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Bible Ah-Ha! #5

Is there one discovery about the Bible that can help us respond to the challenge of dangerous religious groups, encourage the growth of young believers, and throw light on our personal blind sides?

Over the years I’ve come to believe that the one insight that speaks to all of these areas is that:

All truth is in tension

The Bible throughout is marked by studies in contrast that complement and counterbalance one another.

One way to think of these tensions is organize them in three categories.

There are contrasts of wisdom and timing

  1. There is a time to obey government and a time to resist
  2. We should/should not be marked by tolerance
  3. We should separate ourselves from the world and befriend unbelievers

There are ironies of perspective and principle

  1. We should and should not be afraid of God
  2. Jesus came to bring peace and division
  3. Salvation in Christ is one and for all and continuous

There are tensions of Divine mystery

  1. God is one and three
  2. God rules the world and so does Satan
  3. God is sovereign while giving us freedom

The challenge in considering such tensions and contrasts of truth is to see that, when understood, one side does not neutralize or negate the other, just as knowing how to use hot and cold water does not make all water luke-warm. Rather than resulting in compromise and neutrality a right study in contrasts will develop the spiritual agility, balance, and energy.

Tomorrow I’d like to take a look with you at a study in contrast that we find in what the Bible teaches about forgiving others.

Can you think of an example of “truth in tension” that has helped develop your balance? Or do you see a danger in thinking this way about the Bible?

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4 Responses to “Bible Ah-Ha! #5”

  1. misterb says:

    A truth in tension that has served as a balance for me is the way the bible speaks directly to my heart. When I say something that may be unintentional, but harmful to someone else I can feel the anxiety urging me to immediately right the wrong. This tension helps me to be more careful of my spoken words to others.

  2. charlie64 says:

    A truth in tension that is one that keeps ‘niggling at me’….IS Jesus Christ died for everyone and it is n ot for me to judge christian or non christian>>>>All must come to faith in Christ through the Holy Spirit,My job is to be open to the Holy Spirit to work through me and to be aware that it is His guidance and n ot my own!!!I am reminded of a missionary friend years ago when he said there is going to b e alot of surprises in heaven meaning just b ecause we think a person isn’t saved isn’t necessarily true.I am often reminded of the Theif on the cross who cofessed Jesus with his dying b reath.I believe God put this story in the Bible to remind us that we are in deed saved through faith and it applies to us all!!!

  3. WAYNE A. HARRIS says:

    Romans 12:9 says “Let love be genuine (without hypocrisy). Hate (abhor) what is evil. Hold fast (cling) to that which (what) is good.” True love for God manifests itself as hatred to that which opposes God. We love the sinner, but hate the sin.

  4. daisymarygoldr says:

    This is a real Ah-Ha for me as I had never seen or read the Bible in this light of “tensions” and neither did I hear this concept before, but I do see and understand your point…
    All of God’s Truth must be considered absolute in its entirety while encompassing its polarities in that they describe what one should do and what one should not do. The Bible speaks of God who gave the Law and who also gives Grace; His Love and His Wrath; He creates and destroys; He condemns and forgives; He loves and hates; salvation based on faith and salvation that needs to be worked out.
    The opposites do not negate each other (the lukewarm water didn’t make sense to me:( but rather complete each other. For ex. at the Cross, Jesus provides Grace by fulfilling the Law; He who knew no sin (Holiness) became sin, the crushing action of God’s wrath enables the pouring out of His love and by His resurrection- Life conquers death and Good overcomes evil.
    There is danger of tipping the scales by swinging one way or the other because in balance there is no elimination. The devil presented only one half of the truth to Eve in Eden and it turned out to be a blatant lie! This is the exact reason for doubt and unbelief among believers (both young and old) today as they choose the goodly parts of the Bible and ignore or even falsify the unpalatable truths. Therefore, a follower of Christ maintains a healthy balance by believing and accepting both poles of the continuum as absolute truth.
    “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation” (Proverbs 26:4-5)!

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