dagneau: Chow-chow?
Isaac Dagneau: That’s true.
Britt Dagneau: Chow-chow lab mix.
Isaac Dagneau: It’s a chow-chow lab mix apparently.
Jake Lowell: What’s a chow-chow?
Britt Dagneau: I’m gonna Google that.
Jake Lowell: That’s not even a real dog.
Isaac Dagneau: Well, it’s something. It’s a mix with a dog. Okay so Jake, are you ready?
Jake Lowell: Yes.
Isaac Dagneau: Wawa.
Jake Lowell: City.
Isaac Dagneau: True. It’s a town [crosstalk 00:03:40]. It’s a town in Ontario. Are you ready Britt? What are you guys at? One, one?
Britt Dagneau: One, one.
Isaac Dagneau: Okay, here we go. Brittney, Meatloaf.
Britt Dagneau: Dog name.
Isaac Dagneau: Yep. It’s Fergie’s dachshund.
Jake Lowell: Also a singer.
Britt Dagneau: Wow.
Jake Lowell: Yeah.
Isaac Dagneau: What do you mean?
Jake Lowell: Meatloaf.
Isaac Dagneau: Oh, that’s true. I thought you meant Fergie was also a singer. I was like obviously she is.
Jake Lowell: Yes, she is.
Isaac Dagneau: Are you ready?
Jake Lowell: Yes, I’m ready.
Isaac Dagneau: Mushaboom.
Jake Lowell: Regardless of the answer, I’m gonna name my first dog Mushaboom. City.
Isaac Dagneau: True. It’s a town in Nova Scotia.
Jake Lowell: That’s where I was born. Not Mushaboom, but in Nova Scotia.
Isaac Dagneau: That’s good. You guys know how much you guys are scoring? [crosstalk 00:04:21].
Britt Dagneau: Two, two.
Jake Lowell: But she’s ahead though technically.
Isaac Dagneau: Are you ready?
Britt Dagneau: I think so.
Isaac Dagneau: This is a two worder. Punkeydoodles Corners.
Britt Dagneau: Dog name.
Isaac Dagneau: Wrong. That is a town in Ontario.
Britt Dagneau: I should have … The corners.
Isaac Dagneau: Punkeydoodles Corners.
Jake Lowell: Punkeydoodles Corners, [crosstalk 00:04:36] it sounds like a show.
Isaac Dagneau: Are you ready? Finger.
Jake Lowell: Dog.
Isaac Dagneau: Wrong.
Jake Lowell: No.
Isaac Dagneau: Finger, Manitoba. You should go there one day. Okay, are you ready Miss Britt?
Britt Dagneau: I’m getting nervous.
Isaac Dagneau: This is it. This is really big for you. This is the one right? Noodles.
Britt Dagneau: Dog name.
Isaac Dagneau: That’s true. Kelly Osbourne’s dog.
Jake Lowell: That was an easy. That was an easy one.
Isaac Dagneau: Are you ready Jake?
Jake Lowell: Yes.
Isaac Dagneau: This is it man. Honeychild.
Jake Lowell: Honeychild. Honeychild. Dog.
Isaac Dagneau: Nicole Richey’s shih tzu. Well done.
Britt Dagneau: Wow.
Isaac Dagneau: So did you guys tie?
Britt Dagneau: We tied.
Isaac Dagneau: You couldn’t. There was nine [crosstalk 00:05:19].
Jake Lowell: I got one more question, but.
Britt Dagneau: He got one more question. We both got [crosstalk 00:05:24].
Jake Lowell: Doesn’t matter, because we tied. And now we both get mugs.
Britt Dagneau: Yes. Hey, can I get two mugs because I think there was a time when I volunteered for an indoubt event and I never got my mug.
Isaac Dagneau: We’re not gonna talk about that, but hey. Did you guys enjoy that quiz to really break the ice?
Britt Dagneau: That was good.
Jake Lowell: Did you actually think that up?
Isaac Dagneau: I did.
Jake Lowell: Did you really?
Isaac Dagneau: Well I was inspired by [crosstalk 00:05:43]. I was inspired by another podcast and they had a similar quiz.
Jake Lowell: That was a good one though, I liked that.
Isaac Dagneau: Yeah, Canadian names or celebrity dog names. Anyways, I’m glad we all enjoyed that, I’m glad you enjoyed that too. Got a little laugh. But anyways, we’re not gonna talk about dogs or dog names or Canadian cities at all. We’re actually going to be talking about legalism and antinomianism. And sort of this idea of criticalism as well as carefreeism.
Isaac Dagneau: Let me just first start by giving a definition of both so that we’re kind of all on the same page. This is a baseline definition of both and if we want to add to them, we can. And I got these short definitions from Theopedia online, it’s like a theology encyclopedia. All right. So here’s legalism.
Isaac Dagneau: Legalism in Christianity, is a term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct for a person to merit or obtain salvation, blessing from God or fellowship with God, with an attendant misunderstanding of the grace of God. Simply put, legalism is belief that obedience to the law or a set of rules is the pre-eminent or like the all perfect principle of redemption and/or favor with God.
Isaac Dagneau: Antinomianism comes from the Greek meaning lawless. In Christian theology it is a pejorative term for the teaching that Christians are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality. Few, if any, would explicitly call themselves “antinomian,” hence, it is usually a charge leveled by one group against an opposing group. So no one says, “I’m an antinomian.” In the same way that someone say, “I’m a legalist.” People call them those things. The last part of the definition is antinomianism may be viewed as the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code of religious law is necessary for salvation. In this sense, both antinomianism and legalism are considered like wrong extremes.
Isaac Dagneau: So when thinking of antinomianism, the one thing that I would add, and you might add this as well, is I think that people that tend towards antinomianism, the reason they’re not following the ethics. The Biblical or Christian ethics is based on this fact of … They’re Christians, so they believe that the gospel has given them grace and therefore, they’re free. Their spirit is secure in Christ and they get to sort of do what they want.
Jake Lowell: It’s a free grace theology [crosstalk 00:08:03] really is what it is.
Isaac Dagneau: Yeah, but that’s an interesting thing. Because I think more on the antinomianism side, people are okay with being that. I think more so and they may even refer … Maybe … I’m antinomian [crosstalk 00:08:17]. Like an alien or something. But I think people are more so on the positive side of that than they would be like I’m proudly legalist. Maybe they are. I don’t know.
Jake Lowell: Yeah, well I think they’re proud in what it means sometimes, but they’re not proud in calling … They don’t want to call [crosstalk 00:08:33].
Britt Dagneau: They don’t want the term. No one wants the terms. They’re always labels by the opposing party.
Isaac Dagneau: Yeah. Exactly. But those two definitions that we have, we’re comfortable with those. That’s what we’re talking about. So if you’re listening, when we talk about legalism and antinomianism. That’s sort of what we’re talking about. Now I added this idea of criticalness and carefreeness because I think people; we can talk about this, I think people who tend to legalism become or are already innately kind of just critical a little bit. And we can talk about that. Maybe I’m judging too much. And then those who tend to be on the antinomian side are a little bit more carefree. Would you agree with that? But what do you think?
Jake Lowell: I think your personality type has a lot to do with this. Because I, in general, I love structure. I love structure which also means I probably tend towards the legalist side much more. Because I like that. But also in my natural person, I’m also just more critical of people. And I think on the other side, you probably get people who maybe are less about that structure and it’s just sort of this free flowing, I love Him, but I can sort of do what I want. And that sort of thing. There may be something with autonomy there. Like a real love for that autonomy and being able to do what I see is right. Or what I want to do in that kind of head space.
Isaac Dagneau: Again, those are generalizations.
Jake Lowell: Well for sure, for sure.
Britt Dagneau: I think there are definite … I don’t know if it’s personality or I don’t know if it’s the whole idea about how we are motivated. Like what motivates us. Because some people are very externally motivated or extrinsically motivated. And other people are internally or intrinsically motivated. Some people are like I have to make all these cuts in work or whatever in order to know that I’ve done a job well done. Other people are like I know that I tried my hardest inside and I did the best and even though it doesn’t show on the outside, I know I did my best. And they can feel satisfied in that. You know what I’m getting at? People are motivated differently [crosstalk 00:10:33]. I don’t know if that’s a personality thing or if that’s just [crosstalk 00:10:36] an ingrained by society thing.
Jake Lowell: I think part of it too can be where you’re at. I think in general if you’re surrounded by a bunch of Christians, it’s probably easier to be a legalist. You know what I mean, and to be the person like look at me, I follow all this sort of stuff and then you should be following this sort of stuff and like because you’re a Christian too [crosstalk 00:10:55]. However, when you’re out in society. In secular society, it’s probably a lot easier to be antinomian because it seems more gracious. It seems more attractive. Again, because it’s just kind of like, Jesus will save you and then what you sort of do after that maybe doesn’t have much hold on that. So it seems maybe a little bit more friendly.
Isaac Dagneau: Well I think too … I wasn’t around 60, 70 years ago, but what I’ve kind of heard and what I’ve kind of understood is that let’s say back in, I don’t know, the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, a lot of churches were very fundamental. They were very … You have to do these things. And we get these ideas of well, you can’t dance, you can’t smoke, you can’t do these things. It was kind of legalistic. Their hearts may have been in a good place, I’m not thinking that every single pastor or every single parent was extremely legalistic in their views, but they were saying these things.
Isaac Dagneau: But now there’s been this pendulum swing where any thought to do something like not going here or not doing this thing, people get scared and they put up their x’s and say, “No, that’s legalism. We can’t have that at all. There’s freedom in Christ.” And I understand the heart behind that, but we sway. But what were you gonna say a little earlier Britt?
Britt Dagneau: Well, I was just gonna say I think I’m glad you defined these two words at the beginning because I think often times, especially with legalism, it is perceived wrongly in the church. Because that label is applied wrongly in the church.
Isaac Dagneau: Absolutely.
Britt Dagneau: So somebody who is trying to abide by the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Someone who is trying to abide by the law of God, often gets that label. Oh, you’re a legalist. Oh, you’re abstaining from alcohol. Oh, you must be a legalist or that’s such a legalistic attitude. And so we often … I’ve seen that in the church where people who have certain convictions, Biblical convictions, are often accused of being legalistic.
Isaac Dagneau: But if they really knew the term legalism, and if you knew that person, then you’d know that they’re not doing those things to try to merit or try to make up salvation or acceptance with God. They’re doing it because that’s what God’s told them to do and they want to … They’re loving God. They’re not doing it to earn something, they’re doing it out of love.
Britt Dagneau: Out of love.
Isaac Dagneau: It’s motivated out of love.
Britt Dagneau: Absolutely.
Isaac Dagneau: I think too as you see that on the opposite side, there are Christians who love God and their conscience is totally free to drink alcohol. And they’re not getting drunk, they’re doing it out of free conscience. They’re not doing it and making other people stumble. Maybe they’re enjoying a glass of wine once or week or something with their spouse or their family, or by themselves or who knows. But, when some Christians see them doing that, they could jump to oh, wow. They must not really care because alcohol’s so dangerous because you might get drunk and things like that. So I think it can go both ways. We can label people, we don’t really know.
Jake Lowell: I think there’s definitely extremes. Like constantly in the Bible, Jesus talking to the Pharisees [crosstalk 00:13:51]. The most legalist of the legalists and he’s going like, this isn’t right. There is an aspect to them. One of the very extreme, where they are merit-based. And if you’re not doing this, then you’re an outcast and we shouldn’t be around you and Jesus, you shouldn’t be around them as well.
Jake Lowell: And there are people on the other side of the extreme too. Where it doesn’t matter if I sin. Like it doesn’t matter, because I’m forgiven by Jesus and I’m under grace so I can really do whatever I want. And I have friends like that. And I’m saying this … They’re not very well involved in the church, they’re just kind of like, “I’m Christian” and I’m doing the quotes around that. And they’re like, I love Jesus. So it doesn’t matter what I do because I’m saved. So there are people in those extremes as well.
Isaac Dagneau: That’s good. Both are extremes, I think we’ve come to that understanding. But, this is kind of interesting, if you had to say, this aspect of legalism or this aspect of antinomianism is good, what would you say? Do you know what I mean? So like if you had to see something in those that you can be like, okay, even though it’s flawed, this thing can be good or can be redeemed. What are your thoughts on that?
Britt Dagneau: Well, I mean, God has given us the Ten Commandments right? So there is a written law of God that is Biblical and it’s good. And it’s ultimately for our good. Like we often get bent out of shape, we’re like, “Oh, we have to keep these laws.” Well, the reason God established those laws was so that we wouldn’t’ get hurt. To protect us. To give us the fullness of life that he designed us for.
Isaac Dagneau: Absolutely.
Britt Dagneau: So there is that aspect where yes, God has commanded us to try to keep His commandments out of the love we have for Him, like we already talked about.
Isaac Dagneau: And legalists at least try to do it.
Britt Dagneau: They do. Absolutely. So good on them for trying. But with the other side, Paul talks about it in 2 Corinthians, the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. And Jesus came to totally abolish the letter of the law that the Pharisees were trying so hard to keep right? And he’s saying it’s so much more about the inside than the outside. So and that’s where that whole idea of the spirit of the law comes in because God cares about our hearts. He doesn’t’ care about our outward actions if our hearts aren’t aligning with that. Which is such a tricky thing. Because no one can see our hearts except for God. So we always judge the outside. Because that’s all we can see as humans.
Isaac Dagneau: Yeah, I think there’s definitely really important points to both sides. I think when you’re on the legalist side, is the really important thing there and an incredible gift that we have as Christians in this belief is that we have a sense of objective morality. We know what’s good and what’s not good. I think the majority of people who are on the other side, who are antinomian … I don’t think they’re arguing that the sin is good. There are still bad things, but their argument is maybe you’re just not condemned for them. Or your under grace and you don’t [crosstalk 00:16:47].
Isaac Dagneau: It’s not that we don’t believe that these aren’t … That they’re good. They’re still bad things, and I don’t think we want to do those things, because like Britt was saying though. God has done this for our good. They’re not rules because He’s like … Because He’s a legalist and He just likes to see us not do stuff. It’s only because He cares for us. And following His description are these things of your lives, it leads to our good.
Isaac Dagneau: On the other side, however, what we need to understand is that it’s not about merit. We’re not saved because we earn it. I’m not saved because I follow of these rules. Paul talks about that as well, he’s like the law doesn’t save you. The law condemns you. And that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, but it doesn’t have the power to save you. [inaudible 00:17:29] power to save you is Christ. And it’s because of His sacrifice and because of grace that you’re saved. So that’s really important on that side too.
Jake Lowell: I like that.
Britt Dagneau: I think there’s a difference also. They overlap, but between salvation and also sanctification. Salvation is absolutely by grace alone. Jesus’ blood has saved us. There’s no amount of good behavior that we can do to save ourselves, just like Jake was saying. The Bible is laden with that truth. But those outward things that we strive for in accordance to God’s law is a part of our sanctification. It’s a part of our becoming more like Jesus right? And again, we always have to bring it back to this is for our good and the good of other people. It’s to serve others. The more Christlike we become, the more we are able to serve other people and love other people like Christ loved them.
Isaac Dagneau: That’s awesome. What is sort of the middle way? Is there a middle way? What is the right view of understanding God’s commandments? But also understanding grace. And freedom in Christ.
Britt Dagneau: That is the question.
Isaac Dagneau: That is the question.
Britt Dagneau: That is the big question. How do we do this?
Jake Lowell: Legalism is the way. There is no middle ground. I think there is, again, this is coming from me and I hope that people understand that. Because there’s always going to be something that I say that people are like, I don’t know about that. And that’s okay. But I think there is. I was listening to a conversation, and I think it was between John Piper and Tim Keller and they were talking about sanctification, all this sort of stuff and Tim Keller was saying … He came with this line which I like a lot and I’ll sort of explain this after I say it. He said, “We’re saved by faith alone, but not by faith that remains alone.” And I think the really important thing for a Christian in their life is your heart behind what you do. And I definitely believe that my actions are not what saves me.
Jake Lowell: However, I think there is a certain kind of relationship or love that makes it real, if that makes sense. And what I mean is if I say that I love you, there’s certain things that you would expect would come along with me saying that I love you. You wouldn’t buy it if I said I love you and then I did all these bad things to you or I didn’t care about you or all these sort of things. There’s a character to love that with it sort of necessarily comes along a certain attitude and certain behavior with that. And with that relationship with God, that doesn’t mean that’s what saves me, I don’t understand really how can it be an honest, loving relationship with God if you go and say oh, I love you, but then I won’t do anything that you ask me to do. It doesn’t matter what you want me to do. And all this sort of stuff.
Jake Lowell: So yes, we are saved by grace, but we’re also called to a life in Christ as well. That doesn’t earn us that, but it comes along with that I think in that relationship. I think that’s where we need to be … I think it’s [inaudible 00:20:26] he was talking more about speaking, but I think this is true to our lives as well. He says that your life needs to be a balance of grace and truth. And it needs to be a balance of grace to understand that we have been saved and all that sort of stuff, but also truth of why have you been saved, and what have you been saved from? Because we’re being saved from something as well. And that’s a life of sin and death. And we don’t get saved to continue on in a life of sin [crosstalk 00:20:52].
Britt Dagneau: And James says that too. I was just looking here. He says, “Some of you will say you have faith and I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” They have to go hand in hand. We can’t separate them. We can’t say I’m all heart and no deeds. Or and I’m all law and no heart. And that’s why Jesus came. And I think the only way that we can find the balance is by continually coming back to scripture and looking at Jesus and seeing how He did it. Right? Because He has the perfect balance always. That’s all we can do.
Isaac Dagneau: Totally.
Jake Lowell: That’s great. I actually have James up on my phone right now too. Because it’s great when you’re talking about this sort of stuff to look at James. And I think the deeper you fall in genuine love with Jesus, the more you realize what you’ve been freed from. I think the life follows on from that. Because I think, it’s this thing … As you know Jesus more, I think naturally sin should seem like this thing that you’re like … I just don’t want that you know. Because I want Jesus, and He is the polar opposite of this sin. And He’s goodness and He’s grace and He’s mercy and I love Him and I want that and I don’t want that stuff anymore.
Isaac Dagneau: That’s so good.
Jake Lowell: I think if your life is still craving sin, and you’re using grace as a reason that this is okay, then I think there’s an issue there. Because we shouldn’t be craving sin.
Isaac Dagneau: Yeah, that’s so good. Thanks guys so much. That was a lot of fun. I think the moral of the story is that Jesus demonstrates the perfect understanding of someone who understands grace. Someone who understands love and all those things, but also law and obedience. We see Jesus in the Gospels condemning the extreme legalists, but also tells people, go and sin no more. If your hand causes you to sin, chop it off, throw it away. I mean to the world that could look very legalistic, but He still commands it and I think a challenge for those who tend to legalism is gospel, gospel, gospel. And to the antinomian, gospel, gospel, gospel. I think that’s the best challenge.
Isaac Dagneau: But anyways, to conclude, I just want us to quickly consider some questions that can determine or really speak into whether you tend to legalism or antinomianism if you still are kind of unsure. And we get these questions implied from Acts 2. Now reading about the church in Acts is exciting right? But it’s also convicting. Comparing the church then with the church now can be quite the contrast. This isn’t to say that the church in Acts was perfect obviously, but it definitely represents a church that was unashamedly denying themselves picking up the cross and following Jesus.
Isaac Dagneau: Let’s consider Acts 2:42-47. And these six verses early in Acts give a brief summary of how the church operated. But instead of merely listing out the characteristics, I want to present them as questions to ask yourself. So the first is, am I devoting myself to good teaching from the word of God? Am I devoting myself to friendships among other Christians and making an effort to gather with them? Am I devoting myself to participating in the Lord’s Supper with others? Am I devoting myself to prayers, both with the church and by myself? Am I finding myself in awe of the Spirit’s evident work in the church? Am I conscious about the needs of the brothers and sisters in Christ around me whether physical, spiritual or emotional? Does my financial budget look different than the world’s? Am I daily finding myself worshiping God and fellowshipping with others at the gathering point of the church in others homes or my home and am I doing this gladly and generously?
Isaac Dagneau: Going though these questions regularly is actually helpful. What it can do is help bring you back to what the church should look like. However, it’s not just about looking like the church in Acts. It’s about being the church. There’s some things a Christian must internally understand and believe before a real commitment to and progress of living out the church can happen. And this is where we connect with the legalism and antinomianism issue. See before Luke, gives the summary of the early church. He explains the sermon that Peter gave at Pentecost and the outcome it had on the people. And from this explanation, I have four key kind of characteristics that give evidence of a true Christian. One that I would think that walks not in legalism or antinomianism in a good kind of middle way.
Isaac Dagneau: So there again, there’s [inaudible 00:25:05] questions. Number one. Do you have true remorse for your sin? Do you understand the exaltation of Jesus and infinite chasm between His perfection and your imperfection? Have you repented and received the grace of God found in the gospel? Do you desire holiness? And to be set apart from the world? If you said yes to each of these, then you’re definitely on the right track.
Isaac Dagneau: Now like me, you probably forget these constantly, but there’s at least the knowledge that these are true and is ultimately where your heart’s at. Now if you said no to some or all, then take some time to consider the gospel. In fact, whatever you answered, let’s consider the gospel together. And I tried to summarize the gospel in one sentence. It’s not perfect. It’s a working definition, but I tried. This is the gospel. When all people who are spiritually dead in sin, unable to reflect the goodness of God because of their unbelief, God revealed His goodness and purifying and saving sinners by grace through faith. Accomplished righteously through the death of Jesus Christ. Given as a sacrifice that took the condemnation and death they deserved on their behalf.
Isaac Dagneau: There’s no room for legalistic or antinomian heart there. Only faith that leads to a love motivated obedience. And when thinking about this gospel that it wasn’t you who earned your salvation. It’s just so humbling. You know legalism breaks down when considering this gospel. Antinomianism breaks down as well when considering this gospel. It’s almost as if the way to remain steady without swaying to the legalism side or the antinomianism side is to simply preach the gospel to yourself regularly.
Isaac Dagneau: It’s amazing how often I … And I would think others don’t regularly or routinely discipline their minds to work through the gospel. We’re missing out on so much when we go day after day without remembering the truths of Jesus, the cross, our sin and our salvation. Do this with me today. Preach the gospel to yourself.
Isaac Dagneau: This wraps up our time for today. If you’re interested in financially supporting this ministry, even if it’s just five or ten bucks, it would mean a lot. We rely on God’s provision for this ministry through the generous people who donate. We give away all our ministry content for free, even though it costs lots to run it, to produce it, to create it, etc. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us this way? If you do and you feel like it’s something you’d like to donate to, then it’s really easy. Just click the donate button and follow the simple instructions at indoubt.ca. If you live in Canada. Or indoubt.com if you live in the States.
Isaac Dagneau: Also make sure to connect with us online throughout the week. Perhaps you have some thoughts on today’s show. Maybe you disagree with Jake or Britt or me. You can tell us about it. We want to have conversations. So you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you have any ideas for guests or topics, then let us know. You can direct message us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Well, I’m Isaac.
Jake Lowell: I’m Jake.
Britt Dagneau: I’m Britt.
Isaac Dagneau: And next week, we talk with Jonathan Morrow, a Christian apologist on truth and tolerance. We’ll see you next week.