Romans 15: 17-20
17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
This morning I listened to a podcast teaching about God’s plan for unity among the greater church. In Paul’s day there were those who focused on doctrines of men and not of God. What was Paul’s profound suggestion? Two words. Avoid them.
How do we recognize them? “Such persons do not serve our Lord Christ…by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”
In Matthew 10:16 Jesus tells His disciples to be “wise as a serpent and harmless like a dove.”
Here Paul tells us to be “wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.” We are to focus on the goodness of God and His provision through His grace and mercy. On the other hand we should be absolutely innocent to the evil around us. At work or home, at church or just hanging out with friends. Our lives should be marked by a growing closeness to God. What’s the result of our obedience? God will soon “crush Satan under your feet.”
Our job is obedience. God will take care of the rest.