Pastor Jay post:
Typically Reformed Christians have always believed in the third use of the law. The third use of the law is that the moral laws of God or the Ten Commandments are morally binding on the Christian and a normative pattern for the Christian life.
The third use of the law teaches that the moral law becomes a rule of life for the believer. In the Geneva Catechism Calvin asks, “What is the rule of life which God has given us?” The answer, “His law.” Calvin says, “The law shows the mark at which we ought to aim, the goal to which we ought to press, that each of us, according to the measure of grace bestowed upon him, may endeavor to frame his life according to the highest rectitude, and by constant study, continually advance more and more.” 
One must guard the fact that this does not mean that one must keep the moral law of God in order to be justified as this would be salvation by works of the law, the very thing that Paul denounces so often in his writings (cf. Gal 2:16 | Rom 3:20-21). But although no one can be justified by keeping the moral law of God, this is not to say that the standard of the law has been abolished. The Christian ought to continue to aim at the moral law of God as his standard for sanctification (cf. Rom 3:31 | Rom 8:1-4). Consider what Thomas Schreiner in his commentary concerning Romans 3:31,which says, “Therefore do we abolish the law by faith God forbid we establish the law.” Schreiner says,
“The moral norms of the law still function as the authoritative will of God for the believers (Murray). The idea is not precisely that the law is fulfilled by faith in Christ (contra moo) but rather that those who have faith in Christ will keep the law. Paul does not expand on this point here, but as in 3:8 he touches upon a point that will receive more extended discussion later. He wants to guard against a common misunderstanding here: some have objected that if righteousness is not through the law then the law is abolished… Righteousness apart from the law’s commands does not mean that believers can dispense with the moral norms of the law.” 
Schreiner brings up a very important point. Just because we are not justified by the works of the law but we are justified by faith then we do not dispense with the moral law of God. But many in evangelicalism think exactly this. They reason that since one is not justified by works of the law but only through faith then the New Testament Christian does not have anything to do now with the moral law of God. This is an error in understanding not only what the Bible teaches as a whole but also an error in the proper understanding of the nature of saving faith and of the effects of regeneration.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 shows that when we are regenerated then God writes his laws upon our hearts and puts them in our minds. But what law is he speaking of here in Jeremiah? The law that he is speaking of is the moral law of God or what is known as the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments). These are the moral laws of God that show us what God requires of his creatures in every age. The difference of the Old Covenant from the New Covenant is that God takes those commands that were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone and now writes them on the fleshly tablets of our heart (2 cor 3:3). The Christian now has an internal work of God in his soul and he intuitively knows what pleases and displeases God. He delights in the holiness of God as it is manifested in his law. The Law flows from the nature of God through the finger of God and becomes engraved on stones (Exod 31:18) but in the New Covenant God’s moral precepts are placed in human hearts via regeneration of the Spirit. What an awesome idea that the moral law of God which flows from God’s very nature revealed to us through tablets of stone written by the finger of God (Exod 31:18), and now these same moral precepts flow directly into the human hearts engraved on the fleshly tablets of our hearts by the Spirit of God (Jer. 31:31-34). God wrote his moral law on tablets of hard stone by his finger in the Old Covenant but in the New Covenant he writes his laws on fleshly soft hearts with the Holy Spirit.
Therefore true salvation is anything but anti-nomian. Those who are truly saved will do as Paul did and delight in the law of God in his inner man (Rom 7:22). They will have been transformed from law haters (Romans 8:7-8) into law lovers ( Psalm 119:113). They will go on to do good works that are in keeping in conformity to the moral law of God (James 2:14-21), and will be guided by the Holy Spirit to do the things which please him (Ezek 36:26-28).
Therefore we do not want to give up this doctrine of the third use of the law. It is vital for protection against anti- nomianism which is a problem in every age. If we give up this doctrine we will bring carnality into the church, give false assurance of salvation to carnal professing believers and weaken the power of the gospel. Some may falsely suppose that they are protecting the gospel by denouncing this doctrine of the third use of the law but they are in essence compromising the gospel by cheating it of its power. The gospel has the power to save and to transform from within. God’s people will progress in holiness until they are called home to their Lord. We must be confident in God’s ability to do these things and learn to wait upon him and his grace (Phil 1:3-4).
 Article by Joel Beeke found on the website www..monergism.com.
 Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans, in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998), 208.
I thank God that Scripture is so clear on certain issues. Certainly some issues are not as clear as others, but God is very clear about the issue of Christian character. One place where we can see God’s design for women is in Titus chapter 2:3-5.
“the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” – Titus 2:3–5 (NKJV)
Here we see what should be the goal of every Christian woman, whether young or old. Paul covers both, older and younger women which proves that every woman is included and none are left out. We must know that all women no matter what age are called to exhibit these character traits. First of all, we are told that the older women are to be reverent in behavior. This word has the meaning of being priest like in the original Greek. This does not mean that we believe in a priesthood as in the Catholic religion, but Paul is using this word to describe that the conduct of older women should be holy and reverent in their behavior, as an Old Testament priest’s conduct was also reverent.
Next Paul says that these women are not to be slanderers. Women of God should not gossip or bring false accusations against other people. The word used for slander is a word in the Greek that actually means devil and we know that the devil is a slanderer and gossip. Women should be busy about the business of their home and should not be engaged in gossip or slander, which is the devil’s work.
Then we read that godly women should not be given too much wine. The wording here means that they should not be enslaved to wine. A Christian woman must always be careful where alcohol is concerned and never use it in an abusive manner. Abstinence from alcohol is not being mandated but prudence and wisdom when using alcohol is mandated. When using alcohol she must also think about others and not cause others to stumble; she also is never to glorify her use of alcoholic beverages. Use it but do not abuse it is Paul’s advice. Let us all never flaunt our liberty and cause others to stumble.
Next the older women are to be teachers of what is good. This means that through their lives and through their words they are to teach what is good and godly and proper. Although Paul’s words are to older women, these character traits should be sought by all Christian women no matter what age or marital status. Holiness is the goal of every Christian woman.
The Young Women
Then we read that the younger women are to love their own husbands and their children. This shows that they are devoted to the home and use their time and gifts to edify and build up their husband and children.
The younger women are to be discreet. The word describes someone who is in control of themselves and has wise and respectable behavior. Next she should also be pure. The Christian women’s conduct is to be characterized by wisdom and purity in all things. They should be modest in their dress (1 Tim 2:9-10) and never flirtatious in their conduct. They are to be holy women that are set apart for God and consecrated to him. All of their conduct is to be governed by purity.
Last but not least their conduct is to be one of submission to their own husbands. This is always a good test of a wife’s spirituality, how submissive is she to her God given authority? The purpose in all of this is so that the word of God may not be blasphemed. If Christian women are not living up to their Christian duty then this leaves the real possibility of the word of God being blasphemed. This is a very sobering reality. The purpose of the Christian women’s behavior is to promote the glory of God. They are to bring glory to their heavenly father by their pure chaste and godly conduct.
Let’s pray for our wives and the women of SJCC that they would serve as a holy and godly example to all, both in the church and to everyone in the surrounding community.
– Pastor Jay Jesuroga
Concerning the relationship of the indicative and imperative in preaching.
I thought that it would be a good time to give my perspective as to what I feel is the relationship of the indicative and imperative in preaching. In case you may not be familiar with the terminology, the indicatives of scripture are based on the gospel and what Christ has already done. They are statements of facts about our standing in grace and the gospel. If for example we say that Christ died for sins, this is an indicative because it is a statement of fact. Christ really and truly died for our sins. The imperatives of scripture are the commands of scripture which are based on the indicatives. For example if the Bible says Christ died for our sins (the indicative), then because of this fact we ought to kill off any remaining sin, (this is the imperative).
are based on the gospel and what Christ has already done
are the commands of scripture which are based on the indicatives
Let me just say that my philosophy of ministry guides me to preach exposition of the word of God and this will always make me cover both indicatives as well as the imperatives of Scripture. We understand that the imperative is based on the indicative and on what Christ has accomplished but then we must explain to people their Christian duty based on what Christ has already done.
I think a great example of this is seen in Romans 6:1-14. The first 10 verses are indicatives and in the passive voice which means that these are things that happened to us when we were saved and converted to Christ and we really had nothing to do with it. We were baptized into Christ, baptized into his death and raised up to new life (Romans 6:1-4) and consequently we are dead to sin and now alive to God. Then Paul will explain to us what we ought to do about these facts and the mood switches to that of the imperatives in verses 11-14 and he will give us commands as to what our responsibility is in light of these facts. Paul says to reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God, and he says to stop presenting your bodies as instruments for sin and start presenting them as instruments of righteousness (6:11-14).
the imperatives are based on the indicatives
both are necessary for a biblical world view
So without going into more exegesis of the passage I think this illustrates the biblical point of view that the imperatives are based on the indicatives and that both are necessary for a biblical world view. So, for example in the book of Ephesians chapters 1-3 are mainly indicatives that speak on the blessings that Christ has accomplished for us. And in Ephesians chapters 4-6, these chapters consist mainly although not exclusively as imperatives which give us our Christian duty in light of what Christ has accomplished. For example if I am preaching the book of Ephesians, I will preach the indicatives mainly in chapters 1-3 and then I will preach the imperatives in chapters 4-6 . So, for the sake of argument, if I am in chapter 4 after preaching the first 3 chapters of Ephesians I will preach the imperatives boldly and hopefully with force and emphasis and this is being faithful to the revealed will of God.
Think of the importance of the imperatives or the commands of scripture. The imperatival mood is the mood of command and thus it is one person’s will trying to affect another’s will to do something. So generally speaking when the imperatives are used in scripture, it is God trying to persuade someone of a certain course of action. So for example if Paul is writing in Ephesians 4 to walk worthy of the Lord, it is as if God himself were saying through Paul that He desires his people to walk worthy. Or if Paul tells us in Col 3:5 to mortify sin it is as if God himself were telling us to mortify sin in our members. Remember that Paul said in 1 Cor 14:37 that the commands that he writes are the commands of the Lord.
the importance of the imperatives/commands of scripture
it is God trying to persuade someone of a certain course of action
we must preach Christ and him crucified
[&] to teach God’s people what they should do in light of the great salvation that Christ has wrought
I personally do not think that in every sermon I have to remind the congregation of all of the indicatives that came earlier although at times this might be prudent to do so. The imperatives are just as essential as the indicatives of scripture. If one is in Christ then the imperatives will actually be a delight to him (Jer 31:31-34, Psalm 40:8, Hebrews 8, 10). It is worth repeating that the true child of God will delight in God’s commandments. The Psalmist says, And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love (Psalm 119:47 NKJV). The people of God need to be constantly reminded of how they can walk and please God (1 Thess 4:1-8) and thus we must constantly remind them as preachers (Phil 3:1). If we do not then we are derelict in our sacred duty.
So for us to have truly Biblical preaching we must preach Christ and him crucified as our message and part of that message is also to teach God’s people what they should do in light of the great salvation that Christ has wrought. All true preaching must include both the indicative and the imperative.
Honestly I feel that in today’s lukewarm church climate the imperatives of Scripture are needed to be proclaimed boldly and with the power of the Spirit. We are living in a decadent age, in which worldliness has infringed on the churches. The imperatives of scripture by the Grace of God will transform the sinner into Christ likeness and true Christ centered holiness.
Pastor Jason Jesuroga
We are looking to start somewhere around the first week of August.
The following books will be needed to start:
by William D. Mounce
Zondervan / 2009 / Hardcover
by William D. Mounce
Zondervan / 2009 / Trade Paperback
It would be helpful but not mandatory to get the latest edition of the book, so don’t worry if you have an older version.
In addition, you may also want you can get the flash cards for vocabulary memorization:
by William D. Mounce
Zondervan / 2004 / Other
Alternatively, you can make your own Greek flash cards by writing them on a blank card with the English definition on the back, or get a app for smart phones that works like a flashcard:
iPhones can us this method.
The goal of this class will be to help the student read the Greek New Testament and therefore it will be an in-depth study of Koine Greek. This is not an impossible language to learn but it will require a reasonable amount of time and effort (you will probably need to study 2-4 hours per week depending on how well you do in languages). If you are able to do this and willing then I am very excited to have you take the class, it should be an edifying experience and with a little bit of hard word you can be reading and translating portions of the Greek NT in 3-6 months. The NT was written in Koine Greek in the original languages and it will be very rewarding to read the Bible in the original language in which it was written.
Pastor Jay Jesuroga
It is always important to reflect on the Lord’s faithfulness on New Years. More than anything we should use this as a time to reflect on God’s faithfulness and give thanks to Him for His unfailing love and mercy which He has so richly lavished us with in Christ.
I am personally grateful for the ministry of Sovereign Joy Community Church (SJCC).
I am grateful that God has taken our church through so much expositional terrain.
I am grateful for the installment of our small group ministry where we can challenge each other to reflect further on the Word of God and challenge each other to apply His Word in our lives.
I am grateful for God’s enduring patience with us as a small church that still has a long way to go in many areas.
Most of all I am grateful for the people of SJCC, their eagerness to serve, evangelize, and it has also been encouraging to hear all the stories of God’s faithfulness to provide and sustain His people through many trials and tests. This has been the most meaningful aspect of pastoring at SJCC, seeing people’s lives changed through the Word of God. SJCC is our family and I look forward to seeing more people become involved, receive meaningful ministry and fellowship, become more involved in each other’s lives, and serve one another with eagerness and zeal as they seek to bring glory to God by our love for one another.
To all at SJCC, Happy New Years, Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Emilio Ramos
(the following is a 1 minute clip from Friday’s sermon where Pastor Emilio talked about this past year and the New Year):
As a church, we learned a lot and went through a lot of changes in 2010.
When we moved our website to SovJoy.com we also started hosting our sermons on SermonAudio, which gave us the ability to serve Christians all over the world with audio from our sermons. Here are some stats as of today:
|Total Sermon MP3 Downloads:
Total number of times your audio has been listened to (stream + download).
|Total Mobile Downloads:
Of the above total, the total number that are mobile streams or downloads.
Top 10 MP3 Downloads
Of the above downloads, here are the top 10 states that have downloaded our sermons since the beginning of 2010:
- TEXAS – 2,992 (downloads)
- CALIFORNIA – 792
- GEORGIA – 296
- NEW YORK – 138
- NEW JERSEY – 136
- WASHINGTON – 128
- MISSOURI – 125
- LOUISIANA – 110
- COLORADO – 106
- ILLINOIS – 93
And the top 15 countries!
- UNITED KINGDOM – 109 (downloads)
- CHINA – 106
- CANADA – 87
- AUSTRALIA – 73
- ITALY – 44
- NEW ZEALAND – 36
- NETHERLANDS – 26
- KOREA, REPUBLIC OF – 24
- MEXICO – 20
- INDIA – 20
- MALAYSIA – 17
- PHILIPPINES – 12
- INDONESIA – 12
- SINGAPORE – 10
- GERMANY – 10
When we started as a church we focused heavily on the gospel. In 2010, we of course have not left the gospel but we are going deeper into it as we continued to go through the Bible we are learning a lot of implications that the gospel has on our lives and on our church.
Here is a summary of the past year broken up by month:
J A N U A R Y * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For January, 2010: 221
We started singing, as a corporate prayer, “Jesus, With Thy Church Abide”:
The preaching took us right into the heart of 1 John, teaching us that as true son’s of God how we ought to be discerning, have assurance, and how to love one another (because God first loved us as Emilio explains in the 2 minute clip below):
Children of God: The Who, When, & How – 1 John 3:1-3
Contrast: God’s & Satan’s Children – 1 of 2 – 1 John 3:4-8
Love, Assurance & Obedience – 1 John 3:16-24
A Call to Discernment – 1 John 4:1
At the end of the month Pastor Emilio had the opportunity to preach at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar Missouri from 1 Tim. 4:1-5.
F E B R U A R Y * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For February, 2010: 361
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 601
We learned alot about the church. How, as a church to watch out for pride, how we ought to view ministers, and started learning about church discipline (here is Jay summing up the 1st four chapters of 1 Corinthians in 1 minute):
Paul’s Two Rebukes on the Church – 1 Cor. 4:6-13
Paul’s Fatherly Ministry – 1 Cor. 4:14-21
Biblical Church Discipline (Pt. 1 & 2) – 1 Cor. 5:1-5
M A R C H * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For March, 2010: 498
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 1,087
This month we learned more on discernment and dove even deeper into the topic of assurance and how Christian love is affected by the gospel (2 minute clip):
The Spirit of Truth & the Spirit of Error – 1 John 4:2-6
The Roots & Fruits of Christian Love – 1 John 4:7-12
4 Ways to be Assured – 1 John 4:13-16
4 Aspects of Perfect Love – 1 John 4:17-21
A P R I L * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For April, 2010: 407
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 1,496
This month we started off celebrating Resurrection Sunday and moving back in 1 Corinthians, which took us through an array of different topics. We talked about sexual immorality and ended the section on church discipline (2 minute clip):
3 Aspects of Resurrection Life – Col. 3:1-4
Biblical Church Discipline (Pt. 3 of 3) – 1 Cor. 5:6-13
4 Aspects of Paul’s Rebuke – 1 Cor. 6:1-11
4 Principles to Help Us Avoid Sexual Immorality – 1 Cor. 6:12-20
The elders and Jason D. also had the opportunity to go to T4G:
M A Y * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For May, 2010: 645
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 2,144
This month we learned a variety of topics including marriage, overcoming faith, love, assurance, sin leading to death, and prayer (2 minute clip):
4 Principles of Marriage – 1 Cor. 7:1-7
The Children of God & What They Do – 1 John 5:1-5
The Testimony of the Triune God Concerning Jesus – 1 John 5:6-9
The Beneficiaries & Purpose of God’s Witness – 1 John 5:10-12
Assurance, Prayer, & Deadly Sin – 1 John 5:13-17
This was also the month that we hosted Wretched Radio’s first ever Psalm 119 Conference on Discernment. Pastor Emilio got to preach on “Discernment in the Local Church”, and the next day we sang A Cappella for the first time during corporate worship.
J U N E * * * * *
This month we started making our sermons available through mobile phone apps and mobile browsers:
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For June, 2010: 864
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 3,004
- .. of that total, downloads via mobile phone for June, 2010: 8
- Grand Total Downloaded via Mobile To Date: 11
This month we learned about the good of singleness, Christian vocation, and living to God’s glory in whatever our calling (2 minutes):
Living as you are called – 1 Cor. 7:17-24
2 Reasons Why Singleness is Good – 1 Cor. 7:25-31
We also had Steve Schneider (the missionary to Chile that we help support) talk about what he would be doing in Chile and preaching for us. Here is the 4 minute introduction that Pastor Jay gave about Steve:
June 20th Guest Preacher: Steve Schneider – 2 Tim. 2:2
J U L Y * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For July, 2010: 606
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 3,603
- .. of that total, downloads via mobile phone for July, 2010: 22
- Grand Total Downloaded via Mobile To Date: 30
We finished up 1 John and moved into 2 John, learning about discernment, love, and about being Word-hearers AND Word-doers (4 minute clip):
4 Truths Every Christian Should Know – 1 John 5:18-21
2nd John Intro: Author, Audience, & Theme – 2 John 1-3
Walk in Truth, Love, & Obedience – 2 John 4-6
Word-hearers & Word-doers – James 1:22-25
Walk in Discernment – 2 John 7-9
This month we also had baptisms:
At the end of the month Pastor Jay had the opportunity to preach at Southside Bible Church in Dever Colorado from Colossians 3:1-4.
A U G U S T * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For August, 2010: 745
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 4,373
- .. of that total, downloads via mobile phone for August, 2010: 41
- Grand Total Downloaded via Mobile To Date: 71
Moving back into 1 Corinthians we learned more about the benefits of being single, started learning about the Trinity, learning about creation, and started getting into Christian liberty (2 minutes):
Benefits of Being Single + Q&A – 1 Cor. 7:32-40
Christian Liberty: 3 Principles – 1 Cor. 8:1-13
Minister’s Liberty: Financial Support – 1 Cor. 9:1-15
Paul’s Liberty Unused for the Gospel – 1 Cor. 9:15-18
Paul’s Gospel Passion – 1 Cor. 9:19-27
S E P T E M B E R * * * * *
We had our final service in Keller (Sept. 3rd):
And now meet in Haltom City. Upon moving to the new location Pastor Emilio wanted to acknowledge all those who have helped to serve the church thus far and give some encouragement as well (3 mintues):
In finishing up 2 John and moving into 3 John (and finishing it too), we learned more about imitating good (not evil), dealing with false teachers, prayer, church membership, and the blessedness of fellowship and doing it in true love (3 minutes):
Dealing with False Teachers & Ministry Insights – 2 John 10-11
The Blessedness of Christian Fellowship – 3 John 1-8
The Doctrine of Church Membership – Selected Scriptures
Imitate Good NOT Evil – 3 John 9-15
O C T O B E R * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For September, 2010: 676
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 5,048
- .. of that total, downloads via mobile phone for September, 2010: 38
- Grand Total Downloaded via Mobile To Date: 109
We heard a special message on “The Great Commission”, finished up our 7 sermon series on Christian liberty, and moved into another controversial subject, head coverings and the subordination of wives to husbands (4 minutes):
How to Avoid Spiritual Defeat – 1 Cor. 10:1-13
Analogies Clarifying Christian Liberty – 1 Cor. 10:14-22
The Great Commission: Make Disciples! – Matt. 28:16-20
5 Elements that Regulate Christian Liberty – 1 Cor. 10:23-11:1
Reasons Why a Wife’s Role Ought to be Subordinate to Her Husband’s – 1 Cor. 11:2-16
N O V E M B E R * * * * *
- Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded For November, 2010: 846
- Grand Total MP3 Sermons Downloaded To Date: 6,890
- .. of the downloads, total via mobile phone for November, 2010: 50
- Grand Total Downloaded via Mobile To Date: 207
Pastor Jay finished going through his detailed exposition of the oft debated passage “faith without works is dead”, and Pastor Emilio began his exposition through Philippians, which is all about joy (2 minutes):
Faith, Works, & Justification – James 2:14-26
Intro to Philippians: Paul’s Relationship to the Church in Philippi – Selected Scriptures
Author, Recipients, & Greeting of Philippians – Phil. 1:1-2
Paul’s Thanksgiving Prayer – Phil. 1:3-8
How the Church’s Love Grows – Phil. 1:9-11
This month we also started an alternative to Sunday Seminary. We started Sunday School for ages 0 to 7th grade.
D E C E M B E R * * * * *
Which brings us to our last month of the year where we dove into the first coming of Christ (His Advent), the Incarnation, and the Lord’s Supper (4 minutes):
Abuse of the Lord’s Supper – 1 Cor. 11:17-22
Lord’s Supper: Theological Truths – 1 Cor. 11:23-26
The Incarnation: What, Why, & How – Selected Scriptures
Manner of Taking Communion – 1 Cor. 11:27-34
May God bless us in 2011!