Verse of the Day

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pastor's Sermon Notes - February 25, 2007

Glory to the God of the Gospel
Romans 16:25-27

[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you
according to my gospel,
and the preaching of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery,
which was kept secret since the world began
[26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets,
according to the commandment of the everlasting God,
made known to all nations for the obedience of faith
[27] To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.


A review of this sermon series on Romans [see Appendix A below]

A review of the significance of Romans

A consideration of the difficulties with this passage:

1. Textual criticism - 5 main variants, 15 different forms of these variants -

"In our view this demonstrates two reliable principles: (1) when the text of the New Testament has been tampered with in its transmission, the readings scatter like a flock of chickens attacked by a hawk, or even by a dog; and (2) every reading ever occuring in the New Testament textual tradition is stubbornly preserved, even if the result is nonsense." [footnote 1, see also Appendix B below]

2. Systematic Theology and the "mystery" - criticism of dispensationalism -

"Upon near completion of reading through Romans, my study was halted by a scripture that gave me the shock of my life, verses 25&26 of chapter 16....It became evident to me for the first time that those were O.T. scriptures and not N.T. ones that revealed the mystery....These verses confirmed that this present period of Paul’s preaching and the formation of the N.T. church was forecasted in O.T. prophecy. It is not something that was hidden in bygone eternity, soon to be revealed exclusively by Paul and borne out in only N.T. scriptures." [footnote 2, see also Appendix C below]

The Power and Wisdom of God in the Establishment of His People
The Power and Wisdom of God in the Preaching of Jesus Christ
The Power and Wisdom of God in the Ministry to the Nations

I. The Power and Wisdom of God in the Establishment of His People - 16:25a

Now to him that is of power to stablish you

1. What do we depend upon in our being established as a child of God?

Eph. 3:20 - Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
2 Tim. 1:9 - Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Titus 1:2 - In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Col. 2:2 - That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Jude 1:24 - Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

2. What does it mean for God to establish us?

Lk. 9:51 - And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
Lk. 16:26 - And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Lk. 22:32 - But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Acts 18:23 - And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
Rom. 1:11 - For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
1 Th. 3:2 - And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
1 Th. 3:13 - To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
2 Th. 2:17 - Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
2 Th. 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
Js. 5:8 - Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
1 Pet. 5:10 - But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
2 Pet. 1:12 - Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Rev. 3:2 - Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

3. How does He do this?

1) Primarily through the ministry of the Word of God by the Spirit of God within the Body of Christ - Lk. 22:32; Ac. 18:23; Rom. 1:11; 1 Th. 3:2

2) By His Spirit and His Word within us - 1 Th. 3:13; 2 Th. 2:17; Js. 5:8

3) Through trials! - 1 Pet. 5:10

II. The Power and Wisdom of God in the Preaching of Jesus Christ - 16:25b

according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ

1. What is the Gospel?

If the Gospel is not understood in the Book of Romans, it is not understood at all!

It is soon clear in Romans that the historical facts concerning the Person and Work of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-9) is only the "bare bones", the outline of the Gospel as its historical basis. The Gospel is much, much more than that, and, therefore, to preach the Gospel involves much, much more than that!

1 Cor. 15:3-6 - [3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [5] And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: [6] After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

Romans is the prime example of Apostolic teaching "fleshing out" the significance of Christ for the obedience of His people.

2. What is the connection between the Gospel and the power of God establishing us?

1 Cor. 1:17-2:12 - It is the foolishness of preaching! It is the "weakness" of God, and the "foolishness" of God shown, by this means, to be far wiser than the wise of this world, and much more powerful than any strength the world can muster!

III. The Power and Wisdom of God in the Ministry to the Nations - 16:25c-26

according to the revelation of the mystery,
which was kept secret since the world began,
But now is made manifest,
and by the scriptures of the prophets,
according to the commandment of the everlasting God,
made known to all nations for the obedience of faith

1. What was the mystery?

Mt. 13:35 - That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Rom. 11:25 - For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
1 Cor. 4:1 - Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Gal. 3:23 - But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Eph. 1:9 - Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph. 3:3-5 - How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Eph. 3:9 - And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph. 5:32 - This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Eph. 6:19 - And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Col. 1:26-27 - Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col. 2:2 - That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Col. 4:3 - Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
1 Tim. 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
1 Pet. 1:20 - Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

The revelation of the mystery was:

1) kept secret - from when to when? - The Span of Secrecy

2) made manifest -how? - The Manifestation of the Mystery

3) made known: - The Knowledge of the Nations

(1) The Basis of the Knowledge - by - the scriptures of the prophets
(2) The Responsibility for the Knowledge - according to - the command of

(3) The Focus of the Knowledge - to - all nations
(4) The Intent/Result of the Knowledge - for - the obedience of faith

2. What are the scriptures of the prophets?

This is the Old Testament, but this does not mean that the mystery was revealed in the Old Testament as some suppose!!! What this does refer to is that the time would come when the mystery would be revealed to the Nations, that there would be a time in the future when God would expand His Kingdom to include all nations, and not just Israel.

3. What command of the everlasting God is being referred to here?

It may refer to the Great Commission in Mt. 28:18-20 - And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. [19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

It may also refer to the command of Christ to the Apostles during the period between the Resurrection and the Ascension in Acts 1:1-9.

4. What is the obedience of faith?

The command of the Gospel is to repent from our sin, turn from it, and be converted to God and His righteousness, to believe in our heart that God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and to confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior - Rom. 10:9-13 -

[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

However, it does not, and can not stop there! Faith, in Scripture, and before God, is not a dead faith, nor merely a historical faith giving mental assent to the facts of the Gospel account of Christ and His finished work. It is a faith which worketh by love (Gal. 5:6), a faith which issues forth in good works (Jas. 2:14-26), that God has ordained for us to walk in (Eph. 2:8-10). The obedience of faith ultimately involves the entire sanctification of the justified child of God.

Conclusion: - 16:27 -

To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Rom. 11:36 - For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Gal. 1:5 - To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Eph. 3:21 - Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Phil. 4:20 - Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Tim. 1:17 - Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Tim. 6:16 - Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
2 Tim. 4:18 - And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Heb. 13:21 - Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Pet. 4:11 - If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Pet. 3:18 - But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Jude 1:25 - To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Rev. 1:6 - And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev. 4:11 - Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Soli Deo gloria!


[1] Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament, An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, trans. Erroll F. Rhodes (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmanns Publishing Co., 1987), pg. 291.

[2] Gary George, "Exposing the Myth of Dispensationalism" (self-published pamphlet), pp. 6-7. To clarify any confusion that may result from my inclusion of this dear brother's quote let me add that I am very much in disagreement with both his understanding of the significance of this passage for the issue he addresses, and with his conclusion drawn from it. I remain a convinced, although progressive, dispensationalist!
Appendix A: A Review of the History of this Sermon Series - Preaching through Romans -

I began preaching through Romans at the request of the congregation at Wayside Gospel Chapel sometime around June of 1999. I estimate that I preached on Romans on the average of 37 times per year. This is arrived at by subtracting from the fifty-two Lord’s Days in a year: 1) two for Incarnation Day and Resurrection Day messages, and 2) thirteen for drill weekends and annual training with the National Guard. I am using that figure (37) for the following years: 2000, 2001, and 2002. I am estimating eighteen messages for the second half of 1999, and only thirty-four for 2003 due to an extra three week annual training with the National Guard that year. I have accurate records on hand for most of 2004, and estimate thirty-four messages that year also. I only preached twice in 2005, January 2nd, just prior to leaving for Camp Shelby, when I preached a message on Romans 14:13-15, titled The Mind of the Master, and June 5th, when I came home on block leave just prior to deployment to Iraq, when I preached The Ethics of the Kingdom on Romans 14:16-19. I preached on Romans twelve times in 2006 since resuming preaching, taking up this series again on September 10, 2006 with a message on Romans 14:20-23, Our Ethical Line in the Sand. The last five messages in this book series, including the one for this Lord’s Day, were preached in 2007.

Here is the breakdown by year as best I can estimate it at this time:

Year Sermons
1999 18
2000 37
2001 37
2002 37
2003 34
2004 34
2005 2
2006 12
2007 5

Total: 216 sermons (in apx. 6 years)
Total verses in Romans: 433
Average pace per sermon: 2.004629 verses

My sermon outline for the first message on Romans in 1999 was:

Title: The Gospel of God
Text: Romans 1:1-4
I. The Promise of the Gospel (1:2) - The Reality, Revealers and Record of the Promise
II. The Fulfillment of the Gospel (1:3-4) - The Identification, Incarnation, and Declaration of Jesus Christ
III. The Effect of the Gospel (1:1) - The Separation, Call, and Service of Christians
Appendix B: A Brief Bibliography on Text and Translation Issues With Romans 16:25-27 -

Robert P. Martin, Accuracy of Translation and the New International Version, The Primary Criterion in Evaluating Bible Versions (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1989), pp. 41-42, note 41 - on grammatical ambiguity in translation, eg., subjective vs. objective genitive in translating to knpugma Insou Xpistou in Romans 16:25.

Edward F. Hills, The King James Version Defended (Des Moines, IA: The Christian Research Press, 1984), pg. 201 - "In the majority of the manuscripts this doxology is placed at the end of chapter 14. In the Latin Vulgate and the Textus Receptus it is placed at the end of chapter 16, and this is also the position it occupies in Aleph B C and D." Cp. pg. 200 - "The following are some of the most familiar and important of those relatively few Latin Vulgate readings which, though not part of the Traditional Greek text, seem to have been placed in the Textus Receptus by the direction of God’s special providence and therefore are to be retained. The reader will note that these Latin Vulgate readings are also found in other ancient witnesses, namely, old Greek manuscripts, versions, and Fathers." [Note: This author's conclusion does not appear to have any objective evidential support in the extant manuscripts.]

John William Burgon, The Revision Revised. Three Articles Reprinted From the ‘Quarterly Review’ (Paradise, PA: Conservative Classics, n.d.), pg. 143, from "The New English Translation", Quarterly Review (Jan. 1882) - Criticizing the RV trans. of Rom. 16:25, "kept in silence through times eternal", as no improvement over, or required correction of the AV.

Larry W. Hurtado, "The Doxology at the End of Romans," New Testament Textual Criticism, Its Significance for Exegesis: Essays in Honour of Bruce M. Metzger, ed. Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D. Fee (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), cited by: Harry A. Sturz, The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism (New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984), pg. 298, 251.

See also Sturz, op. cit., pg. 182 on 16:27, readings sophw thew [p46AABC pl V; WH] vs. thew sophw [DE d e]; and pg. 204 on 16:27, readings w [p46AACD pl V; [WH]] vs. omission [B 33 72 f sy Or] vs. autw [P 31 54 co Chr] . V indicates that "the reading is in Stephanus". "WH signifies that Westcott and Hort’s Greek Testament follows the particular reading." "[WH] indicates Westcott and Hort with some doubt about the reading." (Sturz, op. cit., pp. 138-139)

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament, An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, trans. Erroll F. Rhodes (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmanns Publishing Co., 1987) -
pg. 123 - uncial 0209 - "(category III, influenced strongly by V)" - contains Romans 16:25-27 in agreement with the Byzantine tradition
pp. 290-291, 296 - the textual "history" of Rom. 16:25-27, and the authors’ conclusion that the reading is secondary, and belongs in the apparatus rather than in the text, even if enclosed with brackets.

Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, A Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (third edition) (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1971), pp. 533-536, and 540.
Appendix C: A Brief Bibliography on the Issues Involving the Concept of the Mystery in Romans 16:25-27 -

Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel, New Covenant Theology: Description, Definition, Defense (Frederick, MD: New Covenant Media, 2002), pg. 164, note 242.

Robert L. Saucy, The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism: The Interface Between Dispensational & Non-Dispensational Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), Ch. 6, "The Church and the Revelation of the Mysteries", pp. 143-173.

Craig A. Blaising & Darrell L. Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), pg. 270.

Darrell L. Bock in Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional and Progressive Views, gen. ed. Herbert W. Batemen, IV (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1999), pp. 81, 95-96, 117 (note 28), and 212 (note 2).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Conferences and Meetings of Interest - September 23-27, 2007

The 2007 John Bunyan Conference

September 24th-27th
Monday noon through Thursday noon

The Blue Mountain Christian Retreat
New Ringgold, PA

Special Conference Preview
Sunday, September 23rd
Cornerstone Church
Skippack, PA


Dr. Bruce Ware
Louisville, KY
Topic: Truth Under Fire -
Theological Issues Facing the Contemporary Church

John Riesinger
Fred Zaspel
Other speakers to be announced

Conference Arrangements

$175.00 if registered before August 23,
$200.00 if registered after August 23,
(Includes registration, 3 nights lodging, and all meals)
$25 (registration) if you will not need lodging or meals
(US funds only please)
*Note: Registration Deadline - September 6th

Contact Conference Secretary for details:

or send registration to:

The John Bunyan Conference
c/o Cornerstone Church of Skippack
P. O. Box 526
Skippack, PA 19474

A list of past speakers is available at:

The sermons from the 2006 John Bunyan Conference in downloadable MP3 format are available at the Conference Audio site at:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pastor's Sermon Notes - February 18, 2007

The Bruising of Satan
Romans 16:20

And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen


This verse must not be disconnected from the preceding context (16:17-19) concerning the discipline of and separation from those who do not bring Gospel truth and Gospel holiness.

The significance of the teaching of this verse in Romans - it is the only mention of Satan! Paul has maximized his time and teaching on the Gospel. We must avoid the curiosity that insists on going beyond the bounds of Scripture concerning Satan, fallen angels, demons, witches, and other evil workers. We must be more concerned with knowing God, and knowing ourselves as He has revealed these truths in Scripture. His emphases must become our emphases, and His boundaries must become our's!

The significance of this verse in relationship to Gen. 3:15 - And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The fulfillment of this prophecy in the curse is referred to nowhere else in the New Testament! [note 1]
The only allusions to it elsewhere in the New Testament may be found at:
Luke 10:19 - Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Rev. 12:17 - And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
It is troubling not to find cross references at Rom. 16:20 to Gen. 3:15 in the margins or notes of many modern study Bibles (and Greek New Testaments)!

1. This is a Divine Work - it is done by the God of peace
2. This is a Victorious Work - the result is a defeated Satan under our feet
3. This is a Quick Work - it will be done shortly

I. This is a Divine Work - the God of peace

1. God is the accomplisher of this work

It is very important that we understand who’s work this is!
This is not our work!
This is not something accomplished in our own strength, or in our flesh!

1) This work of God was promised in Genesis 3:15. This prophecy contained in the Curse has a developmental fulfillment involving four "stages" in its fulfillment. [note 2]

2) This work of God was secured in the Temptation, and on the Cross by Christ (cp. Mt. 4:10; Jn. 12:31-32; Eph. 1:22; Col. 2:14-15; Rev. 12:5, 10).

3) This work of God goes on at the present time within the Body of Christ (Rom. 16:20; Eph. 6:12-13).

4) This work of God will continue with Satan’s incarceration in the abyss (Rev. 20:3).

5) This work of God will culminate in Satan’s defeat in open warfare at the end of the Millennium, following which he will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever (1 Cor. 15:25; Rev. 20:10).

2. God is characterized as a God of Peace in this work

This contrast between God as a God of peace, and as the Warrior defeating our ultimate foe may seem out of place to us. Peace is an important concept in Scripture, but it is not peace at any price, or peace, peace when there is no peace. It is not a peace of compromise with evil, or surrender to it. Ultimate peace, which the Bible calls reconciliation is brought about by the power of God, and by His power alone, and where He does not reign, there can be no peace. God's peace is not the peace of pacifism, but the peace of victory in warfare, a peace that is earned, bought and paid for, and delivered to us a gift of His grace.

God is the giver of peace, the God of Peace, and no one will have His peace whom He had not given it to. It cannot be bought or earned by His creatures. It is a gift communicated by His Spirit.

It is common to find this characterization of God in Pauline benedictions and elsewhere in the New Testament:

Rom. 15:33 - Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
1 Cor. 14:33 - For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
2 Cor. 13:11 - Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Phil. 4:9 - Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
1 Th. 5:23 - And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Th. 3:16 - Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
Heb. 13:20 - Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant

Jesus speaks to us of this peace - Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Jn. 14:27) Do you have this peace? This is not a feeling! This is not a compromising resignation, as in: "I'm OK, you're OK, and that's OK." This is the peace of a personal relationship with God, solidly based on His truth, secured by the finished work of His Son, and communicated to us by His Spirit. It involves the removal of our enmity towards God, and our bondage to sin. This is made clear by the entirety of the book of Romans! Do not end this day without casting yourself upon the mercy of God, and surrendering yourself to Him as the absolute sovereign. Do not go on in a hopeless war against your Creator! To do so means that you are without hope and without Christ, yea, without hope because without Christ, as part of a lost and dying world! I say again, do you have this peace?

II. This is a Victorious Work - shall bruise Satan under your feet

1. The Nature of the Victory of this Divine Work - bruise Satan

The meaning of the word translated here as bruise is: "break, to break in pieces, shiver; to tread down; to put Satan under foot and (as a conqueror) trample on him; to break down, crush; to tear one's body and shatter one's strength" [note 3]

It is used in a literal sense in the following places in Scripture:

Mark 5:4 - Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. (Gerasenes, cp. Lk. 8:26-39; context = Mk. 5:1-20)
Mark 14:3 - And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
Luke 9:39 - And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. (The day after the Mount of Transfiguration)
John 19:36 - For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

It is used in a metaphorical sense in these passages:

Psalm 147:3 [LXX] - He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Jeremiah 23:9 - Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.
Matthew 12:20 - A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
Luke 4:18 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Christ quoting Isaiah 61:1 [LXX], in the synagogue.) [note 4]
Rev. 2:27 - And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Satan will be utterly defeated, crushed, his power broken in pieces, his strength shattered by God!

2. The Completeness of the Victory of this Divine Work - under our feet

The imagery is that of the absolutely complete defeat of a foe.
It would not be remarkable if it said that Satan was bruised under Christ's feet, but when it is our feet, it should cause us to be amazed. We should revel in our participation in God's victory!

III. This is a Quick Work - shortly

This does not mean soon, rather, it means quickly.
In other words, it does not take God a long time to do this.
It is a speedy work.


This is how John Piper concluded his sermon on this passage:

"Paul: Thank you, Lord. You know that I would love for you to come back while I am still alive. I would love to be clothed with life rather than stripped of my body in death. Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly.

The Lord: Paul, my dear servant, your desire for me and my quick return is a great honor to me. I would not want you to desire anything less. Finish this letter to the Romans and pray that those who come after you will have your same desire. And until then, never forget—and don’t let the people forget—when I come I will crush Satan under your feet. My grace be with you.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,His kingdom is forever." [note 5]

Note 1: Frederic Louis Godet, Commentary on Romans (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, n.d.; 1977 reprint of Classic Commentary Library series 1956 ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan; from 1883 original: Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans), pg. 499 - "The term...shall bruise, is evidently an allusion to the ancient promise, Gen. iii. 15, which - strange to say - is referred to nowhere else in the N. T."

In addition to Godet and others who have recognized this verse's connection to Genesis, I must recognize Dr. O. Palmer Robertson's contribution. And, while I appreciate his recognition of this allusion, I must react to how he characterizes it in two places in his writings:

1. "In a similar manner, the curse pronounced soon after the fall of man was at the same time a commitment by the Almighty to redeem a people to himself. This commitment made to Adam in sin continues to have significance. Quite dramatically in his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul alludes to the covenantal commitment of God to guarantee the triumph of the seed of the redeemed over Satan. "And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:20; cf. Gen. 3:15). God’s word of commitment spoken first to the serpent has abiding significance today."
[Source: O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1980), pg. 44.]

My reaction: How is this a "commitment to Adam", when it is pronounced as a curse on the serpent? How is this a "covenantal commitment of God", unless some unknown covenant with the serpent is involved? It seems quite inconsistent to assume these things, and then to conclude "God's word of commitment spoken first to the serpent..."!!! It would seem unquestionable that it is a "word of commitment" spoken by God "to the serpent". However, how this becomes a "commitment to Adam", or "a covenantal commitment" seems to elude the warrants of sound exegesis.

2. "Romans 16:20 refers to the ultimate bruising of the head of the serpent under the Christian’s feet. The language clearly indicates the continuing significance of God’s covenant with Adam."
[Source: Robertson, op. cit., pg. 183.]

My reaction: What it "clearly indicates" may be nothing of the sort! What it "clearly indicates" is "the continuing significance" of God’s curse on the serpent, and the included prophecy/promise of Gen. 3:15! Covenantalists seem capable of connecting Biblical theological dots that do not exist! How God's curse on Satan becomes part of the covenant with Adam eludes the objective exegete, and seems to make Satan a party to that covenant! The curse of the pre-Fall Adamic covenant, if we may refer to it that way, was on Adam alone. The curses of the Mosaic covenant were on Israel for failure to comply with the stipulations of the covenant, i.e., for breach of covenant. There is no known covenant to which Satan is a party, therefore the curse on Satan may not be construed in a covenantal context, or at least in the context of any known Biblical covenant.

Note 2: J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1973), pp. 134-136, 153, 158, 542, 652, 656, and 658. Cp. also John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I:14:18, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, in The Library of Christian Classics, gen. eds. John Baillie, John T. McNeill, and Henry P. Van Dusen (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1960), XX:177.

Note 3: Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (LaFayette, IN : Associated Publishers and Authors, 1981; also, 4th ed., Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), s.v. suntribo.

Note 4: I believe I was in error when I delivered this sermon in that I referred to the word bruised at the end of this verse as being another occurrence of the same word found in Rom. 16:20. The only place the word occurs in Luke 4:18 is as a participle modifying heart which is then translated by the compound English word, brokenhearted. Even this occurrence is not found in modern translations not based on the Majority text due to textual variants found here. I neglected to mention this as well.

Note 5: "The God of Peace Will Soon Crush Satan Under Your Feet", by John Piper, sermon date: November 12, 2006; © Desiring God. Website: Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700. Used by permission.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Amos Study Guide, Part Two

II. We will now begin to consider some Bible study guidelines specifically related to the book of Amos.

1. First, it is important to consider what the Bible does with itself. A critically significant and profitable study is a consideration of how the New Testament authors used their Bible, which was the Old Testament. Their New Testament quotations from, and allusions to, or verbal parallels with Amos, should help us:

1) to understand the significance these authors saw in Amos' prophecies,

2) to grow in our appreciation for these important passages in Amos, and hopefully

3) to better understand these portions of the Old Testament in the light of their use in the New Testament.

Twenty-one passages from Amos including twenty-four verses are either quoted from or alluded to in thirty-three New Testament passages. Twelve of the twenty-seven New Testament books contain such quotations or allusions. It is significant that sixteen of these thirty-three quotations or allusions are found in the book of the Revelation (Rev. 1:1, 8; 2:1; 4:8; 8:3, 12; 10:3, 7; 11:17, 18; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15 and 21:22).

The table below is a consolidation of information from Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th Ed., by Eberhard and Erwin Nestle, eds. Barbara and Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993), pg. 798, and The Greek New Testament, 4th Rev. Ed., eds. Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger (D-Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994), pp. 888, and 899-900. These works are commonly referred to as NA 27th (Nestle-Aland, 27th), and UBS 4th (United Bible Society, 4th) respectively.

Despite the fact that these works share common editors some differences exist between the information found in their respective indices. No reference listed in either of these works has been left out of the table below. However, issues remain between these sources as to whether a particular reference is to be categorized as a quotation or an allusion, or whether an allusion or verbal parallel actually exists at that reference. A few of these issues were resolved by examining how both of these works handled the citations in question in the New Testament contexts where they are found in order to come to a decision concerning the nature of the citation, i.e., whether it was by way of quotation or allusion.

Perhaps the most significant difference noted was whether Amos 3:13 and 4:13 were cited in Rev. 4:8 and 15:3 (NA 27th), or whether this is an allusion or verbal parallel as opposed to a direct quotation (UBS 4th). I have included these references as citations in the table in agreement with the NA 27th. This decision was based on my belief that this reflects the direct connection that may be seen when the vocabulary of the Septuagint (LXX) text of Amos is compared with the Greek text of the two passages in question in Revelation. I can see at least four remaining issues with this conclusion. Anyone interested in these may obtain them by e-mailing me at

Note: LXX is a symbol for the Greek translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew, known as the Septuagint (70). This symbol is used in the table where there is noticeable difference in the citation between the extant manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament, and this Greek translation from the Hebrew indicating that the Septuagint was the probable source for that particular citation.

In the table the passages considered quotations are listed first, followed by those considered to be allusions or verbal parallels.

Passage in AmosNew Testament Passage(s)Nature of Citation
3:13 (LXX)Rev. 4:8; 15:3Quotation
4:13 (LXX)Rev. 15:3Quotation
5:25-27 (LXX)Acts 7:42-43 Quotation
9:11-12 (LXX)Acts 15:16-17 Quotation
1:2Rev. 10:3Allusion/verbal parallel
1:6 etc Rev. 2:1Allusion/verbal parallel
1:9-10 Mt. 11:21-22; Lk. 10:13-14 Allusions/verbal parallels
2:16 Mk. 14:52 Allusion/verbal parallel
3:7Rev. 1:1; 10:7; 11:18Allusions/verbal parallels
3:8Rev. 10:3Allusion/verbal parallel
3:13 (LXX)

2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; 11:17; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22

Allusions/verbal parallels
4:11 1 Cor. 3:15; Jude 23Allusions/verbal parallels
4:13 (LXX) 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; 11:17; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22Allusions/verbal parallels
5:10 Gal. 4:16 Allusion/verbal parallel
5:13 Eph. 5:16Allusion/verbal parallel
5:15 Rom. 12:9Allusion/verbal parallel
6:13 Phil. 1:11Allusion/verbal parallel
7:4Mt. 3:11Allusion/verbal parallel
7:10 Acts 16:20Allusion/verbal parallel
8:3Luke 23:45 Allusion/verbal parallel
8:9Mt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45; Rev. 8:12Allusions/verbal parallels
9:1Rev. 8:3Allusion/verbal parallel
9:9Luke 22:31Allusion/verbal parallel

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Conferences and Meetings of Interest - April 27-29, 2007

Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology
The Word: Above All Earthly Powers

April 27-29, 2007

Conference information including the full conference schedule for each of the four sites, and information on all Conference speakers is available online at:

Local Venue:
Tenth Presbyterian Church
17th and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Partial 2007 PCRT Schedule - Philadelphia:
Saturday, April 28, 2007

9:00 a.m. - Second Address: The Revealed Word, Donald Carson
10:00 a.m. - Third Address: The Mighty Word, Albert Mohler
11:00 a.m. - Question & Answer Session
12:00 p.m. - Lunch (at local restaurnats)
2:00 p.m. - Fourth Address: The Accessible Word, Ligon Duncan
3:15-4:30 p.m. - Seminars:
Recent Undermining of the Doctrine of Scripture, Donald Carson
A Layman's Primer on Bible Interpretation, Richard Phillips
The Ministry of God's Word through Music, Paul Jones
Herman Bavinck: The Bible and the Amsterdam School, Carl Trueman
4:30 p.m. - Dinner (at local restaurants)
6:30 p.m. - Sacred Concert
7:00 p.m. - Fifth Address: The Sufficient Word, Albert Mohler

Online registration is available at:

Other means of registration are as follows:
FAX: 215-735-5133
Mail: PCRT, Box 2000, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 800-956-2644, or 215-546-3696 (Mon. - Fri., 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET)

Event Information - March 1-3, 2007

Spring Play at Baptist Bible College

"The Man who came to Dinner"
by George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart
directed by Dr. Brian Maxwell

Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3, 2007

time: 8:00 p.m.

Conferences and Meetings of Interest - April 14, 2007

Evangelical Theological Society
Northeastern Region

Regional Meeting Information

April 14, 2007

Davis College
Johnson City, NY


"Emerging Church: Wave of the Future or Passing Fancy?"

Plenary speaker:
Dr. Eddie Gibbs
Donald A. McGavran Professor of Church Growth
Fuller Theological Seminary

For more information, or to register for the meeting, contact:

Shawn Buice
ETS Regional Secretary/Treasurer
Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary - Northeast Branch
2810 Curry Rd.
Schenectady, New York 12303
Phone: 518-355-4000


Conferences and Meetings of Interest - March 23, 2007

Eastern Regional Conference
Evangelical Theological Society

Date: Friday, March 23, 2007

Biblical Theological Seminary
200 N. Main St.
Hatfield, PA 19440


Theme: "Postmodernism, the emerging church and evangelicalism"

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Alan Roxburgh.President of Missional Leadership Institute

Respondent/Plenary Speakers: Stephen J. Nichols & Kent Berghuis

Of particular interest is Dr. Nichols:

"Stephen J. Nichols holds master's degrees in theology and philosophy and a Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is a professor at Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School, teaching historical theology and apologetics. He has written numerous articles and books, most recently Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards's Vision of Living in Between and Pages of Church History: A Guided Tour of Christian Classics. He is currently working on two projects, a history of American evangelical Christology and a book relating blues music and culture to theology. "


Information and Updates:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

HimKnowledgy #1

Hail, Sovereign Love [1]

(AKA: The Hiding Place, My Hiding Place, Thou Art My Hiding Place, and Sovereign Love)

Jehoida Brewer [2], (1752-1817) in the Gospel Magazine, Oct., 1776


"Duane Street,"George Coles, 1835 [3]
"Beloit," Karl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859)
“Bera,” John E. Gould, 1849
“Maryton,” H. Percy Smith, 1874

Meter: (L.M.)

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind,
and a covert from the tempest;
as rivers of water in a dry place,
as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Isaiah 32:2 [4]

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 32:7 [5]

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119:114 [6]

Hail, sovereign love that first began,
The scheme to rescue fallen man;
Hail matchless free eternal grace,
That gave my soul a hiding place.

Against the God who rules the sky,
I fought with hand uplifted high,
Despised the mention of His grace,
Too proud to seek a hiding place.

Enwrapped in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place.

But thus th' eternal counsel ran,
"Almighty Love, arrest that man!"
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place.

Indignant justice stood in view,
To Sinai's fiery mount I flew,
But Justice cried with frowning face,
"This mountain is no hiding place!"

Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy's angel form appeared.
Who led me on with gentle pace,
To Jesus Christ, my hiding place.

Should storms of sevenfold vengeance roll,
And shake this earth from pole to pole;
No flaming bolt could daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hiding place.

On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
That must have sunk a world to hell;
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus became their hiding place.

A few more rolling suns at most,
Shall land me safe on heaven's coast.
There I shall sing the song of grace,
To Jesus Christ, my hiding place!


[1] Information on this hymn has been gleaned from the following sources: A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship, by William Gadsby (London: Gospel Standard Publications, 1987), pg. 113-114, hymn #134; the Cyber Hymnal at, and the Gospel Magazine (Sep/Oct, 1997), pg. 144, at

[2] Authorship of this hymn is often mistakenly ascribed to Maj. John Andre, a British officer who was hung as a spy during the American Revolution. Examples of this are as follows: Sinclair B. Ferguson, Deserted by God? (Grand Rapids: Baker Books), pp. 87-88 [cited at:; The Puzzles of Job, by Ord L. Morrow (Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible Broadcast, 1965), pp. 43-44; and Sunday Snippets #13 (Jan. 8, 1995), There the story is rendered as follows:

The poet, Maj. John Andre, wrote this while awaiting his execution (by hanging) as a spy on 2 Oct. 1780 during the U.S.Revolutionary War. Just two days before his death, the major was converted to Christ, and in that short time composed this poem as a testimony to his experience.
This historical error is probably due to the fact that the hymn was transcribed by him, apparently from memory, to a piece of paper without any information as to its original author. One report concerning this has it found in his pocket following his execution. In any case, Maj. Andre was executed October 2, 1980, four years to the month after this hymn was published in the Gospel Magazine (October, 1776). Therefore, he could hardly have composed it in his cell as is commonly reported.

Jehoida Brewer had it published under a pseudonym that he used: “Sylvestris”, Gospel Magazine (Sep/Oct, 1997), pg. 144: “subscribed ‘Sylvestris’”.

[3] "Duane Street fits only if an even number of stanzas is used, so the eighth stanza is commonly omitted with this tune.” Cyber Hymnal, ibid.

[4] This is the Scripture reference found in the Gospel Magazine above this hymn, ibid.

[5] This Scripture reference is the one found in Gadsby’s hymnal with this hymn, ibid.

[6] This Scripture passage is commonly found on internet pages with this hymn. This may be largely due to the fact that Cyber Hymnal does so, ibid.

[7] This verse is not included in Gadsby’s work, ibid.

[8] This verse and the previous verse are often found in reverse order. The order shown above is that found in the Gospel Magazine, ibid., and in Gadsby, ibid.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Pastor's Sermon Notes - February 4, 2007

Sermon Title: The Difficult Doctrine of the Discipline of the Disobedient,
Part Two: The Reason for and Result of Separation
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 11
Scripture Text: Romans 16:18-19

[18] 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.
[19] 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


Review last week’s message, Part One: The Requirement of Separation, and connect it to this one -
1. The Objects of Separation
1) The two-fold effect of their evil influence
(1) Divisiveness
(2) Carnality
2) The standard they must be measured by
2. The Nature of Separation - The two negative requirements for purity in the Church
1) Awareness - Warning - Identification - mark them
2) Avoidance - Shunning - Excommunication - avoid them

Let’s be clear concerning who we are talking about. Those who are to be "marked" and "avoided" as commanded in verse 17, are also identified there as those who "...cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned...".

Let’s clearly differentiate discipline on the public and corporate level from confronting sinners and the process of discipline which begins on the private and personal level as in Mt. 18 (especially verses 15-17), and Gal. 6:1-2.

The Reason for Separation - vs. 18
The Result of Separation - vs. 19

I. The Reasons for Separation - 16:18

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

Rom. 14:16-18 - [16] Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
[17] For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost
[18] For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God,
and approved of men

1. Reason #1 - The Focus of Their Service -
Introverted Disobedience to the Savior - 16:18a

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly

"They that are such" refers to the ones to be "marked" and "avoided" (vs. 17)

Phil. 3:19 - Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

2 Tim. 3:4 - Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2. Reason #2 - The Fraud of Their Speeches -
Impressive Deception of the Simple - 16:18b

and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple

Col. 2:4 - And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

2 Peter 2:3 - And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The most dangerous wolves are not those who come in wolves' clothing! The ones you really must be on your guard against are those who dress themselves up to appear as one of the sheep! Acts 20:29-30 - [29] For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

This deception is intentional. There is very real danger here - grave, spiritual danger. This danger is aggravated by:

1) Ignorance of its reality,
2) Imaginations of your immunity, or
3) Shallowness in your scrutiny.

Those who are in the most danger, and are thus more easily vicitimized by these wolves are those described here as "simple".

Young's Literal Translation (YLT) and the New Living Translation (NLT) follow the KJV’s error in translating the original word here and in vs. 19 with the same English word. They are not the same words in the original. It would be better to go with the English Standard Version (ESV), or the New International Version (NIV) at this point which translate this word with "naive", or the New American Standard Bible (NASB) which translates this word as "unsuspecting".

This word is only used twice in the New Testament: here and in Heb. 7:26 - For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

The meaning of this word, depending on the context, is:

"...that absence of all evil which implies the presence of all good..."
".He who himself means no evil to others, oftentimes fears no evil from others. Conscious of truth in his own heart, he believes truth in the hearts of all: a noble quality, yet in a world like ours capable of being pushed too far....The word, as employed Rom. xvi. 18, already indicates such a confidence as this beginning to degenerate into a credulous readiness to the [sic] being deceived and led away from the truth."
"...absence of the serpent’s tooth....absence of willingness to hurt, of the malice of our fallen nature....has no harmfulness in him..."
[Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., from the 9th ed., London, 1880), pp. 206, 207, and 209]

II. The Results of Separation - 16:19

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.

1. The External or Corporate Results - 16:19a

Romans 1:8 - First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

1) Obedient Testimony Amongst Others

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.

2) Joyful Response Amongst Leaders

I am glad therefore on your behalf

Apparently Paul is not focusing on a problem currently existing in the church at Rome, but warning them concerning what they may face in the future as false teachers, false prophets, and false apostles enter into their midst.

2. The Internal or Ethical Results - 16:19b

1) Positive Wisdom Concerning Good

I would have you wise unto that which is good

1 Cor. 14:20 - Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Matthew 10:16 - Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Philip. 2:15 - That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

When this is not the case, when God's people do not have this wisdom, He rebukes them:

Jeremiah 4:22 - For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

2) Negative Wisdom Concerning Evil

I would have you...simple concerning evil

There are only two other New Testament usages for the Greek word translated here as "simple":

Mt. 10:16 - Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Phil. 2:15 - That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

The translation of the King James Version (KJV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), and the American Standard Version (ASV) in those places ("harmless") is due to a misunderstanding concerning the origin of this word
[see Trench, Op. cit., pp. 205-206].

"Harmless" is found as a marginal reading at Rom. 16:19.
"Simple" is found as a marginal reading at Mt. 10:16 and Phil. 2:15 in the RSV, and the ASV. The KJV has "simple" in the margin in Mt., and "syncere" in Phil.
The NASB, NIV and ESV have "innocent" in this place. This is the English equivalent of the word found in the old Latin translations here ("innocens").

"The fundamental the absence of foreign admixture....Wine unmingled with water....unalloyed metal....freedom from disturbing elements."
[Trench, Op. cit., pg. 206]

"...the confirmed habit of one who has come in contact with evil, and is still uncontaminated by it; who has resisted all the plots and schemes that have been laid for him; and whose love for what is good and hatred of evil, has only been strengthened and disciplined. The word for "simple" here means "unmixed," "uncontaminated," "pure and clear." "
[William Sanday, "The Epistle to the Romans", in Ellicott’s Commentary On The Whole Bible: A Verse By Verse Explanation, ed. Charles John Ellictott (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, n.d.), IV:270]


God would have us pure from any admixture of evil, and His process of sanctification will accomplish that. Are you mixed up inside? Are you a "mess", when it comes to the contamination of the world, and its love for wickedness? When you look within, are you pure and clear? If not, I call upon you this moment, this day, to come back to the place of simplicity, the simplicity that is in Christ!

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
(2 Cor. 11:3)

Come back to the foot of the Cross! Let the blood of Christ wash you, and make you clean. Examine yourself by the Word of God, and by the power of His Spirit receive the washing of water by the Word. Know once again what it is to be clean, and pure, unmixed, undiluted, uncontaminated in your relationship with Jesus Christ and His people. Stand there at the foot of His Cross, and know that when it comes to sin there can be no compromise, no confusion. The issue is clear, clear as a bell, here at His Cross. It is as clear as black and white. Repent of your sin, receive His cleansing, turn from your sin, and rejoice that by His power, His blood, His Word, His Spirit, and His grace you have been freed from the internal "mess" you faced within as you gave in to sin.

There is a true simplicity in Christ! Do not hesitate to come to Him so that you might know that in your own experience!