Today we’ll dive back into contrasts in the bible. We’ll cover a couple today and a couple more tomorrow. I think. I mean, God willing. Who knows if he’ll take me home yet today? Maybe he’ll take all of us believers home! We have that hope! Wouldn’t it be grand to see Jesus in the clouds today, to be with him in an instant?
For now, let’s look at contrasts. The first is the difference we see between Romans 7 & 8. Let’s look at a couple verses.
Romans 7:21-24 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Romans 7:25, 8:1-2 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
That’s really, really good news! Both of these are written to believers. It is the inner struggle we have with sin and the supernatural power to overcome that we have through and in Jesus. How about the contrast between unbelief and belief?
Isaiah 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
In case you didn’t know, every human falls into the polluted garment category unless (only then is it until) God has mercy. Now, I’m going to switch the order around.
Jeremiah 29:11-14a For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord.
Hosea 13:6-8 but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. So I am to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk beside the way. I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open.
In my opinion, that passage in Hosea is the most awful imagery in the bible. God is not to be mocked. How about this next passage, what is often referred to as Jesus’ telling of The Final Judgment?
Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
v. 41, 46 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
This whole passage of Matthew is worthy of looking into much closer. Perhaps we shall do that soon. I think we may actually end this contrast study today with this, one of the least touched-upon chapters in the entire bible. Romans 9.
Romans 9:13-16, 21-23 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy…. Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory –
None of these are easy, but they are embedded from front to back of the bible. You would have to throw the entire bible out to run away from the consistent message God gives. And that message is this. We are hopelessly lost in our sin. Jesus is the only key to salvation. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him.
Father, encourage us with these words so that we may be motivated to share the gospel. Today. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers