Obedient, Wise, and Innocent

For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore, I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple (or innocent, see footnote) concerning evil” (Ro­mans 16:19).

Contrary to all the lies Satan has spewed about obedience, it remains essential to eternal life (Hebrews 5:9). Therefore, Paul rejoices when he learns of obedience among His beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Definitive obedience is commendable.

In addition to joyful compliance to Christ’s authoritative word, Paul also urges a deter­mined desire for wisdom in what is morally upright and virtuous. Intentional pursuit of this kind of wisdom is solicited.

Developing wisdom in matters related to goodness does not exclude the need for being innocent as doves concerning evil. The wisdom of goodness has come to some only as a result of years of experience in wickedness. This is the hardest and saddest way to learn the evil of wickedness. God’s plan of heeding His word which is able to make you wise (2 Timothy 3:15) and prevent sin in your life (Psalm 119:11) is vastly superior.

When your obedience arises from a heart which understands God’s sovereignty and is rooted in a deep abiding respect for His authoritative word, you have all the essential ingredi­ents to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

   Send article as PDF   

Author: jchowning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *