“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” (Romans 16:17-19 – NKJV)
The plain gospel doesn’t have enough flavor for those who are sensually minded, so they believe they must spice it up to be enjoyable. Paul says the gospel hasn’t been served to please the palate! It’s been served to nourish and give holy wisdom to the soul, and we’re to mark those who change the recipe for they have no interest in the well-being of others. They are interested in satisfying their own appetites and in finding those whose “spiritual taste buds” are weak and susceptible to being deceived.
Paul’s admonition to the brothers and sisters at Rome was to avoid being simple-minded (harmless, pure, unskillful) in evil actions and intents, while remaining wise (skillful, cultivated, educated) in the good things of God’s will so they could avoid being of the mindset that opened the door of their heart to deception…think the Garden of Eden for a moment.
There is a difference in being simple-minded (uneducated) toward the evil that allows us to be destroyed from a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), and in being simple-minded (deeds done with holy motivations) in our actions and works. We must strive to be one without becoming prey to the other (Hebrews 5:14; Matthew 7:15; 2 Timothy 4:2-4).