Bible Paradoxes Mk 8: 35 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Recently, in a men’s meeting, a friend of mine preached on the paradoxes in the Bible. It was such an interesting message that I will repeat most of what he said in this message. These things will help you if you understand them and live by them. The Bible paradoxes are:
You save your life by losing it – Mk 8:35 – if you try to save yourself through religion or good works you will die and wind up in hell. Some people hang on to their religion because they are afraid of their family. They are afraid what their family will say or do. If you give up on your own efforts and religion and simply trust Jesus by faith to save you through what he has already done for you, you will live forever. And you will wind up in heaven when you die.
You live by dying – Gal 2:20 – it’s not enough to just be saved. If you want to really live, you must be crucified with Christ before you can start living. You can enjoy your eternal life now, if you will die to your temporal life now. You can’t devote all your effort to making your life down here better and hope to live for Jesus at the same time. Jesus didn’t die so you could have a better temporal life; he died so you can live. He came that you might have life more abundantly.
You find freedom in service – Rom 6:18, 20, 22 – Jesus frees you from sin. But to appropriate that freedom, you must serve righteousness; you must serve God. When you serve God you walk in liberty from the sin that is still in your flesh. You will either serve sin or you will serve God. Serving one makes you free from the other. The servants of sin are free from righteousness, and the servants of righteousness are free from sin.
You receive by giving – Lk 6:38 – give and it shall be given unto you. Prov 11:24 says, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth.” Jesus taught that It is more blessed to give than to receive, Acts 20:35. The reason is that receiving adds to your income and assets and that’s it. Giving is, initially, an expense. But then it exponentially increases by adding to your joy [2 Cor 8:2], your fruit [Phil 4:17, 2 Cor 9:6], your love [2 Cor 9:7], your grace [2 Cor 9:8] and your financial resources [Phil 4:19; Lk 6:38]. God will use the same measure you use to mete it out to you again.
You strengthen through weakness – 2 Cor 12:9-10 – your physical weakness coupled with the supply of God’s grace makes you stronger than you could ever be in your own strength alone. Don’t fight your weakness when God intends to use it to strengthen you by his grace.
You are exalted through humility – Jas 4:10; 1 Pet 5:6 – as one preacher used to say, “The way up is down.” If you exalt yourself, God will abase you. Dan 4:37, “those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” Before honor is humility. Forget about recognition from men. Forget about the praise of men. You do what you do for God with the same mind that Jesus did what he did for God [Phil 2:5-9]. And in “due time” God will exalt you.
Conclusion: Jesus saves you when you do exactly the opposite of what the world and your own mind convince you to do. You must repent of your own righteousness and receive the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. And then once Jesus saves you, live like a contrarian. You must live according to these paradoxes. First, you die to live. And you grow weak to be strong. Then, you serve to become free. And you give and thereby receive. When you humble yourself now, the Lord will exalt you later.