Precepts and Principles

Psalm 119:66

Whenever you see the scriptural phrase “This is the will of God,” you know for sure that’s God’s will. You also know that to disobey is to break His Word.

Other clear indications of His leading are the precepts and principles in the Scripture.

Precepts are clearly marked statements like “Abstain from sexual immorality.” That’s like saying, “Speed Limit 35.” What is speeding? Anything over thirty-five miles an hour. That’s a precept.

Then there are principles . . . and these are general guidelines that require discernment and maturity if we are to grasp them . . . . Like the sign that says, “Drive carefully.” This may mean forty miles an hour on a clear, uncongested highway, or it may mean ten miles an hour on an ice-covered curve. But it always means that we must be alert and aware of conditions; it always means we have to be discerning . . . .

These principles require wisdom and discernment.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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