SUBJ: The commendations and
greetings of Paul and the gospel effect witnessed in Paul and in those
he commended to the Romans church.
AIM: That we might seek the same
effects of grace in us as we would seek to honor the Lord in our
interactions with and care for others.
INTR: The parting prayer of Paul
(15:33) was “Now the God of Peace be with you all. Amen.” He then
proceeds to commend many with whom this peace would be shared.
People reading scriptures fear having to pronounce the many proper names
encountered and yet these are brothers and sisters in Christ from a
bygone time. (We want our own names pronounced correctly and should be
challenged to get theirs right).
2. The tendency is to focus better
known names to the neglect of those mentioned briefly – what we see here
tells us much of the great significance in God’s sight.
3. We do well
not to despise either the day or the significance of what may seem to us
as “small things.”
is nothing insignificant in God’s plan; the whole of His plan stands or
falls on the smallest of details and these people are integral to the
outworking of the will of God.
I. Phebe (vv. 1-2)
this is the only mention of her in scripture, it is not without
significance in that it is thought that she actually carried the letter
to Rome – could we say that if it were not for her, we would not have
this glorious epistle? She was essential to God’s plan.
2. We are not
told of any other reason for her journey, but Paul wanted to be sure her
needs were met, and her business assisted in any way.
attention is especially drawn to her character and her dedication to
service. She is called a servant of the church at Cenchrea (seaport near
Corinth) and was possibly a deaconess.
4. Serving the church and
1) A succorer of many – one given to the protection, care, and aid of
others, giving of her own resources in doing so.
2) Paul had
witnessed the grace of God in her as she had rendered care to him as
II. Priscilla and Aquila (vv. 3-5)
1. This married
couple had been driven from Rome (see Acts 18) and were found at
1) A special relationship developed as Paul dwelled with
2) They were tentmakers together and had been fellow travelers.
2. They were the instructors of Apollos in Ephesus – he was an orator
but they “expounded the word more perfectly.”
3. They had endangered
themselves for his sake – no doubt in their travels and ministry
1) Needless to say, Paul gave thanks for them and
did the many of the Gentile churches.
3) They were commended to the
greetings of other in other places. (1 Cor. 16:19 and 2 Tim. 4:19
The church that is in their house – especially the well-beloved
III. Mary and the others (vv. 6-15)
1. It is
interesting to note that all these people were in Rome and were known to
Paul which reflects how seriously he attended to his apostolic charge.
About 29 are mentioned!
2. It would be well to comment on each of
these along with the observations of Paul with Mary leading the way. We
will rather note the commonalities.
1) We would note the important
role of women in the work of Paul – while they were not permitted to
preach, they were mighty in both word and deed in practice and were
acknowledged as such – Of those mentioned here, two of the first three
2) There are no second-class Christians: 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. Galatians 3:28.
is the acknowledgment of much labor, of being fellow-prisoners in Christ
and noted by the other Apostles, some are just called beloved which
suggests a mutual identity in Christ and so laborers together in the
IV. One another (v. 16)
1. There is much speculation
concerning the “holy kiss.”
1) Different cultures greet in different
ways and kissing is certainly one of them
2) Regardless of the manner
of greeting (the handshake in our area) it is the matter of the
affection in Christ that makes the difference.
2. Our relationship as
a body of Christ and our identity together is no accident – we are
together for a reason and the purpose of God must be understood or we
are no different from any other organization.
3. We are reminded of
the Ephesians being told of the fact that “…Christ also loved the church
and gave Himself for it; “ 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with
the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself
a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26-27.
the redeemed of the Lord everything about us is significant and so
“Salute one another as being together to reflect the presence of Christ