Contrasts in the Bible

The Bibles is filled with statements of contrast. Statements that demonstrate the effects of the sinful life as opposed to the Spirit filled life. For examples look at the Book of Proverbs.

Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;  but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.  Proverbs 2:20-22 (NIV)

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.  Proverbs 4:18-20 (NIV)

Jesus also made contrasts in the sermon on the mount. He talked about light and darkness; salt and no salt; abolishing the Law and fulfilling the Law; praying like a hypocrite and praying like a humble follower of God; and loving your neighbor and hating your enemy.

Romans 8:1-11 tells about the law of the Spirit as contrasted with the law of sin and death. The writer also tells about living “according to the flesh” or living according to the “Spirit of God who lives in you.”

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:1-11 (NIV)

The Law of sin and death was the law that was put into effect when God created Adam.

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17(NIV)

Later in the events of Adam and Eve, the serpent convinced Eve that she wouldn’t die if she sinned and ate from the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. Eve submitted to her fleshly desires and ate from the tree and gave some to Adam to eat. At this point, man became separated from God. Adam and Eve were driven from the garden and no longer able to enjoy God’s presence in the Garden of Eden.

Throughout the Old Testament, God was promising a Messiah. This was the only way that mankind’s relationship could be restored to the relationship like Adam and Eve had with God in the Garden of Eden.

God did send his Messiah to the earth but man didn’t realize who he was. Matthew 1:1(NIV)  This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

In the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; we are told about the life of Jesus the Messiah, and how He took on human form so he could experience the same situations that we would face in our lifetime. We read about God instructions to us about the Messiah.  We read that Jesus was rejected by his own people. In fact, He was crucified by the people he came to save. But this was just the beginning.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”  Matthew 28:1-7 (NIV)

God raised Jesus from the dead; He became victorious over death!

Because Jesus was victorious over death, God was able to send his Holy Spirit to dwell in believers; giving them victory over death.

In the Book of Acts, it tells about the followers of Jesus being gathered together and the Holy Spirit coming to rest on each of them, filling them with the Holy Spirit.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)

People follow one of two natures; They either follow the leading the Holy Spirit and have eternal life, or they follow the flesh like Adam and Eve, and be subject to death.  People can live according to the Holy Spirit, and live eternally with God; or they can live according to their fleshly desires and be subject to death and separation from God.

If you are led by the flesh, you will perform fleshly acts.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:29-21(NIV)

If you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will perform spiritual acts

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV)

When people look at your actions will they say you are led by the flesh; or would they say you are led by the Spirit?

NOTE: All scriptures quoted in the blog were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com October 13, 2013.