This is such a nice verse to consider.  Romans 16:19 says, “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.”

The Apostle Paul greatly commends these Roman believers because their obedience to the Lord was well known to others.  I’m reminded of similar words Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica.  He wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:8, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.”  What a lesson for us today!  Although we may not realize it, our obedience in and faith towards the Lord is known by those around us.  This is why it is so important so constantly be aware of our testimonies for the Lord.  When Paul was teaching the Corinthians about the importance and structure of the remembrance meeting, he told them in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”  The word ‘shew’ here properly means to ‘proclaim.’  So, this simple gathering to honor the Lord’s request to remember Him in His death was also a way of proclaiming the Lord’s death to others.  May we all become more conscience of our words and actions.  People do notice and are aware of our testimony for Christ.  Let’s make sure our testimony is one worthy of the Lord.

The Apostle was ‘glad’ or rather ‘rejoiced’ to hear of the testimony of these believers, yet he had a word of caution for them.  As he says at the end of our verse, “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”  Along with that, let’s consider the words of the Lord to His disciples in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”  The Greek word for ‘simple’ in Romans 16:19 is the same word translated as ‘harmless’ in Matthew 10:16.  The Lord’s desire is that they (and we) would continue to discern the good from the evil, and to show their wisdom, by carefully avoiding evil and cleaving to the good.

Before closing on this brief message, I would like for us to consider Isaiah 5:20 which says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  In our day and time, many things that were formerly called ‘good’ are now called ‘evil’.  Also, many things that were once considered ‘evil’ are now considered ‘good’.  The Lord pronounces ‘Woe’ upon those who declare evil good and good evil.  We, as believers living in these last days, need to be diligent in the Word of God so we can properly understand what is truly good and what is truly evil.  In the world we live in, everything is constantly changing.  Often, in the name of tolerance or greater understanding, evil is called good and good is called evil.  The Word of God NEVER changes.  Its truths and principles are immutable.  It has never changed and will never change.  My brothers and sisters in Christ let us be in God’s Word every day.  Let us realize it is correct and unchangeable and follow its truths, not the so-called truths of this ungodly world.  Let us be “wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”  (198.10)