Warning Against Trouble Makers: Romans 16:17-18
“17) Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18) For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. Romans‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭
It is sad, but there are some people who are motivated to cause divisions. They enter into harmonious churches or fellowships and sow discord with the goal of creating turmoil or causing a division. They feed on tension, drama and division. They will use nearly any issue to stir up conflict and then they rally people to join their side. They are trouble makers. In the absence of conflict, they work to create it!
They have no desire to listen or submit to biblical teaching or truth. The Apostle John pointed to the importance of “walking in the truth” in both 2 & 3 John. But these trouble makers are self centered and worldly minded. They willfully ignore the truth.
This is totally contrary to the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-16), and the admonition of Paul in Ephesians 4:1-6. Verse three is very pointed. It says; “3) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” From the context we discover that godliness is clothed with humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance and love. The inner work of the Holy Spirit always produces peaceful temperance within the true Christian that spills into healthy relationships.
By contrast, Paul points out in Romans 16:18 that the trouble makers were slaves to their own appetites. They were driven by their flesh and not the Spirit. They had smooth speech but deceptive motives. Granted, some “drama” may surround new Christians, but these trouble makers had a resume of sowing discord.
Paul’s advice was to “keep an eye on them.” The idea was to watch them carefully so as to avert any problems before they take root and spread in the local body of Christ. Deception must be confronted with truth and prayer.
Let me bring a short warning to the Trouble Maker. Jesus will bring wrath on those who tamper with His Bride and cause division based on their own selfish desires. (2 Timothy 3:1-9; 4:14-15) If these shoes fit your feet… Repent quickly and turn to Jesus in truth, love and genuine humility.
If your life is filled with tension, drama and broken relationships, you are void of the Spirit and in need of salvation. God wants to help you win the inner war before He uses you in the life of others or in His church. Jesus changes lives and turns trouble makers into peace makers.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global