Do You Know What You Believe? Romans 16:17-20 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am therefore on your behalf but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
Ever try to buy a car without a plan? Probably not. Because when we don’t have a plan, it’s easier for someone to talk us into buying something with bad gas mileage or poor safety ratings. We research cars before making the decision to buy one, because we don’t want to be talked into making a bad investment.
The same can be true when it comes to following Jesus. Without a strong foundation, it’s easier to be swayed by what other people say.
If we don’t know what we believe, we’ll believe anything.
In Romans 16, Paul tells us to watch out for false teachers, or people who claim to follow Jesus but contradict what He says. These teachers will create divisions among the church. If we’re not mindful of what the Bible teaches-writings and off-handed comments can cause us to doubt what we believe. We’ll question what the Bible plainly states and rationalize sin based on the persuasiveness of the argument instead of the truth. In order to stand against flattery and smooth talk, we have to know what we stand for.
The best way to know what’s true is to see what the Bible says for yourself. Ask God for understanding before you start reading, and if you get to a sentence you don’t understand, just keep going. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. Seeing a difficult verse in the context of the rest of the chapter can help us understand what the passage means.
If we don’t know what we believe, we’ll believe anything. By knowing where we stand on who Jesus is and what God wants for us, we can be “….wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil” Romans 16:19.