cole lyman Bioinformatics, Emacs, Programming, and Life

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

The Incomplete Manifestation

The Incomplete Manifestation

The Incomplete Manifestation

26 January 2016

The Incomplete Manifestation

26 January 2016

While Paul and Barnabas are teaching in Lystra and Derbe, Paul heals a man that was lame from birth Acts 14:8. In my opinion, the interesting part of this story is not that Paul was able to heal a lame man, but the interesting part is what happened after the lame man was healed.

The Physical and the Spiritual

In many of the miracles that are present in the Bible, there are two aspects of the miracle. These two aspects of the miracle are a physical side, and a spiritual side. When the miracle is associated with healing, there is a physical healing and a spiritual healing.

For example, when Peter healed a man “lame from his mother’s womb” (Acts 3:2) at the temple in Jerusalem there was a physical miracle (the man receiving strength in his legs) as well as a spiritual miracle (the man praising God). This miracle showed those present that it was not the working of Peter, but that he was working through the power of Christ.

The Missing Element

In the case of Paul healing the man in Lystra, there was only a physical miracle present, no spiritual miracle present. The consequence of this was that the people that witnessed the miracle began to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods (Acts 14:11).

Furthermore, after the people realized that Paul and Barnabas were not Jupiter and Mercurius, they tried to kill them (Acts 14:19). It is obvious that the witness of the physical miracle did not have a lasting effect upon the people that saw it.

It is important that we realize that we are here to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We must not only search out the physical miracles in our life, but recognize the spiritual effects of the miracles that occur.

-Cole

Learning for the Future from the Past

Learning for the Future, from the Past

Learning for the Future, from the Past

In my New Testament class this week we discussed Stephen’s discourse to the Jewish priests in Jerusalem. He gave an account of the history…

Learning for the Future, from the Past

In my New Testament class this week we discussed Stephen’s discourse to the Jewish priests in Jerusalem. He gave an account of the history of the children of Israel as an example of people choosing faith, as well as people choosing to ignore faith. Stephen taught these priests principles that they did not know (or at least did not follow) from their history that they knew very well.

Abraham

Stephen recounts the story of Abraham. He shares how Abraham acted in faith despite being commanded to leave his homeland. Furthermore, Abraham had faith in the Lord’s promise of an inheritance while Abraham’s father had no inheritance to give (Acts 7:5). This must have been difficult for Abraham to have faith that his children would be as numerous as the sands of the sea, yet he had no children.

Joseph in Egypt

After the account of Abraham, Stephen talks about Joseph who is sold into Egypt by his brothers. Faith was necessary for Joseph in order to thrive as he did. Even though Joseph entered Egypt as a slave, he ended up becoming one of the leaders in Egypt.

Joseph- Type of Christ

In Stephen’s account, he shares how during the famine in Egypt, Joseph’s family comes to Egypt to receive food. The first time they come they do not recognize Joseph, but the second time they can’t help but recognize him. This is similar to Christ and His two comings. The first time He came He was not recognized, and like Joseph, he was rejected and sold. However, in His second coming there will be no question as to who Christ is, and what His character will be.

Moses

Stephen now relates the story of Moses, who is the most iconic prophet in Jewish history. His example of transforming and leading a faithful life is inspiring to all. In beautiful semitic imagery, Moses’ life is divided into three 40 year segments. This is significant because the number 40 in the semitic tradition signifies a period of preparation.

“As your fathers did, so do ye”

The priests that Stephen was teaching must have been familiar with all of these accounts, especially the ones concerning Moses. However, I can imagine that they were expecting that they would be compared to these great figure heads of the Jewish faith, but this was not the case. Stephen stated:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. (Acts 7:51)

Stephen shared these accounts from Jewish history to rebuke the current priests, that they were not living up to the potential of their heritage. It is clear that the priests felt this way as well for two reasons:

  1. The priests were “cut to the heart” (Acts 7:54)
  2. They reacted to Stephen’s rebuke by stoning him to death (Acts 7:58)

Conclusion

How do we learn from the past? Are we living up to the potential that our heritage provides? How do we react when someone recognizes and tells us about our faults? What do we do when we recognize that we are doing something incorrectly, or that we can just improve? Do we simply get angry, or do we do something about it?

I believe that we are all here to help each other. Sometimes it takes someone in the present to look into the past of our life to show us how we can improve. When this does happen, we should be grateful that someone loves us enough to tell us something that hurts. If a surgeon never performed a surgery because it hurts a lot, he would not be fulfilling his duty. Let us fulfill our duty to not only say the hard things in life, but also hear the hard things in life.

-Cole

Dig Your Own Grave

Dig Your Own Grave

Dig Your Own Grave

Background

Dig Your Own Grave

Background

Last week in my class on the New Testament, my professor Brother Griffin explained what Peter was talking about in Acts 1:16–19. This is the first meeting of the followers of Christ after his forty day ministry among His disciples.

30 pieces of silver

Peter says in Acts 1:17:

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained a part of this ministry.

Judas Iscariot was the disciple that betrayed Jesus, and sold Him for 30 pieces of silver
 Later on Judas realized the magnitude of his deed and committed suicide (Matthew 27:5) and he returned the pieces of silver to the captors of Christ.

Aceldama

What was then done with this money? This money could not be used in the temple because it was unholy, it was blood money. Thus, the priests of the temple decided to purchase some land for a grave yard. The piece of land that was purchased is called Aceldama.

Irony

There is speculation that Judas Iscariot himself was buried in this very graveyard, purchased by the money of his betrayal. From this we can see that not only did Judas betray Jesus; furthermore, he lost his reward, his life, and his honor in that very act.

I believe that we can commit the same grave mistakes that Judas performed. Most likely it will be on a much smaller scale, but the results are comparable. When we commit sin, we essentially buy and dig our own grave.

-Cole