Romans, Chapter 16
© Copyright 1998 Darroll Evans-all rights reserved

Romans 16:1-2
1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
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.

Paul speaks highly concerning Phebe, who is a leader in the church that is located at Cenchrea.

Cenchrea was a suburb of Corinth. 

The Church located there may have been founded on Paul's second missionary journey.

In calling Phebe a "servant" (Gr. diakonon-diakonon) Paul places her within the five-fold ministry of servants to the Church.

That places Paul at odds with many today who do not see women in leadership roles. 

In Colossians 1:23, Paul refers to himself using the same Greek root.

Paul did not request anything out of the ordinary for Phebe. 

He only requested that the Roman Church receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the Saints.  

That is the right of all Saints of God.

Respect is such a simple thing. 

He also asked them to help her in whatever matter she might need.

That also is reasonable. 

The reason that Paul made the request is that she has been a mother figure to many, even to Paul.

Romans 16:3-4
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.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.

This husband and wife team must have been extraordinary.

When Paul told the Roman Church that they "laid down" their "necks" for him, he was hinting at they were Roman citizens.

The risk of beheading (risking their necks) was a punishment reserved for Roman citizens.

Romans 16:5-6
5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

Paul asked the Romans to also "greet" the church that met at the home of Epaenetus.

He was among the first converts to Christ from Achaia.

Apparently Epaenetus had relocated to Rome from what is now Greece.

He may also have been part of Stephenas' family.

1 Corinthians 16:15 I urge you, brethren-- you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints-- (NKJV)

Paul told the Romans to "greet Mary," who has worked hard on your behalf.

We are never told who this particular "Mary" is.

There are at least 8 women mentioned in the last Chapter of Romans.

The women are Phebe, Priscilla, Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Julia, and Nereus' sister (no name given).

In a time when, according to many, women had little say in Church activities that number seems to be extraordinarily high.

Romans 16:7-8
7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.

Then, Paul mentions Andronicus and Junias.

He describes them as "my kinsmen."

They may have been his relatives, or the may have been members of the Benjaminite tribe of Israel.

He also says that they are "my fellow prisoners."

That would seem according to many scholars to indicate that they had been in jail at some time with Paul.

Nobody seems to know when these two were incarcerated with Paul, so let me offer another thought.

It is my opinion that they were not "in jail" with Paul.

Instead, they were fellow prisoners in Christ with Paul.

Paul himself solidifies that thought when he says that they are, "outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

Apparently Paul considered Andronicus and Junias to be fellow Apostles.

After writing the above paragraph, a good friend and study partner, Willie, called one night questioning whether Andronicus and Junias were actual Apostles, or were notable in the eyes of the Apostles. 

We are probably still discussing that point.

The literal Greek says they were notable “in” the Apostles, so I leaved it to you to follow the Holy Spirit in your personal interpretation.

What follows is a listing of many followers of Christ, most of whom are mentioned here and nowhere else in the Bible.

That does not diminish Christ's love for them.

In fact, I have searched high and low and have yet to find my name written in Scripture.

It is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and that is quite sufficient.

Romans 16:9-15
9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys 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 labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.

Often, what is not there is as important as what is there.

According to Roman Catholic history, Peter was in Rome at the time the letter to the Romans was written.

Paul does not mention him.

Nor, does Peter mention Paul being in Rome in His last letters.

That has always seemed strange to me---if Peter was in Rome.

Peter would also have been in Rome at the time of the writing of the last chapter of Acts.

Again, his absence from the text is quite noticeable.

It is my personal opinion that the Apostle Peter was never in Rome.

He was the Apostle to the circumcision, the Jews.

We have no canonized proof that Peter abandoned that call.

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

"Salute one another with an holy kiss," that was a normal greeting among good friends.

Romans 16:17-18
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
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 urged the Romans to keep their eyes on those who caused disagreements within the Church, and impediments that were contrary to the teaching of grace.

He admonished them to turn away from those false brothers.

As is the case today, those who do such things are slaves of sin, and not of our Lord Christ.

Deception is Satan's number one weapon against the Church.

He and his henchmen use glib, flattering, and self-serving speech to deceive those that are naive.

Romans 16:19
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.

The reputation of the Roman church of that day was quite good.

They were considered to be obedient to the Lord.

There was no Roman Catholic Church in that day.

Because of that, Paul was very pleased with them.

However, even in his joy concerning them, he wanted them to be prudent in what is acceptable in Christ, and untainted by evil.

Romans 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.

The placement of this verse is embarrassing to those who teach that Satan is a totally defeated enemy and we can walk all over him any time we choose. 

The problem arises with the use of the word "shortly" (Gr. en tachei-en tacei).

The use of that word presumes to say that it is not already done, and that is the problem.

Most teachers tell us that it is already accomplished.

There are teachers (mainly in Charismatic circles) that teach that we are to boldly go around kicking Satan's teeth in, they have never come face to face with the Archangel Lucifer.

If they ever did, they would fall over from fright.

At this time, Satan's power to deceive far out strips our power to resist.

Only Christ has the power to overcome Lucifer in a face to face confrontation.

Those who hold the position that "we" can overcome Satan cannot overcome his demons, let alone deal with the Archangel himself.

Theoretically, the Church could defeat Satan if it were to come into unity.

That is not going to take place any time soon.

The two witnesses found in the book of Revelation can call fire down from heaven, but they cannot defeat Lucifer.

Only the return of Jesus Christ himself will result in Satan's final defeat.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (NKJV)

Romans 16:21-23
21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.

Timothy, considered to be an Apostle by the Orthodox Church, is spoken of as Paul's "fellow worker."

He was with Paul at the time of the writing of Romans. Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, are also spoken of as Paul's "kinsmen."

Tertius was the scribe that actually put this letter to pen and paper.

As was the custom, he added his personal greeting.

"Gaius mine host," tells us that the letter to the Romans was written from Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 1:14).

Erastus is spoken of as being the "chamberlain of the city."

He was the Corinth City Treasurer.

Quartus is mentioned only here in Romans.

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

This verse is missing from some manuscripts perhaps due to its redundancy (see verse 20). Again, the emphasis is on grace.

Romans 16:25-27
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,
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:
27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

*This entire benediction is missing from some manuscripts.

Paul concludes with a beautiful benediction, "To Him that is able to establish (strengthen) you according to my gospel."

Paul's gospel was the gospel of grace.

It is grace and the teaching of the sacrifice and victory of Christ Jesus that establishes us in the Word and love of God.

Paul also speaks about the revelation of the mystery that has been kept secret in ages past.

The love of God expressed in Christ Jesus is available to us only by revelation.

Our knowledge of salvation is gained only through God's revealing it to us.

That mystery of grace is now displayed in us (made alive in us) by the Holy Spirit.

It was prophesied in the Scripture.

That foretelling was in accordance with the commandment of God.

The mystery of grace to Gentiles has been demystified in these last days.

The demystification of grace has led those of all races into the "obedience of faith" in Christ Jesus.

It has been done through our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of God our Father. Amen!

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