In his meditation on Psalm 81, Charles Spurgeon says the divine voice speaks warnings, promises, and precepts. All three are necessary and good aspects of the word of God.
Sometimes we emphasize only one aspect of God’s word. We can hear only the warnings and become fearful that harm will come to us. We can focus solely on the precepts and instructions and grow weary in our efforts to keep them. Or we can take the promises of God that good will come as reason to be less than vigilant.
God’s voice is varied. He speaks in all the ways we need to know him, walk with him, and find our rest and hope in him. So, we must heed every word.
This Sunday at Grace Community Church, we will consider Romans 16:17-20 and hear the warning, instructing, and promising voice of God.
We are warned to watch out for those who trouble the church by teaching error and causing division. The best way to do this is to know the truth and commit ourselves to obey it. A deep unity comes from submitting to the word of Christ together. Each generation is tested in this respect. There will always be new ways to recycle old false teachings. Let’s study, pray, and obey that we will not be led astray.
We are instructed to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The good in the context it refers to what is true and what promotes love and obedience to God. The evil refers to the false teaching and the sinful ways that result. This calls for discernment. We must never assume that if we have our doctrine statement rooted in the Bible and written down that we are safe. We must be discerning, always thinking and testing, growing in the wisdom that applies the doctrine in faithfulness.
We are promised that soon God will crush Satan under our feet. This may sound like a strange promise after the preceding warning and instruction. But if we go back to the beginning (Genesis 3), we see that the serpent (Satan) was behind the drift from the word of God and the disobedience that followed. Yes, humans cause divisions and create obstacles, but our serpent enemy is lurking, luring, and leading people astray. Our hope for finally overcoming evil with good, and for remaining on the good and right path now, is the promise that God will bring Satan’s opposition to an end.
We are warned to watch, instructed to be wise, and promised so we can take heart. The voice of God speaks these words in these ways. Let’s hear them well.
Join me in praying for our congregation this weekend.