Ponder a Paradox, week 1

Let’s play a game!

Oh wait, that’s Katrina and Ashley’s line. (How did I end up with two ardent game-lovers in my life?)

In any case, I had a random idea this morning, and since this my blog I get to try it. You are cordially invited to humor me or truly enjoy it. Either way, here’s the idea: each week, I’ll post a paradox related to life following Jesus. You get to join me in pondering it and post whatever your thoughts are at some point. I know that there’s a good chunk of wisdom in the “room,” and I’d like to hear it.

For me, the challenge in a paradox is keeping the balance. It’s easy to tend toward one side or the other, yet the beauty of at least gospel paradoxes is that they often express an infinite truth.

Paradox 1:

The gift of salvation is free through Jesus’ gracious work on the cross, and Jesus asks us to lose our lives for His sake to find them.

How do you live out these truths cohesively?

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3 thoughts on “Ponder a Paradox, week 1

  1. I give up… how? This game is hard, I think I’m gonna go back to playing peek-a-boo with Trenton!

    JK, I had a random thought… It’s somewhat like gravity… Gravity is always there (like Jesus’ work on the cross) and free for the taking (experiencing) at any point that we are ready to give up our control and simply fall (feel the effects of gravity).

    However, until you have experienced a true free fall (complete lack of control) you have not experienced the true and full effects of gravity.

    Example: Anyone who has ever cliff jumped (more than one story up), bunjee jumped, or gone sky diving can attest to the fact that a free fall is experiencing complete loss of personal control. Gravity is in total control and the feeling can be scary, thrilling, confusing, amazing, rewarding, and totally fulfilling all at the same time. Much the same way it is when we surrender completely to God (lose our lives). You step, jump, or fall and feel the full effects of Gravity like surrendering and experiencing the free gift of salvation.

    Ok, nuf of my random thinking, my brain hurts 😉

  2. Is it really a paradox? I was thinking of it as more of a dichotomy…

    I guess I don’t think that the gift of salvation is really free, I think it will cost you everything you have…nothing. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but when I think about it I tend to differentiate between the access to the gift and the actual gift of salvation itself. The access is free, but to take advantage of the free access and claim the gift you must submit to God’s will. This would include abandonment of your former ways and total devotion to His ways, consecration and dedication to God are required. You must follow God. I think were directly referring to Matthew 16:35 in your post but I’ll refer to the verse right before that.

    “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” -Matthew 16:34

    C.W. told me that he has a co-worker who likes to reference Isaiah 64:6 every time they discuss sanctification. The co-worker’s point is something to the effect that if “[…] our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” then that means we can never live above sin, we can never be holy. I choose instead to believe that the verse is actually referring to OUR righteousness, not GOD’S righteousness. In and of ourselves we have only self-righteousness, which I agree is absolutely nothing to God…filthy rags. That is what I mean when I say salvation will cost you everything you have. If you haven’t had the very real experience of salvation, then all you have is self-righteousness and sin. When I got saved I can honestly say that I had nothing good in my life to offer God. I had an advantage though, I knew I had nothing. It took the realization that everything I had in my life (sin) was really nothing in the eyes of God to get me to pray to God for salvation. So I guess what I’m saying is, salvation wasn’t free for me, it cost me everything I had, my sin.

    I have more to say on the subject but this is all I can, in good conscience, post on your blog. I have already taken up too much room.

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