Final Instructions | Romans 16:1-23
Who does Paul encourage us to embrace or watch out for in his final instructions?
– Incomplete Audio Recording –
Please refer to the notes below to consider the full breadth of todays sermon.
Paul begins with 16 verses of people he wants the Roman Church to embrace.
‘Greet’ – these are the type of people you should love and live with
Paul includes: fellow works in Christ, his beloved, his first convert, fellow prisoners, those well known in Christ, brothers, choosen people in the Lord, saints, those belonging to the family of Christ.
These are lay people- they assist the apostles in caring for the people of the Church (serving the poor, caring for the widow, etc.). They also help ensure people are believing right doctrine.
In v.16, he warns us about the people we should avoid.
This warning probably wouldn’t apply to congregants of a church. It isn’t speaking about people trying to understand God’s sovereignty, but struggling. It likely doesn’t apply to those trying to share the gospel but accidentally leaving something out.
The warning is The warning is aimed at INTENTIONAL DECEIVERS
‘Watch Out’- observe, contemplate, mark them
v.16 There are people who are teaching things “contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught”
They are creating an obstacle.
– It is more than misunderstanding something.
– Obstacle in the greek means “stick for bait” – a trigger for a trap
– It is an intention trap set to ensnare someone
– It’s an offensive move to put a negative cause and affect relationship into motion
– They are intentionally implanting a subtle doubt into your mind- one that will lead to a inescabaple conclusion
– The person creating the obstacle is extremely knowledgeable
– They create ‘A means for stumbling’
So what have we learned in Romans? What knowledge is the deceiver using agains the Roman Church?
We are free from sin! Now we strive to wage war against our sinful habits.
Our human inclinations are selfishness and greed. These are the things the Deceiver will appeal to.
v.18, they have a self-serving motive – use smooth talk and flattery
v.19 Paul is grateful that they are obedient but more than that, he wants them to be knowledgeable, to have wisdom. He doesn’t want them to be naive in their obedience.
Obedience is good, wisdom is better.
Why did Paul write all of romans?!
Because there are people looking to deceive them.
They need to KNOW their doctrine.
SO APPLICABLE FOR TODAY!
Some people are intentionally deceptive to gain wealth.
Others are doing it accidentally, which is equally as bad.
When you have a platform, elder, pastor teacher, you have a greater responsibility and therefore a greater judgement.
Tim Challies Article: https://www.challies.com/articles/7-false-teachers-in-the-church-today/
THE HERETIC – the most prominent and most dangerous of the false teacher
2 Peter 2:1-3 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
– The heretic teaches something that is a blatant contrition of the truth of God.
– However he is teaching just enough of the truth to cover his blatant error.
“He is a gregarious figure, a natural leader teaching just enough truth to mask his deadly error. Yet in denying the faith and celebrating what is false, he leads his followers from the safety of orthodoxy to the peril of heresy.” – T. Challies
THE CHARALATON- Uses christianity as a means of personal enrichment.
1 Timothy 6: 3- 5: ” If anyone teaches another doctrine and disagrees with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. Instead, he has an unhealthy interest in controversies and semantics, out of which come envy, strife, abusive talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind who are devoid of the truth. These men regard godliness as a means of gain. ”
Examples: Kennith Copland, Joyce Meyer
THE TICKLER- A man pleaser rather than seeking to please God.
2 Tim 4: 3-4 “For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
– Teaches only the parts of the bible they perceive as acceptable
– Teaches about heaven, not hell
– Teaches a partial gospel
– Teaches an empty gospel to a packed out church
Examples: Henry Ward Beecher, Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen
– They claim peace where there is no peace at all (Jer 6:14)
– These teachers mask themselves as seeker-sensitive
The gospel is a stumbling block and should be allowed to stand as such.
Final Conclusion from Challies Article:
“Satan’s greatest ambassadors are not pimps, politicians, or power-brokers, but pastors. His priests do not peddle a different religion, but a deadly perversion of the true one. His troops do not make a full-out frontal assault, but work as agents, sneaking into the opposing army. Satan’s tactics are studied, clever, predictable, effective. Therefore, we must always remain vigilant. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits”
It is often easier to see the false people than the false doctrines.
Doctrinal lies are a slippery slope.
The person teaches the truth and seed it with false doctrine.
It starts of looking like the truth and then slides you into apostasy.
Matthew 7:15-16 “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”
American Christianity struggles with issues of false doctrine.
Unitarian Churches cover our streets. These places were once the churches of reformed pastors like Jonathan Edwards. Now they’re rejecting the trinity, believing the bible to be fallible, denying original sin and hell, and more.
The church in New England went down the following road of subtle false doctrinal belief:
Pelagianism: Denial of original sin, Acceptance of the innate goodness of man
– the exact opposite of romans
– Arimianism leads down the path to Pelagianism
Pelagianism leads to open theism
Open Theism: Denies that God can know the future, therefore making it open to what man wants to do
– God reacts to what man is doing
– This develops from a struggle with the sovereignty of God
A Non-Sovereign God isn’t a God- God decrees all things that come to pass!
Open Theism leads to Deism
Diesm – God sets aside his sovereignty, he wound up a clock and left, you can’t know or find God
We must be encouraged to be wise and pursue and understanding of right Doctrine
Concurrently, we must separate ourselves from false teaching deceivers.