Contrast

<<difference>>

Much of the book of Proverbs contrasts two things to show their dissimilarity by highlighting both extremes, such as “A good man obtains favour from the Lord, but He condemns a crafty man” (Prov 12:2).

Here is a further selection from the Bible: the way of God and the way of evil are portrayed as two diametrically opposed alternatives (Ps 1:1-6); Jesus came to give abundant life, the devil tries to steal, kill and destroyed it (Jn 10:10); the broad road leading to death is contrasted with the narrow road that leads to life (Mt 7:13); these two alternatives are described as light and darkness (Jn 8:12; Act 26:18); the Spirit and flesh war against each other (Gal 5:17); we either live for self and reap destruction or live for God’s kingdom resulting in eternal life (Gal 6:8); Christians pass from death to life (Jn 5:24; Rom 6:13,23);  possessions can either decay on earth or be preserved in heaven (Mt 6:19-21); the fruits of the two natures (Gal 5:19-24); what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? (2 Cor 6:14). God keeps His promises: Satan promises but doesn’t deliver (Tit 1:2; Rev 12:9).

Jesus ended His Sermon on the Mount with the illustration contrasting those that hear and apply His teachings with those who hear and don’t put it into practice – the result is dramatic (Mt 7:24-27).

There should be a marked contrast in us now compared to what there was before we knew Jesus (Rom 6:19; 2 Cor 5:16,17). If our lives are not undergoing transformation, we should ask ‘why not?’ 

God is a God of love and mercy but also justice; He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, yet won’t allow anyone not covered by the blood of Christ into heaven – there is no third option available.

In spite of challenges and spiritual opposition as Christians, we should have a positive outlook on life rather than a defeatist

   How has my life changed since knowing Christ?

attitude because through His salvation we have “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3). This is in contrast to those without Christ who don’t have any worthwhile long-term prospects so no wonder they are critical, pessimistic and confused. “There will be a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not” (Mal 3:18). Religion is focused on  following manmade rules and will not result in eternal life, in contrast Christianity is foremost a relationship with Christ culminating in eternal life.

See also: compare/comparison, difference, position in Christ, Proverbs.

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