Encouragement Of The Diligent
Pr Edi Giudetti
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. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Encouraged In PRAISE;
Paul writes here to their reputation, “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf:”. Obedience to the truth of the word of God, opens up for us the ability to know and understand the doctrines found in the Word of God. This seems evident for the Church of Rome. Disobedience to the Scriptures however, stunts our understanding of the scriptures.
Paul chose the Roman Church for the most explicit concentration of Doctrine found anywhere in the Bible, because they were willing to ‘Endure it’ and consequently OBEY it. Paul’s writing to Timothy of a time coming when “they will not endure sound doctrine”, and “shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Tim 4:3), did not evidently apply to the Church at Rome, for their obedience is come abroad unto all men.
Disobedience of God’s word manifests in the Church in two ways, the first is through sin, and the second through doctrinal error.
- The Church of Rome seems to have had no serious SIN issue like the Corinthian Church to be reproved.
- The Church of Rome seems to have had no serious doctrinal error like the Galatian Church to correct;
Instead, we find the church of Rome had a reputation, that their obedience is come abroad unto all men
Unrepentant sin will ALWAYS have its effect upon your ability to learn what the Bible teaches. Rome could endure sound doctrine because, and ONLY because, they were obedient, and such a level of obedience that it was evident by reputation; their obedience is come abroad unto all men.
Not “obedient” in that they did not sin, (1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. ) But that sin was always dealt with before the Lord;
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Unrepentant sin however, will afflict their minds ability to endure sound doctrine and faithfulness. Consider the church of Corinth for a moment, because it was the one which needed to be reproved of sin, and that sin led the church in many errors.
1 Corinthians 5:1–6
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you,
Just by way of explanation; Fornication is simply defined as Sex outside of marriage.
Websters dictionary simply states it on one line;
“: consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other — compare ADULTERY”
Modern versions of the Bible replace the clear and objective word of “fornication”, with an unclear and subjective word “sexual immorality”: the New King James version does this, so too the New International Version, the English Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, International Standard Version, The “Bad News” Bible; all of the modern versions I have in my library substitute the clear word “fornication”, which ONLY MEANS Sex outside of marriage, with sexual Immorality, which means WHAT????
Morals are NOT absolutes, they are based on the “Mores of the people”, they are based on majority opinion. Today multitudes have sex outside of marriage but don’t want to be condemned as SINNERS.
Beloved, the Bible teaches that there are two elements to what constitutes marriage, one is public and the other is private. The Public OUGHT to go before the private, but where the private went first through ignorance and lust, be sure not to PUT OFF THE PUBLIC!!! Lest your conscience becomes seared!
Now that I have upset most of the western world so early in the message, let me move on.
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
While Rome had a reputation for “obedience” and were able to endure sound doctrine, the Corinthian Church had to be chastised for the most basic understanding of what constitutes sin, even a sin so severe that it is not entertained in polite conversation with the pagans of the day!
Then he writes, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”. Sin accepted privately or corporately, especially physical sin, will corrupt the whole body, both the private and eventually the corporate body. If Romans 1 had taught us anything, it taught us that wilful sin corrupts our MINDS. So much so that we remain CHILDREN.
Turn to Hebrews 5
Now the book of Hebrews was written because the Jewish Christians were turning back to the Law to help ‘deal with their sin issue’. They, just like you and I, struggle with sin. But instead of turning to Jesus to confess and be forgiven, they went back to the LAW.
But look at how sin has affected them;
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which bethe first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
It does not take long for unrepentant sin to “Dull the ears of hearing”. Remember the rebuke of God to the nation of Israel, “having ears to hear, they would NOT hear”, perhaps this is why Jesus came saying, “if any man have ears to hear, let him hear”.
Hence, they are left as “babes”: Obedience however, dealing with their sin before the Lord, will reveal sound doctrine and “by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
So, the praise Paul gave the Roman Church through the reputation gained by them for Obedience, shows sin did not hinder understanding doctrine, and so he was comfortable to teach them. But neither was there a DOCTRINAL issue to be dealt with. In Doctrine they were again, “obedient”.
Now, one might argue that one follows the other, that if serious sin was not an issue, neither should doctrine be the issue. And I would tend to agree. We see that sin is presented in the Corinthian Church, that there is Doctrine at issue for the Galatians, but Hebrews truly seems to imply both.
Nevertheless, Obedience to the doctrines of Christ comes about first through the understanding of those doctrines.
The Church of Galatia had a doctrinal issue. Let’s see if you can pick it up;
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
What is the underlying doctrinal issue? Is it the same “Gospel”? No. It is “another gospel”. Another manner in which you are to be saved, that they are trusting and he is correcting. But what is it?
Paul goes on to write of his authority as an apostle that they might hear him out, and in Galatians 2 he pulls up Peter and Barnabus who behaved very poorly. One minute Peter and Barnabus were eating with the gentile Christians, but when the Jews came in, they separated themselves, so too did the other Jewish believers in Gal 2:11-14. Now Paul addresses the crux of the matter;
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
What was the doctrinal problem? How did they believe they would be justified?
To be justified by the Law is “another gospel”.
19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf:
Obedience in faithfully dealing with sin.
Obedience in Doctrine
- The answer to the sinning Corinthians, Paul gave in chapter 6 in the first letter.
1 Corinthians 6:18
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Flee from sin, what ever it is, flee from it. And where sin overtakes you, bring to the throne of his matchless grace and confess to him. He is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9)
- The answer to the bewitched Galatians, Paul gave in chapter 3:11
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
The Romans evidently obedient respecting both sin and doctrine, and so they were ENCOURAGED IN PRAISE.
Encouraged Through Warning
Now to the Warning.
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.
Paul desires that their eyes and ears may be tuned aright respecting evil. That they will see the simplicity of it, discern it and deal with it accordingly. He addressed already the nature of wickedness, speaking of those “who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine”, and spoke of their “good words and fair speeches” deceiving the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:17-18), now he desires they might grow in wisdom concerning that which is good, and simple concerning that which is evil.
but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
In last week’s sermon I made mention to you of the meaning inherent in the word “simple”. The ‘simple’ of the world are those who are childlike in mind and spirit. They receive things as they are given, and from that reception of the truth in simplicity we are commanded to grow: to discern: to be wise. Now, respecting evil we are again to be “simple concerning evil”, we are to see it for what it is as it presents itself.
Today, far too many of us have lost our discernment for that which is evil. Part of this has to do with the media we entertain, and part has to do with sin we excuse. We seem little troubled by violence in movies or video games. As new Christians with the transformed heart given us the moment we were saved, we could not tolerate seeing violence, or sexualised images, but as time goes on we begin to acclimatise to it.
A famous sermon was preached many years ago by Vance Havner titled “Getting Used To The Dark”.
The depths of present day human depravity are too vile for any word in our language to describe. We are not seeing ordinary moral corruption these days. These terrible things you are reading about in the paper, this is not ordinary meanness. We have always had that. We are seeing a double distilled and compounded demonism in weird and uncanny combinations and concoctions of iniquity that were never heard of a generation ago. And this putrefaction of the carcass of civilization waiting for the vultures of judgment is not peculiar to skid row. It shows up in the top brackets of society.
Man lives in concentrated night and even his nuclear flashlight can’t pierce it.
In the second place, not only do we live in the dark, but we get used to it. Christians get used to it. I want to warn you tonight the best way I know how of a slow and subtle and sinister brainwashing process that is gradually desensitizing all of us to evil. You are not aware of it. That is the trouble. Little by little sin is made to appear less sinful until the light within us becomes darkness and how great is that darkness.
Our magazines are loaded with sordid crimes, the newsstands with corruption and we are engulfed in a tidal wave of pornographic filth. Television has put us in the dark more ways than one with Sodom and Gomorrha in the living room. We get used to it. We get acclimated to it. We accept it as a matter of course, its language and its art and its literature and its music. We learn to live in it without an inner protest anymore. We don’t hate evil. We don’t abhor that which is evil. We don’t abstain from the very appearance of evil. We get used to the dark.
It was the poet Alexander Pope who wrote of vice in man saying;
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien (Appearance)
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
Beloved, Paul warned the Church of Rome to be simple concerning evil, to see evil AS evil and to flee from it. We ignore the filth on TV, we entertain ourselves with some of the greatest and most grotesque imagery imaginable especially in video games and movies, we tolerate filthy language, some Christians delude themselves that they are saved when they so freely utter such filth.
Let me tell you something….no, LET JAMES TELL YOU SOMETHING!
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Did you read that?
Yes beloved, Christian’s “struggle” with sin, and the operative word is “struggle”, but don’t call yourself a Christian if you have no problem with the filth that comes out of your mouth. If you still swear just like you used to, if you still entertain the same music, movies, video games etc that you always had, then you heart was NEVER changed. YOU ARE NOT BORN AGAIN, Christ has made no claim upon your life my friend, you are as lost as you always were, and you delude yourself into thinking otherwise!
No fountain can yield both salt water and fresh!
People have asked me how you can know you are saved, the answer is always the same, WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO SIN? If you still entertain the filth of mouth and eyes, WITH NO DIFFERENCE in your emotional state, YOU ARE AS LOST AS YOU WERE THE DAY BEFORE YOU PROFESSED JESUS AS LORD.
Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7 is your warning, it is the most frightening passage in the Bible and if it has never worried you, if you have never been sincere is “examining yourself whether ye be in the faith” (2 Cor 13:5) then you have NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE YOUR EYES, you are not saved.
Beloved please, seek after him while he may be found. “No fountain can yield both salt water and fresh”.
Do you see evil as evil?
How close and obvious does it need to get before you realise it is evil?
Do you see it only when a woman is raped and murdered, or do you see it when the Myer summer catalogue is displayed? How close and obvious does evil need to present itself before you realise its evil?
Do you see it in a concentration camp, or when “Acknowledgment of Country” is sprouted before all public events?
Do you see it when our constitution and human rights is violated by Government with police shooting into the backs of protestors, or when the Pastor corrects a word in the Bible?
Beloved, how close does EVIL need to get before you see it as EVIL?
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
Encouraged For Diligence
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Satan is positionally and purposefully a defeated foe, but not yet practically. There is going to come a time when Satan himself will be cast into the bottomless pit and bound for a thousand years, that time is not yet. There will be a time when he will be cast into the lake of fire, but that time also is not yet.
Pagan religions, teach that good and evil has always been and always will be. Their understanding is ALL POST FALL. They see all the world AFTER the fall and are not beneficiaries of the information we have in the Bible, that evil came INTO the world AFTER man rebelled against God. So to most of the world, Good and Evil are a sad and tragic eternally enduring state. But the Bible teaches plainly, there will never be a “BALANCE TO THE FORCE”!
Evil will again continue to overtake good, the peace of the world will continue to be removed until The Prince of Peace comes.
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
Evil WILL HAVE AN END, no matter how much of it we see developing in the world around us, and no matter how much WE OURSELVES are contributing to it, EVIL WILL END and good shall prevail. The devil is a defeated foe in all but practical time. As we see the world travail, it does so as a woman in pains to be delivered. The Bible teaches us that, not only we, but all creation is awaiting that precious time.
Turn to Romans 8
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
The fall of man did not just affect our natures and tendencies, it affected the entire state of the world and creation itself. If there was ever a time MAN was responsible for changing the climate, THAT WAS IT! Now man seeks to reverse it in his own strength.
Like the monument of the ‘stitched up Apple’ on the Plaza of Milan’s Central Station, we think that somehow, we can UNBITE the fruit of our disobedience, and create heaven on earth by the point of a gun.
Sadly, the effect of this will be the opposite of its advertised intention, because Satan still deceives the world. But his days are numbered, and Paul desires to encourage us to DILIGENCE.
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
Throughout the scriptures we have scattered the joy to come. In stating that God shall bruise Satan shortly under our feet, Paul encourages us therefore to have our focus on Jesus, not the devil.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
In his greeting to the Corinthians, Paul writes
1 Corinthians 1:4–7
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
In waiting for Jesus we do so with excited expectation beloved. We endure that which is in the world knowing that the evil that prevails will come to its conclusion for all those who are looking for that blessed hope in Jesus.
I understand that the times we are living in are unique, and the deception occurring in the world is one we are intrigued to see develop, but do not also be fooled into having your focus on the devil when your sights should be set on Christ. Don’t think for a moment you can live out your life with the evident hope of God, IF ALL YOU DO IS FOCUS ON SATANS efforts in this world.
As we live in this world, we need to live as though heaven is our home, and to do so in hope. Peter speaks to that hope we should be living IN as EVIDENT to those around us;
1 Peter 3:15
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
So I ask you, should we be living as if our hope is here or in heaven?
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
We are to live the manner of our lives as if heaven is our home and we be but tourists in this world, and pilgrims for that eternal joy. That should be our attitude today, no matter what it is we endure. Paul desired the Romans to know this, Satan has already lost and it is but time before his time comes to an end, meanwhile we are to “seek and to save that which is lost”.
To look at every lost man or lost woman as another “firebrand plucked out of the burning” (Amos 4:11)
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for himshall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Do you see this? In the midst of the gospel, we have our focus on HIM.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many
You are the “many”, Jesus was offered to bear your sins!
and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
We immediately draw our attention toward him and KEEP IT THERE.
If you are not saved, if you are one of those who have yet to accept the offer of Christ to bear YOUR sins, if you are fed up with the hopelessness of this world and even see your own sins as contributing to the evil therein, TURN TO JESUS, ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO BEAR YOUR SINS, in this you have nothing to lose but the chains that currently bind you.
All the drugs and distractions of the world will NEVER give you the peace of knowing your sins are forgiven. Then, “look for him”. Because it is ONLY “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
For those of you who are his, in the diligence with which Paul encourages us in that passage of Romans 16:20, he encourages us to endurance until the devils time comes or we go home.
2 Timothy 4:5–8
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Finally, the endurance of the diligent cannot be completed without the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 20 concludes with the common signature of Paul which he writes on all his epistles,
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
It is through his grace we are able to endure all things. Paul does not speak to this on each letter without purpose. It was Grace that Saved us, it is Grace that we need with us to endure, and it is Grace that keeps us until the end.
All of your life is now held by his grace, and we can only rejoice in the blessing of it.
 Merriam-Webster, I. (1996) Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. 10th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.