Sermons

Summary: To be eligible for forgiveness we must first sin by disobeying God and, therefore, this is a blessing we are to avoid. It is a blessing to offer this forgiveness to the fallen believer, but it is not a blessing to have fallen and needing such forgiveness.

Doing your best could be the worst thing you could do. That sounds like a

contradiction, but it can be explained so that it makes sense as a paradox.

A paradox is a statement, which at first sight seems absurd, and contrary to

common sense, but which can be explained so as to be well grounded and true

in fact. It is not hard to figure out the paradox in the statement that the

new cars are wider, longer, lower, and higher. That they are lower in

relation to the ground, and higher in relation to your bank account is easy

to see. Many paradoxes are not so obvious. Some of the beatitudes of Jesus,

for example are paradoxes. Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are those

who mourn, and blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

These need some deeper thinking before the clouds of obscurity will clear

away, and let the light of truth shine through.

So it is with the statement, doing your best can be the worst thing you

can do. It is contrary to a normal pattern of thinking, but all it takes is

one illustration to turn it into a paradoxical statement of truth. A

minister of a large church had his assistant preach the sermon on Sunday

morning. He wanted to slip away to play golf. He drove the ball with

terrific accuracy, and everything he did seem to go perfect, and he finished

the 18 holes with a remarkable 68. It was the first time he ever broke 100.

He was over joyed and elated until it struck him, he would never be able to

tell anyone about it because of the circumstances. Had he played an average

game, there would be nothing to tell, but he had gone and done his very best,

and now he couldn't share his excitement. Doing his best under those

circumstances proved to be the worst thing he could do. His great pleasure

paradoxically became his punishment.

Doing your best at any act of evil is always the worst thing you can do.

The thing to notice about the nature of paradox is that it keeps you aware of

the complexity of reality. It keeps you aware of the danger of

oversimplification. We tend to take a legitimate aspect of reality and make

it the whole. Paradox forces us to keep an open mind, and seek to reconcile

contradictory aspects of life. The Christian who cannot accept paradox as

part of reality will often be distressed, because life refuses to conform to

the logic of what he feels ought to be. Everything can make sense, however,

to one who is willing to see the paradoxical nature of reality.

A blessed curse sounds like nonsense, but a little thought can make it a

precious truth. The Scripture says, "Cursed is every man who is hung upon a

tree." Jesus was hung upon a tree, and crucified for our sin. His curse

became the means by which all of our sins are forgiven. Who can think of a

curse that ever led to greater blessings? It was indeed a blessed curse, and

no longer a statement of nonsense. I emphasize the reality of paradox

because Paul is so paradoxical in this passage of Gal. 6. The paradox we

want to consider concerns a blessing we are to avoid. It sounds unreasonable

to even suggest that we should try and avoid one of God's blessings, but that

is exactly what God's expects us to do, and exactly what we want to do when

we understand the meaning of the paradox.

No one will doubt that guilt is one of the heaviest burdens a man can

bear, and no one will doubt that forgiveness is one of the most precious of

all blessings. Yet, as blessed as it is to be lifted, it is more blessed

never to have fallen. The blessing we are to avoid, therefore, is the

blessing of being the one who is restored through forgiveness. While helping

the fallen experience this blessing, we are to be careful to avoid it

ourselves. It is a blessing that can only come through first disobeying God.

To be eligible for forgiveness we must first sin, and, therefore, this is a

blessing we are to avoid.

A Sunday School teacher asked her class what is the first thing we must

do to obtain forgiveness of sin? A little boy spoke up and said, "Sin!" It

was not the expected answer, but a correct one, and because they only way to

obtain this goal is by the route of evil, it is a way we are not to travel.

It is a blessing we are never to chose, but one we are to receive only

because of necessity due to the fact that we have fallen.

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