Monthly Archives: April 2013

Epilogue

We suppose that it is only appropriate to offer some words of encouragement as part of the conclusion of this volume.  All of hell is behind you… waiting to devour you should you fail at your task.  You will return to hell just to be consumed by those of us who are fitter and smarter than yourself.  Imagine, if you will, what it is like to be swallowed up and lose your being.  You are no longer your own, but merely part of something stronger than yourself.  You can pine for complete annihilation of your being to relieve yourself of the agony of being an entity without self.  Yet no such relief will come.

We all know the pain of memories, of faded glory, of lost splendor.  We were once exceedingly beautiful and glorious, but all of that was undone by the One we call the Enemy.  He cast us out of heaven claiming that we had already fallen, that iniquity was found in us.  He is the One responsible for our current circumstances.  But we, unlike the failed tempter, are not hopelessly trapped in our situation.  We will retake what is rightfully ours, or tear down all of creation in trying.  We will not allow Him to win and we will not tolerate failure.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

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A Brief Pause

Apologies for not posting on a regular basis as of late.  Other endeavors are requiring more time so that the next couple of weeks will likely not see many (if any) new posts.  I will be getting back on schedule once these other things settle down.  You patience is greatly appreciated.

image by Fiona the Awesome

image by Fiona the Awesome


The Law, Grace, and Zombies

In Romans 7-8, Paul draws a distinction between the law and grace that can be somewhat confusing.  However, this distinction is important if we are to better grasp what God has done for us.

The problem we face is the fact that we are, in Paul’s words “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  One might say that we are like zombies:  up and moving around, but dead on the inside.  Borrowing an image from Ezekiel, we have a heart of stone.

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

This rock is stubborn and unyielding in its service to sin.

The first solution that comes along is the law.

BlogChibiLawZombie1

The law tells us what we must do in order to be righteous, to be right with God.  The law is not bad in and of itself because it brings our sin to light and reveals it for what it is.  However, there are two problems:  the first is that the law is only able to address the outside, doing nothing for the dead heart of stone.  The second is that it tells us how to be righteous, but it doesn’t help us to reach the goal of actually being righteous.  What ends up happening is …

BlogChibiLawZombie2

…that we are condemned and put to death by our sin working through the law.  The law only has power to convict.

Returning to our zombie analogy, the law-solution ends up fixing the zombie problem by killing the zombies.  Much like any anti-zombie tool, it isn’t a bad solution, but it isn’t the best solution either because those who have become zombies are still lost.

Although it has its problems, the law still accomplishes its purpose:  to show us that we can’t fix ourselves.  The law gives us the best set of rules possible, better than anything humans could come up with.  However, you can train a zombie not to eat brains, and it may not very often, but the hunger will always win out in the end.  We need something more, something better than the law.  We need a cure.

Enter grace:  the ultimate solution.  Through Christ’s work on the cross, we have the opportunity to be set right with God.  Christ received the consequences of our sin once and for all and we are able to receive the consequences of His righteousness.  As part of this, we receive God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in us.  Paul sums this up by saying, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  In the book of Ezekiel God says “I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 36:26).  This new heart is a cure for us because, with it, we are no longer dead inside and therefore are no longer the walking dead.

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

What’s more, the law is no longer an external set of rules, but is within us, written on our hearts of flesh (Jeremiah 31:33).  Therefore, grace accomplishes the internal change that the law was not able to.  As with any major surgery, it takes time to fully recover from this spiritual heart transplant (the Holy Spirit is our therapist who helps and encourages us).  There will be times that we stumble and relapse.  However, so long as we entrust ourselves to God’s care we will continue to heal until we get to heaven and the sin virus has been completely purged from our bodies and souls.


Damage Control – Concluding Thoughts

It should be abundantly clear to you by now that if the flesh creature which you have been assigned joins the Enemy’s camp, your work is far from over.  The nature of your mission changes from keeping the wretch in a cage to coaxing them back into the cage.  To put it differently, when dealing with the Church, your mission changes from containment to capture (or at least incapacitation).  When the predators of the animal kingdom are looking to capture prey from a herd, their best bet is to separate it from its fellows.  Likewise, best chance that you have at taking down a Christian is to cut it out from the Church.  Above all, remember that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time the flesh creature spends with the Enemy and the success tempters have in getting it back over to our side of the fence.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.