Today’s passage: Romans 16:17-24
- This warning against false teachers emphasizes looking out for:
- Causing division – Giving people something to argue about
- Creating obstacles – Giving people requirements or rules to follow
- People serving their own appetites – They get a sense of achievement or pleasure from seeing people follow their teaching or counsel.
- Smooth speech and flattery – They know how to argue and they make people feel good about themselves to get their foot in the door.
- Christians are able to discern when teachings, divisions, or obstacles (Commands) are contrary to what we have been taught in the Scriptures.
- The reason Christians wouldn’t be able to discern between truth and fiction…naivety.
- In Christ, we are on the victory side (Verse 20). God wins.
- Tertius would have been a scribe (Or, the technical term: Amanuenses) who wrote down this letter as Paul dictated.
Questions to consider:
- Since these obstacles and divisions are contrary to “what we have been taught” in the Bible, what would be the Christian’s right response to ready themselves for any false teaching they may come across? What must pastors and teachers in the church preach and teach? If pastors and teachers in a church are still naïve, what kinds of things will they teach the congregation?
- In conjunction with Paul’s writing on the “strong” and “weak” consciences of chapter 14, if a church becomes legalistic and divisive, where would it stand according to this passage today and what would that church be ripe for? What kind of a church do we want to be? What do we want to be experts in?
- If a person has great knowledge of the Bible and remains cold-hearted, divisive and legalistic, what is wrong? How does growing in the knowledge of the Scriptures (In the heart of a truly regenerate person) result in change and growth?