17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you. (ESV)
We see Paul’s:
- Caution against False Believers
a. A strong appeal to be watchful against false believers who cause division.
b. To saintly avoidance, because such do not serve the Lord, but their own appetites.
The Lord also warns us against false prophets in Matthew 7.
- Commendation of Faithful Believers
a. The Joy of Obedience.
b. The Innocence of Wisdom.
c. The Grace of the God of peace.
- Communion with Fellow Believers
a. Fellow labourers in the Gospel sharing a common goal and purpose, namely to share the Gospel and desire its spreading.
b. A Fellow writer – Tersius the scribe, who wrote down God’s Word with a quill on papyrus!
c. Fellow worshippers, reminding us of the importance of unity among the saints.