Romans 16 ~ “I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (vv19-20).
Paul has just spent a lot of ink teaching his friends in Rome the Gospel of the grace of God. He wants them (and us) to be wise in sound doctrine so they can recognize it when they hear it and he wants them to avoid those who “cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught (v17)." He knows that the minds of his believing friends are the battlefield of spiritual warfare and that Satan wants to crush them. But he says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
Do we even know what that means? Was he talking about something he believed would happen in Rome at that day and time? Could be. Or, was he talking about what would happen when Christ comes back to set up his kingdom in the world?
That’s probably the better option since he believed that Christ would return sooner than later. But here we are in the “later” days and we’re still waiting for this promise to be fulfilled. The days of darkness are upon us. The hostility toward those who hold fast to the Gospel is increasing. And, it seems like the enemy is winning. But we must assure ourselves every day that that is not the case. God is drawing redemptive history toward the end he’s always wanted and we are watching it happen. We must stake our lives on the fact that God will soon crush Satan under our feet. That being true, how then should we live?
Paul says, ”I appeal to you, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect “(12:1-2). Meaning, as my friend Michael Easley is fond of saying...
“Don’t let the world teach you theology.”
Don’t let the world teach you about racism. Don’t let the world teach you about social justice. Don’t let the world teach you about gender. Don’t let the world teach you about marriage. Don’t let the world teach about sex. And, don’t let the world set the agenda for the church. Discern the will of God in all of these things from the Word of God. Amen? Yes, amen and amen.
*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*
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Written by Charlie Boyd