“And we know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” 1 Timothy 1:8
Dear Praying Friends and Family,
The Law of God
This has been a topic of discussion here lately. Are Christian believers under obligati on to obey the moral Law of God that is all the Ten Commandments? Are we free from the Law in some sense? Are we under grace? Are we free from the Law in every sense Yes, yes yes and no. As redeemed believers we are free from condemnation for breaking God’s Holy Law. By grace, through faith in the finished work of Jesus the Anointed Savior we are forgiven and saved and we live moment by moment in that grace.
But how do we live those moments? What standard do we follow day in and day out? If we are not seeking to live by the Lord’s moral Law then WE have set up some other standard. Or maybe our church has some standard which we try to obey. Our friend Francisco said that his church teaches that the Law of God is too hard to follow both for salvation and also for Christian living, so they follow traditions. But it is a sinful abomination to appoint for ourselves another rule in the place of the perfect Law of Christ revealed in His Word.
Perhaps it can be thought of in this way what is sin? “Whosoever commits sin, transgresses also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law.” 1 John 3:4. If you are a Christian and confess your sins regularly (as you should), what are you doing but telling God that you agree that you have not obeyed His Law and are repentant? We need to have clear that His Law is our rule of faith and conduct and that it is He is teaching us what it is to truly love God and man. And we need to have it clear that any obedience we have is due to His grace and the Holy Spirit working in us. We should not only read but meditate on Psalm 119.
As Christians the Law of God is no longer our enemy because our Savior has fulfilled it in both its blessing (by His perfect righteousness) and its curse (by His substitutionary We are justified through faith in Him. Now we love His Law! He has always loved it perfectly, and by grace we are being conformed to His image. Doing His will, revealed in His Word (Law) is how we show our gratefulness and honor Him. Jesus said, “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” He is love and His will for us is perfect love to Him and to our fellow men. We fall far short, but He is transforming us as we hearken to the preaching of His Word, meditate upon it and ask Him to enable us better to put it into practice. “We love Him because He first loved us.” We love imperfectly, but we love through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in us, who loves perfectly. Our imperfect love and works do in no way justify us before His throne, but they do serve as evidence of His grace to us and of our justification through Christ He would have us filled with good works! For example, Matt. 5:16; Gal.
6:10; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:11; Titus 2:14, 3:8, 14; James 1:22, 2:17-18.
Thank you for your prayers for our two daily Chilean students Joaquín and Isaac . We just finished reading Matthew with them during morning devotions and they continue to study and grow. Please pray for the Lord’s provision for them next year while we are on furlough. Also, please pray for a friend of theirs, Martín, who has expressed interest in studying at our house as well. We want to meet with his parents and discuss the possibilities. You may have prayed for them (Raúl and Mariela).
One of the bridges on our access road washed out near the end of June, and we were cut off for a few days. Thank you for your prayers for Don Alonso (Rosita’s husband) – he had a prostrate operation and is doing much better. Also the pain in Rosita’s feet has completely gone away! Please continue to pray for Don Alonso’s salvation
Also in June we began building a new house on our property. We sold half of our parcel in December and have used the funds for this smaller house. On the left is John Baptiste standing next to the new foundation walls; he turned five on June 30th. We had been planning to build it for many years to serve for Paul’s much needed study, for other purposes and/or as a guest home (originally it had been projected as a home for Paul’s dad who went home to His Lord in 2014), but we did not know how we were going to be able to move forward on this project. Praise the Lord it has turned out nicely and is nearly completed. Lord willing, we’ll tell you more about how the Lord is using it in our future letters; Paul may need to continue using our tiny multi purpose laundry room as his study for the time being. Paul and the builder (Germán) are now building the bookshelves, “the biggest conglomerate of bookshelves I [Paul] have yet worked on!” Suffice to say for now that the whole (house) project put a lot of added pressure on me from June through August. I´m glad it has slowed down now as Don Germán will now just come on Saturdays until the house is finished In the house.
Finally in June we also celebrated Josiah’s 19th birthday with several
friends he has made at Las Lomas (and El Faro) and at Taekwondo.
July and August
In July we celebrated Anna’s graduation from high school! We also met and were able to visit with Daniel’s wife Karen. Please pray for them as Karen has been having a difficult pregnancy. Please keep Sammy in prayer also as he has been at our Las Lomas Bible classes many times, and the other children.
We have had a couple of Bible studies with Francisco and Marjorie each month in which Victor has also participated a few times. Victor´s nephew Máximo has also spent some time with our family here, and on other days we enjoyed getting to know three newer friends from Taekwondo, Luis, Teo and Caro. Julio has continued with homi letics (preaching) theory and practice. We are thankful for his extra help during these months.
In mid-August we hosted our largest social gathering yet with friends from Taekwo ndo, El Faro, Julio and his sisters and Francisco and Marjorie and t heir boys. Our home was quite full. Julio’s sister Rocio and her husband José Luis and their girls arrived late in the afternoon and we enjoyed a blessed fellowship with them again for a few days. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper together on the Lord’s Day with Julio and Johanna who left early on Monday, and our Katie and Faith were received to participate for the first time in the sacrament.
It has been good to have increased contact with many people during these past months. Please pray for open doors to present the Gospel and minister to their hearts.
August has also been a month for funerals. Please pray for our friends from Chiguayante, Milenka and Rita, and their families, as each of their fathers went home to the Lord recently. Isaiah and Sarah are with their grandfather in Missouri until mid October; Geneva, Josiah and Anna handled the Resource Center class time by themselves (without our little ones) once as Paul and Julio attended one of the funerals. Abraham, Solange, Consuelo and Connie were present.
And finally, Paul began teaching N.T. Greek again on the 31st. Please pray for the students.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
In the Grace of Christ our Redeemer,
Paul and Cheryl Durand and family