The scripture above admonishes us to mark and avoid those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Mark and avoid those who live contrary to the truth of the Gospel; the truth that you’ve been taught. This is not mine but God’s instruction. It’s the same warning He gave through the Apostle Paul to the Philippian church; he said, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision” (Philippians 3:2).
Now, this admonition is primarily for us to stay away from those in the church who don’t follow the truth, who cause dissension and strife. When you see a sign in a building that says, “Beware of dogs,” the sign isn’t telling you about the dogs outside that building, but the ones inside that particular house. So, when the Apostle Paul said, “Beware of dogs; beware of evil workers; beware of the concision,” he was referring to mischief makers in the Church.
These could be people in the same local church, same cell group, same estate, neighborhood, office, etc., and they’re Christians. He wouldn’t warn you about them if He didn’t think your association with them would be inimical to your Christian walk. Many have found themselves in serious trouble for fraternizing with the wrong people. The Lord’s admonition is clear: you’re to “mark” and “avoid” mischief-makers, not try to change them. Don’t keep company with people who deliberately don’t walk in love, people who engender disunity in the Church; divisive elements who mislead others.
People get messed up when they get involved with a messed-up person. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” If you’ve had, or have friends with whom you’re not experiencing any meaningful spiritual progress, or whose friendship hinders your effectiveness in the Gospel, it’s high time you gave up such friendships. Don’t negotiate; just end it, so your participation in the faith—your Christian life—would be effectual as it should be.
PRAYER & DECLARATION
Dear Father, thank you, for your Word is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Through the Word, I’m trained and cultured in the godly life and ways of doing things. I’m filled with thoughts of righteousness and walk in the path of righteousness, which you prearranged for me, in Jesus’ Name. Amen