My Thoughts. . .

Monday, 08-24-2020

Have you ever come across two different passages in your Bible study that seemed to contradict one another?  Example?  First, there is Jesus’ statement,

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil.  But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” (Matthew 5:38-41).

Then, you read the following which appears to contradict the first reading.

“But now,’ he said, ‘take a duffel bag if you have one and your money.  And if you don’t have a sword, better sell your clothes and buy one!  For the time has come for this prophecy about me to come true: ‘He will be condemned as a criminal!’  Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.’  ‘Master,’ they replied, ‘we have two swords among us.’ ‘Enough!’ he said.” (Luke 22:36-38).

Some will look at both passages and conclude that “The Bible contradicts itself.”  A second observer will state, “The second passage is false whereas the first is not.”  A third individual states that both passages are like statements found in Proverbs.  Both are truthful within their context.  For example, David and his men were hiding in Keilah.  Saul found out where David was.  David asked God, “Will Saul come down?”  God’s answer was, “He will come down” (1 Samuel 23:7-11).  However, when David left Keilah, Saul heard about his departure, so he did not make that trip.  One has to see the context to note the truth.  There is no contradiction.

There are circumstances when an individual in Jesus’ day would turn the other cheek, give up his coat and cloak in a lawsuit, or go two miles rather than the prescribed one.  Yet, Jesus ask if his apostles had a sword.  Their answer was, “Two.”  Jesus said that was sufficient.  We know Peter had one.  He used it to cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear.  We also know that Jesus rebuked Peter and told him to put his sword up.  Did he give that command because Peter sinned by owning and using his sword?  No.  One has to look at the context and see why Jesus did not want Peter interfering with the fulfillment of prophesy.  On other occasions a sword could be utilized, but not on this one.

This problem is seen more acutely on passage concerning sin.  Some believe one sin will send him to hell unless he immediately asks God to forgive him.  The individual believes sin immediately transports him from the body of Jesus back to Satan’s kingdom.  Until he repents and prays, he remains in that lost state.  It may only be a matter of minutes before he confesses his wrongdoing, but during that time he is bound in a hellish kingdom.  There are circumstances where this could be true if he walks away from Jesus with no desire to return.  However, everyone, even the sanctified, commits sin.  To deny this fact is to deny 1 John 1:7-10.  Too many saints leave the blood of Jesus out of the equation as well as the indwelling of the Spirit.  Some quote 1 John 1:9 as if a vocal statement must be made prior to forgiveness being offered.  The passage does not define forgiveness in those terms.  Any conscious Christian knows he is capable of sinning during any 24/7 period.  God dwells in him as His Temple.  God keeps his Temple cleansed with the blood of Jesus.  Context bears this out.  The blood of Jesus is not a limited covering nor impotent in its cleansing.  The difference between sinner and saint is that one is either a lost sinner or a saved one.  The lost one needs to confess his sins, repent and be immersed into Jesus’ death, buried, and resurrection into the new life.  The saved sinner recognizes what Jesus has and is doing for him and continues to confess or admit his sins while rejoicing over his forgiveness.  The problem some have is that they believe the blood of Jesus is sufficient a long as WE continue in sinless perfection.  Such perfection would make Jesus’ sacrifice foolish.  Blindness on man’s part is that he reduces the effect of Jesus’ blood and magnifies his perfection as the answer to his salvation.  Foolish man.  Guess where that idea began?  It came from the originator of the phrase, “You will not die” (Genesis 3:4-5).

Which sinner are you?