www.rossvillechurch.com 781 Salem Road, Rossville, GA 30741 June 5, 2011
Romans 16 1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: Phoebe (which means “bright, radiant”) was Paul’s emissary to deliver this letter , so he wrote officially, I commend to you our sister Phoebe. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty. Servant = Diakonos = same word for deacon. She may have had the title , or she may have just done the work without the title.
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Succorer = a help in time of need.
Paul told the Christians at Rome to : 1 Receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints . Christians are to accept one another , as Jesus has accepted us. Doubt, suspicions, mistrust, and criticism are not Christian virtues . 2 Help her in any way she needed them. Why? Because she had helped others in many ways, including the Apostle Paul.
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 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. Paul met this husband and wife team in Corinth on his second missionary journey. He worked with them in their tent-making business .
They had, on some occasion, risked their own lives to save Paul's life. They had been instrumental in spreading the Gospel to all the churches of the Gentiles.
5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. House-churches were common in the early church. They didn't feel they had to build a great cathedral in which to meet. But we know they were interconnected , because Paul would write one letter to the church in a city, and it would get to everyone .
5b Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the first-fruits of Achaia unto Christ. Epaenetus was the first to get saved in that area. Achaia was an area of what is now mostly Greece , including the cities of Corinth , Sparta , and Athens .
6 Greet Mary , who bestowed much labor on us. Hard work is worthy of special mention. 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia , my kinsmen , and my fellow-prisoners , who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me . Paul was of the Tribe of Benjamin , and that is probably the kinship spoken of.
They also had a special bond in that they had been in prison together because of their ministry. Shared hardship builds special relationships. They had been Christians even longer than Paul. All of the apostles respected them for their faithfulness .
8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. 9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and St a chys my beloved . 10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household . 11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord . 12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which labored much in the Lord.
13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine (she had been like a mother to Paul) . 14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Pat robas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. 15 Salute Philologus (lover of words) , and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. 16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Even though Paul had never been to Rome, he knew a lot of people who were there at this time. In spite of his own labors, trials, care for the churches, Paul remembered and mentioned them . We need to remember our friends, acknow-ledge them, brag on them, be true to them.
We can learn much from this passage of Scripture. The qualities that Paul mentioned are qualities that are useful in the Kingdom of God. They are Christian virtues .
A servant's heart Willingness to help accomplish a goal Willingness to risk all -- even our lives Matthew 25 40 … Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more. ~ Edward H. Harriman
Andronicus and Junia were old and faithful servants of God. God honors faithfulness . Faithfulness is not measured in a month, or a year, or even in decades of service .
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Romans 12 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; The only things that we are building down here that will be with us in Heaven are relationships. Everything else is going to burn and melt with fervent heat.
Connie and I will be gone next Sunday to celebrate Uncle Reid's eightieth birthday. DeRidder, Louisiana Paul Davis will conduct the services in my absence. Be sure to come and support him in every way.