John MacArthur – Bible Q & A New Testament Commentaries
“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” — Romans 16:17
The mature Christian is to keep his eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances. Paul is not talking about hair-splitting over minor interpretations, or about immature believers who are divisive because of personal preferences, as disruptive and damaging as things can be. We are to “shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9). We are to “refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels” (2 Tim. 2:23). Paul is here talking about something immeasurably more serious. He is warning about those who challenge and undermine the teaching which you have learned, that is, the divinely-revealed apostolic teaching they had received.