I had the privilege of taking a rock climbing class in college (okay, it was partly to avoid taking a “real” PE class). It was just a blast. Learning safe climbing techniques, testing them out on climbing walls, and then doing a real climb out in the desert of California. I remember getting about halfway up the main climb and looking around. Beautiful! But I still had more to go until I reached the summit, and there were still parts of the climb that I had to be wary of.
In Paul’s closing notes to the church in Rome (Rom. 16:10-27) we see something similar. Paul greets members of this church that he’s developed relationships with over his years of ministry. He commends them individually — these are people who are “beloved workers in the Lord,” and some of them have been following Christ for a long time. Paul then exhorts them that the journey is not yet finished. There are going to be problems within the church that they would need to be wary of and take action against (v.17-20). Paul also gives them some good news: they are on the right track in their obedience to God (v.19), God is able to establish them (v.25), and they would soon have the final victory over Satan (v.20).
Let us be encouraged in our faith journey as well. God is faithful, and will establish us as we seek to be commendable servants of Him, “wise in doing right and…innocent of any wrong.” (v.19)