Mark Them

Romans 16:16-19 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. 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 glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

‘Salute one another with an holy kiss.’ It was customary to greet each other with a holy kiss, as a token of peace, friendship and brotherly love. This was the custom of all eastern people, not just Christians. Shaking hands is our custom of greeting. The holy kiss custom is referred to in Romans 16:16; 1Corinthians 16:20; 2Corinthians 13:12; 1Thessalonians 5:26; and 1Peter 5:14. People who seek to continue it are simply carrying on a custom that is still being practiced among eastern people.

‘Mark’ [Greek: skopeo] look out for. Be alert for those who cause divisions and have no religious fellowship with them that the flock may be protected (16:17; Php. 3:17).

Ten marks of false teachers: They cause divisions among Christians. They cause offenses against truth (16:18). They do not serve God (16:17-18). They serve their own bellies (16:18; Php. 3:19). They use slick tongues to deceive (16:18). They are enemies of the cross (Php. 3:18). They walk contrary to the gospel (Php. 3:17). They glory in their shame and they mind earthly things (Php.3:19). They bring in heresies (2Pet. 2:1).

‘For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.’ You can always detect true leaders from the false by their godliness, unselfishness, and faithfulness.

‘But yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.’ Paul desired them to show their wisdom by discerning and choosing good from evil.

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