According to Webster, a paradox is "something apparently absurd or incredible, yet may be true in fact; a tenet contrary to received opinions." How full the Word of God is with paradoxes. Here are a few:
1. The only way up in the kingdom of heaven is down (Matt. 20:20-28).
2. The pre-requisite for spiritual strength is weakness (II Cor. 12:9-10).
3. The most mature in the kingdom of heaven are the most child-like (Matt. 18:1-4).
4. The church is the only society on earth where unworthiness is required for membership. Being a sinner is the prerequisite for salvation (I Tim. 1:15).
5. The blessed of. God are the poor, the hungry, and the persecuted. Those who are not blessed are the rich, full, and loved (Luke 6:20-26).
6. The believer gains assurance of his own personal acceptance before God based wholly upon something he personally had nothing to do with, but what Somebody else has done (Rom. 4:5-8).
7. The believer is instructed to be totally content and totally discontent at the same time (Phil. 4:12).
8. The believer would not dare come before God on the basis of any work performed, yet longs to be rich in good works (James 2:19).
9. The believer knows he is without a shred of righteousness before God, and yet knows he stands without a shred of sin before God (I John 1:8-10).
10. The believer is at the precise same time happy and sad, rejoicing and miserable, pessimistic and optimistic (Rom. 7:14-25).
An unbeliever can never understand these paradoxes. A believer may not be able to explain them, but he understands them because he has experienced them. By Todd Nibert