Romans 16:1-16-Paul greets many of the people who are in the church at Rome...27 people by name and others by reference ("household of...", "mother" of Rufus, "the brethren", "his sister", "all the saints who are with them").
Romans 16:17-20-Paul tells them to "keep an eye on" (:17) the people who cause dissension and hindrances contrary to what they have been taught. The word “dissension” means division.
lit., "a standing apart" (diche, "asunder, apart," stasis, "a standing;" the root di-- indicating "division," is found in many words in various languages), is used in Rom 16:17, where believers are enjoined to mark those who cause "division" and to turn away from them; and in Gal 5:20, RV (AV, "seditions"), where "divisions" are spoken of as "works of the flesh." Some mss. have this noun in 1Cr 3:3.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1370&t=NASB
The word “hindrance” refers to someone who causes such discord and discouragement that others fall away from the Lord and His church.
originally was "the name of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself, as in Rom 11:9, RV, 'stumblingblock,' quoted from Psa 69:22, and in Rev 2:14, for Balaam's device was rather a trap for Israel than a stumblingblock to them, and in Mat 16:23, for in Peter's words the Lord perceived a snare laid for Him by Satan.
"In NT skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those stumbled by it are the wicked."
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4625&t=NASB
Notice that Paul identifies the source of their behavior and character as their “own appetites” (:18, their own desires and the power of their old nature)…but ultimately as having originated with the person of Satan (:20). They have “smooth and flattering speech”. The word “smooth” refers to something that is pleasing, acceptable. You’ve heard of someone who was a “smooth talker”. He says the things that people want to hear. It appeals to their ego and passions and desires. The word “flattering” means “to speak well of”. They pour compliments and flattery to a person. They know how to work another person’s ego for their own benefit. The “unsuspecting” are people who expect the best from other people…they are trusting, kind, receptive. Because they are not deceptive with people…they don’t expect others to be deceptive with them.
When such deceptive people are identified…the church is to “turn away from them”. This is a strong word. It suggests that they are to not have any affiliation with them at all.
Strong’s Definitions, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1578&t=NASB
Paul then says that he fully anticipates them to do so because he has previously heard that they are a church that is obedient to the teaching they have already received (:17). Isn’t it interesting…only moments earlier, Paul had spoken in length about the efforts we are to take when dealing with someone that we disagree with in matters of the practice of the faith, matters that are non-essentials, negotiable. But here we have something totally different. This is not speaking of the practice of the faith, but the principles and content of the faith, truth versus error. These are non-negotiables. And when someone begins to teach things that are contrary to the truth…there is no negotiating, there is no compromise. It is evil in its intent and has Satan as its source. The follower of Christ is to refuse to even have company and fellowship with such individuals. As if to emphasize the drastic nature of such teaching Paul says that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” God is a God of peace. But there is no element of peace in this matter. This is a matter of judgment. God will “crush Satan”.
Strong’s Definitions, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4937&t=NASB
Romans 16:21-24-Now there are greetings from the 8 traveling companions of Paul...Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius (he wrote down Paul’s letter), Gaius (their host), Erastus (city treasurer), and Quartus.
Romans 16:25-27-Paul closes with a word of praise to God...who establishes those who believe, even as it had been foretold long ago in the Scriptures.
Prayer: Father, please help me to have the wisdom to determine the truth. Then help me to have the strength to stand firm in and for that truth. Thank You for friends who encourage and support me in the ministry. Sometimes it is very difficult...and their friendship is of incredible value to me. Please bless them for their willingness to stand by my side...even when there are those who will attack them because they stand with me.