Submitted by Dr. GP
Relationships among servants of God in the early church.
•We will begin with a few outlines to REVIEW THE BOOK OF ROMANS section by section in order to fix the message of this epistle in our minds.
•Followed by a few GENERAL THOUGHTS ON THE CHAPTER…..leading into
•MORE SPECIFIC DISCUSSION OF THE NAMES LISTED IN VERSES 1- 15 &21-23
(1) Condemnation (Romans 1-2).
(2) Justification (Romans 3-5).
(3) Sanctification (Romans-6-8).
(4) Dispensation (Romans 9-11).
(5) Application (Romans 12-15).
•The first eleven chapters are a revelation of the grace of God.
•Then from chapter 12 we are instructed on the responsibility that man has because of this grace.
(6) Conclusion (Romans 16).
•We began in the first week of June by establishing that “The righteousness of God is the major theme of Romans.
•We would agree that the term “righteousness” covers all that is necessary to reinstate a sinner as right with God, and therefore includes his position, his character, his privileges, and his prospects.
•It embraces the past, present, and future, and it means “the state of being right.”
•On this basis we can reasonably outline the epistle thus:
•(a) Righteousness needed by sinful men (Rom 1:17
(b) Righteousness provided by God (Rom 3:21-26
(c) Righteousness received through faith (Rom 3:27
(d) Righteousness experienced in the soul (Rom 5:1
(e) Righteousness guaranteed as permanent blessing (Rom 8:18-39
(f) Righteousness rejected by the Jewish nation (Rom 9
(g) Righteousness manifested in practical life (Rom 12
•R- Ruin (Romans 1:17 – 3:20
) – The utter sinfulness of humanity
O Offer (Romans 3:21-31
) – God’s offer of justification by grace
M Model (Romans 4:1-25
) – Abraham as a model for saving faith
A Access (Romans 5:1-11
) – The benefits of justification
N New Adam (Romans 5:12-21
) – We are children of two “Adams”
S Struggle w/ Sin (Romans 6-8) Struggle, sanctification, and victory
•Galatians 3:27-28 King James Version (KJV)
•For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
•There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
•This seems to be the major lesson to be gleaned from vv1-16.
•Many people ignore Romans 16, because they see in it nothing but a list of names of people.
•Verses 3-15 and verses 21-23 contain a long list of greetings to personal friends of Paul in Rome, to whom he was writing, or greetings from persons who were with him in the city of Corinth, from which he wrote, and who never knew that they were going to be famous.
•In some ways the names in these verses are incidental because we really don’t know very much about any of them.
•However, we must remember when we come to a section of Scripture like the lists of genealogies in the Bible or the long list of names in this chapter, to keep in mind 2 Timothy 2:19b which teaches that “The Lord knoweth them that are his.”
•We need also to remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17,which teaches that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
•These saints whom Paul greets have long since died, and their names and the information Paul supplies may seem irrelevant. But the Holy Spirit has both inspired and preserved these words for our edification. Our task is to determine why these words have been preserved for us and what they have to teach us. It is a task well worth the effort.
•Romans 16 is by far the most extensive, intimate and particular of all the words of loving greeting in Paul’s marvelous letters. We can not afford to miss this wonderful outpouring of Paul’s heart toward the saints whom he so loved in all the Church of God!
•Although Paul isn’t deliberately teaching here, and is just greeting his friends in Rome and sending greetings from some who were with him in Corinth, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write these greetings which gives us a snapshot of these two churches, to teach us much about what our church ought to be like, and how the individuals greeted here can motivate and encourage each of us to be all that God wants us to be.
•So rather than skip over this chapter quickly, we need to think about, “What food for my soul ishere for me?” We have to dig a bit, but when we do we come up with some nuggets that make the search worthwhile. Let us look to Him who inspired these words to open our eyes to their meaning.
•In many ways Romans 16 is one of the most exciting chapters in the Bible, a proper study of which yields the following general nuggets of truth.
•1. The local church family is made up of ordinary, diverse people who have come to faith in Christ through the gospel; they are “in the Lord,” and are seeking to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord through sound study of the scriptures.
•2. The local church family is made up several families, and because the members are part of a family who love one another, they are thus hospitable and helpful toward one another, as they seek to deepen their relationships with one another in the Lord.
•3. The local church family is made up of men and women who serve the Lord, in different roles and capacities , and who work hard together for the Lord.
•As we saw in chapter 12, every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift that he or she is to use in serving the Lord, so there should be no benchwarmers in the body of Christ. The believers mentioned in this chapter seem to have been workers rather than shirkers, as required by the teaching of 1 Peter 4:10-11
•As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
•Romans Chapter 16 consists largely of Paul’s salutations to saints that Paul knew who were dwelling in Rome, and from others who were with him in Corinth as he wrote.
•Paul concludes his excellent epistle, with a great deal of affection, in which, his great love for his fellow believers is revealed. He talks about relationships that tell us a lot about his accountability, his love and his dependence on fellow believers .
We may outline it thus:-
1. Commendation of Phoebe to the Roman Christians- v1-2 – PHOEBE
2. Cordial greetings to several of his friends at Rome – v3-16 THOSE WHO WOULD HELP THE CHURCH or PRISCILLA &THE PILLAR PEOPLE
3. Caution to take heed of the phony Christians who were seeking to cause divisions in the church – v17-20 i.e THOSE WHO WOULD HARM OR HINDER THE CHURCH or THE PROBLEM PEOPLE
•4. Complimentary greetings from his companions who were with him in Corinth as he wrote v 21-24 OTHER PILLAR PEOPLE-
5.Concluding Doxology or solemn celebration of God’s glory v 25-27 PRAISE
•As we read Romans 16, we notice that Paul speaks of two different types of folk that may be found in a local church .
•HELPERS or PILLAR PEOPLE vv1-16 and
•HINDERERS or PROBLEM PEOPLE v17-20
•Paul points out in vv1-16that we need to celebrate and commend the builders and helpers of the church, and that we need to rejoice over those who encourage us in the faith and call us to follow Christ more fully.
•We are to mark and avoid the destroyers or hinderers or the problem people in the church because they cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. v17.
•We must not only teach what to believe, we must also teach what NOT to believe” and who not to believe.
•There is so much to be gleaned from studying Romans 16:17-20, about the PROBLEM PEOPLE, but because of lack of time today, we will only give an outline for this section, and confine most of our remarks to parts 1, 2 & 4 of our outline and discuss what I call the PILLAR PEOPLE.
•THE PILLAR PEOPLE
1- Commendationof Phoebe to the Roman Christians- v1-2
2- His cordial greetings to several of his Christians friends at Rome- 16:3-16
•4- Complimentary greetings from his companions who were with him as he wrote 16:21-24
•Churches that grow in a God-glorifying way are churches that have a core of Godly, dedicated pillar people.
•These are the people who undergird and support the weight of the ministry of a church and give it a strong foundation.
•Without quality pillar people committed for the long haul, it is only a matter of time before a ministry collapses.
•In verses 1-15 Paul acknowledges, cheers on, and thanks 26 different PILLAR people in the church at Rome, because Paul knew the vital importance of Pillar people when it came to the establishment and growth of a God-glorifying church.
•Bylooking closely at this list in Paul’s P.S. we can see at least two characteristics that are found in true pillar people—qualities we must embrace if we want to be the kind of people our church needs in order for it to grow and do more for God. PILLAR PEOPLE in a local church are believers who demonstrate two main characteristics.
•The first is SERVANT-HOOD,
•the second is SACRIFICE.
•In our study of the named believers in Romans 16:1-15 & 21-23 today, we will give
•the name of the mentioned saint,
•the outstanding characteristic for which that saint was known,
•a discussion of the Greek word that explains this characteristic.
•We want to show the relationship that Paul enjoyed with these pillar people and stress their character, with the hope that Paul’s words to these saints will be an encouragement and a challenge to each of our hearts as we see traits in these people that we would want to emulate in our own lives.
•I hope you will find this approach to be interesting and as fascinating as I have.
•V 1-2 PhoebeServant (diakonon)
•I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
•Phebe is recommended with three endearing names
•(a) As a sister to Paul: in the faith of Christ
•(b) As a servant to the church at Cenchrea: in acts of charity and hospitality,
•(c) As a succourer of many, and particularly of Paul
•SHE IS CALLED A SISTER to Paul: in the faith of Christ.
•The word sister indicates that Phebe was in a father/daughter relationship with God. She was a sister because she knew the Father.
•She was also in a relationship with other redeemed children of God.
•Note that Paul “identifies” her a “Sister” in Christ not in the flesh, cf 1 Cor 7:15; Phm 2
•In Christ, we belong to God not only as “fellow citizens with the saints” in His divine kingdom but also are brothers and sisters in His divine “household” (Ephesians 2:19
•To refer to Phoebe as “our sister” meant that she was a devoted member of a church family made up of redeemed people from all kinds of races and backgrounds.
•When a person comes to Jesus, all the barriers of life are broken down according to Galatians 3:28. In Jesus there are no racial barriers, no social barriers and no sexual barriers. We are all made one in Jesus!
•This is perhaps the most significant thing we should grasp from this list of names.
•“A servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:“
• SHE IS CALLED A SERVANT to the church at Cenchrea, in acts of charity and hospitality
•Paul says that Phebe is a “servant“- diakonon.
•Because diakonon is the same word that is translated “deacon” elsewhere, this has resulted in some controversy in many church groups who believe in female leadership in the church, and therefore teach that she was a deaconess at the local church in Cenchrea.
•We are not going to discuss the controversy over the word “diakonos” today, instead we will note that Paul stressed her service, rather than her office.
•The use of diakonon here means only that she carried out the spirit of that office in her work for the Lord, as a servant to the church because diakonon means one who executes the commands of another.
•You see, the word translated “deacon“, say in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, and here “servant” means “a table waiter, or one who waits on orders from his master.” At times it referred to “one who kicked up dust.” The idea being that the servant was a person who was so busy carrying out his duties that he left a trail of dust behind him.
•diakonosis used of the household servants who drew the water that Jesus turned into wine (John 2:5
), and Paul has used the term earlier in this letter twice: to refer to secular government as “a minister
of God to you for good” (Ro 13:4 ]
, and even of Christ as “a servant to the circumcision
,” that is, to Jews (Ro 15:8
•The phrase “of the church“ indicates that Phebe was under the authority of a local church. Whatever kind of service she rendered, her place in the church, was a servant.
•Phebe was connected to, and respected for her work with a local church and not just doing her own thing as an independent Christian.
•Note that the same is true about preachers, teachers, leaders and all officers of the church. We are all servants and are to be in submission to the local church.
SHE IS CALLED A SUCCOURER
•for she hath been a succourer of many,
•Succourer means “to come to another’s assistance.” It comes from an old word that means “to run under”.
•Succourer(from Latin suc-currereto run to help) is defined as someone who is proactive in their service, and furnishes relief by running to the aid of another.
•Phoebe was apparently a businesswoman of considerable wealth and of high esteem and integrity, who used her influence and financial means, as well as her personal time and effort, as a tremendous help to many fellow believers and of Paul also.
•So Phoebe’s gift was to be a patroness, a protectress, a succourer, running to care for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources.
A. She Gave Of Her Talent & Treasure – Whatever it was that Phebe was good at, she dedicated that to the Lord and used it to be a blessing to the church.
•She helped Paul and she helped others. She was unselfish and not self-centered. She placed the needs of others first and made a difference in their lives for the glory of God.
•She took her life and placed it all on the altar for Jesus. She did what she could. Phebe didn’t try to do everything, she just did what she could!
•Here is what the church needs today! We need women, and men, who will do what they can do, with their Talent & Treasure!
•Not every one can teach or preach. Not everyone can sing, or write, or lead, or whatever. But, everyone can do something! That something that you can do is what you should do for the Lord and for His church. Do what you can for Him and He will bless it in a great way!
•B. She Gave Of Her Time – A ministry like that takes a lot of time! She was willing to spend her life on behalf of the church and for the glory of her redeemer.
•Have you ever thought that your time may just be the most valuable asset you have?
•However, in the light of eternity, what is the investment of time for the glory of God?
•Lets thank and praise the Lord for those people in the church who are willing to give of their time……to pray for others, to visit a sick one, to minister to the bereaved, to make that phone call, to prepare that meal, to do what needs to be done so that others might be blessed.
ROMANS 16:1-2 summary
•The Church Should Commend & Assist Fellow-Christians Who Are Ministering to Others (:1-2)
•a. The church’s business is to minister to others
•b. The church should commend and assist and thank fellow-Christians who are committed to helping and serving others
•c. The church should HELP THE HELPERS
•In these first two verses we are introduced to the concept of letters of commendation orrecommendation from “friends” and “team members” in one church to “friends” and “team members’ in another church as taught also in Acts 18:24-27.
•The word “commend” comes from two words, sun, together with, and histemi, which means to stand. Paul is saying , “I take my stand with Phebe.” I stand along side her.”
•It appears that in the early church era, there were no hotels, so typically when you traveled, you needed to stay with friends. Also. when a person left one church to go to another,it was a common practice for them to carry with them a letter of commendation from the home church to let people know that this person could be trusted. We still do this today, to a certain degree.
•A letter of commendation was a very practical solution to identify true saints, introducegood Christian workers, and distinguish them from false teachers.
•The purpose of such references is to spare the church many problems which are the result of indiscriminate acceptance of strangers who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
•So in the first two verses of chapter 16 Paul introduced Phebe to the believers in Rome, and identified her as a true and faithful believer who should be welcomed into the church there.
•He wanted them to know that she was pretty special and that she would be a blessing to them.
THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND PAUL’S VALUE THEREFORE
•You cannot read Romans 16 without being impressed by the highly visible place of women in Paul’s ministry, and the number of women he mentions who were being used for Christ.
•Women actually occupy a prominent place in the New Testament, and much more so than in any other literature of that day.
•Women were essential to the ministry and handled very important tasks in the ministry of the early church, according to the gifts they had, as they labored for the Lord.
•Contrary to what is supposed by some today, Paul was not a “woman-hater,” and saw it okay to have women involved in ministry.
•He greatly valued women and appreciated the significance of the important roles in their ministry, and in the list of twenty-seven persons in this chapter he mentions nine prominent women who are all said to have worked for the Lord, and to be used for Christ.
•These women include Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Tryphena, Thyphosa, Persis, Rufus’ mother, Julia, and Nereus’ sister.
•There are still many women of this sort in the church today…….and in this church also.
•From what we see in this list in Romans 16, women were essential to the ministry and labored for the Lord. Women can and must be active in the ministry. The Bible only states that women should not rule over or teach men in the local church (I Tim. 2:9-15). (1Tim. 2:12).
•They are not to be preachers, pastors, elders or deacons and are not to be put into positions of authority, or infringe upon the order of the assembly of God.
•Their labor in the church is, however, not just getting chicken dinners or making flower arrangements or planning parties; they are to have spiritual activity in prayer groups, witnessing, Bible studies, missionary groups, etc.
•Consider that for every one man who offers himself to the mission field, approximately twenty women have offered themselves!
•What a remarkable place women have in the spreading of the Christian faith.
3-5aPriscilla and Aquila -Fellow workers- (sunergos)
• Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
•”also the church in their house.“
•Notice three things that Paul said about the precious tent-makers Priscilla and Aquila.
•First of all, in verse 3 he says that they were fellow workers.
•When Paul calls Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…he uses the Greek word sunergos, which is used 13 times in the NT(predominantly by Paul).
•Paul used it also in this chapter of Timothy in v 21, and in v 9 of Urbanus (“refined or polite“), who seems to have been a Roman citizen, since his name was a common Roman name.
•Note that Urbane was “in the top drawer” like Timothy and Prisca and Aquila!”
•Note also that Paultwice specifically includes godly women among his fellow workers: Priscilla, here, and in Philippians 4:3 with respect to Euodia and Syntyche, two godly but quarreling members of the church at Philippi who had shared Paul’s “struggle in the cause of the gospel,”as “fellowlabourers”.
•Fellow workers (sunergos
= together with, speaks of an intimate relationship + érgon = work).
•The word sunergos is worth pondering especially in light of Paul’s repeated use of it in this chapter with specific reference to other believers, and the fact that in 1 Corinthians, Paul refers to all believers as God’s fellow workers
•Sunergos which gives us our English word “synergy, “literally means working together intimately with”, to help share the load in something, and thus refers to a companion in work, a colleague, a co-laborer, a fellow laborer or fellow helper.
•Synergy is defined as the interaction or cooperation working together of two or more agents, forces, organizations, substances, or other agents which produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their individual or separate effects.
•This word refers to someone who is a team player, who labors with another in furthering the cause of Christ, and who does not seek to run or control things on his own, nor serve for selfish or personal agendas.
•In the NT, sunergos is used only of a co–worker or helper in Christian work. In each instance sunergos conveys the idea of an affectionate partnership and not merely that of an impersonal, official relationship.
•We are reminded by the word sunergos that believers are to work together on the same team, having the same ambition (to please Christ–2 Cor. 5:9) and having the same goal (the glory of God–1 Cor. 10:31). Just as the members of our human body help one another, so it is with the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12, 20-27).
•Fellow workers tend to get involved in the focus of their local church, evangelism, discipling new converts, missions, Bible teaching, giving, praying for others etc
The second thing Paul says about this couple is “who for my life risked their own necks,”
•Now, we don’t know much about this as the scriptures are silent as what it is he’s talking about exactly.
•The phrase “risked their own necks” seem to indicate that many times this courageous couple rendered selfless service by putting themselves in extreme danger and risked their lives many times for the sake of protecting Paul or other believers who were in the churches there in the area.
•So not only does Paul thank them, but so did all of the churches who benefited. They all give thanks for the precious lives of these two people.
•Their sacrifice brings to mind John’s exhortation of 1 John 3:16 “ We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
•Thirdly, their home was one of the places where a church met in Rome. Verse 5 says, “Also greet the church that is in their house.”
•Meeting in homes was part of the norm of that day , and their house was a place, a gathering, where many of the believers could come. Their home was open to the believers there.
•Wherever they went, this couple soon had a church meeting in their house. In Ephesus the house of Prisca and Aquila was a meeting place for the saints (1Cor 16:19
;Acts 18) as it was here in Rome.
•Lightfoot says there is no clear example of a separate building set apart for Christian worship within the limits of the Roman Empire before the third century. Early congregations met in homes (1Cor 16:19
; Col 4:15
; Philemon 2
•The Christian congregations were therefore dependent upon the hospitality of prominent church members like Prisca, and Gaius(v23) who furnished their homes for this purpose..”
• These facts provide a clue to the organization of the early church — in a city with a Christian community of any size, there appear to be several “congregations” meeting in different houses (c.f vv14&15), since there were no “church” buildings at this time.
•This is all we can say about HOUSE CHURCHES TODAY except that at least 5 house churches are mentioned in this chapter in vv. 5, 10-11,14, 15.
HOUSE CHURCHES AND CELL GROUPS—ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
•“Likewise greet the church that is in their house”
•This phrase The church that is in their house gives us a clue to the organization of the early church. For at least the first two centuries, churches had to meet in homes due to persecution.
•Here we see also that there was an assembly in the house of Priscilla and Aquila .This was not the only one in Rome, for we see indication of four others also (vv. 10, 11, 14, 15).
•In the early days of the Church believers gathered in private houses in great simplicity, according to our Lord’s word: “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20
•In a city with a Christian community of any size, there would be several “congregations” meeting in different houses (very probably houses of a large size). Each house church probably had its own “pastor.”
•Meeting in homes facilitated people-to-people ministry and helped spread the gospel throughout the whole of then known world. There is no better environment for person-to-person ministry than in the home.
•Christians then , did not try to get people to come out to church but instead invited them into their homes. There they talked to them about Christ, and there they won their friends and neighbors to the Lord.
•There is no evidence that there were special “church” buildings until the third century.
•After that the custom grew like wildfire. It was when believers no longer had their church meetings in their homes that organized religion began to take over. Leaving the informal setting of meeting in the home changed the whole atmosphere and it became formal.
•There were probably half a dozen churches meeting in the city of Rome in private houses.
•Paul referred to at least three house churches (vv. 5, 14, 15), and at least two households (vv. 10-11) which might also be house churches.
•In verse 5 there is the church that met at Priscilla and Aquila (cf. v. 23)
•Prisca and Aquila opened their home to host the gatherings of the church
•Wherever Priscilla and Aquila went they started a local church by opening up their home, as they did also in Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:19).
•In verse 14 we have five brethren greeted by name, and also the brethren who apparently met with them are also greeted.
•In verse 15 we have another such house church assembly in Rome, apparently led by Philologus.
•Philologus means “a lover of the word,” and this was probably a nickname given to him, just as Barnabas was called “the son of consolation,” even though that was not his name.
•Here was a man who loved the Word of God, and gathered with him some men and women including Julia, Nereus and his sister.
•There is a renewed interest in house churches in our day.
•In many places today, many humble saints, finding themselves unfed and very often unwanted in the great “establishments,” are gathering more and more as the early Christians did,–in homes, in Bible Conferences–wherever Christ and His Word and real fellowship in the Spirit are the only drawing powers.
•These gatherings have the advantage of forming close relationships, allowing for closer shepherding, and involving every member in ministry. They have the disadvantages of lacking solid teaching and getting off track doctrinally if they lack trained leaders.
•They can also spawn relational conflicts that come from being overly involved in one another’s personal affairs.
•Also, if they don’t maintain an emphasis on outreach and healthy growth by division, they can become ingrown.
•Such home fellowships provide all of these advantages and disadvantages!
•v5 Epaenetus-beloved -(agapetos)
V 8 Amplias -beloved- (agapetos)
V 9 Stachys-beloved- (agapetos)
•It is noteworthy that all three of these brethren were considered to be Paul’s dearly beloved brothers in Christ.
•The word for “beloved” is agapetos- the same word God the Father uses to describe Jesus
•Agapetos could be translated beloved, dear, very much loved, “divinely loved ones,” and is a term of endearment used only in the context of the New Testament of Christians united with God or with each other in love, according to the truth of Romans 5:5.
•Agapetos is love called out of one’s heart by preciousness of the object loved.
•It is a term that means somebody who you know well and have great respect for and who is especially dear to you…. someone that you love, and someone you are deeply devoted to.
•My beloved in the Lord is a wonderful way to characterize an individual, since that is who we are in the Father’s eyes!
•Believers have a wonderful bond in Christ regardless of their station in life or their position in society.
•The gospel puts every believer on the same level, for we are all bond slaves serving our Master, the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:23-24).
•Remember also : “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
•v6 Mary -the “toiler” – (kopiao)
• Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us ………………..”Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.”
•Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
•Paul gives Mary a very high compliment when he calls this industrious woman something like “Mary the toiler” because she worked hard and toiled laboriously even to the point of weariness and exhaustion.
•The phrase, “worked hard” comes from two different words. One word means “much” and the other word, kopiao, means “ fatigue”. In other words, she had labored to the point of much fatigue.
•The work described by the Greek term kopiao speaks of exhibiting intense toil and physical tiredness which follows the straining of all one’s powers to the utmost. It was used to describe great effort and exertion, and weariness to the point of exhaustion.
•The idea is that the work left one so weary and worn out, or faint as if the person had taken a beating.
•This is the same word that is used in John 4:6 when it says of the Lord Jesus, “being wearied from His journey, He sat down by the well.” It’s the same word for the disciples in Luke 5:5, when it says, “They toiled all night long and caught nothing.“
•It is fascinating that without email, telephones, etc, that Paul knew that Mary had exerted effort to the point of exhaustion for the believers in Rome!
•Would Paul call you, or I “_______ the toiler?“
•Note that Paul also places emphasis on the strenuous labor to the point of exhaustion of 3 other women, Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis in verse 12
•It is noteworthy that, as he goes through this letter, all the women he greets he characterizes as hard workers. I think this is very significant. What would we do without the ministry of women in the church?
•V 7Andronicus and Junia-Outstanding -(episemos)
•Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note (or outstanding )
among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
•Paul tells us four interesting facts about these two believers, who might possibly be husband and wife.
•They were Paul’s “kinsmen.” Although “kinsman” normally refers to blood relatives, it can be extended to include fellow countrymen and in the context of this epistle probably refers to fellow Jews who are in Christ, as Paul explained in Romans 9:3.
•In Romans 16, Paul uses this term three times (see verses 7,11,21) and names six people as his kinsmen.
•They were Paul’s “fellowprisoners.” These two believers were at some time, perhaps even then, his fellow prisoners and may have shared imprisonment with him in a number of places because of their faith.
•They were “in Christ” before Paul. They came to Christ before Paul did, prior to Acts chapter 9. “In Christ” has the technical meaning that is found in Galatians 3:27-28 of being baptized into Christ, and becoming part of the church.
•They were “of note among the apostles.” These two believers were probably known by the apostles and had an excellent testimony before them.
•“Of note” (or Outstanding (episemos) literally means “having a mark upon” and was used literally to describe money that had been stamped or coined (with a raised mark).
•In this verse Paul uses episemos to indicate that Andronicus and Junias had an excellent or splendid, or outstanding, or distinguished, or eminent or illustrious reputation. It seems that the meaning here is that Andronicus and Junias performed outstanding service in the Lord’s work while working among, and with and possibly under the guidance of some of the ordained apostles, such as Paul and Peter, and were well–thought–of. They were thus outstanding ..or “raised” and in “the top drawer.”
•V 10 Apelles – Approved- (dokimos)
•Salute Apelles approved in Christ.
The significant thing Paul says, and all we know about Apelles is that he was approved in Christ.
•Approved (dokimos) is a remarkable word which means tested and thus reliable or acceptable, and was used to describe precious metals such as gold or silver that were refined by fire and proven genuine, having passed the test for purity.
•Gold or silver would be put into a pot, and heated until it became a liquid and all the dross would begin to come to the top. Then they would take a ladle and scrape off all the dross. When the silversmith could look in it and see his reflection, then he would cool the fire. That’s what it means to go through the fire. That’s what it means to be tested and to be approved and to be proven genuine in the midst of adversity.
•It seems that Apelles was a believer who must have suffered terribly when tested by the trials and afflictions and adverse circumstances of persecution in the context of this era of the early church, but had responded well to the fires and pressures with integrity, and came through the testing, proving his faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
•Apelles trusted the Lord, remained true to Christ, and came out proven to be pure and proven to be genuine.
•Paul says to greet Apelles because he is “approved”.
•Approved (dokimos) is what we all desire to hear from our Lord “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21
, Lk 19:17
). You are Approved!
•Like Apelles many have suffered for Christ who are not recorded in Scripture, but God will reward each one for his or her faithfulness.
•v10 Aristobulus’ household
Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household.
V 12 household of Narcissus
Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
•In verses 10 and 12 where Paul sends greetings to the believers who were, “in the household of Aristobulus” and “the household of Narcisuss.”
•Neither Aristobulus nor Narcisuss were Christians—but some of their servants
•J.B. Lightfoot says that there was a man namedAristobuluswho was the brother of Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great. Now, if this was the same one that Paul is talking about, he would have been a close associate to Claudius, the evil Emperor ruler of Rome who drove all the Jews out of Rome.
•If that’s the case, when Aristobulus died, his whole household which included his servants, became the property of NERO, the cruel emperor at the time. This would explain the presence of this family of believers who were actually slaves in the household of Caesar.
•Narcissus was the personal secretary of the Emperor Claudius. When Nero succeeded Claudius, Narcissus was put to death shortly after Nero assumed the throne, and Narcissus’ servants, who are described in verse 12 as “in the Lord”also became Nero’s property.
•So it seems that there were in these two “inherited” households, within the palace, a large Christian witness in the very corridors of Roman power—working for Nero, the monster.
•These two possibilities give us some help in understanding Philippians 4:22 about “the saints that are of Caesar’s household”.
•God had believers like this even in the higher ups of the government of Rome in that day.
•Since Paul made no distinction between slaves and aristocrats, when they were believers, he says to greet this family of believers.
•They are tremendously significant in the kingdom of God and they are of the household of Caesar, if that theory is correct.
•The gospel was permeating the society of that day!
•11 Herodion – kinsman,
•Salute Herodion my kinsman.
•Recall that in verse 7, he also similarly referred to Andronicus and Junias, as his “kinsmen.”
•In verse 21, Lucius, Jason and Sosipater are similarly referred to as his “kinsmen.”
•He is saying that these six believers were Jews who had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and so were thus both Israelites and brothers in Christ.
•We know of only two relatives of the Apostle Paul. His sister and her son (Acts 23:16.).
•V 12Tryphaena, Tryphosa and Persis—three female laborers!- three “toilers” (kopiao)
•Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
•One cannot fail to be slightly amused by the allusion to these workers in the Lord, Tryphosa – ‘Dainty’ andTryphaena – ‘Delicate’.
•“Delicate” and “dainty” may have characterized their lives before salvation, but spiritually they were active and faithful workers in the Lord
•These three women labored “in the Lord“. They probably knew that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58), and that our labor is to be “in the Lord” and it is also to be for His great Name’s sake (Rev. 2:3), because of WHO HE IS, and that the One we labor for is worthy of our utmost energy and effort. He deserves nothing less than our best
•V 12 Persis both beloved and a toiler
•Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
•Persis was beloved, and a toiler — she was another lady who had worked hard in the Lord.
13Rufus-chosen in the Lord-eklekto
•”Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.“…….. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord
•Rufus, (choice) literally means chosen, or elected.
•Thayer says that the word eklektos translated “choice” means select, i.e. the best of its kind or class, excellent, preeminent.”
•Some believe that this term is here used in a special sense, meaning that Rufus was a “choice” or an exceptional or extraordinary believer — “a choice man in the Lord”, known for his love and work for the Lord and for the Lord’s people.
•Rufus might have been a beloved, dear, precious man, to Paul, but everybody Paul talks about is chosen, because ALL believers are “chosen in the Lord.”
•We all are God’s elect (see Col. 3:12; Rom. 8:33; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2:9 where this same word is used).
•Let us remember that Ephesians 1:4 says that “ he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”
•V 13 Rufus’s mother
•and his mother and mine.
•This doesn’t mean that Paul was a brother of Rufus, it means that he considered Rufus’ mother to be like a mother to him.
•It seems that Rufus’ mother had the gift of hospitality, and that at some time and in some way during Paul’s years of ministry, used her gift faithfully for the Lord Jesus, in caring for the Apostle Paul as one of her own children, and that Paul received from her the empathy and tenderness that only a mother can give.
•When we are saved and become members of the family of God (John 1:12) we soon discover that we have many brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and that God’s blood-bought children have a unique relationship one with another, as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
•”Let Christian mothers find here a great field for that wonderful heart of instinctive loving care given by God to mothers,—that they extend their maternal care beyond their own family circle, to all Christians, and especially to all laborers for Christ. The Lord will remember it at His coming!” (W.Newell)
•V 14 & 15
• Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
• Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
•Five believers are greeted by name in verse 14 and mention is made of the “brethren that are with them.” Five believers are also mentioned in verse 15 as well as “all the saints who are with them.”
•It seems that Paul is here greeting two groups of men who were part of house churches that existed in the city of Rome like the one that met in the home of Priscilla and Aquila.
•He distinguishes five people out of each of these churches.
•We know nothing about these men, but by studying history and the times and the names and what they were associated with, it appears that you’ve got two groups of five men who were, or had been slaves at that time and had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
•Paul distinguishes, lifts up, and pays tribute to these men. Nobody else would have paid tribute to them except God Himself, but God is doing that through Paul.
•Philologus is an interesting Greek name that means “lover of the word.” I don’t know anything else about him, but I love his name. You certainly can not have a Bible teaching church without a few Philologi!
•There’s an inscription of a slave freed by Augustus by the name of Asyncritus. We don’t know if it’s the same one.
•The name, Nereus, is found in an inscription of the imperial household.
•So we have in these two verses ten believers who had somehow been distinguished by their faithfulness to God in little house churches there in Rome, and Paul was led to put them into his list of greetings in Romans chapter 16.
•V 21Timothy fellow-worker,(sunergos)
•”Timothy my fellow worker greets you.“
• We have already discussed the implications of sunergos.
•Timothy (Timotheus meaning “honoring God”) was one of Paul’s closest and most trusted associates, and his dear beloved son in the faith who had stayed with him long, and remained faithful from the beginning to the end because of the servant heart Timothy had.
•Of all the companions of Paul, we know more about Timothy than we do anybody else in the list that Paul mentions. He’s mentioned in twenty-four verses in the New Testament.
reports that “he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.“
•From the very first meeting Timothy had alongside Paul , Timothy’s loyalty began to spread and people began to find out about him and by the time that Paul wrote the book of Philippians everybody knew about Timothy.
•Everywhere Paul went Timothy appeared. Paul would assign him here and assign him there or leave him here as needed.
•Paul spoke of him in the highest terms always; especially in (Philippians 2:19-22), “I have no man likeminded, who will truly care for your state. Ye know that as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in the furtherance of the Gospel.”
•Another version says in Philippians 2:22
, “But you know of his proven worth that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.”
•Paul had a warm place in his heart for Timothy even to the end of his life. The very last letter Paul wrote from his prison cell in Rome was to Timothy. Among his last recorded words, Paul twice asked to see Timothy again (2 Tim. 4:9,21).
•The relationship with Timothy had become very precious. It says in 2 Timothy 1:4
, “longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.” Then down in the last part of the book, in 2 Timothy 4:9
, he says, “Make every effort to come to me soon.“
•There is no more beautiful picture than that of a man who is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, a man loyal to a man like the Apostle Paul. It didn’t matter the credit that came to him. He was willing to serve him like a child would serve a father. People knew this about Timothy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people could say that about you and me? There was a loyalty there.
•** v 21 Lucius.
•Lucius was probably the Lucius of Cyrene mentioned in Acts 13:1
, as one of the teachers in the city of Antioch, and as one of the persons who commissioned Paul and Barnabas to the mission field.
•”Lucius” may also have been Luke, the writer of Luke and Acts, and who was present in the “we” portions of Acts.
•** v 21 Jason
•Jason was most likely the Jason who entertained and hosted Paul in his home in the city of Thessalonica, for a short while after a riot broke out in the city before the believers there sent Paul and Silas to Berea for their safety (Acts 17:5-10).
•** v 21 Sopater….Sosipater
•Sosipater is in all likelihood Sosipater, the son of Pyrrhus, of Berea, mentioned in Acts 20:4-6 as “Sopater,” who was among the companions of Paul who met him at Troas after he left Ephesus.
•Sopaterdoubtless was among the Jews in Berea who “were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things [that Paul preached] were so,” and was among the “many of them [who] therefore believed”(Acts 17: 10-12).
•Must have been very difficult to be more noble than those in Thessalonica C.f 1Thessalonians 2:13
• I Tertius, who wrote down this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
•The name “Tertius” (v. 22) indicates that he, was a slave, because his name means “Third.” (His brother, Quartus, Fourth, is mentioned in Verse 23.)
•In the ancient world in slave families they had a very simple way of solving the problem of naming children. They did not bother to think up names; they just numbered them. The first born was called Primus, the second Secundus, the third, Tertius; & the fourth, Quartus, etc.
•Here are Third and Fourth of a family of slaves.
•They are educated slaves who have become Christians. They can read and write, and are part of this group in Corinth.
•Paul’s normal practice in writing letters to churches was to use an amanuensis, (from Latin servus a manu = slave with secretarial duties ie a copyist/secretary; scribe, assistant who took dictation) when writing his letters, but frequently added a greeting with his own hand (1Co16:21
; 2Th 3:17 Phile 1:19
). Paul spoke as he was moved and carried along by the Holy Spirit (compare 2 Peter 1:21) and Tertius transcribed with precision what he said.
•But this is the only letter where Paul’s secretary Tertiusis mentioned by name.
•GAIUS –Host- (xenos)
•Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you.
•Gaius, in whose home the letter was written, is presumably the person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14
whom Paul had himself baptized. Gaius has the distinction of being one of the few people who Paul himself ever baptized, as Paul didn’t baptize many people. Paul preach the gospel and others took care of the baptizing.
•The word (xenos
) first means stranger, foreign or not of one’s family and in this context refers to one who hosts strangers.
•Gaius was apparently a wealthy, prominent , gracious and generous hearted believer and well known brother for his hospitality in opening his house to the entire Christian community that Paul could say that he was not only his host , but also host to the entire church at Corinth.
•He had a spacious house suitable for the gathering of the saints for worship; so he welcomed and entertained all the saints at his house which was probably the meeting place of the church.
•Fiends, if you have a longing to be helpful to God’s saints, be a Gaius!
•V 23 Erastus -Treasurer (steward, manager)-(oikonomos)
•Erastus was apparently a high ranking official as the chamberlain, or city treasurer, or director of public works in the city of Corinth. This was a very high important office in that time. This shows how the Gospel proclaimed by Paul for some 18 months in Corinth had penetrated even the higher echelons of the society and government. Such is the power of the Gospel!
•The word “oikonomos” (compare the English word “economy”) which means to manage, distribute, dispense, literally the manager or superintendent of a household or estate and in the context of the city of Corinth, “superintendent of the city’s finances.”
•We get the term “dispensation” from this word
•Erastus was a dispensationalist in more ways than one. He was entrusted with dispensing the city’s finances and more importantly, as a believer, he was entrusted with the responsibility to manifest and exhibit God’s grace (Eph. 3:2).
•Erastus was a man of high station and political influence, and as such had the opportunity to be an excellent testimony before the leaders of the city.
•May we shine for Christ wherever God has put us, whether high or low (Phil. 2:15), and be reminded of 1 Corinthians 4:2 which teaches that “ it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
•V 23 Quartusa brother
•and Quartus a brother.
•Quartus means “the fourth.“ Like Tertius, his brother, mentioned in Verse 23, he was possibly a slave………….. but he was a dear brother in Christ.
•How thankful we should be that Christ is not ashamed to call us “brothers” (Heb. 2:11).
•The interesting thing about the names in verse 23 is that they span the full spectrum of the social order.
•On one side was Gaius who was wealthy enough to be host to the entire church at Corinth.
• Along with him was Erastus, the city treasurer. These two men reflected the higher end of social strata in Corinth.
•At the other end of the spectrum were the slaves Tertius and Quartus. Yet they are mentioned here alongside the leaders and nobility of the city
•You can see how the gospel penetrated all levels of society, with slaves, public officials, consuls, leaders of the empire, all sharing an equal ground of fellowship in the church of Jesus Christ.
•All class distinctions disappeared within the church and that is what happens whenever the church works as per the thesis of Galatians 3:27-28 .
•You can picture them gathered in the home of Gaius , this gracious, genial, generous host of the city, mentioned in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
•Which of these phrases would Paul, or the Lord use to describe our church members?
•succourer of many
•helpers in Christ Jesus
•laid down their own necksfor my life
•bestowed much labouron us.
•beloved in the Lord.
•helper in Christ,
•approved in Christ..
•in the Lord.
•labouredmuch in the Lord/toiler.
•lover of the word
•chosen in the Lord
•workfellow or fellow worker,
THE PROBLEM PEOPLE
•3. Caution to take heed of the phony “Christians” who were seeking to cause divisions in the church v17-20
•In this section of the chapter, Paul tells us…….
•HOW TO HANDLE PROBLEM PEOPLE OR TROUBLEMAKERS IN THE CHURCH vv 17-20
•He tells us that there are two things we are to do. Let us observe…..
•1. THE DIRECTIONS CONCERNING THE TROUBLEMAKERS- v17
•HERE HE GIVES AN EXORTATION THAT TELLS US WHAT WE MUST DO in v. 17
•The EXHORTATION is to WATCH OUT
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Examine and exclude
•2 THE DEEDS OF THE TROUBLEMAKERS V 18
•He gives an EXPLANATION THAT TELLS US WHY WE MUST DO THE ABOVE in v. 18
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Motives and methods of these menaces
•3 THE DEFENSE AGAINST THE TROUBLEMAKERS v 19
•IS AN ENCOURAGEMENT THAT FURTHER TELLS US WHAT WE MUST DO
•He encourages us to WISE UP
•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.
•4. THE DEFEAT & DESTRUCTION OF THE TROUBLEMAKERS v 20
•In verse 20, he gives FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT THAT TELLS US WHAT GOD IS GOING TO DO ……i.e God will vanquish Satan and make the Saints Victorious.
•And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
•Romans 16:17-20 is a sermon on its own –c.fMatthew 7:15-20; Acts 20:28-30; Philipians 1:15-17: Philipians 3:2&18 for completion.
•ROMANS 16:17-20 – a summary
•SAFEGUARDS AGAINST TROUBLEMAKERS
•WE ARE TO GUARD FUNDAMENTAL CHRISTIANITY AGAINST THE ATTACKS AND DECEPTION OF SELF-CENTERED TROUBLEMAKERS BY EXERCISING ………..
•1. CAUTION– Keep Your Distance… Keep away from those who divide us from fellow Christians and cause us to stumble from fundamental Christianity V 17
•2. DISCERNMENT — What You See Is Not Always What You Get An uncorrupted heart can be deceived by the sound of something good V 18
•3. CAREFUL OBEDIENCE — Look Carefully Before You Leap Discern first, obey second (rather than blind obedience) V 19
•4. PERSEVERANCE IN HOPE — Hang in There, Satan’s Party Will Soon Be Over Though Satan’s aim is to divide and destroy our Christianity, God’s aim is to soon destroy Satan to bring us peaceV 20
•5.Concluding Doxology or solemn celebration of God’s glory – V 25-27
•24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
•25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
•26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
•27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
•Let me here share this cute outline for verses 17-27 that I found online, and dressed up a bit.
•1. Watch out (16:17-18
). mark them & avoid them.
•2. Wise up (16:19-20)
be discerning & encouraged
•3. Welcome in (16:21-23
), like Gaius, Paul’s host did.
•4. Witness on (16:24-27
), with the precepts of the wonderful doxology which enjoins us to use the gospel to present God’s GRACE,GOSPEL & GLORY
•In this complex and profound doxology, the apostle brought together words and ideas from his earlier epistles, in HIGH NOTES OF PRAISE in which he sounds off on GOD’S GRACE, GOSPEL & GLORY as summarized in the outline below
•A. It Is SovereignGrace
•B. It Is SavingGrace
•C It Is Satisfying Grace
•A The Message Of The Gospel
•B. The Ministry Of The Gospel
•C The Mystery Of The Gospel
•3. GLORY v26
•A The Glory Of God’sWill
•B. The Glory Of God’s Wisdom
•C. The Glory Of God’s Work
•This concluding doxology sums up all the great ideas of the Epistle, by reminding us of the power of the Gospel which Paul was commissioned to preach; we see
•its revelation: the eternal purpose of God;
•its contents: is based on faith;
•its sphere: all the nations of the earth;
•its author: the one wise God, whose wisdom is thus vindicated.
•All these thoughts are continually dwelt on in the body of the epistle.
•In these last three verses, the apostle summarizes the major themes of the epistle.
•(1) The Wisdom of God. We are reminded in these verses of the infinite wisdom of God.
•In the wisdom of God, He devised a plan whereby He would take rebellious and sinful men and give to them eternal salvation, yet without blemish to His attributes of justice and holiness.
•This He accomplished by the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
•He further planned to save both Jews and Gentiles. The rebellion and unbelief of the Jews has made possible the proclamation of the gospel to the Gentiles.
•And the salvation of the Gentiles will provoke the Jews to jealousy, so that they will finally turn again to their Messiah.
•The wisdom of God in saving Jews and Gentiles was not fully disclosed in the Old Testament.
•Though this mystery was spoken of by the prophets, their meaning was not made known until the coming of Messiah and the preaching of the apostle, whose calling was to make known the mystery of God’s plan to save men from every nation and to join them into one body.
•(2) The Sovereignty of God.
•God is not only wise, but He is all powerful, and able to accomplish what His wisdom has planned.
•Paul says in verse 25, “Now to Him who is able to establish you …” If we have learned anything from the Book of Romans, it is that God alone is able to save and sanctify men.
•Our steadfastness is certain because our God is sovereign.
•(3) The Grace of God. Perhaps the word which captures the theme of this epistle more than any other is the word grace. Grace, as we all know, refers to the unmerited favor of God whereby He has showered upon us blessings which we could never earn or merit.
•We need grace to make it day by day! If we are going to take our stand for Jesus against the troublemakers and Satan, the ultimate troublemaker, then we need grace.
•If we are to enjoy God’s victory as we fight the battles of life, then we need grace because as Romans 5:20 teaches that gracesupercedessin—it goes far and above in counteracting sin .
•Grace is not superficial or superfluous it is sufficient!
•Thank God for grace sufficient from a supply that will never diminish, 2 Cor. 12:9.
•“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with” us is certainly a great contrast to the disgrace of division-makers mentioned in v17 as we fight the battle to fight against the assaults of error.
•In the meantime. May “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” in the strife.” Amen.
•GOD IS ABLE TO BUILD A UNIVERSAL AND STABLE CHURCH THROUGH MAKING KNOWN THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST
•This passage in which Paul saluted his friends in Rome contains a word for all of us as Christians.
•If he were alive today, could he greet you and I as a true Christian, a saint, one chosen in the Lord?
•If your answer is yes, then do as those in Rome did — labor for the Lord.
•We are challenged to give everything we have to the service of the Lord and to the service of His church.
•We are challenged to look at our lives and our hearts, and ask “Am I giving everything I can to God, His church and His people? If not, then now is the time to pledge our all to Him afresh and anew.
•If your answer is no, then you need to be converted, saved, born again?
•You need to trust and commit yourself to Jesus Christ as your King and Savior.
•You need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved!
•If you are not yet in the family of God and if you do not know the Father, or the Son, let me tell you that He loves you and wants to save you and take you into His family.
•If you need to meet Him, then come and discuss it with the leadership.
•Paul’s words to these saints should thus be an encouragement and a challenge to each of our hearts as we see traits in these people that we would want to emulate in our own lives.
•Before we get into our message fully today, I just want to say to any who are here today and have not trusted Jesus as your Saviour, that there is very special list of names that is being written up in heaven upon which you want to have your name!
•Regardless of where your name is recorded down here, be sure it is written up there, in the Lamb’s Book Of Life (Rev. 20:11-15).
•If you miss that list, you have missed out on everything. So be sure to have your name on Heaven’s list.
•If you have trusted Jesus as your Saviour, your name is on Heaven’s list! If not, it can be!
•And friend, having your name on that list makes all the serving, all the sacrificing and all the steadfast living worthwhile!