"Cast Out The Bondwoman, And Her Son!"
In the inspired
allegory, Hagar represents Mt. Sinai (the law) and her son, Ishmael, represents
all legal works (the works of the flesh). And we are expressly commanded to
cast out both! There is no room in the
Let me be perfectly clear. As soon as a man declares the believer's freedom from the law, the cry goes up, "Antinomian! You are an enemy to righteousness and good works, a promoter of licentiousness." Because legalists scream so loudly and so constantly, it is necessary for me to plainly declare that I do not say that believers have no responsiblity to perform good works. We do. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." But I do, most tenaciously, affirm that any "good works" performed to appease God's wrath, win God's favor, avert punishment, or gain reward, good works performed for the purpose of affecting God in anyway, to gain his salvation, or to improve one's relationship with him, are the most abominable evils in this world. All good works which give a person confidence, comfort, and assurance before God, assuring him of Divine favor, are damning delusions. Christ alone is our Atonement for sin. Christ alone is our Righteousness. Christ alone is our Assurance before God. Christ's obedience alone is the ground of our acceptance with God. Christ alone merits God's favor and approval for us. Christ alone makes us worthy of heaven, eternal glory, and the presence of God's glorious holiness. We must trust Christ alone! To mix our "good works" with the work of Christ for justification, sanctification, or assurance before God is to totally deny and make void the grace of God and the work of Christ (Rom. 11:6; Gal. 5:1-4). The only person in all the world who will be upset, offended, or enraged by this plain declaration of gospel truth is one who is yet trusting his own works. "Am I your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"