Who Are You? Part 2, The Dangerous (Reading Romans 16)
Paul mentions four groups in Romans 16. He mentions those whom the church should greet (1-16), those of whom the church should beware (17-20), those whom bring greetings to the church (21-24), and he finally acknowledges the glory of God in His Son at work in the church (25-27). Who are you?
From verses 17-20 Paul tells the church family to watch out for those who would cause divisions and obstacles contrary to the doctrine that has been taught. For those outside the church this statement is surprising. To those who have been hurt by the church, it is not. For those new to the faith and naive this is surprising. To the seasoned and embattled warrior of truth, it is not.
What is surprising, is the form the dangerous take. They do not plainly declare their presence nor their intentions. They have a gift of smooth talk and flattery. The enemies of the gospel can make you feel most important. Yet their motives are single, their own appetites. Whether it be the destruction of a leader, the deception of a flock, the division of a congregation, or the derailment of the mission, the battle will not end until the dangerous are satisfied.
Paul speaks of their source, Satan. The good news is that Satan is mentioned only one time in Romans. The best news is that the only time Satan is mentioned in Romans we are informed that he is doomed. The message is clear. If you participate in the division and creation of obstacles that would deceive people from the path of faith, you are a loser!
Who are you? To be continued . . .