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Paul’s Final Instructions

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.[a] 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[b] when it comes to evil.

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  1. Romans 16:18 Or “they are slaves of their bellies.” The metaphor used here is that they are driven by their desires to pull others into their group and thus divide the church.
  2. Romans 16:19 Or “unmixed.”

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