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Volume 31 - Page 143 of 181 Index | Zoom | |
The Apostle calls upon the Roman saints to "mark" and "avoid" those referred to in
verse 17. To do anything else would be to act upon our own responsibility and so invite
disaster. The avoidance of all such teachers is enjoined with increasing emphasis in the
Apostle's closing ministry. Such words as "avoid", "flee", and "shun" are characteristic
of the epistles to Timothy. It is a false charity that would plead for fellowship in a case
like this. The Lord Himself knows what is best.
Several points are brought before the reader's notice in connection with these teachers.
In the first place their teaching is deceptive (Rom. 16: 18). This feature recurs in other
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers . . . . . Satan himself is transformed into
an angel of light" (II Cor. 11: 13, 14).
"Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing
that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself" (I Tim. 6: 5).
"There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the
circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching
things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake" (Titus 1: 10, 11).
The ground upon which these teachers worked is described as "the hearts of the
simple" (Rom. 16: 18). The word "simple" here is akakos, from a, "not" and kakos,
"evil" and is used in Heb. 7: 26 to describe the character of the Lord Himself. In the
LXX it corresponds to two Hebrew words:
The Hebrew word tam, "perfect" (Job 8: 20).
The Hebrew word pethi, "simple" (Prov. 1: 4).
It is in the second of these senses that the Apostle uses the word here.
In Prov. 14: 15 we read:
"The simple believeth every word, but the prudent looketh well to his going."
How well we know these "simple" ones. They have only to be met with "good
words" and "fair speeches" to be entrapped. The two expressions--"good words" and
"fair speeches"--relate to the matter and the form of what was said. These false teachers
said admirable things, and they expressed themselves well. Eulogias generally means
"blessing", and is the word that gives us the English "eulogy". Here is evidently
indicates "fine phraseology".
The Apostle follows this warning by a reference to the obedience manifested by the
Roman church. Inasmuch as this is introduced by the word gar ("for"), it must be
regarded as part of the Apostle's warning. He does not so much intend here to praise
their obedience as to say, in effect: Don't let your commendable obedience prevent you
from exercising care before you accept any doctrine preached to you, however well it
may be presented, and however acceptable it may appear. That this was in the Apostle's
mind seems evident from what follows: