Romans 16:17-20 (TPT)
17 And now, dear brothers and sisters, I’d like to give one final word of caution: Watch out for those who cause divisions and offenses among you. When they antagonize you by speaking of things that are contrary to the teachings that you’ve received, don’t be caught in their snare! 18 For people like this are not truly serving the Lord, our Messiah, but are being driven by their own desires for a following [they are slaves to their bellies]. Utilizing their smooth words and well-rehearsed blessings, they seek to deceive the hearts of innocent ones.
19 I’m so happy when I think of you, because everyone knows the testimony of your deep commitment of faith. So I want you to become scholars of all that is good and beautiful, and stay pure and innocent [unmixed] when it comes to evil. 20 And the God of peace will swiftly pound Satan to a pulp [Gk: suntribo—to beat up someone to a jelly] under your feet! And the wonderful favor of our Lord Jesus will surround you.
In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul urges believers to hold fast to the doctrinal truth established and lived out by Christ—the Living Word of God. Living the gospel truth in unity [the state of being in agreement to glorify God] helps us remain diligent against the attacks of Satan who always schemes to divide the Church. When we reflect the truth with our lives and work to love one another in selfless ways, the grace [favor] of Christ wraps around us and God himself fights our battles with Satan. Talk about Good News! I am truly looking for God to pound Satan to a pulp and put him under the feet of believers in Jesus’ name!
When it comes to truth, love, and unity, people tend to think one is more important than the other. However, that is erroneous thinking. As important as unity is, if it is not built upon truth in the heart, the people will not see God; because, only the pure in heart see God (Matt 5:8). Likewise, if the truth of Christ is not shared through love, a person does not even know God because God is love (1 John 4:8). Paul encourages, “But instead we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth” (Ephesians 4:15). This one sentence unites “we” the believers. When we reflect the truth and love of Christ, we are made whole and united in him. Glory!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this lesson on truth, love, and unity. Satan may try to divide your people, but we will hold fast to the Truth while loving each other and glorifying your name. Thank you for your favor and protection, Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.