Caution light…

Romans 16:17-27

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 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. 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.  And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

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

Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.

 I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.

Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

This section opens with a caution.  We would do well to take note that Paul gives a caution to watch for those who cause divisions and those who cause offenses, specifically to the Word of God.  We are advised to avoid them.  Another translation puts it this way, watch out for those who cause divisions and place obstacles in your way.  When on a run down a path it is good to take note of obstacles, large and small for they can cause a fall.  How can we know without being judgmental?  Is our walk with the Lord encouraged in the Word?  Or is it being added to?  Are we receiving that which brings growth or are we being sucked into arguments that divide?  Be wise in what is good – have knowledge of it – goodness.  Be innocent or simple concerning evil – lack knowledge of it (experiential knowledge), not guilty.  The stamp of Jesus Christ can be seen upon us.  What other’s see and hear, does it reflect him?  On another note: the message we hear and share is for all nations, it is not exclusive.  We are left with a focus on the Lord.  Take on this day that the Lord has made, watch, be wise and innocent, keep our focus on Him.

 -“to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.-“

This concludes the reading and reflection upon the book of Romans, a letter from Paul.

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