Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
— Romans 12:21 —
For the last three Sundays, our church has been thinking about what Scripture says about God and government, love and law, COVID and consciences. Pressing pause on our series in Daniel, which also has a lot to day about governing authorities, we looked at Romans 12–14. In these three chapters, Paul instructs believers, but especially churches, how to worship, think, assemble, love, obey (and resist) governors, and treat one another with hospitality and care.
If the church needs to remember anything in 2020 it is how to be a people who are
- thinking clearly from God’s Word and not the media-frenzied patterns of this world,
- assembling in the name of Christ and not scattering in the name of executive orders,
- loving one another in ways that exceed wearing masks,
- obeying governors, but not blindly, or in ways that deny God’s commands, and
- welcoming one another, without binding the consciences of others.
Following the words of Romans 12–14, our last three sermons have addressed these matters. Paul’s words help us think about going to church, wearing masks, and relating to COVID regulations. If there was ever a time in my life when Christians need to learn again what it means to be the church and how to be the church when the governing authorities offer slight and/or significant opposition to being the church that time is now.
Thankfully, God’s Word is sufficient to instruct us on what God thinks is good and evil. In fact, Romans 12–14 is actually held together by numerous references to good and evil (Rom. 12:2, 9, 21; 13:3–4; 14:16). And I offer these three sermons (two by myself, one by Ben Purves) to help you think about what is truly good and evil in our day.
- The Gospel Creates A Thinking, Assembling, and Loving People (Romans 12:1–21)
- God and Government (Romans 13:1-7)
- Servants for the Honor of the Lord (Romans 14:1-15:7)
Considering an array of current events, you can also find blogposts on COVID, quarantine laws, resisting tyrants, resisting tyrants again, and mask-wearing. In all, we need a great measure of wisdom in our day—wisdom and boldness. Thankfully, God’s Word supplies us with grace for both. Knowing that, let us continue to seek first his kingdom and trust him for all the provisions we need to follow him faithfully. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thess. 5:24). So let us go with him, as he works all things for our good.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds