Isn’t That a Contradiction?
I John 2:7–11
- The Purpose of John’s Letter
• In what John wanted believers to be able to live a joyful Christian life (I John 1:4).
- Evaluating Self-Contradictory Statements
• A truly self-contradictory statement cannot be reconciled.
Statement 1: Truth exists.
Statement 2: Truth does not exist.
• An apparently self-contradictory statement can be reconciled.
Statement 1: I see a box with the number 1 in it.
Statement 2: I see a box with the letter A in it.
If two people were looking at the list below, both statements would be true:
1 A 5 B Z 12 D
• In the modern period, many people tend to think “only one of these can be true; the other must be false.”
• During the Middle Ages, many people tended to think, “let’s see if we can find a scenario that would make both of these statements true.”
- Apparently Self-Contradictory Statements in the Bible
• In the Bible, when you see an apparently self-contradictory statement, it is generally a cue for meditation.
• In what One of the most famous apparently self contradictory statements in the Bible is found in Proverbs 26:4–5,
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
- Is It Old or New?
• I write no new commandment (v. 7). Again, a new commandment I write.
• In what way is this command old?
Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”
• In what way is this command new?
A New Standard
John 13:34 records these words of Jesus, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
A New Spirit
II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
- Light Is Linked to Love
• I John 2:11, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.”