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Romans 16:19 – Artless

26-04-2022 - Posted by Hans

For your obedience reached out to all. Over you, then am I rejoicing. Now I am wanting you to be wise indeed, for good, yet artless for evil.

In verse 17, Paul urged his readers to notice those who deviate from the solid teaching. Only when you are able to spot them can you avoid them. In verse 18 Paul then describes that such people can only be successful with the unsuspecting who swallow everything. And here, in verse 19, he makes it clear that he is not concerned about this with his readers. Earlier he wrote (1:8) that the worldwide faith in Jesus Christ in Rome was known worldwide. It “reached out to all”. And Paul is happy about that!

The “obedience” spoken of here is the “obedience of faith” (1:5; 16:26). They were not “works” (of the law) that Paul presented, but it was a Good Report—an announcement! And faith responds to it and says “Amen!”

Paul wants his readers to be “wise for good,” i.e., in “the teaching” they had received (:17). And in everything that deviated from that (“evil”), they had better remain gullible and naive. For he who knows the truth recognizes the lie! It’s that simple!