Thursday, August 25, 2016

Romans 16:1-16


Romans 16:1-16

Life Application New Testament Commentary: 
Rome was the capital of the empire. As Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life, Rome was the world’s political, religious, social, and economic center. As Paul preached in the eastern part of the empire, he went first to the key cities—Jerusalem, Antioch in Syria, Philippi, Corinth, Athens, Ephesus. Along the way he met many believers who eventually ended up in Rome. The fact that Paul knew the whereabouts of so many of his friends and coworkers gives us a glimpse into the interest this great missionary had in the people to whom he ministered and who ministered to him. This final chapter reveals a treasury of friends Paul expected to see in Rome.

Rom 16:1  I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Rom 16:2  Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God's people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.

Phoebe was a friend and supporter of Paul’s. He asked that she be treated well as all Christians should treat other Christians. It is also important to know that she was a deacon to the church. That shows that even in the early church women played a large role.

Rom 16:3  Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. Rom 16:4  In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches.

Priscilla and Aquila were a couple that Paul had met previously and they had helped him is some way that was not described in the bible.  They also had been expelled from Roman.  Act_18:2-3 Claudius died and they had returned to Rome.

Rom 16:5  Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ. Rom 16:6  Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your benefit.

Again these were people that Paul knew but we have no record of them.

Rom 16:7  Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did.

Life Application New Testament Commentary:
16:7 Andronicus and Junia may have been a husband and wife team. Junia (or “Julia,” which is the reading in certain ancient manuscripts) was a widely used female name at the time. Paul’s references to them as relatives could mean that they were also Jews, possibly from the same tribe. When they were in prison with him is not known, because Paul had been imprisoned numerous times (see 2Co_11:23). Andronicus and Junia distinguished themselves among the apostles. They belonged to that larger group of apostles who had seen the risen Christ (a credential of an apostle—see Act_1:22; 1Co_15:5-8). If Andronicus and Junia were believers before Paul was, they would have been Christians for about 25 years.

Rom 16:8  Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Rom 16:9  Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Rom 16:10  Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus. Rom 16:11  Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet the Lord's people from the household of Narcissus. Rom 16:12  Give my greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the Lord's workers, and to dear Persis, who has worked so hard for the Lord. Rom 16:13  Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be His very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me. Rom 16:14  Give my greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who meet with them. Rom 16:15  Give my greetings to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and to Olympas and all the believers who meet with them. Rom 16:16  Greet each other in Christian love. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Romans 15:22-33

Paul's Plan to Visit Rome

Romans 15:22-33

Rom 15:22  In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places. Rom 15:23  But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you. Rom 15:24  I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.

Rom 15:25  But before I come, I must go to Jerusalem to take a gift to the believers there. Rom 15:26  For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem Rom 15:27  They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially.

Paul had money that was donated specifically for the believers in Jerusalem. Christianity may have started there but he town was very Jewish most of whom had not converted to Christianity. The Christians were persecuted in Jerusalem and it was difficult to get work.

Rom 15:28  As soon as I have delivered this money and completed this good deed of theirs, I will come to see you on my way to Spain. Rom 15:29  And I am sure that when I come, Christ will richly bless our time together.

Little did Paul know that he would be arrested and put on a prison ship. The ship was bound for Roman but a storm blew it to Malta where Paul did several miracles. This is also where Paul was bitten but a poisonous snake you can find the story in the last few chapters or Acts.  

Rom 15:30  Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:31  Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the believers there will be willing to accept the donation I am taking to Jerusalem.

Life Application New Testament Commentary:
15:29 Paul knows that when he arrives in Rome, he will come with a great blessing to share. The sense of this verse can be read in two ways: Paul will be bringing a fresh awareness of all the benefits of being united with Christ; or Paul is expecting to experience with the Romans a rich time of fellowship in Christ. The benefits of spending time with other believers, even those we do not know, are very real. From time to time, Christians should worship in unfamiliar places, just to be reminded how oneness in Christ overcomes the barrier of meeting strangers.
15:30 Paul asked his readers to pray for him, a request he made in many of his letters (Eph_6:19-20; Col_4:3-4; 1Th_5:25; 2Th_3:1-2; Phm_1:22). Paul needed their intercessory prayer; he needed them to join him in promoting the cause of Christ. The Greek term for join me in my struggle was often used in connection with athletic events where a team had to put forth a great, concerted action. Though the Roman believers could not be physically with Paul, they could join his efforts by praying for him. This is a subtle but effective emphasis that Paul was not an independent agent. He was part of the body, and he needed the body’s help.
15:31 Paul’s specific prayer requests pertain to his return to Jerusalem. Paul knew of the potential danger awaiting him there (see Act_20:22-24; Act_21:27 ff.), so he asked them to pray for his safety. Paul was still regarded as a traitor to his faith, and some of his fellow Jews might have considered it their religious duty to get rid of him for good. He also asked the Roman Christians to pray that the Christians in the Jerusalem church would be willing to accept the donation he was bringing. He may have been fearing that the church would not want to accept the money.

Rom 15:32  Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. Rom 15:33  And now may God, who gives us His peace, be with you all. Amen.