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Spiritual Knife

Updated on July 6, 2020

Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful



When we view the physical objects we can project them into the physical realm, this is what I have employed in arriving at the title of this topic as found in the book of Romans 16 verse 19.

The physical objects that I want us to bring before us are sword, knife, and cutlass. If we have ever seen any of these before we shall see some striking differences among them. However, the difference that I want to point to is that a sword has both edges sharpened while cutlass and knife have a blunt and a sharp edges. This is because their uses differ.

Having said this, while reading through the closing words of apostle Paul to the saints (brethren) in Rome, I discovered that the counsel he gave them in verse nineteen could be classified into two. However, for easy understanding I bring before me one of the house utensils and apply them to the two counsels he has given the brethren.

In his counsel to the Romans he told them what would be of immense use to their spiritual lives as he said it would be good that they be wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Rom 16:19).

As I said that I have brought into my mind house utensils to make this easy for me yea believers’ understanding. I discovered that what he was pointing out in his counsel to the brethren was they should allow an edge of their spiritual lives to be sharpened while the other edge should be blunt, as if not in existence. Therefore, I titled this article “spiritual knife” for knife is one of the commonest household utensils.

Let us examine this spiritual knife that I am talking about as being shared with the brethren by one of the greatest apostles of all times in the bible.

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Rom 16:19)

This spiritual knife shall be examined based on the sharp edge and the blunt edges of the knife.

While talking about sharp and blunt edges of the knife, we know that children do not know how to use knives and thus their parents are always enjoined that when children are still at toddler stages, sharp objects should be taken off them. It is when they have grown up that they would be left alone with such things, because they know that they have seen how their parents are using those things.


A) The Sharp Edge of the Knife

The sharp edge of these utensils (cutlass or knife) that the apostle is talking about in this verse is the portion that says, the brethren need to be wise unto that which is good. What we shall ask ourselves is how then can we be wise unto those things which are good? And how is this the sharp edge of the spiritual utensil?

The apostle wants the brethren to always work on themselves, they should always get more knowledge on how to do good, on those things that are good. It is what one develops himself in that one would become wise about.

How this Word Has Become the Sharp Edge of the Utensil

As we know that the sharp edge of cutlass or knife is the edge that is used to cut things. It is this sharp edge that is recurrently being worked upon by owners, to make it sharper so that they would not labor much when using it.

Shall we consider old people, we shall know that what they have been doing recurrently that is what they become wise in. Those things they recurrently do, they can even close their eyes and do the thing, because they have mastered it. He wants the brethren to master things that are good.

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Rom 16:19)

How to be Wise to Good Things

The second question that we shall answer is how to be wise to those things which are good. In expatiating this, I will want us to see some examples of good things in the bible.

1. Holiness: Holiness is one of the attributes of God which he wants his children to have, and to have this holiness we need to be close to God, continue to read the bible and pray and doing what the bible says. This is one of the good things that the apostle wants the believers to be wise in.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (1 Th 4:7)

2. Prayer: Jesus emphasis the need for believers to pray without faint and the apostles added to this that we need to pray without ceasing. This is another good thing that God wants us to be wise about. (Luk 18:1)

Pray without ceasing. (1 Th 5:17)

3. Giving: Another good thing that the apostle wants the brethren to be wise about is giving. Giving to God, giving to other brethren and our neighbors. If we as believers do not work towards developing this, we shall not be able to give, we shall always be looking on ourselves and would forget that God himself gave his only begotten son for our salvation.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luk 6:38)

4. Doing Good: God expects us to be doing good to all men, he says we should not repay evil with evil for when we are repaying evil with evil it shows we are fighting our battles ourselves and we would have handcuffed God, send him away from helping us. The apostle now places emphasis on the need for us to be doing good to the brethren we should prioritize our doing good for them.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal 6:10)

5. Faith: We must continue to practice faith after we have given our lives to Jesus and grow in our faith. It is when we grow in faith that we shall know that there is difference between saving faith and growing faith. After our salvation, he wants our faith to be growing. Therefore, he compared faith with a seed.

It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. (Luk 13:19)

These are some of the things which the apostle wants the believers to be wise about, he wants us to continue to hone these, becoming wise in them, with the ability to explain them to naïve and unbelievers the reasons for our faith.

Having seen some of the things to be wise on which are good spiritually let us see the blunt edge of the spiritual knife as stated in the verse.

Nigerian Children putting on native dresses on Yoruba cultural day
Nigerian Children putting on native dresses on Yoruba cultural day | Source

B) The Blunt Edge of the Spiritual Knife

This is the side that the user does not use, because it will give the person stress, wasted energy. In his own words he says that they should be “simple concerning evil.”

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Rom 16:19)

What does he mean by being simple concerning evil? What he means by this is that we should be naïve concerning evil. As I have been using children, we know that children’s minds are simple, they do not keep bitterness, they do not envy people, they do not steal, they would not doubt what their parents or anyone has told them, when a child has reached the position of doubting people he is no longer a child.

All those negative things that are bringing troubles to the world, children do not do them, because they have simple mind, malleable mind. It is after children have been watching those who are older than them that they start to imitate them in what they are doing.

The apostle counsels the brethren to be like children in the negative things be like children to evil things, while they be wise to good things, they develop themselves in good things.

When we can apply this to our lives as the apostle has stated, we shall make appreciable impact in our generation and would be able to bring more people to Christ Jesus, but when we fail to do that, we shall become a stumbling block to the word of grace.

We must use the sharp edge of the spiritual knife to always sharpen and shape our lives while the blunt edge we must ignore and do not touch at all to be like our heavenly father.



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