cole lyman CS, Bioinformatics & Life

Saved by the Law or by Grace

Saved by the Law or by Grace?

Saved by the Law or by Grace?

27 February 2016

Saved by the Law or by Grace?

27 February 2016

Paul’s epistle to the Romans is filled with doctrinal clarifications directed towards the Judaizers (Jewish converts to Christianity that still supported the Law of Moses). In Romans 3 Paul rebukes the notion that through sheer obedience we can be saved.

The Irony of Being Saved by Grace

The irony of the notion that we are saved by grace is that “none [of us are] righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Even if we could be saved by our works, we have all failed at one point or another, so none of use would ever be saved. We are all in need of a higher power to help us.

Paul stated “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20) which means that we can not earn our standing before God. Furthermore, the purpose of the commandments is to show us when our lives are not in harmony with the ways that God would have us live.

Paul said that “the righteousness of God without the law is manifested… Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ… being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22–24). What he means by this is that “the righteousness of God without the law” is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which depends wholly upon the grace of Jesus Christ. Without the grace of Jesus Christ it would not matter how obedient we are, because it would never be enough.

The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient for us. I know that we will always come up short, but when we rely upon Him, we can be made whole.

-Cole

The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

15 February 2016

The Great Exchange

15 February 2016

The latter half of the New Testament is filled with Pauline epistles. It is known that the earliest epistle that Paul went was to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians). In this epistle Paul rebukes the Corinthians sharply, and it is reported back to Paul that they did not take the rebuke very well (I don’t blame them). Therefore, Paul sends a second epistle to the people in Corinth (2 Corinthians) to show an outpouring of love to these people. Because of this outpouring of love, there are many valuable teachings that Paul shares in 2 Corinthians.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

In 2 Corinthians 5:18 Paul states that Christ “hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” What does “reconciliation” mean? This word in the Greek transliteration is katallagē, which means “an adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favor” (Greek Lexicon). When William Tyndale translated the New Testament from Greek, he used the term “atonement” to describe katallagē. Through Christ’s atonement we are reconciled with him.

This reconciliation is needed because we all eventually fail in this life. We have been given weakness to overcome them. If we had no weaknesses, we would have no need for the atonement or the grace of Christ. Christ said “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Christ’s grace could never be made perfect in our perfection, we must have weaknesses in order to have his help.

How He Reconciles Us

A beautiful explanation of the atonement is found shortly after these in verse 2 Corinthians 5:21 which reads “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Christ descended below them all so that He could reconcile us, He experienced all of the frailties of humankind without being frail himself. This made Him perfectly empathetic towards us.

The irony of Christ dying so that we can be made alive is comparable to Adam partaking of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil so that we could also be made alive. The Gospel is filled with the juxtaposition of life coming through death, and the atonement is no exception.

Exchange Our Will For His

Compared to what we gain from Christ, He asks very little of us. He asks us to change what we do, and become more like Him. We exchange our selfish natural man desires for His selfless celestial desires. He has ransomed our sins for us, and He will help us achieve what He has in store for us.

-Cole

Naked and Wounded

Naked and Wounded

Naked and Wounded

03 February 2016

Naked and Wounded

03 February 2016

Paul is travelling on his third missionary journey, and when he came to Ephesus he encountered “certain vagabond Jews” (Acts 19:13). These men decided to call upon those that had evil spirits in them, however there was one problem with their plan, they did not have the proper authority to cast out these evil spirits.

Results

The sons of Sceva, otherwise known as the aforementioned “certain vagabond Jews,” tried to remove the evil spirit from the person by saying “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth” (Acts 19:13). In doing this, the evil spirit responds “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” (Acts 19:15). The evil spirit clearly recognized that the “vagabond Jews” were not acting under the authority of Jesus or Paul, but by their own authority.

Because these men were not acting under a higher authority, the following happened. The man that they were attempting to remove the evil spirit from “leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded” (Acts 19:16).

The irony of this results is that the spirit that these men were trying to conquer, was the very factor that conquered them. We can learn that when we are not adequately prepared against opposing forces, we will most certainly fail; however, this is not the main lesson that I would like to extract from this account.

I purport that whenever any of us face ‘devils’ we will be left naked and wounded. Perhaps not physically, but most definitely spiritually and emotionally. Nonetheless, whenever we interact with Christ he will leave us covered and healed. This is His purpose, to make us whole and to heal us from sin.

-Cole