Our scripture this morning is Romans 16:17-20.
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Paul warns us several times in his letters to be careful in our faith. Here he writes “Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught” (v. 17). There are those who see our faith as a challenge to their authority. There are also those who would usurp our faith for their own desires.
Paul tells us not to be deceived and to remain obedient to what we know is God’s will. When we are unsure, prayer and honest discussion with our brothers and sisters are needed to understand. We can be misled in a variety of ways but the presence of the Holy Spirit will help us see what is right.
Our faith makes us right with God through the sacrifice Jesus made for us. We must remain faithful even when the ways of the world call us to other thoughts and actions. Paul writes “I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong” (v. 19). Stand strong in your faith knowing the body of Christ stands with you.
Heavenly Father, we know that we are weak by ourselves, but through Your strength we can be saved. Bless us to go with the faithful in service to You. Amen.