Math has never been my strength. My math skills required me to take “special” math classes in college, beyond what my degree completion program required. Needless to say, my struggles in the past to understand the concepts of “old math” are further exposed as I stare at “new math.”
Defenders of the new math philosophy would argue that the process is not just about solving the problem, but the added steps help identify the patterns and trends in how the math works. While students and parents continue to debate what is right or wrong, I suggest we pivot our attention to a debate even more important than mathematical equations.
NEW EQUATIONS INTRODUCED
Acts 15:1-6 describes a debate that ensued in the church over what external and physical demands, like circumcision, would be expected of Gentile believers in order to truly be converted. The battle that ensued was needed, since it was more than a debate over equations; in fact, it cut to the heart of the Gospel.
Belief + conformity = confusion. God’s grace and the gift of a relationship with Him is made possible through the work of Christ. To add our conformity to rules or conduct creates confusion. This confusion leads to a false gospel and ultimate death. Those may sound like harsh words, but it is that serious.
The reality of God’s Good News is that we are made right with God by grace through faith. Read Ephesians 2:8-9. There we learn that God removes the expectation of our works so that we can’t later brag about what we did to earn our right standing with God.
The old story of the Gospel is that God desires man to be in relationship with Him. This is evident in the story of Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden. He loves us so much that He created us to know Him, and He desires to spend time with us.
When original sin entered into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, all mankind was faced with a problem. Now separated from God by sin, we deserve the full wrath and punishment of sin. But God, being full of love and mercy, sent His only Son, Jesus, to come to earth and give His life. He would not stay dead, but would be resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God in heaven.
This old story is deep, rich, and even greater than these few brief paragraphs describe. Search the Bible to learn even more. The point of discussion here, is that we recognize that our relationship with God is not about what we do or don’t do. It is all about what God did by sending Jesus and how the Spirit keeps us safe and secure.
My math skills have improved over time, but it is still a struggle for me. If you doubt that, quiz my children about my tutoring skills regarding their homework. Thank God my math skills don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. What does matter is where I stand with God.
What about you? Do you recognize the formula for salvation? God’s gift equals purpose and freedom forever and costs you nothing!