RHAPSODY OF REALITIES WEDNESDAY, 20TH MARCH.
AVOID WRONG ASSOCIATIONS BY PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them (Romans 16:17).
The scripture above admonishes us to mark and avoid those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine of Christ. You’ve been taught the love of Christ; you’ve been indoctrinated with the Word of God in a certain direction; continue in the Word. Mark and avoid those who live contrary to the truth of the Gospel; the truth that you’ve been taught. This is God’s instruction. It’s the same warning He gave through the Apostle Paul to the Philippian church; he said, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision” (Philippians 3:2).
Now, this admonition is primarily for us to stay away from those in the church who don’t follow the truth, who cause dissension and strife. When you see a sign in a building that says, “Beware of dogs,” the sign isn’t telling you about the dogs outside that building, but the ones inside that particular house. So, when the Apostle Paul said, “Beware of dogs; beware of evil workers; beware of the concision,” he was referring to mischief makers in the Church.
These could be people in the same local church, same cell group, same estate, neighbourhood, office, etc., and they’re Christians. He wouldn’t warn you about them if He didn’t think your association with them would be inimical to your Christian walk. Many have found themselves in serious trouble for fraternizing with the wrong people. The Lord’s admonition is clear: you’re to “mark” and “avoid” mischief makers, not try to change them. Don’t keep company with people who deliberately don’t walk in love, people who engender disunity in the Church; divisive elements who mislead others.
People get messed up when they get involved with a messed up person. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” If you’ve had, or have friends with whom you’re not experiencing any meaningful spiritual progress, or whose friendship hinders your effectiveness in the Gospel, it’s high time you gave up such friendships. Don’t negotiate; just end it, so your participation in the faith—your Christian life—would be effectual as it should be. Glory to God!
Dear Father, thank you, for your Word is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Through the Word, I’m trained and cultured in the godly life and ways of doing things. I’m filled with thoughts of righteousness, and walk in the path of righteousness, which you prearranged for me, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 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.
2 Timothy 3:2-5 AMPC For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. 3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. 5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].
1-Year Bible Reading Plan
Luke 3:1-38 & Deuteronomy 16-17
2-Year Bible Reading Plan
Matthew 24:23-33 & Exodus 29