Wednesday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Romans 16:1-27 (NKJV)
16:1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.
10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ.
Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.
11 Greet Herodion, my countryman.
Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord.
Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them.
15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
The churches of Christ greet you.
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.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.
22 I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.
23 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you.
Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. …And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
False teachers say that they desire peace and that those who reject or condemn their errors are causing needless division. They cry out “Peace! Peace!” but they ignore what the true God of peace has to say in His holy Word.
Divisions are not evil. They are the result of evil. Our Lord’s entire ministry exemplified His desire to heal the divisions and offenses cause by sin, but He also clearly taught that those who taught contrary to His doctrine were wrong. He condemned Satan’s lies and crushed the power that Satan exercised through the false shepherds and wicked men who were harming God’s people. Such divisions and force against evil is, in fact, God’s way of bringing peace.
God’s grace in Jesus Christ is sufficient for us. We lack peace and unity in this world because evil will cause divisions. We are not to ignore evil in order to encourage fake peace. We are to recognize sin and cling to the truth of God’s righteousness. The peace of His forgiveness in Christ is sufficient until the end of this age.
We pray: Lord of all power and might, who art the Author and Giver of all good things, graft in our hearts the love of Thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.