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Biblical Paradoxes (Part 1)
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.                Introduction

A.    A paradox is a statement that seemingly contradicts itself

                                                    i.     It appears to be both true and false at the same time

                                                   ii.     They can be very confusing but not in the Bible

B.    An example of a paradox can be seen in Pinocchio

                                                    i.     When he tells a lie his nose grows

                                                   ii.     But what if he said “My nose will grow right now”

1.     If his nose grows he told the truth so it wouldn’t

2.     If his nose doesn’t grow he lied but then it would

C.    Consider some Biblical paradoxes that we can learn lessons from

II.              In the world but not of the world (John 17:14-16)

A.    The Lord was in the world but He was not part of it (John 1:10)

                                                    i.     John tells us we cannot love the things in the world (1 John 2:15)

                                                   ii.     Loving the world is the opposite of loving God

B.    James tells us we cannot be friends of the world (James 4:4)

                                                    i.     We have a tendency to conform to our friends

                                                   ii.     We begin talking and acting like them

1.     However, I cannot conform to this world (Rom 12:2)

2.     I must be careful not to prioritize my time with the people or things of this world lest I become part of it

C.    We understand we are in this world and cannot leave it (1 Cor 5:9-10)

                                                    i.     That doesn’t mean we can’t avoid the evil therein

                                                   ii.     After all, we are commanded to avoid evil companions (1 Cor 15:33)

III.            Through humility I am exalted (Luke 14:11)

A.    When I humble myself my God lifts me up (James 4:10)

                                                    i.     But if I lift myself up He makes me low

                                                   ii.     A prime example is found in Luke 18:10-14

1.     The Pharisee prays comparing himself to others

2.     The publican prays comparing himself to God

B.    God has respect to those who are lowly (Psa 138:6)

                                                    i.     I must compare myself with God and not man in order to remain humble

                                                   ii.     Jesus was the lowest of low (Phil 2:7-9)

1.     God certainly exalted Him

2.     And what do we make Jesus, the man, out to be when we think we are better than others