Los papeles complementarios de la gracia, las obras y la obediencia

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Los papeles complementarios de la gracia, las obras y la obediencia

Al igual que Juan el Bautista, Jesús dijo que debemos producir fruto: “El que permanece en mí, y yo en él, éste lleva mucho fruto . . . En esto es glorificado mi Padre, en que llevéis mucho fruto, y seáis así mis discípulos” (John 15:5-8 John 15:5-8 5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.
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Algunos se confunden al darse cuenta de que Jesús espera que demos fruto; tales personas suponen que, de algún modo, debemos ganar nuestra salvación. Pero por supuesto, es imposible que nos la ganemos. La salvación es un don gratuito de Dios que no merecemos; jamás podríamos hacernos acreedores a la salvación, ni en cien vidas llenas de buenas obras.

No podemos ser salvos por nuestras obras. Sólo el sacrificio de la sangre derramada de Jesucristo puede lavar nuestros pecados. No podemos lograrlo ni con nuestros pensamientos ni con nuestras acciones. Debido a que Cristo vive y está activamente ocupado en nuestra conversión, seremos salvos por su vida. El apóstol Pablo lo dijo claramente: “Dios muestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros. Pues mucho más, estando ya justificados en su sangre, por él seremos salvos de la ira. Porque si siendo enemigos, fuimos reconciliados con Dios por la muerte de su Hijo, mucho más, estando reconciliados, seremos salvos por su vida” (Romans 5:8-10 Romans 5:8-10 8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
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). Al vivir Cristo en nosotros, nos capacita para hacer buenas obras (Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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Gracia, obras y obediencia son términos complementarios, no contradictorios. La palabra gracia significa “don” o “favor”. La salvación, o vida eterna, es un don que recibimos por gracia (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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; Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
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). Ninguna obra ni esfuerzo de nuestra parte podrá ganarnos jamás la vida eterna. Sin embargo, la vida eterna no es gratuita: Cristo pagó por ella con su vida para que pudiéramos recibir el don de la salvación (Acts 20:28 Acts 20:28Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
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Hay condiciones para obtener la vida eterna

Dios impone ciertas condiciones para recibir el don de la vida eterna. La primera es el arrepentimiento. El arrepentimiento no nos hace ganar nada; no merecemos favor alguno por habernos arrepentido. No obstante, es un requisito. ¿Por qué? Porque si no nos arrepentimos, no podemos ser perdonados (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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). Dios no perdonará a quienes se empeñen en seguir pecando. Pablo escribió: “¿Qué, pues, diremos? ¿Perseveraremos en el pecado para que la gracia abunde? En ninguna manera. Porque los que hemos muerto al pecado, ¿cómo viviremos aún en él?” (Romans 6:1-2 Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
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Debemos cambiar el rumbo de nuestra vida como requisito para recibir el don de la salvación. Eso es lo que enseñaron tanto Jesús como los apóstoles. A Pablo se le ordenó que predicara a judíos y a gentiles para que “se arrepintiesen y se convirtiesen a Dios, haciendo obras dignas de arrepentimiento” (Acts 26:20 Acts 26:20But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
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). Las obras demuestran nuestro arrepentimiento hacia Dios, pero jamás nos darán el derecho de exigirle nada de modo que podamos ufanarnos de merecer la vida eterna. Eso jamás podrá ser.

Dios espera que tengamos buenas obras en nuestra vida para demostrarle nuestro arrepentimiento y el amor y la fe que le tenemos. Santiago afirma explícitamente que “la fe sin obras es muerta” (James 2:20 James 2:20But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
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, James 2:26 James 2:26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
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), y Pablo dice que Dios nos salva por gracia mediante la fe a fin de que tengamos buenas obras, aunque éstas no nos hacen merecedores de la salvación: “Por gracia sois salvos por medio de la fe; y esto no de vosotros, pues es don de Dios; no por obras, para que nadie se gloríe. Porque somos hechura suya, creados en Cristo Jesús para buenas obras,  las cuales Dios preparó de antemano para que anduviésemos en ellas” (Ephesians 2:8-10 Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
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). ¿Por qué es tan difícil entender y aceptar este concepto? Simplemente se trata de seguir las pisadas de Jesucristo imitando su ejemplo (1John 2:6 John 2:6And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
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El propósito de las buenas obras

¿Cuál es el propósito de las buenas obras? Jesús dijo: “Así alumbre vuestra luz delante de los hombres, para que vean vuestras buenas obras, y glorifiquen a vuestro Padre que está en los cielos” (Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
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). Aunque nuestras obras no nos hacen acreedores a la vida eterna, sí glorifican o dan honra a Dios; y Dios exige que le honremos con nuestra manera de vivir. Quienes se niegan a hacer buenas obras —vivir en armonía con la ley de Dios— están deshonrando a Dios aunque no se den cuenta. “Profesan conocer a Dios, pero con los hechos lo niegan, siendo abominables y rebeldes, reprobados en cuanto a toda buena obra” (Titus 1:16 Titus 1:16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.
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¿Pueden las obras hacernos merecedores de algo? Revelation 20:12 Revelation 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
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dice que los muertos serán juzgados “según sus obras”. En John 14:2-3 John 14:2-3 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
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, Jesús dijo que iba “a preparar lugar” para sus seguidores. En el Reino de Dios habrá muchas posiciones de autoridad y gobierno, y Dios las concederá a quienes sean vencedores (Revelation 2:26 Revelation 2:26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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; Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
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). Los santos resucitados reinarán con Jesucristo (Revelation 20:4-6 Revelation 20:4-6 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
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). Si nos sometemos a Dios y seguimos la guía de su Espíritu, podremos hacer buenas obras e ir desarrollando el carácter justo y recto que nos permitirá reinar con Jesucristo.

Aunque nuestras obras no nos proporcionan la salvación, sí determinan nuestra recompensa en el Reino de Dios. Jesús lo explicó en la parábola de los talentos (Matthew 25:20-29 Matthew 25:20-29 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are an hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strewed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: see, there you have that is yours. 26 His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed: 27 You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents. 29 For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has.
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). Nuestro Señor también lo dijo claramente en Revelation 22:12 Revelation 22:12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
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: “He aquí yo vengo pronto, y mi galardón conmigo, para recompensar a cada uno según sea su obra”. Y en el versículo 14 agrega: “¡Dichosos los que guardan sus Mandamientos, para que tengan derecho al árbol de la vida, y entren por las puertas en la ciudad!” (Nueva Reina-Valera).

Por la gracia de Dios, se les dará la vida eterna a quienes le demuestren su fe y su obediencia.