Crushing Satan Under Your Feet: Romans 16:19-20
“19) For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans‬ ‭16:19-20‬ ‭
The Roman believers had a zeal to live for God in truth. They had a reputation of wanting to obey the Word of God. This brought much joy to Paul.
Yet he admonished them to “be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.” The Greek word for “good” means “good, benevolent, profitable and useful.” It is a very positive term. By contrast, evil is “evil, bad, vile, harmful and destructive.” It is a very negative term.
Notice, Paul wanted them to be wise in that which is good and innocent in what is evil. The book of Proverbs was written for the purpose of helping people be wise in good and avoid the traps of evil. I try to read a chapter of Proverbs daily. It is a good practice for every believer.
The word “innocent” is very fascinating. It literally means “without any mixture of deceit, without any foreign material mixed in.” Christians create problems for themselves when they mixed worldly values and secular philosophies with their belief system. This is extremely common today. In Colossians 2:8 Paul warned that this is a way for Satan to lead people into captivity. He thrives on blending deception into a Christians belief system.
We now come to verse 20 where Paul promises that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” There are several ways to look at this verse. Some believe Paul was saying that Satan was soon going to be crushed in the world in general. The past 2,000 years of history makes that view very hard to accept. Things were about to get very difficult for the Roman Christians.
So what was he saying? I believe he was talking about the journey to personal freedom that every believer is called to pursue. The preceding verse leads to this conclusion. As they became wise in good and innocent in evil, Satan gradually lost his grip on them.
Obedience to truth and the ways of God was setting them free. (John 8:31-36) The Holy Spirit was was using the Word of God to transform them into a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) They were putting off the old self, renewing their minds with truth and putting on the new self. (Ephesians 4:17-24) Satan was being defeated in their individual lives. He was being crushed under their feet. The gospel was bearing much fruit in them.
Every Christian is called into this process. It is so rewarding watching new Christians move from minds full of deception to minds full of truth, from bondage to freedom and from defeats to victories. Notice, it was their obedience to this process that made Paul observe that Satan was being crushed under their feet.
Are you progressing through this journey or are you stuck in a rut? If you are being defeated, it is most likely because you are not innocent with evil. You are mixing deception with truth, evil with good, and worldliness with godliness. You are empowering Satan in your life.
Moses warned Israel that they could not inhabit the promised land without cleansing the evil idols and sinful ways of the former inhabitants. (Deuteronomy 6-9) The same holds true for us. We cannot enter into our new life “in Christ” without putting off the old life. The way to crush Satan is to starve the flesh and feed the Spirit. Freedom is within reach of every child of God!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global