I have seen recently that there are Christian groups out there whom hold to the idea that the gsoepl and the law are like water and oil. They are contrasts-polar opposites. If you hold to any law at all, ‘you are still in your sins’. One needs to make the distinction between a man who looks to God’s law to justify himself and a man who understands that the work is fully complete in Christ. It seems to me that this group I refer, does not make this needed distinction.
Jesus said it best: “If you love me, keep my commandments”. John 14:15
Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience
Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the Ten Commandments?
A. For the right understanding of the Ten Commandments, these rules are to be observed:
1. That the law is perfect, and bindeth every one to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.
2. That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures.
3. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.
4. That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden; and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded: so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included; and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.
5. That what God forbids, is at no time to be done; what he commands, is always our duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.
6. That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto.
7. That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places, to endeavor that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places.
8. That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them; and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them.
Q. 149. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
and here, it is brought full circle:
Q. 154. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation.
Q. 155. How is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ; of conforming them to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions; or building them up in grace, and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
Some examples of Christ speaking of the law of God:
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Matt 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Surely Christ is talking of the decalogue….
Another interesting point is Moses. Moses understood justification by faith alone. He understood Solus Christus. He knew the law did not save; yet, he still was obedient, delivered the law to Israel and Israel went forward obeying it. Sometimes more faithfully than others. If the idea of law runs against the grain of the gospel message and Moses surely knew that, one would think he would have had a large issue in delivery said law to his people. Consider Paul and James, if this is what they meant, in other words, if they agree with the sentiments of the antinomians, how is it is that Paul tells us to ‘establish’ and ‘hold up’ the law of God? Or James, faith without works is dead?
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, pThou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
1 Timothy 1:8
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
An excerpt from Tobias Crisp:
Objection Four. But if I cannot come to Christ without sense of sin and poverty, then is my coming and my act of believing founded and bottomed upon something that I have before I come to Christ.
Answer. This is the question between us and Antinomians, like the very question between us and papists concerning the authority of the Scripture; but I say, as the church’s authority is not the formal reason why I believe Scripture to be the Word of God, yet the church’s authority is not excluded from being a means and motive. For faith cometh by hearing (Rom. 10:17), so Christ himself is the formal reason of my faith. I rest on Christ because he is Christ. Sense of poverty is a strong motive, for except I be driven and compelled to come to Christ, I shall never come. Sense of poverty is not the foundation of the wall, yet it may be a pinning in the wall.
Antinomians teach that inherent qualifications and all works of sanctification are but doubtful evidences to us of our interest in Christ, or that we are in the state of grace.[SUP]1[/SUP] What then makes me, John, Anne, by name, sure in my conscience that I am in Christ even to the full removal of all heart-questions?
That which reveals (say they) my evidence of assurance, that I am my well-beloved’s, and that he is mine, is the Spirit speaking personally and particularly to my heart with a voice, ‘Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.’ And this is that broad seal of the Spirit making an immediate impression on my heart, without any begged testimony of works of sanctification, which is the revealing evidence of my interest in Christ; and the receiving evidence is faith, believing this testimony of the Spirit only because God’s Spirit saith so, not because I have evidences, by particular works of sanctification, such as are universal obedience, sincerity of heart, and love of the brethren.
But to speak a little of this for the times; the papist is the black devil, taking away all certainty of assurance that we are in Christ, or that any man can know this. The Antinomian is the golden white devil, a spirit of hell clothed with all heaven, and the notions of free grace; and first, the well-head of all is, free grace in us is a dream, sanctification inherent is a fiction; Christ is all, there is no grace existent in the creature; grace is all in Christ, and nothing but imputed righteousness, for if works of sanctification are not marks intelligible, or which can come in under the capacity of received light, to be known with any certainty or assurance, [then;]
(1) The joy and rejoicing that we have in the testimony of a good conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have our conversation in the world (2 Cor. 1:12), must be a dream. David, Job, Moses, Samuel, the prophets, and apostles, their joying in a good conscience arises from doubtful and conjectural evidences. Yea, no man can say in any assurance, I believe in Christ, in the inner man, I delight in the Law of the Lord [cf. Ps. 1:2], I am crucified to the World [Gal. 6:14], my conversation is in heaven [Phil. 3:20], for all these are inherent qualifications in the child of God, but they are doubtful and uncertain. How then has God promised to love the righteous, to reward believing with life eternal, to give the prize to him that runneth, etc.?
(2) The testimony of the Spirit bearing witness to our spirit, that we are the children of God (Rom. 8:16), is in this sense an immediate act of the Spirit, because reflex acts of the soul are performed without any other medium or means, but that whereby the direct acts are performed. I know that I know, I know that I believe, my sense by that same immediate operation of the Spirit, by the which I know God, without any other light, teaches me to know that I know God; even as by light I see colors, but my common sense needs not another sun or another light to make me know that I see colors. The lamb when it sees a wolf, though it never did see a wolf before, knows it to be an enemy, and flees; but to make it know that it knows the wolf, there is nothing required but the internal and common instinct of nature. So when I believe in Christ, that habitual instinct of the grace of God, actuated and stirred up by the Spirit of God, makes me know that I know God, and that I believe, and so that I am in Christ to my own certain feeling and apprehension; but this does not hinder, but the assurance of my interest in Christ is made evident to me by other inferior evidences. And hereby we know, that we know him, if we keep his commandments (1 John. 2:3). By the keeping of God’s commandments we do not know simply that we know God, by certainty of faith. But we know that we know God these two ways:  We know (the instinct of the new man being stirred up to action by that wind which bloweth when and where it listeth) our knowing of God to be sound, saving and true. We do not so much know our knowing of God, by this supernatural sense, as we know the supernatural qualification and sincerity of our knowing of God. So that we rather know the qualification of the act, that the work is done according to God, than the act according to its substance, though we do also know it in this relation, We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14): that is, our love to the brethren does evidence to us both that we are translated to the Kingdom of grace, and also it does evidence that that translation is real, true, sincere, sound and effectual by love, and all the fruits of the Spirit.  By these works of sanctification we have evidence that we have interest in Christ, not as by formal light suggesting to us that the immediate impression of this great and broad seal of the King of glory and his personal and particular testimony is true (for God’s Spirit needs not another witness to add authority to what He says); but because this conclusion (You John, Anna, have interest to Christ to your own feeling) must be proved by Scripture (except with Enthusiasts and fanatic Spiritualists we separate the Word and Spirit); therefore these works of sanctification prove the conclusion consequenter by Scripture and sense, and so lead us to the word of promise, thus to prove this conclusion (I John, Peter, Anna, have interest in Christ, to my own reflect, and private assurance); the major proposition is made good by Scripture, the assumption by sense, and the conclusion leads us to the certainty of faith in the promises, as:
He that believes, and makes sure his belief, by walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, has a clear evidence to his own feeling, that he has interest in Christ.
But I, John, Peter, Anna, do believe, and do make sure my belief, by walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Therefore, I, John, Peter, Anna, have a clear evidence to my own feeling, that I have interest in Christ.
The proposition is Scripture (John 3:36; 5:24; 11:25, 26; Rom. 8:1, 2; 1 John 1:4; 2:3). The assumption is made sure by sense, not at all times, but when the wind is fair, and the Spirit is breathing upon the soul; for though I do believe and walk after the Spirit, yet to my own feeling I have only evidence of my interest in Christ, when the Spirit stirs up my sense to compare my faith, walking with the promises of God in Christ. But the Antinomian says, ‘Alas all the certainty then, and the whole personal evidence that I have to know that I have interest in Christ, is ultimately and principally resolved on this weak and rotten foundation, to wit, on my own good works, which being examined by the Law of God, will be found so sinful as they shall involve me under the curse of God, and so the debate of conscience shall stand in full vigor, and I shall never be satisfactorily resolved of my interest in Christ, for you lead me from the impression of the immediate seal of the Spirit to my good works; and this is to drive me off Christ, and put me back again to my old jailer, and my old keeper, the Law.’
But I answer, this consequence is just nothing; for if my good works of sanctification were causes of my peace of conscience, this connection had some color of truth; but though those works are sinful by concomitance, because sin cleaves to them, yet because my supernatural sense of the Spirit suggest that these works are the fruits of faith, and are done in some measure of sincerity, and flow not from the spirit of the law, but from the spirit of the gospel, therefore they lead me to Christ, and drive me upon a clear evangelic promise, that:
(1) The adhering sinfulness of my works are purged in Christ’s blood.
(2) That this promise is a shore before mine eyes. He that fights the good fight, a crown of righteousness is laid up for him (2 Tim. 4:7, 8); He that runs, shall obtain (1 Cor. 9:24). And here is an evangelic word, Blessed are they that do his Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates to the city (Rev. 22:14). So that the right of your peace and clear evidence, in assurance of your right to the tree of life, is not laid upon your works, but upon the promises of the gospel. Only your inherent qualification leads you as a moral motive to look to the promises of God, which is the bottom and the foundation of your peace, even as my walking, eating, drinking, may assure me I am a living man, and from the knowledge that I live, I come to know what I stand in relation to the king, as a son and an heir of a crown. Yet my right to the crown (suppose I were the eldest son of a king) stands not on this pillar that I eat and drink and live, but upon my birth and my relation to such a father. All my inherent qualifications do well prove that the tree and stock they grow on is faith, but is it hence proved that the tree is bottomed upon the branches? Nay, but by the contrary, the branches are stocked upon the tree.
(3) If works of sanctification are no sure marks of my interest in Christ, because sin adheres to them, and the sin adhering to them involves me in condemnation, then neither can faith in Christ be a sure mark of my interest in Christ, because faith is always mixed with sinful doubting. For I do not think that Antinomians do believe with all their heart, and sin of unbelief adhering to our faith no less involves the sinner in a curse, being committed against the gospel, than sins against the law. And therefore as faith justifies, not because great and perfect, but because lively and true, as the palsy hand of a man may receive a sum of gold, no less then a strong and healthy arm, so also do our inherent works of sanctification give us evidences that we are in Christ, and so lead us to the promises of the gospel, as signs, not causes of our interest in Christ, and that under this notion, because they are sincerely performed, not because they are perfect and without all contagion of sin cleaving to them.
(4) In exalting Christ’s righteousness one way, by making Christ all, they make Christ nothing another way, by vilifying the glory of sanctifying grace. For we are not by good works to make our calling and election sure to ourselves, and in the evidence of our own consciences, if our good works are no signs of our interest in Christ.
(5) The spirit which these men make the only witness, must be known to us, by Scripture, not to be a deluding spirit, for if this spirit cannot be known by these things which are called, the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), to wit, by love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, as the fruits are evidences of the life of the tree, men are to labor for faith and the raptures, impressions, and immediate and personal influence of a Spirit from heaven without any conscience of holy living; and this is the pathway for men void of all sanctification and inherent qualifications to believe they are in Christ. So the devil puts upon holiness inherent and constant walking with God, the soul scandal of fair white civility, and market morality, that so men may walk after the flesh, and believe the testimony of the broad seal of an immediate working Spirit.
1. Dr. Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted [(London, 1643; ed. S. Crisp, 1690)], Sermon 15, 16, 17.
The following quotes were taken from https://reformation500.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/you-might-be-an-antinomian-if/
The charge against those who maintain the doctrine of a free Justification by grace through faith only, that they deny either the reality of good works, or their necessity to salvation, is a mere calumny; for while the Reformers rejected many works which were considered ‘good’ in the Romish Church…they never denied the intrinsic excellence either of those inherent graces which are ‘the fruits of the Spirit,’ or of those external actions which flowed from them in conformity with the requirements of God’s Law; and so far from teaching that they were not necessary to salvation…they represented the sanctification of the believer as an indispensable, a constituent, element of his salvation,—since Christ came to deliver His people, not only from the punishment, but also from the power, of sin.
When the doctrine of the Reformers began to be abused by the Antinomians, the Puritans were raised up, in the good providence of God, to give the same prominence to Sanctification as Luther had given to Justification; to insist as strenuously on the work of the Spirit in applying salvation as he had done on the work of Christ in procuring it…. Such writers as Owen, and Goodwin, and Charnock, and Howe, and Trail adhered firmly to the doctrine of Justification as proclaimed by Luther and Calvin, while they checked every tendency to Antinomian licence by the firm assertion of the indispensable necessity of personal holiness as one of the essential parts of the great salvation, and by the full and masterly exposition which they were honoured to give of the office and work of the Holy Spirit.
And John Owen (each from a different source):
“He that thinks to please God, and to come to the enjoyment of him without holiness, makes him an unholy God, putting the highest indignity and dishonor imaginable upon him. God deliver poor sinners from this deceit! There is no remedy, you must leave your sins or your God.“
“[There is, through grace,] kept up in believers a constant and ordinarily prevailing will of doing good, notwithstanding the power and efficacy of indwelling sin to the contrary… In believers there is a will of doing good, an habitual disposition and inclination in their wills unto that which is spiritually good.“
“If any such there are, or ever were, who maintain such an imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto us as should render our own personal obedience unnecessary, they do overthrow the truth and holiness of the gospel. And to say that we have such supplies of internal strength as to render the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto our justification unnecessary, is to overthrow the grace of the gospel and the new covenant itself. But this alone we say, There is grace administered by the promises of the gospel, enabling us to perform the obedience of it in that way and manner which God will accept.“
“Let not men deceive themselves. Sanctification is a qualification indispensably necessary unto those who will be under the conduct of the Lord Christ unto salvation. He leads none to heaven but whom He sanctifies on the earth. The living Head will not admit of dead members.”
“It is true, our interest in God is not built upon our holiness; but it is as true that we have none without it.”
And John Davenant:
Good works are necessary to the salvation of the justified by a necessity of order, not of causality; or more plainly, as the way appointed to eternal life, not as the meritorious cause of eternal life.
And John Flavel:
I will further grant, That the eye of a Christian may be too intently fixed upon his own gracious qualifications; and being wholly taken up in the reflex acts of faith, may too much neglect the direct acts of faith upon Christ, to the great detriment of his soul. But all this notwithstanding, The examination of our justification by our sanctification, is not only a lawful, and possible, but a very excellent and necessary work of duty. It is the course that Christians have taken in all ages, and that which God has abundantly blessed to the joy and encouragement of their souls.
And Stephen Charnock
If God loves holiness in a lower measure, much more will he love it in a higher degree, because then his image is more illustrious and beautiful, and comes nearer to the lively lineaments of his own infinite purity….He loves a holy man for some resemblance to him in his nature; but when there is an abounding in sanctified dispositions suitable to it, there is an increase of favor; the more we resemble the original, the more shall we enjoy the blessedness of that original: as any partake more of the Divine likeness, they partake more of the Divine happiness.
Melchior Leydekker distinguishing God’s benevolent love and his complacent love:
God’s love is either of benevolence or of complacency. The first is the love by which God shall do well to the elect, before there is anything in them that could give Him complacency, John 3:16, Rom. 5:8. And therefore, it can be regarded either as predetermining in God’s decrees, or as actually effecting in time. The second, the love complacency, is the case where God approves the good which is in the elect, especially as being commanded by him and caused, Heb. 11:5-6, John 14:21; 16:26-27.
And Theodore Beza:
[The preaching of the law] begins to change the effect in us (after our disposition is changed) in such a way that instead of making us afraid, it comforts us (1 John 2:17; 2 Peter 1:11-12); instead of where it showed us our condemnation already prepared, it serves us now as a guide to show us good works (Jer. 21:33; Rom. 7:22) in which we are prepared to walk (Eph. 2:10). Instead of being an unpleasant and unbearable yoke, now it is agreeable to us, easy and light (Matt. 11:30).
Q: How does a person know if he has faith, or not?
A: By good works.
And Zacharias Ursinus:
The law alone, without the gospel, is the letter [that kills]…But when it is joined with the gospel, which is the Spirit, it also commences to become the Spirit, which is effectual in the godly, inasmuch as those who are regenerated commence willingly and cheerfully to yield obedience to the law.
Holy walking is a way to heaven.
The way that crieth down duties and sanctification is not the way of grace… Believing and doing are blood-friends.”
Practice of Christian piety is the way to life, because thereby we go to the possession of the right obtained by Christ.