(#482) Romans 16 - Your Spiritual Life Has Enemies

Is unconditional love still possible with your guard up?










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a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Evening!


Welcome to Barah Ministries… a small, intimate, and local Christian Church with worldwide impact. My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is God, and at Barah Ministries we make a difference by teaching God’s Word from His perspective, and not from man’s perspective.  How our God sees things is very different from how we see things.  So instead of trusting what man says about God, we prefer to go directly to what God says about Himself in His Word.


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Your Spiritual Life Has Enemies




According to the Barna Group, an Oxnard, California based research company…in 1997, 67% percent of Americans did not believe that Satan, the enemy of God, exists.  A little over twenty years later, the percentage is up to 94% of Americans not believing that Satan exists...a stunning testimony to the spiritual disintegration that is happening right before our eyes in our country. It seems people prefer to believe that God exists, and prefer not to believe that His evil enemy, Satan, exists.


Whether you want to believe it or not, your spiritual life has an enemy.  Revelation, Chapter 12, Verse 10 identifies him as…


REVELATION 12:10 …Satan…who accuses believers in Christ before our God day and night.


In today’s lesson, the apostle Paul offers a final warning the church in first century Rome about enemies.




In the opening of every lesson at Barah Ministries, we learn something about God.  


Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, spoke to people in parables.  A parable is a story about a simple subject that illustrates a valuable spiritual lesson.  The word “parable” means the placement of things side-by-side for comparison.


Parables place a great story alongside God’s wisdom.  Jesus had the wisdom to simplify the profound spiritual truths He shared with human beings by telling them stories that are easy to understand, easy to remember, and easy to relate to because of their connection to everyday life. 


On a recent trip to San Diego, I was going through my regular pre-flight routine.  I was booked in coach, but I was hopeful that I might get upgraded to first class.  I had booked the ticket at the last minute, so I was not expecting an upgrade to occur, especially since first class was checked in full.  Even though I was first on the upgrade list, I was certain there was no chance for an upgrade. I was comfortable with my fate.  I was in coach…in the back of the plane…and there was no chance for an upgrade.  Since it is only a one-hour flight to San Diego, I was content.  It would be a great, cramped one-hour nap.


Much to my surprise, a flight attendant came to invite me up to first class.  Someone in first-class had not showed up.  It paid off being first on the waiting list.  I was happy!  The people around me in coach were happy for me.  One of “the great unwashed” had made it to the top!  It reminded me of a parable, and the message of our Lord to us about seeking the choice seats at the table… Luke, Chapter 14, Verses 7 to 11…


LUKE 14:7 And Jesus began speaking a parable to the invited guests after noticing how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table.  The Lord said to them…


LUKE 14:8  “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by the host…”


The place of honor is the place closest to the groom.


LUKE 14:9  “…and he who invited you may come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you will have to proceed to occupy the last place.”


LUKE 14:10  “But when you are invited to a wedding feast, go and recline at the last

place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’ … then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.”


LUKE 14:11  “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled…and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ humbled Himself at the Cross.  Philippians, Chapter 2, Verse 8 says…


PHILIPPIANS 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man…Jesus humiliated Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death…even death on a Cross.


After humbling Himself, Jesus was exalted by God the Father, and is now seated at the position of honor… Hebrews, Chapter 1, Verse 3…


HEBREWS 1:3b …when Jesus had provided purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty, God the Father, on high…


As Christians living in Satan’s kingdom, we do not have the place of honor.  We are the guests who are always being told to give our place to another.


Welcome to a place where you can get to know the Lord Jesus Christ…the Savior of all…the Sovereign God of the Universe…through the simplicity and purity of the study of His Word…so that you can become comfortable with being last.




Romans Chapter 8, Verses 31 and 32 provide a phenomenal reminder for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ…


ROMANS 8:31 What then shall we believers in Christ say…face-to-face with all these things (in Romans 8:28-30)? If God the Father is for us, and He is, who is able to be successful against us? 


No one!


ROMANS 8:32  God the Father…who did not spare His own Son…but delivered Christ over for us all…how will God the Father…now that we are in union with Christ… not also freely give us ALL things?


No matter what trials we face, we have a God who is with us THROUGH ALL OF IT according to Colton Dixon. Let’s listen to his beautiful song.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Colton Dixon



Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for letting us know that when we are weak…that’s when we are strong because Your power carries us…thank you for making us constantly aware that we have an enemy who wants to rob us of the victory Your Son provided to all believers at the Cross…thank you for giving us everything we need to resist him because we can stand firm in our faith, counting on You…


Help us to be ever mindful of the attacks against us and ever grateful for the strength You make them provide…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s



TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Your Spiritual Life Has Enemies


You have enemies in your life.  Who are they? They are people…with names…and faces. We don’t like to acknowledge this…in fact, we actually enjoy pretending it isn’t true, because a few of these people (as the bible predicts) are the members of our own household.  Micah, Chapter 7, Verse 6 says…


MICAH 7:6 For son treats father contemptuously…and daughter rises up against her mother…and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law…and a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.


In today’s lesson we begin to close out our long journey through the foundational book of the New Testament…Paul’s letter to the believers at first century Rome…as we begin to examine one of the final two parts of Romans, Chapter 16.


ROMANS 16:17  Now I urge you, brethren (believers in Christ)…keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances (literally those who put “obstacles” in your path … those who lay “snares” for you … those who create “traps” for you … those who cause occasions of stumbling…your spiritual enemies who suggest things) contrary to the teaching which you learned (from me)…and keep on turning away from them.

Said another way… “avoid such men as these.”  

Please don’t think that consorting with those that cause divisions will promote unity…please don’t think that evil doesn’t have an effect on you…it does.  It perverts you.  Several biblical passages affirm this thought…Second Thessalonians, Chapter 3, Verse 6…


SECOND THESSALONIANS 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life, not according to the tradition which you received from us.


Titus, Chapter 3, Verse 10…


TITUS 3:10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning…


A factious man is one who causes dissention…


Second John, Chapter 1, Verse 10…


SECOND JOHN 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, and some do, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting…



WE are to avoid false teachers and false teaching.


Philippians, Chapter 3, Verses 18 to 20…


PHILIPPIANS 3:18 For many (false teachers) walk (in lifestyle), of whom I (Paul) often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the Cross of Christ…


PHILIPPIANS 3:19  …whose end is destruction (in the Lake of Fire because they are unbelievers), whose god is their appetite (the belly…lust)…and whose glory is in their shame…who set their minds on earthly things.


PHILIPPIANS 3:20  For our citizenship (as believers in Christ) is in heaven, from which heaven also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…


God allows the tares to grow in His field of wheat…unbelievers and believers coexist in Satan’s kingdom with God’s permission.  Unbelievers have an appetite for spreading falseness.


ROMANS 16:18  For these false teachers are slaves…not serving as slaves of our Lord Jesus Christ…but serving as slaves to their own appetites (literally fattening their own bellies…a description of lust) … false teachers who by their smooth and flattering speech deceive the minds of naïve people.


Said another way?  Believers need to not be naïve…we need to “be sober and be on the alert…” as the Bible suggests.  As believers in Christ we depend on Christ, and on His Word, and on the indwelling God the Holy Spirit to warn us about these evil teachers…and we do not lean on our own understanding.


ROMANS 16:19  For the report of your obedience has reached all of us (Paul is not indicting the Roman church members here…he is praising them)…therefore I (Paul) am rejoicing over you…but (as a reminder) I want you to be wise…(guilty) in what is good (the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ) and innocent in what is evil (not being conformed to the world…instead being transformed by God through the renewing of your minds).


Paul wants us to demonstrate transformed thinking…Philippians, Chapter 4, Verse 8…


PHILIPPIANS 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever is true, whatsoever is honorable, whatsoever is right, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is of good repute…if there is any excellence, and of course there is…and if there is anything worthy of praise…and of course there is…LET YOUR MIND DWELL ON THESE THINGS.


First Corinthians, Chapter 14, Verse 20…


FIRST CORINTHIANS 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking…in evil be infants…but in your thinking be mature adults.


God encourages no mixture of good and evil…they are mutually exclusive.  Revelation, Chapter 2, Verse 24…


REVELATION 2:24 But I (the Lord Jesus Christ) say to you…the remnant of believers who are left in Thyatira…who do not hold to this false teaching… who have not known the deep secrets of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you but to hold on to what you have learned until I come again.


We don’t tolerate disease…we quarantine it.  We do well to do the same with false teachers…we avoid them…we ignore them.  And now a biblical promise from Paul…


ROMANS 16:20  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.


When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take the offering and then we’ll consider a few principles that we learn from the study of this passage.



Unconditional Love

Donna Summers


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Your Spiritual Life Has Enemies


Who gives the most to Barah Ministries?  We don’t publish that information.  In Matthew Chapter 6, Verse 4, the Lord says…


MATTHEW 6:4 …let your giving be in secret…and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.


Rest assured that your privacy in giving is respected at Barah Ministries, whether you’re giving of your time, your talent, or your treasure.  And we appreciate your giving, especially in the treasure department right now!

Let’s welcome Deacon Denny Goodall with today’s offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall




MATTHEW 13:23 “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it…who indeed bears fruit and brings forth…some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.”




David Bauer, Instrumental


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Your Spiritual Life Has Enemies




The apostle Peter, who certainly would know, had this advice for believers in Christ…First Peter, Chapter 5, Verses 8 to 10…


FIRST PETER 5:8 Be of sober spirit…be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.


FIRST PETER 5:9 But resist him…firm in your faith…knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.


FIRST PETER 5:10  After you have suffered for a little while, the God and Father of all grace… who called you to His eternal glory in Christ…will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.


Here’s Sarah Reeve to put that wisdom into words with her song…RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT ME…which is exactly where God has each and every one of us.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Sarah Reeves


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Your Spiritual Life Has Enemies


Welcome back!


So let’s examine a few principles of the idea that we have enemies in our lives.



You have enemies in your life, especially in your spiritual life.



The Bible encourages you to “avoid such men as these.”



If you take the Bible literally, you’ll begin editing people out of your life.  In a very short period of time you will have edited out all of them, perhaps even yourself!



Titus, Chapter 3, Verse 10 does the best job of giving us the spirit of the idea about how to handle enemies…


TITUS 3:10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning…


We will notice opposition, and after a few warnings, when the person makes it absolutely clear that they mean you harm, then it may be time to edit them.



God simultaneously requires us to have unconditional love, so we have to be able to hold two thoughts in our head simultaneously…love everyone unconditionally, but also keep your guard up.



If you just watch, most people will edit themselves out of your life.



We don’t use biblical thought for malicious purposes.  Therefore, don’t use the Bible as the excuse for your choices with the people you are editing from your life.


We’ll continue our study of Romans, Chapter 16 next week.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


I’ve got bad news for you. The bad news is that all of us are born in a state of unrighteousness.  We are born physically alive and spiritually dead as ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers.  It’s not our fault, but it is our circumstance.  In First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22, the bible says…


FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…


But in the face of this bad news, there’s good news!  The Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, provides a way for you to be saved!  The good news is preached in what Christians call the gospel message.  Let’s see what happened when the gospel was preached in a prison in first century Rome in Acts, Chapter 16, Verses 25 to 34…


ACTS 16:25 …about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God (from their jail cells), and the other prisoners were listening to them…


ACTS 16:26 …and suddenly there came a great earthquake…so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken…and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.


ACTS 16:27  When the jailer (a prison guard) awoke and saw the prison doors opened… he drew his sword and was about to kill himself…supposing that the prisoners had escaped.


Allowing escaped prisoners were instant execution for prison guards!


ACTS 16:28  But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself…for we are all here!”


ACTS 16:29  And the jailer called for the lights to be turned on and he rushed in…and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas…


ACTS 16:30  …and after the prison guard brought Paul and Silas out, he said, “Sirs… what must I do to be saved?”


The guard has obviously been listening to the songs Paul and Silas were singing.


ACTS 16:31  And Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


There are no works of any kind necessary to be saved…it is simply faith… expressed toward the Lord Jesus Christ alone, that is the ticket to eternal life.


ACTS 16:32  And Paul and Silas spoke the Word of the Lord (the gospel message…the good news) to the jailer together with all the people who were in his house.


ACTS 16:33  And the jailer took Paul and Silas that very hour of the night and washed their wounds…and immediately the jailer was baptized…he and all his household (who also believed…and they all did).


ACTS 16:34  And the jailer brought Paul and Silas into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in THE God (the Lord Jesus Christ) with his whole household.


How did our jailer friend get saved?  In a crisis, he recognized He needed a Savior.  He asked someone who knew what it took to be saved.  Believers in Christ presented the accurate gospel message. The jailer did what was suggested. 


Don’t wait for a crisis to be saved!  Do it now!


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4… 


FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3 For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…


FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4  …and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…


It’s bad news if you choose not to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation.  Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 18 to 20…


ROMANS 1:18 For the wrath of God the Father is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and against the unrighteousness of men (unbelievers) who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…


ROMANS 1:19  …because that which is known about God the Father is evident inside of them…for God the Father made it evident to them (from inside of them). 


ROMANS 1:20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes…God’s eternal power…and God’s divine nature…have been clearly seen by all mankind… being understood even through what has been made (in nature…God’s creative work)…so that all mankind are without excuse before God.


God makes Himself clearly visible to human beings in ways that make sense to human beings…both from the inside of them and from the outside of them.  Remember what Paul and Silas said to the jail guard, in Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31  “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


So accept the invitation and heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


Don’t miss your opportunity…take advantage of the good news!




Whenever we are in a spiritual quandary, it’s always a good idea to read Romans, Chapter 8.  It is filled with wisdom to stabilize the mentality of believers in Christ.  It ends with three powerful verses…Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 37 to 39…


ROMANS 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us unconditionally.


ROMANS 8:38  For I (Paul) am convinced that neither death nor life…nor angels nor principalities…nor things present…nor things to come…nor powers…


 ROMANS 8:39  …nor height nor depth…nor any other created thing…will be able to separate us believers in Christ from the unconditional love of God the Father, which comes from being in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.


Here’s June Murphy to put those verses into song…a song that asks WHAT CAN SEPARATE YOU?




June Murphy



Let us pray...


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