Today I want to begin a series of Contrasts and Paradoxes. As is usually the case the piec comes from someone else but was a blessing to me and I hope it may be a blessing to you. I love contrasts because in positioning two things together or against each other – each one is better understood on its own terms and alongside something else. The first in the series is Jesus & Paul. Who Paul? – you say. Paul – the Saint & Apostle – you must have heard of him). Damascus? 2000 or so years ago? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
“Paul ran from Christ; Christ pursued and overtook him. Paul resisted Christ; Christ disarmed him. Paul persecuted Christ; Christ converted him. Paul was an alien; Christ made him a member of the family. Paul was an enemy; Christ made him a friend. Paul was ‘in the flesh’; Christ set him ‘in the Spirit.’ Paul was under the law; Christ set him in grace. Paul was dead; Christ made him alive to God. How does one give reasons for this? He does not give reasons; he sings, ‘Blessed be God who blessed us . . . even as he chose us in him.’”
Lewis B. Smedes, Union With Christ (Grand Rapids, 1983), pages 86-87.
HT (hat tip) Ray Ortlund at Christ is Deeper Still