Isn’t That a Contradiction?

Isn’t That a Contradiction?

I John 2:7–11

  1. The Purpose of John’s Letter

• In what John wanted believers to be able to live a joyful Christian life (I John 1:4).

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.”

Mike Zachary


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