Watch out for the Divisive Ones!
Paul’s letter to the Romans is coming to a close. Verses 6-16 contain a list of names so I won’t talk about that. But here is what he writes in verses 17-2O: “17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 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. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. After listing people who are supportive of Paul’s ministry and the gospel, he advises to note those who cause division and avoid them. This is often a difficult situation. Sometimes those who cause division have a valid reason to cause division….the leadership is in error. Other times those who cause division are doing it for the wrong reasons and should be ignored or exposed as false teachers. There is no reason to coddle those who are out to cause trouble. Mark them, avoid them, do not waste too much time on those who are not pulling together with you. Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit…this is not always easy but it is very necessary.