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Paradox

 

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways. In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, who he appointed heir of all things, through whom He made the world. Hebrews 1: 1, 2

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who do not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.. 2 Timothy 2: 15

Grace, given to all but only the humble can receive it

One of the strangest passage in the Scriptures, to me at least, is found in Matthew 13. And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" And He answered and said to them, To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."

Paradox- a tenet contrary to received opinion; also, an assertion or sentiment seemingly contradictory, or opposed to common sense, but that may yet be true in fact. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary

The paradoxical nature of God.

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is One! Deuteronomy 6: 4

Yet within the Old Scriptures we find the puzzling statement, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness," (Genesis 1: 26) references to the "Spirit of God" (Genesis 1: 2), references to the "angel of the Lord" (Exodus 3:2) who appears as deity, references to the Son. (Psalm 2:7; 45: 7;2 Samuel 7: 14). Surely the doctrine of the nature of God that is elaborated in the New Testament is the greatest paradox of all. We have nothing in the natural realm to compare. The idea of one God yet three persons is inexplicable. We labor with language of singular nouns, such as a cluster of grapes, which also denote a plurality or diversity without receiving much help. We labor with metaphors but there is nothing in our experience like God.

God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all yet God is Love; neither His righteousness nor His love is compromised by the other. God is the perfect balance of the two qualities. 1 John 1: 5; 4: 8

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you will also be cut off. Romans 11: 22

God is Spirit yet God is a person. John 4: 24; Matthew 5: 9 How do we relate to a Being who is non-physical, all-knowing, all-powerful, and eternal? The Scriptures bridge this tremendous gap with one word, "Father." We all have fathers; the word connotes many things. I hope your experience has been profitable and positive. If it has not, remember that our heavenly Father is love and good. With that kind of imagery we can summon up all kind of positive thoughts.

The paradoxical nature of Christ.

Jesus is both the Root and Offspring of David. Revelations 22: 16

Jesus is both the Sacrifice and High Priest. Hebrews 10: 10; 9: 11

Jesus is both Judge and Advocate. John 5: 22; Hebrews 8: 1

Jesus appears as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and Lamb of God.

Revelations 5: 5, 6

Jesus is both the Servant and the King. Isaiah 42: 1; Revelation 19: 16

Jesus is both Savor and Judge. John 4: 42; 5: 22

Jesus is the first and the last. Revelation 1: 17

Jesus is at once the Son of God and the Son of Man. Matthew 16: 13-16

The paradoxical nature of salvation and the Christian life.

He who wishes to save his life shall lose it. Matthew 16: 25

But whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16: 25

And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled. Matthew 23: 12

And whoever humbles himself shall be exalted Matthew 23: 12

But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 20: 26

The paradoxical nature of doctrine.

The election- God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world yet if anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Ephesians 1: 4; Matthew 16: 24

Grace- For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all me yet the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it. Matthew 7: 14; Titus 2: 11

Sovereignty of God- The Lord is not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance yet every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 2 Peter 3: 9; Matthew 7: 19

Law- for you are not under law, but under grace yet we are under law to Christ. Romans 6: 14; 1 Corinthians 9: 20, 21

Work- For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works yet He became to all that obey Him the source of eternal salvation. Ephesians 2: 8-10; Hebrews 5: 8, 9

Faith is received by the grace of God yet it is a response of man. 2 Peter 2: 1; Acts 18: 27; 16: 31

Obedience is a response of man yet it is God working in us both to will and to do. Philippians 2: 12, 13

We are saved by grace through faith yet the faith that saves is never alone. Ephesians 2: 10; James 2: 20, 24

Our relationship with God begins with fear of punishment yet is completed in love with fear being cast out. Matthew 10: 28; 1 John 4: 18; 1 John 4: 18

We receive faith by the grace of God yet faith is the introduction to the grace of God. Acts 18: 27; Romans 5: 2

Repentance is granted by God yet it is a response of man. 2 Timothy 2: 25; Acts 17: 31

Believers are begotten of God when they come to faith in God and Jesus the Lord through the word, the seed, yet they are not born again until they come forth from water and the Spirit. John 1: 12, 13; 3: 3, 5; James 1: 18

Jesus came to guide our feet in peace yet He did not come to bring peace on earth but a sword. Matthew 10: 34; Luke 1: 79

Our leaders rule by serving rather than serve by ruling. Matthew 20: 25-28

Parents- Honor your father and mother yet if anyone comes to Me , and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he can not be my disciple Exodus 20: 12;

Luke 14: 26

 

Sin- If we say we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us yet no one who abides in Him sins. 1 John 1: 8; 3: 9

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5: 4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 2: 2, 3

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteous, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5: 10

 

Eternal life- That God has given us eternal life, and this life is in the Son, he who has the Son has the life and yet we might be heirs according to the hope of eternal life. I John 5: 11; Titus 3: 7

Christ crucified is both the wisdom and the power of God yet to the Jew it is a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1: 21-24

Kingdom- the Lord is Sovereign of all the earth, of all creation yet His kingdom is not of this world. John 18: 36

The crucifixion of Jesus was seen as the death blow to the new sect but unwittingly it was the fulfillment of God’s plan and the establishment of God’s plan. 1 Corinthians 2: 8; Acts 4: 25-28

Is grace antithetical to obedience? Many would say, yes, because grace is certainly antithetical to works. Most would agree that grace is antithetical to works of the law, works of righteousness (works done to be righteous before God and men), works of which we may boast and works of merit. But is grace antithetical to works of God, works of faith, the labor of love and the obedience of faith. I hope you can see a difference. Obedience is a factor in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and salvation of man.

God has chosen to reveal Himself and the truth in the paradox. If we fail to grasp this fact, we will be led to incorrect and sometimes wild conclusions. If we do grasp it we will have one more tool in our search for the truth.

On Zion’s glorious summit stood

A numerous host redeemed by blood

They hymned their King is strains divine

I heard their voice and strove to join

I heard their voice and strove to join

 

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Last Update   09/26/12