cole lyman CS, Bioinformatics & Life

Many to One Sacrifice

Many to One Sacrifice

Many to One Sacrifice

27 March 2016

Many to One Sacrifice

27 March 2016

It is unclear who wrote the epistle to the Hebrews, but the thesis of this epistle is as clear as glass. The purpose of this epistle is to convince the Judaizers that the Law of Moses has been fulfilled and that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to fulfill the Law of Moses.

This epistle is filled with doctrine that is accepted (and contested) by many sects of Christendom. Isn’t it ironic that the purpose of this epistle was to clear up misunderstandings about the transition from the Law of Moses to the Doctrine of Christ, yet it is the source of much contention in modern Christian sects today?

Sanctification

The author of Hebrews states that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). This is compared with the sacrifices of the Law of Moses that are repeated by a priest multiple times a year. The comparison of these two types of sacrifices is significant because it shows the inadequacy of the Law of Moses. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his atonement are greater than what the Law of Moses can offer.

Accessibility to God

Later in the chapter, the author states that Christ has brought “a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:20). When Christ was resurrected, the veil in the temple was rent (torn). This allowed all people in the temple to see the Holy of Holies, no matter if the person was a Gentile, a woman, or a leper. This never happened previously because only the high priest was able to be in the presence of the Holy of Holies. Christ enabled everyone, Jew or Gentile, to enter into the presence of God through His resurrection.

Christ’s sacrifice has changed my life. It has enabled me to overcome weaknesses and to improve myself. It is the sweetest feeling to know that there is someone on my side. Someone that knows me and that loves me enough to die for me. Someone to believe in me, and to show His belief through His actions. These are not just words, these are my convictions.

May you be able to feel his love too.

-Cole

The Final Epistle

The Final Epistle

The Final Epistle

20 March 2016

The Final Epistle

20 March 2016

The second epistle of Paul to Timothy is colloquially known as the last epistle (that we have in the Bible) that Paul sent. It is insightful to see the changes that Paul has experienced from his ministry. In his epistle to Timothy, Paul prepares him for the impending apostasy. Paul prepares Timothy not only by sharing warning, but also sharing tender and loving encouragements.

Warnings of Apostasy

Paul begins chapter 4 of 2 Timothy with a prophesy that “the time will come when they [the Saints of the Church of Christ] will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears [desirous of hearing something pleasant]” (2 Timothy 4:3). The scriptures speak often of soothsayers that will say what the people want to hear rather than what the Lord would want the people to hear. Apostasy is when the true doctrine of Christ is replaced with something else, whether that be on an individual or a mass scale.

Furthermore, Paul says that the Saints of the Church of Christ “shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:4). The Greek word for ‘fables’ is mythos, which is interesting considering what occurred with the Christian religion as it evolved through the ages. Pagan holidays were associated with Christian events and many of the doctrines were polluted with concepts gathered from mythology.

Encouragements of Love

Paul has come a long way from the road to Damascus to the point where he is writing this epistle to Timothy. Perhaps it was Paul’s training as a Pharisee, but when he began his ministry he was very brash and extremely bold in most things. As he progressed he developed more of a loving and tender side. He is still direct, and at times as bold as before, yet there is a tenderness that can be felt.

Paul gives a piece of loving encouragement at the beginning of the chapter when he says “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 emphasis added). Paul shares that me must have longsuffering when we reprove, rebuke or exhort. I feel that this is a lesson that Paul learned during his ministry.

We cannot convince or coerce anyone to do anything that they don’t want to do. No matter how convincing the argument or how enticing the reward, people will do nothing on behalf of someone else’s convincing.

Paul’s Example

If you ever think that you are too far gone, that you can not change from what you have done in the past, stop it! Think of where Paul was early in his life, killing followers of Christ. Then in his last epistle boldly stating “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

What made the difference in Paul’s life? Why did he change? How did he change? It was nothing that Paul did that changed him except for his choice to follow Christ. Paul realized that he was wrong, and he did something about it despite the emotional and social pressures that could have prohibited him from changing. After he realized his weakness, he changed and he changed for good. Paul understood that the grace of Christ was for him.

Let us all follow Paul’s example and ‘fight a good fight,’ choose what is right, and do what is right.

-Cole

Above a Servant a Brother Beloved

“Above a Servant, a Brother Beloved”

“Above a Servant, a Brother Beloved”

11 March 2016

“Above a Servant, a Brother Beloved”

11 March 2016

The epistle of Paul to Philemon is the shortest of Paul’s epistles, however, what it lacks in length it makes up for in content. This epistle is very sweet and it is an extended metaphor to the redemptive powers of Christ.

This epistle serves as a letter of recommendation to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus. Onesimus used to be one of Philemon’s servants, but he ran away. While Paul was imprisoned he taught and baptized Onesimus, now Onesimus wants to return to Philemon (whom Paul also baptized). Embedded in this story is our own personal story of our estrangement from God and our redemption through Christ.

Onesimus’ Change

In this story we must remember that the whole reason that Paul is writing Onesimus a letter of recommendation is that Onesimus has changed. Paul states, “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus… which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me.” (Philemon 1:10–11) Onesimus has changed his ways, he has become a new man.

Our Change

Who does Christ ask us to be? What does He ask us to change? He asks us to be “even as [He] is” (3 Nephi 27:27). All of us have fallen short of the expectations that God has established for us, but we have the chance to return in full fellowship through the recommendation of Jesus Christ.

We do not know if Philemon accepted Onesimus back after he returned, but we do know that God will accept us back through the grace of Jesus Christ. This beautiful metaphor of Philemon and Onesimus helps us remember what that truly means.

-Cole