SUBJ: The final instructions that
Paul imparted to a people whom he had already commended, and the
assurance given them in the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
AIM: That we might be so warned and
advised as to the matter of dealing with deceivers and that we might be
found as seekers together by the grace of God being assured by our
INTR: “Now,” or having said those
things preceding Paul would instruct them in some precautionary measures
concerning difficulties they would surely face.
1. We dare not
presume on the grace of our God lest we be left to our own devices and
be in the way of despair.
2. Thus, it behooves us to be aware that
there is an enemy and he is characterized as a “roaring lion seeking
whom he may devour.”
3. These things are best dealt with by a careful
attention to the person and work of Christ and all that is to be
expected in us as a result of His grace and mercy.
THESIS: In that faith is essential to
pleasing God, if follows (and scripture confirms it) that all outside of
faith and the faith is sin including all imitation religions that cannot
in any way serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
I. A word of warning (vv.
1. The admonition here is to mark those who would disrupt the
harmony that Paul had identified in them. See v. 16
1) It does say to
attack them. It is to identify them by their fruits, by their
self-seeking actions (subtle though they may be) and by the lack of the
true Gospel in their teaching.
2) They would certainly be contrary to
the Gospel example of Christ and that example being witnessed and
encouraged in the Romans. It is so important that we stay close with the
Word and the way of prayer and seeking unto the Lord that we may know.
3) The simple solution is to avoid them – “curiosity killed the cat.”
2. The critical issue here with us and with them is to serve Christ
which they do not.
1) Much in the way of religion may be present and
may look good to the flesh and pride of man but it is to the aim of such
that we are constrained to look.
2) To serve the Lord is the aim of
the working of the grace of God in all and it is for His glory and our
delight that it is so, and we are reminded of Jesus’ answer to the
tempter – thou shalt serve the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou
serve. It is to the joy of all and it is the confirmation of salvation.
3) Their words are of deception and self-serving in themselves and that
of which they would persuade others.
3. He would have them wise and
simple (v. 19)
1) We are reminded of his initial words: First, I
thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken
of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8. Paul was assured of their
2) But he would take nothing for granted and so advised them
to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
3) See: By which also
ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye
have believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:2.
II. A parting promise
1. There is much to connect here with Christ and what had
already been done – “now is the god of this world cast out.”
tendency here would be to think of the imminent return of Christ and
that remains even today, but the ultimate victory is a spiritual
conquest and it may even look to the victory given us at death.
The promise here is in three parts:
1) Satan will be crushed (we
think of the word of God in the Garden).
2) It will be under your
feet (involvement in the process) and see And it came to pass, when they
brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men
of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with
him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they
came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. Joshua 10:24.
3) It will be soon as we attend to the Word of God and the serving of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
4) Consider the martyrs in Rome and the
frustration at failing to daunt their faith in Christ!
4. The prayer
that “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,” and the Amen,
look to the ability to hear, to believe, to trust, to act and to be
manifest as victors in Jesus for sure!
III. A gracious greeting
1. Timothy is well known to us for obvious reasons, but
others were there with Paul at this writing and joined with Him in
conveying the expression of Christian love – Lucius, Jason, Sosipater;
all were identified as kinsmen or brethren in Christ.
arrests our attention here as the amanuensis of Paul who added his own
1) What a privilege it must have been to receive the
dictation of the inspired word from Paul; he was certainly not as the
scribes who copied scripture but missed Christ.
2) It is evident that
he was not a mere copier – he manifested the love being taught as he
salutes them in the Lord.