Romans 16: 19For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.
While Paul rejoices over the obedience he has heard about, he knows how susceptible we all are. He very wisely tells them to become even wiser in the Word than they already are, and to remain innocent, or, apart from, evil. What great words of wisdom for us all, to stay steeped in the Word, growing daily in our wisdom and walk; and, to remain as completely apart from, to allow not even a toehold, of sin in our lives.
Self-denial on Behalf of Others
1Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.” 4For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 8For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,
“THEREFORE I WILL GIVE PRAISE TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES,
AND I WILL SING TO YOUR NAME.”
10Again he says,
“REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE.”
“PRAISE THE LORD ALL YOU GENTILES,
AND LET ALL THE PEOPLES PRAISE HIM.”
12Again Isaiah says,
“THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE,
AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES,
IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.”
13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
14And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. 15But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; 21but as it is written,
“THEY WHO HAD NO NEWS OF HIM SHALL SEE,
AND THEY WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND.”
22For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— 25but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. 28Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. 33Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Greetings and Love Expressed
1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.
3Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. 6Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. 15Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
17Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.
22I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.
23Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother. 24The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25Now 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 which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Proverbs 17:11 A rebellious man seeks only evil,
So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.
13 He who returns evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom,
When he has no sense?
17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
18 A man lacking in sense pledges
And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.
19 He who loves transgression loves strife;
He who raises his door seeks destruction.