The Paradox of Faith: At Once a Gift and a Command

Paradoxes of the Bible #11

The Paradox of Faith

John 6:28-29

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. A study of Scripture reveals there is a paradox at the heart of the doctrine of salvation or conversion.
  8. On the one hand we see that the saved have been predestined or elected to this salvation. We see it in Romans 8:30 whereby we are predestined, called, justified, and glorified. God elects us from eternity, then calls us, that is we have an interest in Jesus, then utterly saves us, forgiving us of all sin, and finally glorifies us, that is, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
  9. However, we also must note the command to believe in Jesus, believe in His name. To believe in His name is to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed Messiah, is the Word become flesh, fully God and fully man, and that in His death on the cross, He took all of our sins upon Himself, dying in our place.
  10. Indeed, it is the work of God to believe in Jesus. In John 6 is found one of the “I Am” sayings of Jesus. Here He states that He is the Bread of Life, that Bread we must eat or we die.
  11. Those who heard Jesus speak that day asked Him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Here is His answer: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).
  12. We then are called to present both sides of this paradox though they seem to us to be diametrically opposed to each other. This is surely beyond our understanding!

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