Avoid Divisive Persons

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

— Romans 16:17-20.

Paul knows of the obedience of the Roman Christians, but he wants them ‘to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil’. Thus he warns them to mark dangerous, self-seeking, deceivers. Using false doctrine and smooth, flattering speech, they seek to deceive the hearts of simple Christians. Every church should keep a similar watch for those peddling error, in order to expose them and protect Christians and God’s honour. To avoid the dangers of false teaching, Paul refers the Christians ‘to the doctrine which you learned’.

Paul encourages the saints that ‘the God of peace’ is the One who will crush Satan under their feet shortly. God’s peace is powerful against evil and is linked very closely to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ toward them all. [The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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