“’But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.’ 2 Peter 3:18.”
“BEHOLD, beloved, our perpetual dangers. Where can we go to escape from peril? Where shall we fly to avoid temptation? If we venture into business, worldliness is there. If we retire to our homes, trials are there. One would have imagined that in the green pastures of the Word of God there would have been perfect security for God’s sheep. Surely no lion shall be there, and no ravenous beast shall go up from there! Alas, it is not so, for even while we are reading the Bible we are still exposed to peril. Not that the truth of God is dangerous, but that our corrupt hearts can find poison in the very flowers of Paradise! Mark what our apostle says of the writings of St. Paul, ‘Where in are some things which are hard to be understood.’ And mark the danger to which we are exposed, lest we, being unlearned and unstable, should wrest even the Word of God itself to our own destruction. With the Bible before our eyes, we may still commit sin; pondering over the hallowed words of inspiration we may receive a deadly wound from ‘the error of the wicked.’ Even at the horns of the altar, we need that God should still cover us with the shadow of His wings. It is a very pleasing reflection that our gracious Father has provided a shield by which we may be sheltered from every evil, and in our text the evil of heterodoxy finds a suitable preventative. We are in danger, lest misinterpreting Scripture we should make God say what He does not; and lest by departing from the teaching of the Holy Spirit we should wrest the letter of the Word and lose its spirit, and from the letter draw a meaning which may be for our soul’s ruin. How shall we escape this? Peter, speaking by the Holy Spirit, has in the words before us, pointed out our safeguard! While we search the Scriptures and grow in acquaintance with them, see to it that we grow in divine grace; and while we desire to know the doctrine, long above all to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and let our study of Scripture, and our growth in divine grace and in the knowledge of Christ, still be subservient to that higher objective, that we may live to bring glory both now and forever to Him who has loved us and bought us with His blood! Let our hearts say evermore, ‘Amen’ to the doxology of praise, so shall we be kept from all pestilent errors, and we shall not fall ‘from our own steadfastness.’ It appears, then, that our text is adapted to be a heavenly remedy for certain diseases to which even students of Scripture are exposed; and I am persuaded it may also serve as a most blessed directory to us through the whole of the coming year.”
-A PSALM FOR THE NEW YEAR NO. 427, A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 5, 1862, BY REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.