The Bible teems with joyous, paradoxical truths. God is three in one. God is man. God dies on a cross. The God who visits his vengeance upon trespassers has mercy only on sinners. We die to live. We live to die. The sinner is righteous. The weak are strong. Saints are sinners. Sinners are saints. Afflictions are blessings. The word of man is the Word of God. The poor are rich, and the rich poor. The first are last, the last first. Law and Gospel. It is a hallmark of faithful Lutheranism that it does not, as a matter of principle, try to resolve these paradoxes. Is it bread, or is it body? The texts simply state that it is both. If salvation is God’s act alone, and faith is a result also of an eternal election to salvation (Ephesians 1), and God wants all to be saved, then why are not all saved? Must not God then have determined to condemn some from all eternity? No. The Bible says, “God wants all to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). Lutheranism lets the paradox stand.
Matthew C. Harrison - A Little Book on Joy