BEWARE THE DETRACTOR!
Robert E. Hanna
Scripture Reading: Romans 16:17-18
In the interest of preserving unity among the Body members, we are adjured to guard against contrary influence. Paul voiced his concern to the Corinthian church with strong warning. "I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ .... For such [fraudulent teachers] are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel oflight. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (II Corinthians 11:3, 13-15a). To the Colossian saints, Paul sent these words of caution:
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding [fast] the Head [Christ]" (Colossians 2:18-19a).
Particularly those Body members who are established in the truths of the Pauline gospel must be wary on behalf of the full Body. Paul pleads, "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."
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