I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. – Romans 16:17
Paul is referring to individuals who were preaching a different gospel that required more from the believers, such as Jewish practices. Those preaching these messages were causing division among the churches.
Division can bring harm to the church’s testimony in the community around them. Paul warns against individuals who would cause such division through false doctrines and who create obstacles to the gospel. The gospel message is “Christ alone, by faith alone”. Nothing else is required. Those who require more are preaching a doctrine contrary to the gospel.
The only “flag we should fly” is Jesus Christ and him crucified. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me”. This is the gospel we preach. There is no other way by which we can be saved. We also read in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we at “for by grace are you saved by faith and not by works”. The gospel is clear. Nothing else is required beyond Jesus Christ.
Lord may there be unity in the church. May we focus on the one essential to an effective church and a saving faith; Chris alone.