Romans 16:19: 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.
Not everyone was working with Paul for the spreading of the Gospel. There were some who, for selfish reasons, were dividing the churches by teaching false doctrine. These people were probably the same Judaizers who had given Paul trouble in other churches (see Phil. 3:17–21). Instead of preaching the truth, these men spread their own religious propaganda, using deceit and clever speeches. We have the same problem today, and Christians must beware of false teachers. They come to your front door with magazines, books, and tapes, trying to convince you that they are teaching the truth. Paul gives two instructions: mark them (identify them), and avoid them. 1
- Remember, our lives are marked more by the things we stand for. What is it about the life of Christ that is the foundation for your purpose for Christian living? Is it His love? His grace? His mercy? His truth?….What is it?
- Guard your heart from those who want to influence you towards believing their opinions about the Scripture and not towards the words of Jesus in Scripture.
Lord, teach me to discern the truth from error.
1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.