Crush Satan under your feet ...

And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. -Romans 16:17-20 NLT

As Paul pens these last words he follows up glowing commendations and greetings with a dire warning to the believers in Rome. It reminds me of Paul's warning to the believers in Galatia when he wrote: "If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed." In these admonitions we see the heart of a shepherd protecting the flock from wolves those who would drag believers back to the bondage of law and ethnic salvation.

In the context of such warnings the apostle speaks of God crushing Satan under their feet as they do right and stay innocent of any wrong. This again speaks to me of a shepherd protecting his flock from wolves. When we listen to the smooth talk and glowing words of false teachers we wander from the sheep fold. But when we obey Christ, and stay in the fold, we are not only protected from attack but realize that God is crushing the enemy of our souls.

Help us Lord to be wise in doing right and innocent of doing wrong.

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