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.

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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.

Overcoming the Enemy

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

We are in a spiritual war we want to accept it or not. If we are with God, we have as an enemy the devil who will try to harm us by all means possible. Are we going to run out of him? Of course not! We must know the strategies needed to overcome him. The Word of God instructs us about it. We learn to submit to God and resist our enemy to flee from us.

The first step to overcome the enemy according to James 4: 7 is to submit to God. The different Hebrew or Greek words, the original languages ​​of the Bible, translated as subjecting mean: Enter, come, and go. Approaching; especially satisfy a debt; Genuflect, humiliate; Conquer, subjugate; Implement, say; Fix; Humble; be with him; be tested; Abide by the rules.

Everyone likes good results. Many Christians want to live a victorious life and overcome the enemy; but they want to do things their own way and not follow the rules of God. As we can see, we submit means to break our will to that of our Father. David Wilkerson wrote: You just cannot accept the will of God until you die to all self-will!

Our best model to submit to God is Jesus Christ. In Philippians 2:5-8 we read: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Voluntarily submit means giving control of our lives. And submission is something that’s hard for us to fulfill because, by nature, human beings do not like to submit to anyone. However, according to James 4:7, it is necessary that we submit to God before anything else to defeat the enemy.

How can we resist the devil? The answer is found in 1 Peter 5:8-9:  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. Our resistance to the enemy implies remain vigilant and steadfast in the faith.

Faith is what helps us to resist our enemy. Ephesians 6:16 reaffirms: above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. In summary, our submission to God and stand firm in the faith is the right strategy to get that the enemy escapes from our lives. If we are disobedient to what God tells us and falter in faith, we will be an easy target for the enemy, who is constantly sending to mind his lies. God bless you.

Born Again

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

John 3:3-7

The things of God may seem illogical when reasoning from the human point of view. When Jesus told Nicodemus that it was necessary to be born again to see the Kingdom of God, Nicodemus immediately imagined to an adult entering the womb of his mother to be born. Indeed, Jesus was not referring to a birth in the flesh but in an entirely different birth from the Spirit. That is the real and true second birth, which we need in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

Why you must be born again in the Spirit? When we are born from the womb of our mother we are born in the flesh. However, having the breath of life does not mean that our whole being is alive. There’s a part of us that is dead although we enjoy excellent health. That part is the spirit, which is dead because of sin. In this case, spiritual death means being separated from God, whose holiness is totally incompatible with sin. To be born again in the Spirit, then our own spirit receives life, which, contrary to the carnal life we ​​know, will never end because it is eternal life.

How are we born again? Born again involves restoring the relationship between God and man. That relationship was broken by sin and as Romans 6:23 says: For the wages of sin is death. Therefore, someone must die to pay the price for our sin. That someone was our Lord Jesus Christ, who took your place and mine on the cross of Calvary dying in atonement for our sins. But the Lord Jesus was not dead, but He raised again conquering sin and death. And thanks to Him, we have the opportunity to be born again of water and the Spirit and thus have access to see the Kingdom of God.

Romans 6:23 goes on to say: but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The new birth is not something we can buy or win; it is a beautiful gift that comes from God. Eternal life is not acquired its own right. It is impossible to be saved by our own works. Nor is there any guarantee of having eternal life because they belong to a particular church or by following certain rituals. Only through Jesus Christ and no one else, heavenly citizenship is acquired.

Being born again is what it says 2 Corinthians 5:17:  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Let us because in Christ so that the new birth we need to see the Kingdom of God and enjoy eternal life with our Heavenly Father occurs. God bless you.

Walking Toward the Goal

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

A very important part of the preparation of a trip is previously establishing its destination. Says a common popular saying in some countries of our America who does not know where to go he already arrived. It is necessary that we indicate the goal towards which we headed then toward it. The Bible gives several examples of travelers with clear goals and one such example is the following: Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah (Ruth 1:7).

This verse speaks of Naomi and her two daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth. The three were widows. When Naomi stayed without her husband and two children, she returned to her homeland in Bethlehem with her two daughters-in-law. At the end, only Ruth went with Naomi to the final destination. That’s something that can happen often in life, we take a trip with someone else to a designated destination, but some of our companions fall by the wayside. I think that has happened to us all.

To me it has happened to me many times and one of those happened during my time at university. Several dozen students began the career of chemical engineering with me, but at the time of graduation, only a dozen of us reached the goal. Many were at first, but others, who came to share pleasant moments and who joined me a beautiful friendship, I saw half returned to the race. Sad to leave companions before reaching the goal; but that is something that cannot be avoided.

Another verse that speaks of a goal or destination of travel is 1 Samuel 16:1: Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons. We gain nothing lamenting what we pass on our journey, even if some of our fellow travelers on the road stay. The second important message means that we must continue to reach the goal. Definitely, God always has a plan B and His plans are better than ours.

Jesus of Nazareth never stops until He reached His goal: Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem (Luke 13:33). Jesus’ goal was the cross of Calvary and He died for my sins and yours to give us a new opportunity to reconcile with our God restoring His original plan of a family relationship between our Creator and us. Imagine how lost we were if Jesus had not reached His goal. Now it’s your turn to walk toward the goal of the hand of Jesus Christ. God bless you.

God Exalts the Humble

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

1 Peter 5: 6

Humility seems to be a virtue endangered nowadays. The world urges us not to be humiliated by anyone. The media tell us that we have rights that no one should trample. Parades are made to show pride; but no parade is done to show humility. If God exalts the humble, but hates pride, you do not need to be a scientist to realize why things go wrong in the world. It is obvious that the relationship between God and humanity is not going through its best.

I remember something that happened to me while I was doing my doctoral studies in chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico. Once I was talking with several teachers and I called Doctor to a university official who had received me when I first came to it in 1986. One teacher corrected me a bluntly saying that this man was not a doctor. I realized his words pride and ostentation of those who acquire a doctorate in science.

The lack of humility is not limited to people of the world. It is painful to see people who are supposed to serve God, but whose pride it flows through the pores. There are striking cases of religious who are offended if they are not called pastor, apostle, reverend, prophet or evangelist. If we call a “unordered” servant as pastor, the complaint goes away. The same happens if you call pastor who feels the power to be called an apostle or prophet. That person is just as upset if told that his mother practiced the oldest profession in the world.

What did Jesus say? See Matthew 23:8-12:  But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

In the Kingdom of God is not greater who has the most sonorous titles, but he who serves all others. And our standard model is Jesus Christ himself, and says Philippians 2:5-11: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. God bless you.

Testifying to Jesus Christ

By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

1 Juan 4:13-15

Jesus Christ has been the most important figure in the history of mankind. The mere fact that the story itself is divided into before and after Christ states that no more than he has had so much influence. Despite all that, some even doubt His existence and categorized as a legendary being a myth invented a few religious fans two millennia ago.

In this century, the person of Jesus Christ is even more attacked and persecuted because in certain places, it is forbidden to pronounce His name. However, in these same places, the names of other religious leaders are said and respected. And all this is done by invoking the coexistence, free will and what is politically correct. From this point of view is correct allowed to venerate and mention the names of Buddha or Mohammed; but it is not right to pray in Jesus’ name. According to this policy, it is correct that Christians be quiet while everyone else may express themselves freely.

Is all this movement of coexistence according to what the apostle John says? The answer is not because the Bible encourages us to testify that Jesus is the Son of God and to confess Him with our mouth. Therefore, according to Scripture, Christians are called to pronounce our faith in public, not to remain silent while others proclaim theirs.

I know there is places in the world where to talk about Jesus Christ entails a great danger. But I think the reward of heaven is greater than any slip on Earth. God promises us, by His Word, to give us His Spirit and abide in us and that is worth everything in the world. The early Christians understood this very well because they lived persecution firsthand without holding back.

If we get carried away by our humanity probably we’d feel afraid to make known to others our faith. But all us as servants of Jesus Christ we have a great help to testify about Him. It is written: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and each of us is His temple. Therefore, we have power to testify about our Lord.

Do not feel afraid of what man can do us. Let’s do what we have. If we have received forgiveness of our sins, if we have been made heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of His Father, we have more than enough reasons to testify about Him and proclaim the good news of salvation to the nations, as is our mission in life. Do not be like those who through fear of death will let put on them the mark of the beast and perish anyway in the lake of fire. God bless you.