"I want you to be wise in what is good..."
Text: Romans 16:19
AN APPRECIATION OF THE CHURCH IN ROME
Paul had very high regards of the Church in Rome. Let us recall what he wrote about the Romans in the opening lines of his epistle to them.
1. They were indeed “beloved of God” (Romans 1:7)
2. Their faith was well spoken of (Romans 1:8)
3. They were full of goodness (Romans 15:14)
ADMONITION TO BE WISE
A further word of commendation was in order. But there was something else that was needed! Hence, Paul wrote.
“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.”
1. Your obedience has become known to all
a) The word “obedience” well illustrates the genuine faith that the Roman brethren possessed (Cf. Romans 1:5 “obedience to the faith”).
b) There wasn’t just a mere profession of faith but there was a definite demonstration of faith in the form of “obedience” to the Lord and His commandments!
2. I am glad on your behalf
a) There was every reason to feel gladness of heart.
b) Paul was able to enter into their joy of faith.
3. I want you to be wise in what is good
a) There was a danger that the Roman brethren were too naive.
b) They must add “wisdom” to their “goodness”,
c) Wisdom would prevent them from being deceived by false teachers.
4. But simple concerning evil
Paul urged the brethren to be “simple” when dealing with “evil”.