Romans 16:19-20

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 16:19
  • Romans 16:20

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.

Paul ends his letter to the believers in Rome with greetings and blessings. He mentions 26 believers that he either sends his greetings to or that he sends greetings from. Paul reminds the believers in Rome that although they are being obedient to God, they should not stop watching out for false teachers like the competing Jewish “authorities.”

Paul assures the believers in Rome that the report throughout the world is about their obedience and faith, but he still wants them to be wise. Paul gives them encouragement by saying that soon God will crush Satan.


Paul just delivered a final warning to the believers in Rome to be wary of those who would teach something different than the gospel. He immediately reassures the believers that he knows they have not been swayed by people like this. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. We know from chapter 1 of Romans that their “faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world” (verse 8). Paul is obviously very thankful and pleased that their faith is spoken of throughout the world and wants them to stand firm in the one true gospel.


The word Paul uses here for “innocent” is akeraios which means simple or pure. In Romans 12:2, Paul described what an innocent believer who is living for

God looks like:


And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


Paul desires the believers to be completely set apart from the world, following God and not their appetites.


Paul ends his request for innocence with an encouragement. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Eventually, Christ will return and Satan will be destroyed. God promised all the way back in Genesis that one day this would happen (Genesis 3:15). Satan is using the influence of false teachers to lead people astray, and this can be very discouraging. However, one day Satan will be destroyed and God will bring peace and justice; we read about the details of Satan’s punishment in Revelation 20. Revelation 21:3-4 describes the peace God will bring:


And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


What a joy to look forward to! Paul ends with another blessing of God’s grace. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Biblical Text

19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

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