“17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 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.” Romans 16:17-20 ESV
I. Be Aware of Those who would Distract You from God’s Truth. (vv.17-18)
“17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. Romans 16:17-18 ESV
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
II. Be Faithful in Obedience to Seek Unity and God’s Will (v.19)
“For your obedience is know 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.” Romans 16:19 ESV
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” Romans 1:8 ESV
“…I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16
“Genuine love will be ready to forgive evil, but it will not condone it or ignore it. Those such as Paul who truly love other believers who are dear to them will warm them about sin and harm.” - John MacArthur
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:20-23 NLT
III. Be Strengthened and Encouraged in Knowing Christ’s Final Victory (v.20)
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord be with you.” Romans 16:20 ESV
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NLT
Week 3 - Keeping Good Company
Sunday’s message spoke on friendship, fellowship, and partnership and keeping good company. Specifically, it mentioned avoiding people who cause obstacles to sound doctrine--people who confuse what we already know and have been taught about Christ. Today’s study will show us what exactly the term ‘company’ means.
As a group discuss the type of people Jesus interacted with throughout His ministry.
This is an important thing to know about Jesus before proceeding further in this study. He spent his life and ministry associating with sinners. But why? Discuss as a group Jesus’ intentions in doing this?
We identified some of Jesus’ acquaintances in question 1--now let’s identify His friends?
What is the difference between an acquaintance/associate and a friend?
As a group turn to 1 Cor. 5:9-13 and read aloud as a group.
5. Focus on v9-10. What is Paul saying here to the Corinthians?
6. How does Paul clarify his previous statement in v11?
7. Why does Paul feel like this is an important distinction for the Corinthians to make?
8. So, what is the real warning here to the Corinthians?
So many people misunderstand the passages in the bible that talk about bad company. The passage examined in today’s study is one that brings much clarification to the issue. We are called to minister to the lost--which requires association with them. These passages talk about preserving the integrity of fellowship and unity within the body of Christ--the Church--not association with sinners. The passage in today’s study is as much a call to Church discipline as anything else. That can be seen from the closing statement in 1 Cor. 5. Paul says, “Purge the evil person from among you.” Praise God for the good company and theology at CrossPointe Church! Also, Praise God that we have not neglected our call to be ministers and our association with those who need to hear and understand that Gospel.