Watch out for the smooth talkers! (Rom 16:18)

“Such people

Do not serve

Our Lord Christ,

But their own appetites.

By smooth talk

And flattery,

They deceive

The hearts

Of the simple-minded.”

οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν Χριστῷ οὐ δουλεύουσιν ἀλλὰ τῇ ἑαυτῶν κοιλίᾳ, καὶ διὰ τῆς χρηστολογίας καὶ εὐλογίας ἐξαπατῶσιν τὰς καρδίας τῶν ἀκάκων.

Paul explained that such people (οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι), as these dissenters, do not serve (οὐ δουλεύουσιν) our Lord Christ (τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν Χριστῷ), but their own appetites or their own belly (ἀλλὰ τῇ ἑαυτῶν κοιλίᾳ).  By smooth talk (καὶ διὰ τῆς χρηστολογίας) and flattery (καὶ εὐλογίας), they deceive or seduce (ἐξαπατῶσιν) the hearts (τὰς καρδίας) of the simple-minded (τῶν ἀκάκων).  Only the Pauline letters used these words χρηστολογίας, that means smooth speech or kind address, the word ἐξαπατῶσιν, that means to seduce wholly, or deceive thoroughly, and the word ἀκάκων that means guileless, innocent, or simple.  Paul wanted the Roman Christians to be aware of people who were not serving the Lord, Jesus Christ.  They were only interested in their own appetites.  They used smooth talk and flattery to deceive the naïve simple-minded people among them.  Paul told these Christians in Rome to watch out for the fast-talking flattering people who would try to seduce or deceive the innocent ones from their Christian ways.  Do you know any smooth-talking deceiving people?

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