Today’s Passages – Romans 14 – 16; Proverbs 29
(Second Milers also read – Psalms 141 – 145)
“For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” – (Romans 16:19)
Have you ever noticed that the Book of Romans has a strange ending. Notice the last verse of chapter 15:
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” – (Romans 15:33)
It almost seems that Romans 15:33 would be the last verse of the letter; but then we turn the page and see that God has more to say. In chapter 16, however, we mostly see Paul’s acknowledgement of some of his friends and co-laborers both in Rome and in Corinth. This letter to the Romans was written from Corinth. There is, however, a little tidbit of instruction in middle of all the salutations in chapter 16. Notice vv. 17 – 20:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” – (Romans 16:17-20)
It is almost as if Paul had thought of one more important thing to tell these Christians in Rome. He wants them to be “simple”, which literally means pure or unmixed, to that which is evil; and wise to that which is good. God wanted them to be unlearned or ignorant to evil. We often think about ignorance as a bad thing, but ignorance concerning evil is a good thing. It seems that Paul was particularly concerned in this context with the evil involving false doctrine.
The world that we are living in is full of all kinds of evil. It takes a good deal of effort on our part to keep all of the evil out of our minds and homes, but it is important that we strive to do so. There is so much evil information bombarding our brains these days, it is difficult to keep it from coming in. When I think about the television in my home, I am reminded that much of what comes through it is evil, in that it floods my home with a worldly philosophy that actually fights against the mind of Christ; and the TV is just one of many avenues the devil uses today to bring evil doctrine into our lives. If the truth be told, we would have to confess that most of us who claim to be Christians today are wise to evil, but simple concerning the things of God. What a shame. Maybe we should cut off some of the sources of evil that are flowing into our homes, and instead open up our Bibles and receive wisdom regarding the goodness of God.
Posted in Thoughts from Romans by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.