My online dictionary defines ‘paradox’ as: a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd, but in reality expresses a possible truth.
In the previous post ‘Raised with Christ’*, I drew attention to the ‘paradox’ of Christians being ‘righteous’, and yet they are tainted with ‘sin’. How can this be?
Here are the words I wrote: Paradoxically, although righteous, a Christian is a prisoner of his own body which is tainted with sin inherited from Adam (Romans 6:6), and as such his body is subject to decay and death (Genesis 3:19). Spiritually, he is alive in the risen Christ (Colossians 2:12, 13). Positionally he has risen with Him in newness of life (Romans 6:4), and not only that, he has power to overcome sin, just as Jesus overcame sin. Having been enlivened by His Spirit he [she] lives in Him (v 13).
Witness of the Saints
Well, the truth is that a Christian, i.e., a genuine believer who trusts in Jesus, and who has repented of his sins (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3) is a saint. Paul the Apostle and other contributors to the New Testament clearly referred to ‘saints’ (Romans 1:7; 8:27; 16:15) as those who were members of Christ’s Body [His Church] (Colossians 1:18, 24), whether at Colosse, Ephesus, Rome or Corinth etc., but when you read Paul’s epistles, you will notice they are full of exhortations for the ‘saints’ to live more righteously, e.g., Romans 12-15:13; Ephesians 4-6:18 and Colossians 3-4:6. They fell far short of the holy living their new life in the Spirit should have demonstrated. Their old habits lingered on. They were not wholly living by faith; instead some of them were enticed by satan to sin (Mark 4:15; Luke 22:3; 22:31; Acts 26:18; Revelation 2:12-17). He still had a foothold. He had not been completely vanquished. They were missing the mark, and they were not truly free in the Spirit of the Son (John 8:36).
This is also true of many Christians today. Their witness does not match up to holy living, and it is evident for the world to see. So-called Christian churches of various denominations do not practice what the Bible teaches; for example, they do not teach salvation through faith alone by grace, and not by works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Some even contradict themselves by teaching salvation through faith plus works! There are those who endorse and practise same sex marriage, and in their midst are ‘ministers’ who are openly gay. Satan is present in these so-called churches and he reaps a harvest to damnation (Matthew 13:24-30).
Nowhere in God’s Word, i.e., the Bible, [and the only authority to which a Christian is subject], can I find Scriptures that teach same sex marriage is God’s will. Yes, in His Sovereign will he allows it, but His design was and is for a man to be joined to a woman for the procreation of children in His image (Genesis 9:1, 7). His design was for families and nations (Revelation 14:6, 7), the peoples of whom would worship and adore Him. Both men and women were made in His image and are in His image (Genesis 1:27), despite the sin that blights them.
A Bleak Picture?
This would appear to be a bleak picture, but that’s not the case. God’s Sovereign will will be done (Isaiah 14:26, 27; Ephesians 1:7-12)! He loves His people so much that He gave them His only begotten Son Jesus (John 3:16), who died in their place to bring them to Himself, i.e., God the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit [the Trinity – God in One].
There is no Paradox
There is no paradox for God. He knows exactly the truth, for He is the Truth (John 14:6). His grand design** was and is for Him to have an inheritance for Himself (Exodus 34:9; Psalm 33:12), and for His people to have an inheritance in Him (Ephesians 1:11; Acts 20:32; 26:18). His ‘holy’ people are made holy, for He is holy (Leviticus 11:44, 45; 1 Peter 1:15), and despite their failings while here on earth, they are perfected (John 17:23; Hebrews 11:40; 12:24) in His eyes. All of them, past, present and future are – I say – ‘are’ righteous in Him who is Righteous (Romans 3:21-26).
Praise the LORD!
*Raised with Christ
**God’s Tapestry of Change [God’s Grand Design]