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Romans Chapter 16:1-27

Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Introduction:     Last week, in  chapter 15, Paul explained how that he had become the apostle unto the Gentiles.  He talked of how God had used him to reach many for the Lord, and discussed how that he took up an offering to bring to the poor saints there in Jerusalem.  We closed with his request that the church pray for him.  In Chapter 16, we have a record of many of Paul’s close and well beloved friends.  Many of whom were fellow-workers in the Lord’s service.  As we study this chapter, note how that some of these people Paul speaks of are Jews, while many are Gentiles.  Some were men, some women, some business people, while others were common laborers.  But all, no matter their background or vocation, were servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Some were prisoners because of their faithfulness to God and some even died.


I.  Greeting to the Named Individuals 

Rom 16:1  I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

Rom 16:2  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.

Phebe was called a servant of the church there in Cenchrea.   When a person is called a servant, that does not make them the pastor.   Every member of Christ’s church should be known as servants.  Whatever Phebe’s responsibility at the church, we can be sure that she did not usurp authority over the men.   Paul would not have been commending her if she had been disobedient to the Word of God.

1 Tim 2:9  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1 Tim 2:10  But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1 Tim 2:11  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

1 Tim 2:12  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 

Titus 2:2  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Titus 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

Titus 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Titus 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 

1 Cor 14:34  Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

1 Cor 14:35  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 Cor 14:36  What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

These verses are not here to make it sound like women are not to be used of the Lord to accomplish the work in the church.  They simply set down the order which God chose to do things.  In today’s society, very little attention is paid to what “thus saith the Lord”, but one day we will all have to give an account of our lives based upon the rules laid down in the bible.   I believe Phebe was a person of strong Christian influence.  Apparently she was quite wealthy, and helped many including Paul.  Paul thought so highly of her that he commended her to the church there in Rome.

Rom 16:3  Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:

Rom 16:4  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.

In an earlier study of Acts, we found that Aquila was a Jewish convert of Pontus.  He and his wife Priscilla were of great assistance to Paul.

Acts 18:2  And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

Acts 18:3  And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Paul spoke of them in his first letter to the church in Corinth.

1 Cor 16:19  The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 

J. Vernon McGee had this to say in reference to Priscilla and Aquila.

“At this time there were gentile churches, you see, and I believe the church at Rome was largely gentile, made up of many races.   “Priscilla and Aquila“ were a Jewish couple.  How had Paul met them, and in what way were they his helpers?  Well, there had been a wave of anti-Semitism that had swept over the city of Rome, and Priscilla and Aquila had to leave.   They came to the city of Corinth while Paul was there and set up shop.  Corinth was a good commercial center, and Paul was also plying his trade there.  Since they were all tentmakers, this drew them together and Paul led them to the Lord.  Then they were with Paul at Ephesus.  Perhaps they had gone over there to open up a branch store.  In Acts 18:26, we find that they were able to be helpful to Apollos as they “Expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”   Both were outstanding workers for Christ.” 

Rom 16:5  Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. 

Epaenetus was the first one to be saved under Paul’s ministry in Achaia.  Note that it mentions to greet the church in their house.  Many of the first churches met in local homes.  Today we have many wonderful buildings called churches that have great steeples on them.  But if the people who go there are not serving God, these churches are no more than a pile of brick, mortar, and stone.  Living churches have vibrant and real living believers in them.  And the Gospel is put forth in God’s true churches.   I’m afraid many today will have nice reports on some book or social topic, but little if any of God’s Word preached.  It simply comes down to keeping our eyes on Christ and lifting Him up.   We know it says that if Jesus be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him.  I think this had a two fold meaning in that we know Jesus was lifted up on the cross when He died for our sins.  But when we preach the Gospel, by word we lift up the name of Jesus Christ.  And the Holy Spirit still moves in the heart and turns the lost sinner to the only one who can save them. 

John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 12:33  This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Rom 16:6  Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

Rom 16:7  Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Rom 16:8  Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.

Rom 16:9  Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 

There were many Marys mentioned in the bible.   We know little about this one except that she was a believer at Rome and a helper of Paul.  Apparently this was neither Mary Magdalene, nor Christ’s mother Mary, nor the sister of Martha that the Lord loved so much.  Andronicus and Junia were blood relatives of Paul and had been fellow-prisoners with him also.  The details of when or how this took place, we are not told.  Paul, because of his great zeal for the Lord, spent many days in jail for his stand.   Some of the greatest of his written works came while he was in prison awaiting his execution.   Never doubt how God can use a man or woman, even in the darkest of prisons, to accomplish His ways.  Neither Joseph nor Daniel in the Old Testament had any negative things written against them, but both had to suffer time in prisons.  God help us if it come down to it, that we could be like these men and stay faithful to God even if were cast down.

Many of the names in this chapter are not names we recognize, but if Paul recommended these folks, you can be sure that they were faithful workers for God.   One day, when the crowns are given out and the special places of authority are given in Christ’s kingdom here on earth, we will probably find that many great places of honor will be held by Christians who had little said about them and had no name per se here on earth.  But a man or woman of integrity, one that lives and honors God with their life, is of high value to God. 

This is what Christ had to say in the parable of the talents. 

Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 

Rom 16:10  Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household.

Rom 16:11  Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.

Rom 16:12  Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.

Rom 16:13  Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 

Many names here are not people who we know much about.  Herodion was a kinsman of Paul.  We don’t know if he was saved prior to Paul or not.   Rufus was spoken of highly, as well as his mother.  The term “his mother and mine” probably speaks of the love that Rufus’ mother showed to Paul, as if he were here own son.   We meet many wonderful Christian ladies along our pathway, and I have several that have blessed men many times over.  I thank the Lord for everyone who cares enough to serve God and puts Him first in their lives.  We won’t know the full impact of these lives until we die.  (Or Christ returns.)

Rom 16:14  Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.

Rom 16:15  Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.

Rom 16:16  Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. 

How many of you saluted one another this morning with a holy kiss?  It sounds almost unbelievable in our day and time, but back then this was a common expression of love between brethren and was commonly practiced.  In our society, people are much to afraid to show love and emotion.  Our practice of shaking hands is still socially acceptable, and I think it shows respect one for the other.  We ought to be people who truly care and love one another.


II.                  Warning and Comfort to the Roman Saints 

Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Rom 16:18  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. 

Paul commands that they mark those among them that caused divisions in the church.   You note he says they will be the ones preaching contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.  Not only were they to note and mark who they were, they were to avoid them.  Most likely you can look back in your Christian life and you’ve been approached by someone who was like this.   When a Christian brother or sister comes condemning others or always speaking negative things, pay attention.   Satan can not destroy a church from the outside, but if he can get a few of his own among the Christians, he can play havoc with the church.   Verse 18 makes it clear that these are not those that serve Jesus Christ, but are out for themselves.  It is the simple ones who are deceived.   We should all so grow in our knowledge of God’s Word that we immediately spot those that speak glowing words that are contrary to the bible.  That comes by continual study and being faithful to come to all of the church services.  The more we hear taught and preached, the greater our ability to defeat the tricks of the devil.  Paul never came with glowing words that built up self.  He preached the true word of the Lord. 

1 Cor 2:1  And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1 Cor 2:2  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Cor 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1 Cor 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1 Cor 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 

Rom 16:19  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.

Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 

It appears that the obedience of the believers there in Rome was so great that it was talked about throughout the world.  What a testimony.  Apparently, false teachers had not yet come into the church there in Rome, but Paul warned them that it was likely to happen.  Verse 20 gives us the promise that “God will bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”  This will come when Christ comes to reign for 1,000 years upon the earth.   If it was soon back then, how close is Christ’s coming today? 

Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 

Rev 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


III.                Paul’s Final Salutation and Conclusion 

Rom 16:21  Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.

Rom 16:22  I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.

Rom 16:23  Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.

Rom 16:24  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 

In the salutation, greetings are extended to a number of Christian friends and fellow workers in the gospel.  I am sure it was an honor to labor along with Paul.  With the exception of Jesus Christ, I don’t think we have a better example of a sold out life for God in the New Testament.  Paul’s life breath was to do the Will of God, just like his Savior.  Oh that we might gain the spiritual vision of these great men of old, and be so driven for the things that matter. 

2 Cor 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Cor 5:1  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Cor 5:2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

2 Cor 5:3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

2 Cor 5:4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

2 Cor 5:5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

2 Cor 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 

Rom 16:25  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,

Rom 16:26  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:

Rom 16:27  To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. 

Paul called the gospel “my gospel.”  It was the Gospel of Christ that had been preached by him. 

1 Cor 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Cor 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Cor 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Cor 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 

The mystery he speaks of in verse 25 is the truth of the gospel which had been preached to the Jews but was now fully revealed to both Gentiles and Jews.  It had been made known to all nations. (Verse 26).    Paul closes seeking that Christ might be glorified through His church.  He was then, He is today, and will be forever more glorified by the church. 


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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