Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the answer to the antinomian accusation

"The rhetorical question of Romans 6:1 and Romans 6:15 points at the reality that Christ is the answer to the antinomian accusation. Being united to Christ means being united to his rule as covenant Lord. The church's relationship to Christ is such that his presence continues to fulfill the terms of the covenant in her life. The paradox of sin and grace in the covenant becomes clear as Paul writes in the imperative, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions" (Rom 6:12). Remembering that "sin" is not an external force, but simply another way of speaking of the self, Paul is saying, "Be free from the rule of yourself." But wherein is the "rule of self" broken? In none other than the presence of Christ as mediated by the Holy Spirit, whose temple is now the gathered believers. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit not as a function of the causal cooperation of the human will, but because in fact the Holy Spirit dwelling in his people.

The antinomian accusation is answered by appeal to the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit, for which there is a "natural" reaction of delight in the believer. The accusation is not answered by an appeal to greater moral responsibility on the part of the believer. The anti-antinomian is the one who confesses that Christ lives and those who were formerly dead now live because they are near him. "The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God" (Rom 6:10). This exchange (death and life) is made present by the Holy Spirit and has become the sum and substance of sanctification.

Accordingly the law no longer exercises its judicial function over the believer. It no longer accuses or rewards. As Paul affirms in 1 Timothy 1:9, "The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient." The law loses its power in Christ. Justification has removed the weight of the law on believers. There can be no return to the forensic character of the law in sanctification, lest the completed work of Christ be undermined. . ." pg. 48 "Sanctification: Explorations In Theology And Practice" Edited by Kelly M. Kapic

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