We live in a binary world. Male and female, night and day, heaven and earth, good and evil, beauty and horror. It is this way because God made the world.
And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:4)
Antithesis is the result of separation and the appearance of opposites. This separation is not a bad thing, it’s simply the way the world is. Not only does this world have antithesis, but we need it.
By antithesis, we show what is good and bad, what is true and false, what is beautiful and ugly, what is lawful and unlawful.
The antithesis is God’s doing. Which may go some way to explain why the world would like to blur the differences – all the differences.
Did God really say?
Yes, He did.
The world wants to blur the differences, often as a means of dealing with its own guilt. Let’s not call that thing we’re doing lust, or abortion, or envy. Let’s call it love, or human rights or justice.
But God’s plan is to magnify the difference.
No one is happy to see the valley getting lower and darker. But that’s what makes us happy to see the hill rising higher before us.
And so Paul,
…for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognised (1 Corinthians 11:19)
The antithesis draws attention to the genuine article. Not only that, but it makes the genuine article all the more desirable.
See, I have taught you statutes and rules… Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? (Dueteronomy 4:5-8)
The antithesis points us to the beauty of obedience and this is why obedience is tied to the gospel.
God had built a City on a Hill. And one of the commandments He has given to it’s citizens is that they are to teach all nations to obey the Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:19).
One of the ways we do this is to live out the antithesis. To point out the antithesis by our obedience to the gospel.
Boys are boys and girls are girls. A Monet is lovely and a Picasso is ugly. A gay union is a fruitless and degenerate relationship and taxation on wages is theft.
Blur is boring, and dark and dull. But everyone loves a sunrise.
And this is why living in obedience to the antithesis is what will win the nations and cause them to leave the valley of death for that City on a Hill.
It’s also why we don’t despair. The mountain of the Lord is destined to fill the earth and in this city every knee will one day bow (Daniel 2:35).
The antithesis of death has come. He is risen. And He is altogether beautiful.