You're part of a long line of saints whom God raised up to serve His Church.
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Romans 16 (ESV)
1 I commend to you
our sister Phoebe,
a servant of the church at Cenchreae,
2 that you may welcome her in the Lord
in a way worthy of the saints,
and help her in whatever she may need from you,
for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila,
my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
4 who risked their necks for my life,
not only I give thanks
but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
5 Greet also the church in their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus,
who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.
6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia,
my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners.
They are well known to the apostles,
and they were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus,
our fellow worker in Christ,
and my beloved Stachys.
10 Greet Apelles,
who is approved in Christ.
Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.
11 Greet my kinsman Herodion.
Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.
12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa.
Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus,
chosen in the Lord;
also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.
15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
17 I appeal to you, brothers,
to watch out for those who
and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught;
18 For such persons
do not serve our Lord Christ,
but their own appetites,
and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
19 For your obedience
is known to all,
so that I rejoice over you,
but I want you to be
wise as to what is good
and innocent as to what is evil.
20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you;
so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.
22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.
23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you.
Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.
25 Now to him
who is able to strengthen you
and the preaching of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery
that was kept secret for long ages
26 but has now been disclosed
and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations,
according to the command of the eternal God,
to bring about the obedience of faith—
27 to the only wise God
be glory forevermore
through Jesus Christ!
Romans 16 Summary
Chapter 16 is certainly different from the other 15 chapters in Romans, and it might seem tempting to just skip over it since it's just a bunch of names we don't recognize. But as with all of the Bible, there's something to learn about in each chapter.
Look a little closer at the names listed and you'll see that they represent all sorts of nationalities and various levels of society. This chapter shows exactly what the Church is: a gathering of all sorts of different people who only have one thing in common: they've been grafted into Jesus Christ. It also helps to know that the church has always been comprised of regular, ordinary people.
The book of Romans is all about how we've been given peace with God through Christ. Although he opened this letter stating that the wrath of God is being revealed (1:18), Paul now closes it with a tribute to the God of peace (v20).
But God's peace is not passive or weak, rather it's the result of strength and victory. Here's what you can expect as a result of having peace with God:
The God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
Not all who claim Christ are on our side.
That harsh statement is the reality that Paul communicates in v17. The Church has always been burdened with people who seek to cause division and create obstacles for those whom Christ has set free.
In Paul's day these were Jewish Christians who tried to obligate Gentile Christians into keeping all sorts of Old Testament requirements.
In our day, our own denomination is under attack from people who seem to profess their love for Christ, but yet do not live under His Lordship. They do this by continually redefining as good what's always been considered sinful.
Paul writes, For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve (v18).
Pray for wisdom as our church seeks to call our divisive brethren back into a right relationship with God.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our eternal, only wise God and Father (v27)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you can serve the Church as these early saints did.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: