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"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause the divisions and the offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 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. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." Romans 16:17
"Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
3 John 11
"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."
Insubjection of spirit is a dangerous thing among those who teach in public or in private, and quite as much in private only as in public. It is truth severed from Christ and that consciousness of divine authority and of dependence on grace, which we all need to keep us right, most of all perhaps those who teach. Few men are in such danger of mental activity in divine things; and this not merely because of self-importance on their own part, but from the desire to satisfy the craving for what is new among the saints themselves.
The excitement of novelty is apt to carry away the natural mind, especially among the weak, to the hurt of all, both teachers and taught. Divine revelation, not human thoughts about it, alone secures the glory of Christ and the wellbeing of souls. As the Holy Spirit wrote it to this end, so He alone can make it good in practice. Mental activity gathers round its own source and forms a school; truth wielded by the Spirit judges the flesh in its most specious form, nourishes the new man, and builds up the body of Christ to God's glory.
The brethren then are besought to beware of such as made these divisions and stumblingblocks. What they had already learnt would serve as a test for these piquant statements which pampered nature under the show of utterly condemning it. Even asceticism is not the denial of self, still less is it Christ. The seemingly opposite snare of doing good in the world on a grand scale by the truth is yet more evidently apart from the cross and contrary to it.
Whatever be the shape of contrariety to the doctrine we have been taught, the duty of saints is to turn away; for they that are such are slaves not to our Lord Christ, but to their own belly: so contemptuously does the Holy Spirit characterize their work, let it be ever so refined in appearance, let it ever so loudly boast of its own superior spirituality. Not he who commends himself; but he whom the Lord commends.
Still the hearts of the guileless are in danger of being deceived by the plausibility and fair-speaking of these makers of parties, and are warned accordingly. For the spirit of obedience which those teachers lacked exposed them with the taught if not accompanied with vigilance; I say not suspiciousness, for this is an unmitigated evil and the fruit of a corrupt heart, not the holy action of faith, jealous for the glory of the Lord and the good of saints.
William Kelly; Romans