Episode #133. Today we’ll read the 16th and final chapter of Romans together: Paul sends greetings to so many fellow Christians; he warns against divisive people; and ends by, of course, giving glory to God.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #133. Today we’ll read the 16th and final chapter of Romans together: Paul sends greetings to so many fellow Christians; he warns against divisive people; and ends by, of course, giving glory to God.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
You did it again! Check it off! Two thumbs way up! Okay, let’s see…how many chapters is that now? Let’s see, 28 + 16 + 24 + 21 + 28 + 16…that equals 133. What?! 133! There’s 260 chapters in the New Testament! You’re over halfway complete! What an awesome accomplishment. Now, when people ask, “So, how are you doing on your goal to read the New Testament by the end of the year?” You can say, “I’m over halfway there! Why don’t you join me?”
Romans Chapter 16
Paul’s Commendation of Phoebe
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchreae. So you should welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever matter she may require your help. For indeed she has been a benefactor of many — and of me also.
Greeting to Roman Christians
Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life. Not only do I thank them, but so do all the Gentile churches. Greet also the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews and fellow prisoners. They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles, and they were also in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our coworker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ.
Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet those who belong to the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who have worked hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, who has worked very hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother — and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send you greetings.
Warning against Divisive People
Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them, because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.
Paul’s Gracious Conclusion
The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Timothy, my coworker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow countrymen, greet you.
I, Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.
Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus greet you.
Glory to God
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles — to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ — to him be the glory forever! Amen.
This letter is not much different than a letter you or I would write to friends or family. We might compliment someone who is doing a great job like Paul did Phoebe. We might say, “Please say hi to Laura or Aunt Jackie,” just like Paul said, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother — and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. Oh, and speaking of Rufus, do you remember Mark 15:21, when Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus’ cross? The verse says, They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus’s cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Simon was changed that day and he and his wife must have chosen to become Christians, and he raised his boys to do the same. Children really do learn what they live because here, we now read that Rufus is a co-worker in the faith with Paul. Paul was so cared for by Rufus’ mom that he considered her his mom too. Ripple effect. Dropping down to near the end of the letter, you’ll see Tertius saying he wrote the letter. And he probably did. If was customary for the prophets to dictate their letters to a secretary. This was particularly true for Paul because he apparently had horrible eyesight. And finally, Paul ends his letter to the church in Rome as perhaps we should end our correspondence – especially to those we care about – glorifying God for His awesome work through Christ. Let’s pray.
Oh, yes, Father, we are indeed glad for the mystery that had been hidden for so long – that You would include Gentiles in Your plan of salvation, as well as the Jews. How we glorify You for this awesome gift. A gift that brings us hope and joy and relief. Give us courage not to be quiet about this gift of Jesus Christ and His sanctifying grace which You meant for everyone. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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