A Warning and a Blessing

Brothers and sisters, I ask you to look out for those who cause people to be against each other and who upset other people’s faith. They are against the true teaching you learned, so stay away from them.

Such people are not serving our Lord Christ but are only doing what pleases themselves. They use fancy talk and fine words to fool the minds of those who do not know about evil.

All the believers have heard that you obey, so I am very happy because of you. But I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God who brings peace will soon defeat Satan and give you power over him. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Timothy, a worker together with me, sends greetings, as well as Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. I am Tertius, and I am writing this letter from Paul. I send greetings to you in the Lord.

Gaius is letting me and the whole church here use his home. He also sends greetings to you, as do Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus. [The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.]

Glory to God who can make you strong in faith by the Good News that I tell people and by the message about Jesus Christ. The message about Christ is the secret that was hidden for long ages past but is now made known.

It has been made clear through the writings of the prophets. And by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations that they might believe and obey.

To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. (‭Romans‬ ‭16:‭17-27‬ (NCV)

We all make judgment calls. No one wants to be judged and I doubt anyone wants to be known as a judgmental person. But there are times when a judgment call is appropriate.

When it is obvious that certain people are harmful and cause problems, it's appropriate to warn others about them. This is what Paul does here, but notice it's not done with vindictiveness or malice. This is the responsibility of a leader, especially a pastor or elder in the church.

Slander is not okay, but just as a parent warns a child about some danger or dangerous person, pastoral leaders need to warn those under their care.

Also note Paul's advice to be "wise" about what is good and "innocent" regarding evil. Another way of saying this is—be discerning, but don't be curious about the dark side of life.

The final blessing Paul gives reminds the church in Rome of the content of this long letter (epistle). God revealed Himself and made His plan of redemption for all people known through Jesus the Messiah (Christ).

In all things in life, good or bad, the centerpoint and foundation for the believers' life is an implicit trust in Jesus and His redemptive work made known through the gospel (Rom 1:16-17) ©Word-Strong_2016

Next week I'll continue where I left off in Psalms, but in a devotional post rather than as a Bible study. For more of a question-based Bible study format, check out my weekly Friday posts, currently studying through the book of Hebrews.

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