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Santo de los Últimos Días: ¿Estaría de acuerdo de tomar el desafío de los Romanos?

By Eric Johnson

Life comes with presuppositions. No matter who he is, every aspect of his life has influenced him, from the culture (where he grew up) to the people in his community (starting with his parents and continuing with his teachers and friends). You have been influenced, even without realizing it.

When one travels to another country, this is easy to see. For example, consider how people think, and act, let’s say, China, compared to the people who grew up in Saudi Arabia. Unless you have lived there, the two cultures seem strange to you. Although everyone has certain individual traits, determining what our upbringing and our background has been will help explain who we are as people.

We must understand something, however. The truth is very limited. Either there is gravity … or it does not exist. If it’s spring, then it’s not autumn. And if the water requires an hour of freezing to form ice cubes, then it would be pointless to put a glass of water in the microwave and wait for ice to form, it will not form, no matter how long they are there.

The same applies to religious faith. When we compare two different religions that are contrary to each other (for example, who is God? What is required for “salvation” and what are the scriptures?), It is impossible for both to be true. . The principle of “non-contradiction” is a classic principle of logic that says that nothing can be and not be at the same time and in the same sense (eg, a 100% cotton shirt can not also be 100% wool). In religious terms, if Islam is true, (that there is only one God – Allah, salvation comes through following the Five Pillars of Faith, and that true writing is the Koran), then by definition, Hinduism ( that there are many gods, salvation comes through reincarnation / karma, and writing includes the Veda) can not be true. Consider the first example; it is impossible that there is only one God in existence, (excluding all other gods) and yet there are other gods at the same time. The two beliefs mutually refute each other.

When considering the truth of the Bible, there are important tests we can do to see if this collection of old books is authoritative. (I recommend you visit here for more information on this topic.) Let’s assume that we can really trust the Bible as the Word of God for us today. The only way we can know what he teaches is by reading his words (in context) to be able to fairly determine what the original authors of the 66 books meant.

The book of Romans was written in Corinth by the Apostle Paul around 57 AD during Paul’s third missionary journey (see Acts 20). It was written for a Christian audience, mostly Gentile (Romans 1:13). This book presents the gospel message systematically in a direct way. His themes of faith and works, law and grace, sin and justice, and judgment and justification dominate the entire work. Reconciliation with God is the reward for having true faith.

Do you think it is important to read the Bible? If the answer is yes, then I would like to challenge you to read the book of Romans. Although the Reina-Valera version is the standard of a long time ago, we would like to recommend that you read the book of Romans in a more modern (and therefore more understandable) version such as the New Latin American Bible of Today, the New International Version or the New Living Translation. A good translation takes the original language (Greek in the New Testament) and converts the meaning into understandable words into Spanish. The original meaning should not be changed from what was originally the intention of the author. What can be wrong with reading (once) a different version? (A good website where you can find a good translation is where you can read the mentioned translations.)

Whichever version you choose, read the book of Romans completely (non-stop, if you can). Taking some notes (with references to the verses) will help you understand what the author says. Underline the most important verses as well. Ask yourself, “Does my religious system match the message that Paul has written in this book?” If it does, then it is on the right track. If it does not match, then perhaps you should consider the possibility that your religion is not as biblical as you had thought.

We suggest that you stop at this point and stop reading until you have had the opportunity to read the book of Romans. You must come to your own conclusion regarding this topic. When you are finished, we invite you to return to this page 4 to discuss the gospel of Christ.

Welcome back!

I’m glad you came back after reading the book of Romans. With your notes, compare to see if we are the same think.

First, let’s look at my personal list of the 25 most important verses – I bet many of them are the same ones that you have underlined. Some verses I have combined with one or two others to be able to give a better context. Please review the comments after each passage (What does this passage say?) And see if my analysis fits the original context.

KEY VERSES of Romans (of the NIV)

1. Romans 1: 16-17: ” Truly, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe: of the Jews first, but also of the Gentiles. In fact, the gospel reveals the justice that comes from God, which is by faith from beginning to end, as it is written: “The just shall live by faith.” ‘”

What does this passage say?

  1. True salvation comes to “all who believe.”

2. Romans 1:20: ” Since the creation of the world the invisible qualities of God, that is, his eternal power and his divine nature, are clearly perceived through what he created, so that no one has an excuse .”

What does this passage say?

  1. God has revealed himself since the beginning of the world.
  2. This “general revelation” can be seen by the very creation of the world (for example the design of the world as it is could not be done without an architect – the Great Designer – who would have designed it).
  3. Everyone has to give an account to the fact that there is a God.
  4. Essentially, everyone knows – in the depths – that there is more than can be verified empirically.

3. Romans 2:29: ” The true Jew is inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, which is performed by the Spirit, not the written commandment. Those who are Jewish like that praise God and not the people.

What does this passage say?

  1. “The circumcision” referred to here is not a surgery to the body organ of man, but is a reference to the transformation of the heart.
  2. A person can not please God in a legalistic way by following “the written commandment” (the law).
  3. Essentially, God is more interested in a person’s heart and attitude than their actions (see 1 Samuel 15:21, Hosea 6: 6).

4. Romans 3:20: ” Therefore, no one will be justified in the presence of God to do the works required by law; rather, through the law we become aware of sin . “

 What does this passage say?

  1. It is impossible to please God merely by following the rules and regulations of the Old Testament law.
  2. The purpose of the law is to help people understand that no one meets God’s standards.
  3. Essentially, no one can keep the entire law, which was originally given to help people understand that they needed help to recover from their condition.

5. Romans 3: 22-24: ” This righteousness of God comes, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe. In fact, there is no distinction, because all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God, but by his grace they are justified gratuitously through the redemption that Christ Jesus made. “

What does this passage say?

  1. A person receives justice through faith (believing).
  2. All have sinned, and do not reach what God originally wanted.
  3. Believers are justified by grace through what Jesus did, and not by something they can do themselves.
  4. Essentially, they are all sinners but they can be forgiven for the work of Jesus on the cross.

6. Romans 3:28: ” For we hold that we are all justified by faith, and not by the works that the law demands .”

What does this passage say?

  1. Justification comes “only by faith” (these are the exact words of this verse in Joseph Smith’s translation, or Inspired Version).
  2. We can not win the justification for our “good” works.
  3. Essentially, carefully keeping the law and observing its precepts will never cause a person to enter heaven, because the law is impossible to keep.

7. Romans 4: 4-5: ” Now, when someone works, the salary is not taken into account as a favor but as a debt. However, to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who justifies the wicked, faith is taken into account as justice . “

What does this passage say?

  1. The paycheck is earned based on one’s work, and is not received as a gift.
  2. A person who is a sinner and trusts in God does not receive justification on his own merits.
  3. It is the faith of the person who is credited with justice (see Hebrews chapter 11).
  4. Essentially, it is impossible to work for salvation (justification), because it only occurs through faith.

8. Romans 4: 23-24: ” And this thing that was ‘taken into account’ was not written only for Abraham, but also for us. God will take our faith into account as righteousness, for we believe in Him who raised up Jesus from the dead. “

What does this passage say?

  1. As with Abraham, God “accredits” justice to those who believe in the biblical Jesus.
  2. If God gives justice, then it is impossible to gain justice.
  3. Essentially, the credit of justice is only available to those who are Christians who have faith.

9. Romans 5: 1-2:  ” Consequently, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Also through him, and through faith, we have access to this grace in which we stand firm. So we rejoice in the hope of attaining the glory of God . “

What does this passage say?

  1. Repeat the theme of the last two chapters: Justification comes “only by faith.”
  2. It is possible to have peace with God because of this justification (see Phil 4: 7).
  3. This justification comes only by the grace of God (see Ephesians 2: 8-9).
  4. It is even possible to “boast” of what God has done for the justified believer.
  5. Essentially, there is a hope that a Christian has that only comes through faith (and not personal efforts).

10. Romans 5: 8: ” But God shows his love for us in this: that when we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

What does this passage say?

  1. God loves us so much that Jesus was commanded to die for our sin.
  2. We are justified by the sacrifice that Jesus made.
  3. This means that believers will not have to suffer the wrath of God that was due to sin.
  4. Essentially, the atonement of Jesus has freed us from an eternity in hell.

11. Romans 5:19:But the transgression of Adam can not be compared to the grace of God. For if by the transgression of one man all died, how much more the gift that came by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for all!

What does this passage say?

  1. Adam’s sin brought condemnation to every person (which is contrary to the message of 2 Nephi 2:25).
  2. The work of the atonement of Jesus on the cross made it possible for people to become righteous (through believing).
  3. Essentially, Jesus’ work is more powerful (fully effective) compared to the consequences of the sin that came through the sin of Adam.

12. Romans 6: 1-2: ” What shall we conclude? Are we going to persist in sin, so that grace may abound? No way! We, who have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?

What does this passage say?

  1. Just because a Christian has been saved by grace does not mean that he should intentionally sin.
  2. If the believer has died to sin, then he will not want to sin “like the devil.”
  3. Essentially, the Christian can not get more grace by sinning more – such an idea is logically fallible.

 13. Romans 6:12: Therefore, do not allow sin to reign in your mortal body, nor obey your evil desires.

What does this passage say?

  1. Good works are important … but only after a person has been justified by faith. 
  2. Believers should not practice sin intentionally (see Gal 5: 22-25).
  3. Essentially, Christians (who have already been saved) must discipline themselves to live lives of justice.

14. Romans 6: 22-23: ” But now that they have been set free from sin and put themselves at the service of God, they reap the holiness that leads to eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, while the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. “

What does this passage say?

  1. Christians are no longer under the bondage of sin.
  2. This means that they are no longer forced to bow to the demands of sin.
  3. Holiness is vital in the process of sanctification.
  4. Untreated (unforgiven) sin leads to eternal death.
  5. God has provided the believer with a gift, eternal life, which can not be purchased but can only be found in a true relationship with Jesus.
  6. Essentially, the Christian is freed from mortal sin and has received eternal life as a gift.

 15. Romans 7: 4: ” Likewise, my brethren, you died to the law through the crucified body of Christ, in order to belong to him who was raised from the dead. In this way we will bear fruit for God . “

What does this passage say?

  1. The law of the Old Testament has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ (see Matt 5:18).
  2. Because the law has died, then we are “divorced” from sins and thereafter released from our obligation.
  3. Essentially, we already follow another (Jesus), the one who was resurrected from the dead.
  4. Our purpose to already be justified is to be sanctified.
  5. Essentially, Christians are no longer in debt to the law, but to grace.

16. Romans 7: 18-20: ” I know that in me, that is, in my sinful nature, nothing good dwells. Although I want to do good, I am not capable of doing it. In fact, I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it but the sin that dwells in me. “

What does this passage say?

  1. Because of my sin, I can never be good enough.
  2. It’s not because I do not want to do good – it’s just that my sin prevents me from being “good.”
  3. I do the things I do not want, is that sin is at my disposal.
  4. My sinful nature is so powerful that I naturally tend to follow that path.
  5. Essentially, no one – not even a saved Christian – can achieve “perfection” in this life.

17. Romans 8: 1-2: ” Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are united to Christ Jesus,  for through him the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death.

What does this passage say?

  1. Those who have a relationship with Jesus are no longer under the condemnation of sin.
  2. The condemnation of sin (death) has been replaced by the Holy Spirit.
  3. Essentially, the freedom from sin and death is given by God to the Christian believer.

18. Romans 8: 12-13: ” Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation, but it is not to live according to the sinful nature. Because if you live according to it, you will die; but if by means of the Spirit they put to death the bad habits of the body, they will live . “

What does this passage say?

  1. Our obligation as believers is not to the world and the flesh.
  2. Those who have not been forgiven will die both physically and spiritually (eternally).
  3. Those who are forgiven will die physically, but not spiritually (eternally).
  4. Essentially, Christians are commanded to live according to the way God wants them to live.

19.  Romans 8: 38-39: ” For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, nor the present nor the future, nor the powers, nor the high nor the deep, nor thing some in all creation, you can separate us from the love that God has shown us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What does this passage say?

  1. Nothing can separate the believer from the love of God.
  2. We can know that we are forgiven and that we have eternal life (see 1 John 5:13).
  3. We repeat that by being justified, we become children of God (see 8:13).
  4. Essentially, once an individual has Jesus in their heart, the love of God can not be separated from that individual.

20. Romans 9:16: ” Therefore, the election does not depend on human desire or effort but on the mercy of God .”

What does this passage say?

  1. Salvation is not based on what we do. 
  2. It is based on God’s forgiveness provided through his mercy (He does not give us what we deserve, which is eternal death). Essentially, mercy can not be merited by the good works of man.

21.  Romans 10: 9-10, 13: ” If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Because with the heart one believes to be justified, but with the mouth one confesses to be saved … because “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. ‘”

 What does this passage say?

  1. He must believe that Jesus is his Lord.
  2. You must accept the resurrection of Jesus as true.
  3. His belief means that he is justified before God.
  4. Our belief of the heart is confirmed by what we proclaim with our lips.
  5. Everyone who calls on the name of the true God is saved.
  6. Essentially, the resurrection to life only comes to those who believe in the biblical Jesus.

22. Romans 12: 1-2: ” Therefore, brethren, taking into account the mercy of God, I pray that each of you, in spiritual worship, offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Do not conform to the current world, but be transformed by renewing your mind. This way they will be able to verify which is the will of God, good, pleasant and perfect . “

What does this passage say?

  1. Offer yourself as a “living sacrifice” – dead to sin, live in Christ, to be able to have true praise.
  2. Do not allow sin (the typical pattern of this world) to continue to dominate you.
  3. Renew your mind (what you think affects the way you behave).
  4. Only then can he know what God wants him to do – he can live righteously for Him, and not follow past patterns.
  5. Essentially, Christians can know God’s intentions when they surrender completely to God.

23. Romans 13:14: ” Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not worry about satisfying the desires of the sinful nature .”

What does this passage say?

  1. Live a sanctified life – this is possible after a person has received the Holy Spirit.
  2. Do not satisfy the desires of the flesh.
  3. Essentially, Christians should put on Jesus, not their fleshly desires.

24. Romans 14: 8: ” If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, for the Lord we die. So, whether we live or die, we are the Lord.

What does this passage say?

  1. Christ must be present in every aspect of the believer’s life.
  2. No matter what happens – in life or death – the believer belongs to God.
  3. Essentially, the Christian can live for Jesus 100% and without fear.

25. Romans 15:17: ” Therefore my service to God is a source of pride for me in Christ Jesus .”

What does this passage say?

  1. Essentially, Christians, as redeemed believers, do everything for the glory of God (see Col. 3:23).

Now let’s summarize these 25 verses (and the whole book of Romans) in 12 points:

1. God has manifested, both through general revelation, as well as through special revelation (provided for us in His Word – see 2 Tim 3: 15-16).

2. All have been born in sin.

3. By following alone, we will continue to be dominated by our sin, which leads to spiritual death.

4. However, Jesus Christ came to this earth to redeem His people (see Matt 1:21) through his redemptive work on the cross (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).

5. Anyone who accepts Jesus as Savior becomes a new creation in Christ (see 2 Cor 5:17).

6. For such a person – we will call him ‘Christian’ – sin loses its power and its sting (see 1 Cor 15: 55-57).

7. Legally, God looks upon Christians as forgiven people, although we do not become perfect.

8. Once the Christian has been justified before God through faith, he or she is no longer under the power of sin.

9. If this is the case, then Christians should no longer live according to the demands of sin.

10. This will be a battle – it is a struggle, as Paul says – the very fact that it is a struggle means that the awareness that the Holy Spirit provides us is active and warns us about sinful desires.

11. Christians bring glory to God through good works, but it should be noted that they are not the works that in the first place puts the believer well with God.

12. In conclusion, the Christian can “glory in Jesus Christ” in serving him for the rest of his life.

The book of Romans presents the gospel so powerfully. It is so different from any other religion in the world. It is because in all the philosophies / religions of the world outside of Christianity they ask, “What can I do for God?” In order to obtain His Justice. Therefore, it is required that:

  • Muslim obey the Five Pillars of Faith;
  • The Hindu and the Buddhist meditate and hope to reach a better place when they become extinct;
  • The Jew must keep the law;
  • The Jehovah’s Witness has the obligation to follow the teachings of the Watchtower organization, by studying the teachings of this group in journals and in books.

If the followers of these religions were asked that if they died at this moment, they would go to the best place offered by their religion, they could not answer with certainty that they did.

Based on the book of Romans, would you consider yourself a “Christian”?

Since this article appears on a site addressed to Latter-day Saints (note that this is the first time we have mentioned the term LDS or Mormon), consider what 2 Nephi 25:23 says in the Book of Mormon: ” for we know that it is by the grace for which we are saved, after doing what we can. “Meanwhile, Doctrine and Covenants 14: 7 quotes God as saying,” And if you keep my commandments and persevere to the end, you will have eternal life , which is the greatest of all the gifts of God. “(This raises the question, how can one consider something as a gift if the person must do something -” keep the commandments “- to obtain it?)

Is the message of these two Mormon scriptures the same as that described by Paul in the book of Romans? Let’s consider some of the teachings of the Mormon presidents to see what they think about this topic:

  • Second President Brigham Young: “Every ordinance, every commandment and requirement is necessary for the salvation of the human family” ( Discourses of Brigham Young , page 152. Also see the church manual  Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young , page 18).
  • 4th President Wilford Woodruff: “HOW TO GET COMPLETE SALVATION” If I obtain salvation, it will be through keeping the laws of God “( The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff , page 23. Also see the church manual  Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff , p.71).
  •  5th President Lorenzo Snow: “The true Gospel requires works.” ( The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow , pp. 16-17).
  • 6th President Joseph F. Smith: “I do not believe that man is saved in this life through believing, or professing to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that he must persevere to the end and keep the commandments that are given” ( Conference Reports , April 1915, p 119).
  • 10th President Joseph Fielding Smith: “One of the most pernicious doctrines ever advocated by man is the doctrine of ‘justification by faith’ which has entered the hearts of millions since the days of the so-called ‘reformation'” ( The Restoration of All Things, 1964, p 192).
  • “We are required to do everything we can do for ourselves. We must make our own repentance; we are required to obey each commandment and live according to each word that comes from the mouth of God. If we do this, then we are freed from the consequences of our own sins. The plan of salvation is based on this foundation. No man can be saved without first obeying these laws “(Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection , page 172).
  • 12th President Spencer W. Kimball: “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan, and that man proposes, is that mankind is saved only by the grace of God” and that faith alone in Jesus Christ is all that is required for salvation. “( The Miracle of Forgiveness , page 207. Also see the church manual   The Book of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121 and 122, 1989, p.36).
  • 16 o President Thomas S. Monson: “God our Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord, have indicated the path to perfection. He calls us to follow eternal truths and to become perfect, just as they are perfect (see Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 12:48) “(” An Invitation to Exaltation, ” Liahona (Conference Edition), May 1988, p. 54).

Are these teachings consistent with those of other leaders? Consider:

  • The Apostle Francis M. Lyman, “Without works of righteousness it is not possible to save a man” (July 19, 1896, [stake conference message], Collected Discourses 5: 164).
  • The Apostle John A. Widtsoe: “We must pay for everything we get. If we do something, we will receive something; if we do nothing, we receive nothing. This is a universal principle, seen from the economy to religion, whether on earth or in heaven. The price will not always be great, but you should always pay. Only by paying the price can we present a claim to our possessions. Only by paying the price, and to that degree, can we expect the joy that is the objective of existence. . . The difference between the two doctrines is between truth and non-truth, between light and darkness. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in full opposition to any doctrine that does not require that man, when provided with the means, show himself worthy daily, in order to reach earthly and heavenly delights (An Understandable Religion , pp. 80, 83).
  • The Apostle Elray L. Christiansen: “My brothers and sisters, we should all be proud of our ancestors. Some of us, however, forget the saying ‘no matter how tall your grandfather was, you have to grow up on your own.’ So in this grandiose Church – we have to realize that salvation is an individual matter, that no one of us can enter the celestial kingdom being carried away by another. We must gain our own position, both here and in the hereafter. Merely recognizing that God lives and that this is the Church of Jesus Christ will not save us, but saves us the application of this knowledge by doing good works “( Conference Reports, October 1952, pp. 53-54).
  • The Apostle LeGrand Richards: “The erroneous teaching of many Christian churches is that only by faith we are saved. This false doctrine would free man from the responsibility of his actions, apart from confessing some belief in a God, and he would teach that no matter how great the sin, a confession will result in salvation and complete forgiveness. “( A Marvelous Work and a Wonder , p.24).
  • The Apostle Mark E. Petersen: “Not even God’s blessings come without our putting our own effort. We must earn them through obedience to the laws that are fundamental to us “( Faith Works !, p 298).
  • The Apostle Bruce R. McConkie: “Salvation comes through obedience to the entire law of the whole gospel. Joseph Smith said: ‘The person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to keep the celestial law, in addition to the whole law.’ Therefore, a man can be condemned for one sin “( Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 3: 256).
  • “‘Salvation is free’ (2 Ne. 2: 4), but you also have to buy; and the price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel “(Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 3: 461).
  • Member of the First Presidency Marion G. Romney: “There will be no way for rulers to take us through those gates of heaven. Neither can one get to be carried on the back of another. Every man must enter based on his own merits. This has to be learned here and now. “(” In Mine Own Way, ” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1976, pp. 124-125).
  • Apostle Boyd K. Packer: “Even the grace of God promised in the scriptures comes only after doing ‘as much as we can'” (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Liahona (Conference Edition), November 1995, p.19) .
  • The Apostle Neil A. Maxwell: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, along with the great gift of universal and personal resurrection, there is also the personal possibility of meriting eternal life” (“Applying the Atoning Blood of Christ,” Liahona (Conference Edition), November 1997, page 23).
  • The Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin: “The love of God is complete and without limit for you and for all mankind. He is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He is perfectly kind and understands his circumstances and condition. He knows you more than you know yourself. Because your Heavenly Father is perfect, you can have complete faith in Him. You can keep His commandments through striving to do so. ‘Are they all God’s commandments?’ Maybe he wondered. Yes! All of them! “(” Growing into the Priesthood, ” Liahona (Conference Edition), November 1999, p.40)

These are just some quotes from LDS leaders that explain what Mormonism says a person must do to obtain salvation (justification). After reading the book of Romans, would you say that these leaders are successful in their evaluations? If not, is it possible that Mormonism is not teaching biblical truth?

For more information, we invite you to take a closer look at our website. If you have questions or would like to know about how to know that you are justified and have eternal life, then please contact us at ( [email protected] ). We really care.

Translation to Spanish

Bethany Ríos-Martínez

To see a list of churches in Utah recommended by MRM, visit here .

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