Friday 3-11-16 (La Lucila, Buenos Aires)
Scripture reading for today: Deut 16 – 18 Psalm 38 Gal 2
S=Scripture O=Observation A=Application P=Prayer SOAP for the soul.
S. Gal 2:16 “... 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.” NKJV
O. The Apostle Paul confronts a sect of Jewish Christians, that were insisting that the Gentiles Christians should be circumcised and, in effect, become Jews held under all their strict laws. Paul clearly saw that the “keeping of the law” had failed to save anyone, “for all have sinned and come short of the God’s glory”. (Rom 3:23) He announces that Christ died to give us salvation and an eternal inheritance with Him, not by our futile attempts at legal perfection, but by faith in the completed sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
A. The year was 1978. Martin and Charlotte Jacobson arrived at Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires. They were youth leaders in Kentucky and did not yet speak Spanish. They were in route to Chile with a box of New Testaments in modern Spanish (Dios Llega al Hombre). They were held up for most of an hour in customs. One of the custom officials had opened the New Testament and read something against “keeping the law”. But he immediately lost it again. And now four customs officials thumbed through the New Testament trying to find it again for most of an hour with no luck. Martin and Charlotte did not know what the problem was since they could not understand Spanish. Finally, I talked a guard into allowing me to enter and translate for them. When I realized what had happened, I immediately took them to Galatians chapter 2 and explained to them the meaning. Christ Jesus liberated us for the many cumbersome Jewish laws and offered us a new life, freedom by faith, trusting in His sacrifice in our place on the cross. We gave each of them a New Testament and they let Martin and Charlotte into Argentina with their box of books.
P. Lord Jesus, it is no small matter that confronted the early Church. Already Your Holy Spirit had helped their leaders to make a clear decision (Acts 15), but there arose a Jewish sect that refused to accept Your Perfect sacrifice on the cross as sufficient for salvation. Thank You, Lord, for raising up the Apostle Paul to stand firm, even against the Apostle Peter and his own traveling companion, Barnabas, when they both changed sides when these “Judaizers” showed up. I could never make it by keeping all those laws. Thank you for your abundant grace. Amen.