“Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them” (v17). Paul warned the Roman church that their unity could be disrupted. They were working together, even risking their lives, but false teachers and those who loved conflict could cause divisions. These people would not appear dangerous, but “by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve” (v18). Paul wanted the Roman believers to remain innocent of this kind of vicious relational destruction (v19).
“I want you to be wise as to what is good” (v19). The relationships we have with fellow believers are valuable and pleasing to God, worth protecting.