Good Preaching

My husband has been preaching through Romans for the past year or so, and we are closing in on the finish line. Yesterday was chapter 16, verses 17-20, and here are a few highlights.

Paul tells the brethren to avoid those who cause division. In other words, divide from the divisive, which at first glance may seem inconsistent. But God’s way to peace is by crushing the head of the serpent, not by calling for a group hug with the serpent.

We are to be simple when it comes to evil and wise when it comes to good.  When it comes to the devil’s kindergarten class, we are to be the kind of students who can’t figure out how to hold the crayon. We are to avoid evil with a very simple revulsion. But when it comes to learning righteousness, we are to be in graduate school because we have asked God to bruise the serpent’s head in us.

We are to keep it simple: love God, hate sin, read the Bible, love our neighbor, and trust in Jesus. Love the good people and fight the bad people, just like God does.

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7 thoughts on “Good Preaching

  1. I understand perfectly what you are saying, and I agree. But I am curious as to why you use the words bad and good to describe people.

    Thank you so much.

  2. Jasmine,
    Theologically, we are all bad, all sinners. Covenantally, there is a division between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, the righteous and the unrighteous.

  3. Nice post, Nancy! It’s refreshing to know we need not continue arguing with divisive people, but rather simply divide from them. Much rest is found when we obey God’s Word. Thanks for the encouraging word! I would love to hear the sermon.

  4. So what do you do when you have two groups of friends (two opposing camps), you are in the middle and each group thinks the other one is being devisive? Each group is absolutely sure the other one is completely wrong and I don’t have the wisdom to have clarity so I feel treacherous and disloyal all the time to both sides.

  5. Dear Confused,

    This is late in coming but here are some ideas for you regarding your questions above. These may help you weed through some of the confusion and give you clarity and wisdom. Ask the following questions:

    1. Who started the division and why, and was there any other way (more peaceable) that some of their grievances could have been taken care of without a big blow up at the “other camp?”

    2. What fruit do you see in the personal lives and in the public lives of the two different groups?

    3. Is anyone in either group willing to acknowledge that the other camp is not “completely wrong” that maybe there are things that need to be addressed but maybe the way everyone is going about it is not in line with living peaceably and in unity with each other?

    4. Study divisiveness in your Bible. Which group or which people within that group are acting more in line with that? Sometimes people who are standing for what is right can be called divisive because they are willing to stand up for the truth and not relent, so much wisdom has to be used.

    5. What is it that each group is after? What do they want? Are they truly mutually exclusive or is it that they are so angry with each other that they are not willing to work it out? Can you discern between the people that are truly willing to work things out and those that would “work things out” if things went their way?

    6. Who shows humility and humbleness of heart? Who has a soft neck and a willingness to repent when they are wrong? Do you see fruit of this kind?

    7. Who is looking out for the name of Christ that His name might not be shamed and who is so focused on their grievance or their desire for this or that?

    8. Are there any peace makers? If so, who is willing to respond to the peace makers and who is refusing?

    9. Who is showing any kind of brotherly love at all? Even if it’s tiny baby steps.

    I’m sure there are more questions one can ask but these may help you get started thinking through the tangled web.

    May the peace of Christ be with you.

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