Week of April 28 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Romans 16:19-20

For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  

Reflect: Paul’s words in verses 19-20 were aimed at encouraging his readers to continue in their faith and their ministry. What do you think would happen in our church if we truly encouraged one another?

Consider: In the midst of his warnings, Paul reaffirms his joy, first mentioned in Romans 1:8, over their faith and obedience. But he does not want them to be naive about their faith. His wise (sophos) about what is good and innocent (akeraios) about what is evil parallels Jesus’ words to his disciples when he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God (Matt. 10:16): “Therefore be as shrewd (phronimos) as snakes and as innocent (akeraios) as doves.” From a different direction, it is similar to what he told the church in Corinth: “In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking, be adults” (1 Cor. 14:20). The life of faith must be received with the innocence and purity of faith of a child (Mark 10:15) but lived in the maturity and reality of an adult who knows there is a war going on.[1]

Respond: Why is verse 20 particularly encouraging to the Christians in Rome and to us today? Read James 4:7 for additional insight.

[1] Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 461.