Contrasting or Opposing Perspectives

opposite

Have you ever noticed how many contrasting or opposing perspectives there are in the Bible?

There are all kinds of examples, Holy and unholy, clean and unclean, right and wrong, dedicated and common, good and evil, light and darkness, working and resting, the flesh and the spirit, not by might but by My spirit, life and death and heaven and hell, just to name a very few.

Both Jesus and the Apostles spoke a lot about contrasting or opposing perspectives. Here are just three of many examples:

Matthew 10:39 NASB  “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”

Matthew 19:30 NASB  “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.”

1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB  “So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”

It struck me that these opposing or contrasting perspectives are given time and time again to illustrate how what we perceive in our flesh, is 180 degrees out of sync with God’s ways.

We recall that God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Another scripture verse also came to mind and it is James 2:10 NASB which reads “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”

I can’t help but think that most times we just don’t get it.

And yet, if you look for it, it is virtually on just about every page of the Bible. The contrast between God and ourselves, since the fall, is literally like night and day. And that’s the point, whether it is our perception of just about everything that we look at, or hear or desire, it is just different than God’s and the gulf between the two perspectives is immense, and no matter how hard we try, in our own strength, we are totally unable to bridge that gap.

If I started at Genesis and went through to Revelation, I could fill page after page of these pointers. The mere fact that these pointers are there, beginning at Genesis right through to Revelation, should in itself, bear witness to the reality of God’s testimony to us, through His Word. All these different time periods, all these different authors, all these different books, Psalms, Gospels, Epistles and Revelation itself, all point to this one reality.

Romans 5:12-15 NASB

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”

And then we have Jesus, the Messiah, our Redeemer, the Son of the living God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 NASB

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

One of the most difficult concepts to grasp is that our efforts, in and of ourselves, is not and cannot be, the causal agent of the re-establishment of our communion again with God.

This rebirth that we experience, that is made available to us through God’s Holy Spirit in us, is of God and not of ourselves.

We don’t need a remake of our old selves, we need a new me. Our new life is in reality, in Jesus, in us, where we learn to walk away from the old me. That’s the old me dying. That’s the exact opposite of getting the old me to become more like Jesus. If we don’t grasp this, we’ve missed the reality of what the whole New Covenant that Jesus came to proclaim is all about.

Yes, I know, dying isn’t easy and I surely haven’t gotten there yet. But that’s why these bodies do have to literally die, and then are raised again, like Jesus to immorality. The important aspect of this is our mindset, it’s not about us changing us to be more like Jesus, it’s about what God has already done for us in Jesus and our own mindset to literally see it and move into it. There is a 180 degree difference in the approach and everything that I read in the New Testament, from Jesus, from all the Apostles, including Paul, points to this reality.

Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing (John 15:5).
Paul said that the life that he lives now, he lives in Jesus (Galatians 2:20)
Jesus tells us that he that overcomes will inherit these things (Revelation 21:7-8).

He that overcomes what? Ourselves in and through Him.

The journey is about learning to die (John 12:24-25).
The final conclusion of learning to die is our actual death (Hebrews 9:27-28).
The realization of the promise is our immorality in our new bodies, where Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren (Romans 8:29).

180 degrees.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 comments

  1. “He that overcomes what? Ourselves in and through Him”
    I’ve often wondered what this means while having the same thoughts, Bruce.
    “Ourselves, in and through Him”. It is a complete disgrace for me to even begin to think that my personal EFFORTS, regardless of how much of His Holy Spirit is utilized within the walk, make me worthy of claiming to even have a tad bit of His stature. Yes, I can make the decisions and change the way I choose to walk, but I am not–ever–like Him. Therefore, I give myself NO credit, in order to stay humble before Him.
    The quest–the, “shift”–to be more like Him, in my eyes has already been achieved IN HIM, THROUGH HIM, ALONE. Apart from Him (without faith ALONE) we can do nothing FOR God. Jesus made the way. These efforts of MYSELF are filthy rags, only fit for the garbage. Just my view.
    Blessings, brother.

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    • Hi Jim, it’s still relatively early but our numbers with infections are low in Nova Scotia, I think 5 all told and no deaths. Considering that there are only 1 million people in all of Nova Scotia, I guess that is good. Schools , sports, museums, churches, theatres etc are all closed and we have minimum hours now at a good number of stores. Getting tested is not a problem and we have dedicated centers set up. We can phone in our grocery order, drive to the store, pull up to a designated sport at a designated time and one person brings the groceries out and puts them in the trunk so that is also helpful. Minimum contact with people. Time will tell I guess. How are you folks doing?

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      • Doing well thus far though there is 55 people or more with it but that’s because Southern California has so many people from the world. Groceries is crazy but I’m amaze at how things are still calm

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  2. I agree dying to self is central. And coming alive in Jesus. John 12:24&25. This is a hard thing to understand that we must die to bear fruit. It begins now and culminates in our eternal life as you said. Thanks for the challenge. I always learn something from you. You are an inspired teacher.

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