My last post discussed antinomianism. The heresy of antinomianism teaches that true Christians do not necessarily perform good works. This post deals with some of the logical out-workings of antinomianism. True Christians will show their commitment to Christ in lives marked by good works.
What are we to make of the oft quoted surveys of George Barna and others that show Christians are just as likely to divorce as non-Christians, nine percent of Christians tithe (give ten percent of their income as the Bible commands), 80% of those who take pledges to wait for marriage are sexually active outside marriage in the next seven years, and 20% of Christians do not think premarital sex is wrong? Is it true that commitment to Christ makes no difference in a person’s life? (Statistics as quoted in Finally Alive by John Piper, p. 13)
Keep in mind that Barna and others define Christians based on what they say they believe. In other words, they say a person is a Christian based upon a mere profession of belief. This is no way to define a Christian. Anyone can say they believe anything, even when they do not really commit themselves to those beliefs.
John Piper, in his book FinallyAlive, makes a strong argument that these widely quoted surveys are biased because they define Christianity based on a mere profession of belief and not a life lived differently. Piper says that “[The New Testament] moves from the absolute certainty that the new birth radically changes people, to the observation that many professing Christians are indeed (as the Barna Group says) not radically changed, to the conclusion that they are not born again” (p. 15).
True Christians are committed to lives of radical Christ-likeness. They accept that a person cannot believe what Christ says about how to get to heaven without believing what Christ said about how to live their lives (John 3:12). This belief in Christ’s commands will mean a life lived differently, not perfectly, but differently. A Christian will do good works ‘as naturally as sparks fly upwards’ because he is thankful for what God has done for him inChrist.
Good works are always present in the life of a believer, but those good works are corrupted by the sin remaining in us (Isaiah 64:6). Good works are always present, but they never save. We can be confident of good works, but not confident in them.