Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 16 part 2

Welcome Home everyone

This is our last week in Romans. Paul’s final remarks.

My big idea for today is that we would seek a fellowship in wisdom and reject those who divide. My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message, together we would abide a little closer in Christ as well as in each other. If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 16 starting at verse 17.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 21 Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.
22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.
Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings. [24] May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.
25 Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Romans 16:17-27

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections or points.

We Must Reject Those Who Would Seek To Divide You.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

Romans 16:17-18

Here Paul is alluding to false teachers, But I would just say on the outset here that there may be other types of obstacles/divisions. Paul seems to have added this at the end like a later developing issue. Perhaps the Judaizers are making their way to Rome and Paul is giving them a warning in advance. We are unsure why this here at the end, nevertheless it is as relevant then as it is now. Paul suggests that believers should stay away. Their teaching is contrary to the truth/against the true gospel message. These false teachers do not serve Christ. If not Christ, then whom do they serve?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:24

If we’re not serving God, then who is the master? If the answer this question is anything other than God, the truth is the answer is the devil.

These smooth talkers intend to prey on the naïve. They intend to use your obedience to their advantage. Let’s look at the latter part of verse 19

…but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

Romans 16:19

Remember the Garden?

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

This type of deception is at the foundation of man’s fall. The devil has sought to pervert God’s instruction to humanity from the beginning. Let’s step back a little further

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Genesis 3:1

Remember, it’s just a small deviation that can bring us into oncoming wrath.We must be wise to follow the true Gospel.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

1 John 4:1-3

Look what Jesus had to say about false prophets/teachers.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:15-16

We must reject those who would seek to divide us.

I’ll move on to my next point.

We Must Embrace God’s Reality

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Romans 16:20

This verse refers to a passage known as the protoevangelium—Genesis 3:15.

The Protoevangelium = 2 Greek words, proto=first and evangelion=good news or gospel. In essence, it refers to the first mention of the coming salvation of Jesus Christ. Here’s what is says: {this is God talking}

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

This is God’s reality. This is the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. An exchange a devastating fatal blow/a temporary affliction. A deception/rebellion entered into the world that created a division between God and His children because of sin. Humanity was lost in this sin nature because of the corruptible seed of Adam that we were condemned to wrath and judgment through our own sin/rebellion. That God sent His son to die for our sin/that substitutionary death on a cross that we might live have eternal life.

We must open our eyes to God’s reality in Christ Jesus. That only by Christ Jesus can we be saved.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

This is God’s reality; this is our reality. That Jesus is coming back soon, and He will be looking for His church/His bride without spot or wrinkle. And the question is, will you be caught up in that number or will you one of those who were sifted aside and in a collision course with wrath. Will you be caught unaware because you allowed false teachings divide us. God’s reality is that the road to eternity is narrow and few will take it.

I’ll move to my final point.

We Must Continue To Encourage Each Other

Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.
22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.
Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings. [24] May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.

Romans 16:21-24

All through Romans it has been clear the Paul is a promoter of others. Clearly Paul has influence and is revered, but his choice is to promote those who are around him. Encouraging one another in our work, faith, and in our perseverance. In all honesty, this should look a lot like you helping to make it easier for others to like you. Not people pleasing, but genuine likability. Because its easier to love and be in community with those who are easier to love. All of this that some might be saved. God has called us to love and encourage each other, don’t make it difficult!
Likewise, we should make serving the Lord easy and simple for those who are entering the faith.

Bear with me as I close

Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Romans 16:25-27

Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other.Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today.

Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today.

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.

If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me?

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26