Faith Establishes the Law

Since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Romans 3:30-31

In chapter 3 of the book of Romans, Paul takes us to the conclusion that we are justified by grace through faith without the deeds of the Law. Some people may mistakenly think that the Law was annulled by faith and grace. But the issue cannot be treated so lightly. The Law shows us sin that condemns us and shows us that our only way out is grace. And we are led to grace through faith, which, according to Romans 3:31 establishes the Law.

Throughout the New Testament it is very clear that the justification of sinful humanity is reached by grace, not by works of the law. We got to the grace putting our faith in Jesus Christ, who paid with His death on the cross for all our sins. Be rescued from a life sentence in hell through faith, does not authorize us to blatantly violate the Law, but confirms that all that the Law prohibits is sin and sin destroys our relationship with God.

Messages to the seven churches which are in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea are presented in Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation. Those messages were directed to believers who had recognized Jesus as their Lord and Savior at some point in their lives. However, the Lord found deviations in some of them and confronted them summoning them to straighten their way not to miss.

The Lord calls for repentance to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5: Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. The warning to repent brings the consequences of ignoring what the Lord says.

The church at Pergamum is ordered repentance in Revelation 2:16: Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. The same applies to the church of Sardis in Revelation 3:3: Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

Finally, the Lord rebukes vigorously to the Laodicea church in Revelation 3:18-19:  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Clearly, breaking the Law after being touched by grace through faith is not in the plans of God. The Lord rebukes the churches confirms what Paul wrote in Romans 3:30-31: faith does not invalidate the Law but confirms it. Being justified by faith in Jesus Christ, our best response to His great love, His forgiveness and His infinite mercy is resigning irrevocably to sin and confirming the Law. God bless you.

La Fe Confirma la Ley

Porque Dios es uno, y él justificará por la fe a los de la circuncisión, y por medio de la fe a los de la incircuncisión. ¿Luego por la fe invalidamos la ley? En ninguna manera, sino que confirmamos la ley

Romanos 3:30-31

En el capítulo 3 del libro de Romanos, Pablo nos lleva a la conclusión que somos justificados por gracia por medio de la fe sin las obras de la Ley. Hay quien puede pensar erróneamente que la Ley ha sido anulada por la fe y la gracia. Pero el asunto no puede tratarse tan a la ligera. La Ley nos muestra el pecado que nos condena y nos presenta que nuestra única salida es la gracia. Y somos llevados a la gracia a través de la fe, la cual, de acuerdo a Romanos 3:31 confirma la Ley.

A través del Nuevo Testamento se establece muy claramente que la justificación de la humanidad pecadora se alcanza por la gracia, no por las obras de la Ley. Llegamos a la gracia poniendo nuestra fe en Jesucristo, quien pagó con su muerte en la cruz por todos nuestros pecados. Ser rescatados de la condena perpetua en el infierno mediante la fe, no nos autoriza a violar descaradamente la Ley, sino que nos confirma que todo lo que la Ley prohíbe es pecado y el pecado destruye nuestra relación con Dios.

En los capítulos 2 y 3 del libro de Apocalipsis se presentan los mensajes dirigidos a las siete iglesias que está en Asia: Éfeso, Esmirna, Pérgamo, Tiatira, Sardis, Filadelfia y Laodicea. Esos mensajes fueron dirigidos a creyentes quienes habían reconocido a Jesús como su Señor y Salvador en algún momento de sus vidas. Sin embargo, el Señor encontró desviaciones en algunos de ellos y les confrontó convocándoles a enderezar su camino para no perderse.

El Señor insta al arrepentimiento a la iglesia de Éfeso en Apocalipsis 2:4-5: Pero tengo contra ti, que has dejado tu primer amor. Recuerda, por tanto, de dónde has caído, y arrepiéntete, y haz las primeras obras; pues si no, vendré pronto a ti, y quitaré tu candelero de su lugar, si no te hubieres arrepentido. La advertencia para arrepentirse trae consigo las consecuencias de no hacer caso a lo que dice el Señor.

A la iglesia de Pérgamo también se le ordena arrepentimiento en Apocalipsis 2:16: Por tanto, arrepiéntete; pues si no, vendré a ti pronto, y pelearé contra ellos con la espada de mi boca. Lo mismo ocurre con la iglesia de Sardis en Apocalipsis 3:3: Acuérdate, pues, de lo que has recibido y oído; y guárdalo, y arrepiéntete. Pues si no velas, vendré sobre ti como ladrón, y no sabrás a qué hora vendré sobre ti.

Finalmente, el Señor reprende vigorosamente a la iglesia de Laodicea en Apocalipsis 3:18-19: Por tanto, yo te aconsejo que de mí compres oro refinado en fuego, para que seas rico, y vestiduras blancas para vestirte, y que no se descubra la vergüenza de tu desnudez; y unge tus ojos con colirio, para que veas. Yo reprendo y castigo a todos los que amo; sé, pues, celoso,  y arrepiéntete.

Es evidente que quebrantar la Ley luego de ser tocado por la gracia a través de la fe no está contemplado en los planes de Dios. Las reprimendas del Señor a las iglesias confirma lo que Pablo había escrito en Romanos 3:30-31: la fe no invalida la Ley sino que la confirma. Al ser justificados mediante la fe en Jesucristo, nuestra mejor respuesta hacia Su gran amor, Su perdón y Su misericordia infinita es confirmar la Ley renunciando irrevocablemente al pecado. Dios te bendiga.

 

Justified by Faith

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:28

We are justified by grace, according to Romans 3:24: being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. And although justification is free, that does not mean it’s automatic. If we sit waiting to be justified without doing anything, we would see the end of our days and after that, regrettable that our soul is lost. What should we do? The answer is given Romans 3:28, a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

I will share what he has said the American pastor Terry L. Johnson, “The Reformed Faith makes a significant practical difference on the issue of sanctification. Its pessimism about human nature produces a strong focus on our dependence on the Holy Spirit. However, it does not stop being realistic about what is required of us.”

Johnson goes on to say: “Even if the redeemed heart, sin will not be defeated unless a strenuous effort. There are no magic formulas. There are no hidden secrets. No special ‘keys.’ God is working. Everything has to do it or no hope for us. But we should ‘work out our salvation.’ If there is a key it is this: Take care, fight, fight, because God is working in us.”

With regard to what Johnson says working out our salvation, our task is to take the step of faith to get the grace. If grace is the vehicle that drives us towards our justification, faith is the fuel that moves it. We will be saved when we are justified. 1 Peter 1:9 says it very clearly: receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Paul also talks about justification by faith in Galatians 2:16: knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Here it is clear about in who we put our faith in order to be justified.

Bearing in mind that the works of the law, rather than justify, condemn us, faith in Jesus Christ is our only source of salvation. How do we put our faith in Christ? The first thing to do is to repent of our sins and leave behind the life we ​​led. To abandon our old life, we become to Christ and let our lives in His hands, trusting that He alone will lead us to the Father.

The saving grace is free; but it is not an authorization to continue to sin with impunity. Not literally take as amnesty, but rather as an evidentiary. The American pastor John Piper (1946- ) said: “Whoever looks at the cross a license to go on sinning does not have saving faith. The brand of faith is the fight against sin.”

Let faith in Jesus Christ might be justified us by His grace. But we show that we are born again definitively renouncing sinful life. Things of the world left behind and henceforth live through Him and for Him. Now Jesus did enough to occupy their rightful place we stay because of our sins. God bless you.

Justificados por Fe

Concluimos, pues, que el hombre es justificado por fe sin las obras de la ley.

Romanos 3:28

Somos justificados por gracia, de acuerdo a Romanos 3:24: siendo justificados gratuitamente por su gracia, mediante la redención que es en Cristo Jesús. Y aunque la justificación sea gratuita, eso no quiere decir que sea automática. Si nos quedamos sentados a la espera de ser justificados sin que hagamos nada, llegaríamos ver el fin de nuestros días y luego de eso, lamentar que nuestra alma se perdió. ¿Qué debemos hacer? La respuesta la da Romanos 3:28: el hombre es justificado por fe sin las obras de la ley.

Voy a compartir lo que ha dicho el pastor norteamericano Terry L. Johnson: “La fe reformada hace una diferencia práctica significativa en cuanto al tema de la santificación. Su pesimismo con respecto a la naturaleza humana produce un fuerte énfasis en nuestra dependencia del Espíritu Santo. Sin embargo, lo hace sin dejar de ser realista acerca de lo que se requiere de nosotros.”

Continúa diciendo Johnson: “Aun en el caso del corazón redimido, el pecado no será vencido a no ser con un esfuerzo extenuante. No existen fórmulas mágicas. No hay secretos ocultos. No hay ‘claves’ especiales. Dios está obrando. Todo tiene que hacerlo o no habrá esperanza para nosotros. Pero nosotros debemos ‘ocuparnos de nuestra salvación.’ Si hay una clave es ésta: Ocúpate, lucha, pelea, porque Dios está obrando en nosotros.”

Con respecto a lo que dice Johnson de ocuparnos de nuestra salvación, es nuestra tarea dar el paso de fe para alcanzar la gracia. Si la gracia es el vehículo que nos conduce hacia nuestra justificación, la fe es la gasolina que lo mueve. Seremos salvados cuando somos justificados. 1 Pedro 1:9 lo dice muy claramente: obteniendo el fin de vuestra fe, que es la salvación de vuestras almas.

Pablo también habla sobre la justificación por medio de la fe en Gálatas 2:16: sabiendo que el hombre no es justificado por las obras de la ley, sino por la fe de Jesucristo, nosotros también hemos creído en Jesucristo, para ser justificados por la fe de Cristo y no por las obras de la ley, por cuanto por las obras de la ley nadie será justificado. Aquí queda claro en quién debemos poner nuestra fe a fin de ser justificados.

Teniendo muy en cuenta que las obras de la Ley, en lugar de justificarnos, nos condenan, la fe en Jesucristo es nuestra única fuente de salvación. ¿Cómo ponemos nuestra fe en Cristo? Lo primero que debemos hacer es arrepentirnos de todos nuestros pecados y dejar atrás la vida que llevábamos. Al abandonar nuestra vieja vida, nos convertimos a Cristo y dejamos nuestra vida en Sus manos, confiando en que solo Él nos conducirá hasta el Padre.

La gracia que nos salva es gratuita; pero no es una autorización para continuar pecando impunemente. No la tomemos literalmente como una amnistía, sino más bien como una probatoria. El pastor norteamericano John Piper (1946- ) dijo: “Quien ve en la cruz una licencia para seguir pecando no tiene la fe que salva. La marca de la fe es la lucha contra el pecado.”

Pongamos la fe en Jesucristo para ser justificados por Su gracia. Pero demostremos que hemos nacido de nuevo renunciando definitivamente a la vida pecaminosa. Que las cosas del mundo queden atrás y en lo adelante vivamos por Él y para Él. Ya Jesús hizo bastante al ocupar el lugar que nos correspondía estar por culpa de nuestros pecados. Dios te bendiga.

 

Justified by Grace

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:24-26

We have all sinned according to Romans 3:23, therefore, anybody cannot plead innocent before the judgment of God. There is too much evidence against us, which guarantees a safe conviction. And the sentence is duly established in Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death. Therefore, just something that comes out of us save us from the death penalty. That’s where the grace that Paul shows us in Romans 3:24-26 comes. Grace is what justifies us; there is no other way to do it.

The first to Romans 3:24-26 is: Being justified freely by His grace. What is free is a gift. The seventeenth century English preacher William Secker said: “He who does not take the sky as a gift; he will have hell as debt.” Another English preacher of that century, William Jenkyn (1613-1685) said: “Grace is not a native but a donation.” Both agree that grace is a gift, a donation from God.

Then Romans 3:24-26 says: through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Grace was only possible because Jesus Christ was put in the place which should be every sinner. The English preacher Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) said: “The true grace will enable a man to pass over the crown of the world to take up the cross of Christ; to prefer the Cross of Christ above the glory of this world.”

Let’s see how we can express what grace means in simple terms. Every man and woman has sinned enough to deserve the death penalty as a punishment in the judgment of God. Let’s imagine that our judgment day arrived and we are in the dock in the court of God. The prosecutor read us each and every one of our transgressions of God’s law. According to Romans 6:23, our conviction is death and just judge, God, should dictate the sentence.

In applying justice, the death penalty is the appropriate sentence for our sins. When the angel court clerk will read the death sentence against us, Jesus comes and says that He will take our place. The Lord says that He is willing to die rather than each of the sinners of this world. He said he understood that the wages of sin is death and that for anyone should die for their sins, He is going to die in the name of all.

To hear from the Lord their willingness to die for each of us, our mind should go into the time He was crucified. All that Jesus suffered on the cross was for the sole purpose of preventing any repentant sinner was executed to pay for his or her sins. That is grace! For us it is free; but the price of our salvation was very high: all the blood of Jesus!

The American pastor Jerry Cross said: “The more we learn to see the depth of our sin, we see the depth of God’s grace.” Our justification by grace is undeserved, only the love of God has been able to design a salvation plan like this. Give your heart to Christ is nothing compared to what He has done for you already. God bless you.

Justificados por Gracia

Siendo justificados gratuitamente por su gracia, mediante la redención que es en Cristo Jesús, a quien Dios puso como propiciación por medio de la fe en su sangre, para manifestar su justicia, a causa de haber pasado por alto, en su paciencia, los pecados pasados, con la mira de manifestar en este tiempo su justicia, a fin de que él sea el justo, y el que justifica al que es de la fe de Jesús.

Romanos 3:24-26

Todos hemos pecado según Romanos 3:23, por lo tanto, nadie puede declararse inocente ante el juicio de Dios. Hay demasiadas evidencias en contra nuestra, lo cual garantiza una condena segura. Y la condena queda debidamente establecida en Romanos 6:23: Porque la paga del pecado es muerte. Por lo tanto, solo algo que provenga fuera de nosotros nos salvaría de la pena de muerte. Ahí es donde entra la gracia que Pablo nos muestra en Romanos 3:24-26. La gracia es lo que nos justifica, no existe otra vía para lograrlo.

Lo primero que dice Romanos 3:24-26 es: Siendo justificados gratuitamente por su gracia. Lo que es gratuito es un regalo. El predicador inglés del siglo XVII William Secker dijo: “Aquel que no toma el cielo como regalo; tendrá el infierno como deuda.” Otro predicador inglés del mismo siglo, William Jenkyn (1613-1685) dijo: “La gracia no es algo nativo sino un donativo.” Ambos coinciden en que la gracia es un regalo, un donativo, una dádiva de parte de Dios.

Luego Romanos 3:24-26 dice: mediante la redención que es en Cristo Jesús. La gracia solo fue posible porque Jesucristo fue puesto en el lugar que le correspondía estar a cada pecador. El predicador inglés Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) dijo lo siguiente: “La gracia verdadera capacitará a un hombre a pasar por encima a la corona del mundo para tomar la cruz de Cristo; a preferir la cruz de Cristo por encima de la gloria de este mundo.”

Veamos cómo podemos expresar lo que significa la gracia en términos sencillos. Cada hombre y cada mujer ha pecado lo suficiente como para merecer la pena máxima como castigo en el juicio de Dios. Vamos a imaginarnos que llegó el día de nuestro juicio y estamos en el banquillo de los acusados en el tribunal de Dios. Ya nos han leído todas y cada una de nuestras transgresiones a la Ley de Dios. De acuerdo a Romanos 6:23, nuestra condena es la muerte y el juez justo, Dios, debe dictar la sentencia condenatoria.

Al aplicar la justicia, la pena de muerte es la sentencia adecuada para nuestros pecados. Cuando el ángel secretario del tribunal va a leer la sentencia de muerte contra nosotros, entra Jesús y dice que Él va a ocupar nuestro lugar. El Señor manifiesta que Él está dispuesto a morir en lugar de cada uno de los pecadores de este mundo. Él dice que entiende que la paga del pecado es muerte y que, para que ninguno muera por sus pecados, Él va a morir en nombre de todos.

Al escuchar de labios del Señor su disposición de morir por cada uno de nosotros, nuestra mente debe de ir hacia el momento en que fue crucificado. Todo lo que Jesús padeció en esa cruz fue con el único propósito de evitar que cualquier pecador arrepentido fuera ejecutado para pagar por sus pecados. ¡Esa es la gracia! Para nosotros resulta gratuita; pero el precio de nuestra salvación fue muy alto: ¡toda la sangre de Jesús!

El pastor norteamericano Jerry Cross ha dicho: “Mientras más aprendamos a ver lo profundo de nuestro pecado, más vemos la profundidad de la gracia de Dios.” Nuestra justificación por gracia es inmerecida, solo el amor de Dios ha sido capaz de diseñar un plan de salvación así. Entregar tu corazón a Cristo no es nada, comparado a lo que ya Él hizo por ti. Dios te bendiga.

Obedience Must Be Perfect

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

James 2:10

Human religious tradition has established a severity scale for sin. They have made the same way as with the civil laws. In societies there are crimes that are penalized with higher punishment than other. Thus, they can be considered as very dangerous criminals to serial murderers, child molesters, drug dealers or terrorists; while they are seen as less serious offenses giving false testimony or steal a lesser amount. But the criterion of the Bible is that any violation of the Law of God is equivalent to rape it completely.

I will present here something that the British minister Derek Thomas (1953- ) said: “There are only two ways of salvation: by Law or by grace. If salvation is to be obtained by Law, you need a perfect obedience. There can be no imperfections and defects, because the Law will never have mercy. It knows nothing about grace or forgiveness. It demands perfection, because anyone who transgresses even a small detail violates the whole Law of God. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).”

Derek Thomas continues: “Going to heaven through obedience requires perfection. Just doing the best you can it will be insufficient; good intentions are not enough. It is vitally important to understand exactly how the law demands from us, if it is that we think to be in a right relationship with God through the observance of the Law, in simple words: for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:16).”

I have known people who fear to read the Old Testament, but they love to read the New. It is likely that these people do not even know the reason why while in the Old they see God as punisher; in the New they view Him as a God of love. The reason is that the Old covenant was governed by Law, but grace is the driving force of the new covenant. If you’re going to be bound by the old covenant, your obedience to the Law must be perfect because otherwise you will be liable to judgment.

I think the best example I know to describe how God’s Law applies is the federal law on sexual abuse in the United States. Who is convicted of sexual abuse in the United States, virtually has a condemnation upon him chasing him for the rest of his life. No matter that the person has fully served his sentence in prison, anyway, coming out of it, his name is placed on a public register to which any citizen has access and data are placed on a website with your photo and the label “sexual predator.”

No matter if the person was accused of sexual offense because he only undue friction over another person, for the purposes of the law, it’s a sexual predator and he should carry that stigma for life. In the same way, who he said only a “small white lie” or once looked greedily the new car of his neighbor, will be found to have completely violated the Ten Commandments.

Knowing that no human being is perfect, it is impossible to meet the requirements of the implacable Law of God. If you want to enjoy forgiveness, mercy and love of God, do not trust your works, but repent of your sins and become Christ. God bless you.