…modern American evangelicalism has clearly reshaped the gospel of Christ into a two-part message: what Christ has done (on the cross), and what we need to do to complete the transformation. The announcement of the gospel as the “one way” love of God that declares us righteous through the sacrificial death of Christ, completely apart from our participation or cooperation, is seen as narrowly one dimensional and dangerously antinomian, releasing Christians from the various spiritual disciplines necessary for the exaggerated progress that all followers of Christ are expected to make in this life.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, as the one-way declaration of our righteous standing before God propels us out of gratitude to love and serve him, and any addition to the once-offered sacrifice of Christ is the clearly the Galatian problem; nevertheless, to take such a stand in the modern evangelical camp will no doubt raise some eyebrows and possibly bring on some heat.
(Joseph Martin, Reformation Diaries)
The above is taken from the Modern Reformation website. Modern Reformation is a magazine of Protestant Reformation thinking and very respected among Reformed believers. The magazine, its articles and its authors shaped my thinking quite a lot regarding the issue of the Gospel 10 years ago.
The above quote focuses once again (as with the two previous posts in this series) on how when Christians preach the biblical gospel, they will be accused of preaching a dangerous and antinomian message. The preaching of the biblical gospel in New Creation Church has no doubt raised many eyebrows and brought on lots of heat!
I’ve still yet to touch on an extremely important question of whether the gospel actually promotes antinomianism. Of course it doesn’t and I’ll explain my reasons in greater detail another time. However, I think this is extremely important to note:
There’s a crucial difference between saying that preaching the biblical gospel will inevitably attract accusations of antinomianism and saying that the biblical gospel actually promotes antinomianism.
I’ve been emphasizing the former, but that doesn’t mean I agree with the latter. I strongly believe that the preacher who preaches the biblical gospel will definitely be accused of promoting antinomianism (if he’s preaching the biblical gospel). But the biblical gospel (i.e. the one-way declaration of our righteous standing before God) “propels us out of gratitude to love and serve Him”. The gospel does not result in licentious living – it does not promote antinomianism.