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Showing posts from September, 2023

1 Peter 1:5: Who By God's Power Are Being Guarded Through Faith For A Salvation Ready To Be Revealed In The Last time.

1 Peter 1:5 Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (ESV) In our walk on this earth we feel very vulnerable. We know that everything we possess can be lost in an instant. Things that we own can be stolen. Money could lose its value with a change in the stock market. Relationships can be destroyed by the whim of a person who decides that they no longer want to know us. We feel like there is nothing to protect us. The Apostle Peter says we are being guarded by God's power. Peter knew the frailty of this life and the temporal things that we try to hold on to. He is talking here of our salvation, which cannot lose its value, and cannot be taken from us. This is great news for the believer in Jesus Christ. It is God's power that guards the salvation that will be revealed in the last time. Now, this does bring a question to mind. Isn't my salvation already revealed? If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, be

1 Peter 1:4: To An Inheritance That Is Imperishable, Undefiled, And Unfading, Kept In Heaven For You.

1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (ESV) The Apostle Peter writes to Christians who are in the midst of being persecuted for their faith. They are exiles from their homes. Many of them were exiled from previous relationships, even family members. Peter reminds them that while they may have lost many things in this life they have an inheritance in Heaven that will help them keep things in proper perspective. They have much to be excited about. Our inheritance in heaven is imperishable. Every thing that we have in this life on earth, no matter how precious it might be, is subject to decay. All of the science geeks will acknowledge that it is the second law of thermodynamics that describes the entropy of all things. Our inheritance in heaven is not subject to the laws that govern this earth. What God has for his children will never change. It is imperishable. Our inheritance is undefiled. Everything in this world is evil. T

1 Peter 1:3: Blessed Be The God And Father Of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (ESV) While it is true that we will face all kinds of troubles in this world there is an underlying truth that in spite of all of our struggles we have hope. Peter reminds us here that we have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. One could say, "What is the worst that man can do to me?" If we are killed we will only be raised to new life eternal. The truth of this living hope ought to be the very thing that helps us get through the most difficult of times. Peter himself, as tradition tells us, was crucified upside down for his faith in Jesus Christ. We may or may not have to die in the same dreadful way. As horrific of a death as this was for Peter it did not nullify the living hope that he speaks of here in verse 3. Rather, he had hope as he

1 Peter 1:2: According To The Foreknowledge Of God The Father, In The Sanctification Of The Spirit, For Obedience To Jesus Christ And For Sprinkling With His Blood

1 Peter 1:2 According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:  May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (ESV) In these second opening verse the Apostle Peter gives us a glimpse of our salvation from before time began until now. He begins by talking about the foreknowledge of God the Father. This word foreknowledge does not mean that he observed what we would do long before we would do it. Rather, it means that he planned a relationship with us beforehand. Those who God foreknows he ultimately saves (See Romans 8:29-30). Peter then describes our sanctification of the Spirit. This word sanctification means to be set apart. We were brought out of the kingdom of darkness and brought into God's wonderful kingdom. Not only are we no longer a part of the world, but we have received a new nature. We also have been given the Holy Spirit to help us walk a life, set apart for Him. So, what s

1 Peter 1:1: Peter, An Apostle Of Jesus Christ, To Those Who Are Elect Exiles Of The Dispersion

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (ESV) In this opening verse of 1 Peter we see two descriptions that are meaningful to us. The first is a description of Peter as he describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. The other description is of the initial recipients of this letter. They are believers who have been dispersed from their homes to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. What is meaningful is that they are described as elect exiles. Let's consider Peter. Here he describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Peter could have described himself as denier of Christ in his hour of greatest trial. He might have described himself as one who regularly put his foot in his mouth. He was scolded by the Apostle Paul for being hypocritical (Galatians 2:11), so he could have said, "Peter, hypocrite." What he says is, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Ch

Romans 16:27: To The Only Wise God Be Glory Forevermore Through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Romans 16:27 To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (ESV) In these closing words of praise Paul reminds us of some important truths that are critical for us to understand. He begins by saying the only wise God. We should be reminded that true wisdom has only one source; God himself. Man's wisdom is folly. When man says anything that is truly wise you can trace the source of that wisdom back to God. An atheist may something wise, but it is God's wisdom. To this only wise God belongs glory. As we read this we have no problem affirming that God is deserving of glory. The real issue is whether or not we actually give him glory. We make decisions in our lives that we feel will benefit us, without pausing to consider whether God will receive glory in what we are doing. God being worthy of glory should remind us to give him glory in every action that we take. This glory that is given to our only wise God is glory that he is to be given to him forevermore

Romans 16:26: But Has Now Been Disclosed And Through The Prophetic Writings Has Been Made Known To All Nations

Romans 16:26 But has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— (ESV) The Gospel that Paul preached and expounded upon all throughout the book of Romans was not just something that the apostle came up with. Rather, it was a mystery that for centuries was hidden from the Gentile world. Salvation of mankind was always through the Jews. After all, they alone were the recipients of the Law.  Paul is saying here that the mystery of this Gospel is now disclosed. It is no longer hidden. Through the very words of the prophets the world now knows and sees the Gospel. The Gospel is the fulfillment of the promises of God declared to the prophets. This good news that man can be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ is for everyone,  Jew and Gentile. Today, we tend to forget just how wonderful it is that we are recipients of the Gospel. Our whole lives we ha

Romans 16:25: Now To Him Who Is Able To Strengthen You...

Romans 16:25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages (ESV) After all that Paul has written over the last previous chapters it would be easy to be intimidated. We are called to a holy standard of walking with Jesus Christ. How are we to accomplish this admirable task? Even Paul himself spoke of his struggle in Chapter 7 of not doing the things he wanted to do, while doing the very things that he knew he should not do. The answer is found in the words of this wonderful verse. "To him who is able to strengthen you..." He is saying that the strength that we need to live a godly life is not found in us "trying harder." We are simply not strong enough to live a life that pleases God. It is God himself who is able to strengthen us. This promise is according to the Gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ, which Paul has faithfully delivered.

Romans 16:23: Gaius, Who is Host To Me And To The Whole Church, Greets You. Erastus, The City Treasurer, And Our Brother Quartus, Greet You.

Romans 16:23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you. (ESV) This final greeting comes from some special people. Certainly all of those who are listed in this letter are special. Some of them we have had the privilege of gaining additional information from the text to know more of their background. These three mentioned are special in specific ways. Let's look at these last three "special" friends whom Paul includes in this letter to Rome. Gaius would have been very special to Paul because he was a convert of his when he first went to Corinth. Paul mentions him by name in his first letter to the church at Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 1:14 Paul writes, " I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius," One of the most exciting things for any minister is to baptize believers in the name of Jesus. Erastus is special for a different reason. Paul tells us that Erastus

Romans 16:22: I Tertius, Who Wrote This Letter, Greet You In The Lord.

Romans 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord. (ESV) If you have read through this letter to the church at Rome you would be thinking that Paul is writing the letter. Well, it is Paul's words that we are reading. The one writing down Paul's words is his personal secretary, Tertius. We do not know much about Tertius. We may wonder what he would say if he were to open up more about his love for Paul, and ultimately his love for Christ. We do have Tertius speaking in this letter. He greets the church at Rome in the Lord. Seeing as how it was not his letter he was writing, but rather, it was the Apostle Paul's letter, it is actually surprising that he was permitted to include his own greeting. After all, we are dealing with a letter that was God speaking through Paul. It includes critical teaching on what it means to be a Christian. Paul must certainly have approved Tertius inserting himself into the text. In one way, it shows that the Apostle Paul, a man

Romans 16:21: Timothy, My Fellow Worker, Greets You; So Do Lucius And Jason And Sosipater, My Kinsmen.

Romans 16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. (ESV) Paul makes an interesting distinction in this list of people who send their greetings to the church at Rome. Timothy is listed as a fellow worker. Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater are listed as kinsmen. In other words, he has members of his earthly family to whom he is related. Timothy is not included in this list. If you know other parts of Scripture you may remember that Paul viewed Timothy as a son in some respect. There are two books of the New Testament that are letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to this same Timothy. In these letters that Paul wrote we find a closeness that is very much like family. He begins the first letter to Timothy with these words, "To Timothy, my true child in the faith." Paul likened himself a spiritual father to Timothy. What does it mean to be a spiritual father to someone? Paul was instrumental in bringing the Gospel to a young Timothy. He

Romans 16:20: The God Of Peace Will Soon Crush Satan Under Your Feet. The Grace Of Our Lord Jesus Christ Be With You.

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (ESV) We all love the concept of peace. For all centuries of time man has tried to have peace. One thing is sure. Peace does not come without a fight. Nations will fight one another and secure a peace treaty. It will last, but only for a relatively short time. The lasting peace that we all long for has eluded us for all centuries. Where should peace truly come from? Peace comes from the God of peace. There are many ways that we can describe our wonderful God. Here Paul describes him as the God of peace. He says that this God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Notice that this peace only comes with a fight. Who is fighting for our peace? The God of all creation. He alone has the power to crush Satan. He alone is able to provide lasting peace. In regards to the timing of Satan being crushed there are two things that we need to understand in this verse. First o

Romans 16:19: I Want You To Be Wise As To What Is Good And Innocent As To What Is Evil.

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. (ESV) We live in a world that has more access to information than any century of civilization has ever known. If you have a question about almost anything you can get access to the answer within seconds. We tend to think that this is always a good thing. I wonder if the Apostle Paul would agree. He says something curious in this verse about our approach to what we know. We are to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. It is evident in this instruction that we are to be more focused on the pursuit of that which is good. It seems that the evil will find us without us looking for it. Our pursuit of that which is good will be a preparation for the evil that surrounds us without us making any effort to find it. So, let's consider what is good. Everything that proceeds from God himself is good. In his holy Word we

Romans 16:18: For Such Persons Do Not Serve Our Lord Christ, But Their Own Appetites, And By Smooth Talk And Flattery They Deceive The Hearts Of The Naive.

Romans 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (ESV) In the previous verse the Apostle Paul made an appeal to the believers in Rome to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine they had been taught. It seems that there is always a temptation to seek after some "new" and "exciting" teaching. Today there is always someone who will give you some special word that has not been known before for all centuries of Christendom. People who bring false teaching always bring division. When the church is not unified she is not effective. The unbelieving world sees a divided church and sees it as weak and irrelevant. It becomes clear, then, that Satan himself is behind false teaching. He is known as the deceiver. Jesus called him the father of lies. Paul says that these who cause division with false teaching deceive the hearts of

Romans 16:17: I Appeal To You, Brothers, To Watch Out For Those Who Cause Divisions And Create Obstacles Contrary To The Doctrine That You Have Been Taught; Avoid Them.

Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (ESV) The Apostle Paul loved the people in Rome very much. We have just read in previous verses his intimate greetings to his many friends. He viewed these people as part of the family of God. They were his brothers and sisters. Paul now demonstrates his love and care for his family members by warning them to avoid those who would bring false doctrines into the church. We are often reminded by Scripture that we need to love one another. One of the ways that we love one another is by protecting each other from false doctrine. There is only one book in the New Testament in which there are no warnings against false teaching. The Lord knew that the enemy of our souls would be at work trying to destroy the church. One of his primary weapons is false teaching. Our love for each other is a result of the love that we have receiv

Romans 16:16: Greet One Another With A Holy Kiss. All The Churches Of Christ Greet You.

Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. (ESV) When we read of believers giving each other a holy kiss we have mixed reactions. It is an example of love and friendship amongst believers that is very special. However, some of our modern mindset is thinking of the potential lawsuits that could happen. Others are thinking of how socially intrusive this would feel. There are some who balk at the idea of shaking hands or giving a hug on a Sunday morning. In the Old Testament it was a common practice among Jewish people to greet their friends and family with a kiss on the forehead, hand, or even the beard. It is clear from this text that this practice carried on to the New Testament Church which was largely made up of Jewish converts to Christianity. Paul was raised in the Jewish faith and promotes the continuance of this practice within the family of Christ followers. There is a segment of people who would have valued this practice of greeting e

Romans 16:14-15: Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the Brothers Who Are With Them. . .

Romans 16:14–15 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. (ESV) I have met many people who will say that they are not good with names. Apparently, Paul is very good with names. He mentions all of these different saints by name. I am sure that each one of them had served in the ministry of the Gospel with Paul in some special way. They were of great value to him. Not only did they share a bond because of Christ, but they shared labor together. How do you view those who you rub shoulders with in your local church. Do you know everyone's name? There are some churches that do a great job of emphasizing opportunities for fellowship. Perhaps they have regularly scheduled potluck dinners. Maybe they have Bible studies that meet in individuals' homes. There is emphasis placed on being with one another. We were made with a need to be together

Romans 16:13: Greet Rufus, Chosen In The Lord; Also His Mother, Who Has Been A Mother To Me As Well.

Romans 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. (ESV) This little verse has more information for us than you might expect. Most biblical scholars believe that Rufus' father was none other than Simon of Cyrene. You may remember that he was the one who was asked to carry the Savior's cross on the way to Golgotha. It could be, at the time Paul wrote this, that Simon was no longer living. But he sends greetings to Rufus and his mother. I can only imagine growing up in the home that Rufus grew up in. Perhaps Simon reminded his family that Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). Simon could have followed that up with the fact that he carried the cross of Christ and that all people who would follow Christ were called to also carry the cross. Another interesting thing to note in this passage is that Paul viewed Rufus' mother as being a mother to hi

Romans 16:12: Greet Those Workers In The Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet The Beloved Persis, Who Has Worked Hard In The Lord.

Romans 16:12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. (ESV) All of these who are greeted in this verse have one thing in common. They were hard workers. In our Christian culture today, it is sometimes a forgotten reality that building God's church requires work. Granted, Jesus himself said that He would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. However, Jesus builds his church, and uses us to work for him. First and foremost, we should consider the opportunity to work for our dear Lord as the highest privilege of our lives. We were lost in sin, and headed for an eternity in hell, when the goodness of God reached down and brought us unto salvation. Every day we have is a blessing. Every day we have to work in God's kingdom is a chance to do something of lasting value and reward. Paul knew firsthand how valuable workers were to his ministry. He did not have internet, or cell phon

Romans 16:11: Greet My Kinsman Herodion. Greet Those In The Lord Who Belong To The Family of Narcissus.

Romans 16:11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. (ESV) Let's consider these names. Herodion is mentioned as a kinsman to Paul. They were family by birth. We do not know if Herodion is a believer or not, but we know that he belongs to Paul's earthly family. Additionally, it is possible that he was related to the Herod family. It is interesting to see that Paul cares about his earthly family and his spiritual family. One of the things that Christians today sometimes fail to celebrate properly is the bond that we have as members of the family of God. In many churches in years past men were called "Brother," and women were called "Sister." This kind of closeness is a reality because we have been made part of the same family spiritually, with God as our Heavenly Father. Paul also greets those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. He is specifically bringing greetings to those who are part of his s

Romans 16:10: Greet Apelles, Who Is Approved In Christ. Greet Those Who Belong To The Family Of Aristobulus.

Romans 16:10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. (ESV) There is something special about this greeting that the Apostle Paul has for Apelles. He describes him as being "approved in Christ." If you are a follower of Jesus Christ this phrase ought to have a beautiful significance to you. We all look forward to hearing those words in heaven, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." What does it mean to be approved in Christ? It means that your sins are forgiven and you are no longer under the wrath of a holy God. We are all sinners by nature. The very core of our being lives in constant hostility against God's righteous standard. Contrary to what many would like to believe, we are not basically good. Our most basic instinct is rebellion. We see this rebellious instinct in our own children. What parent had to teach their young child how to defy them? Shortly after the new baby smell wears off, children disp

Romans 16:9: Greet Urbanus, Our Fellow Worker In Christ, And My Beloved Stachys.

Romans 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. (ESV) We find in this greeting to Urbanus and Stachys two words that are important to anyone who belongs to the church. The words are "work" and "love." These words were not just important to the church in Paul's day. They are words that are vital to us today. Any local gathering of believers that does not take these words to heart will struggle to do anything for the Savior and will likely not grow as a church body. Let's talk about love. This is a common word from Paul as we have been reading his various greetings to people in the church at Rome. Paul was an Apostle. He had authority in the church. In some ways we could expect that Paul could just command people to do things and expect that they would do them. But, that would have Paul treating people as objects to do his bidding, not treating them in love. Paul knew that because the love of God had transformed his life, it was

Romans 16:8: Greet Ampliatus, My Beloved in the Lord.

Romans 16:8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. (ESV) Let's consider things that are common and things that are uncommon. At first glance, we can look at this name, Ampliatus, as a very uncommon name. It is only mentioned once in Scripture. It is likely that as you are reading this you probably cannot think of someone with this name. We do not know a whole lot about who Ampliatus was, this uncommon person who was loved by Paul in the Lord. Dr. John MacArthur posits that this name was "a common name among the emperor's household slaves at that time; he may have been one of those in 'Caesar's household.' (MacArthur Study Bible Notes)" Being a slave made one "common." Distinction was lost, as was much of your identity. Your identity was found in who you belonged to. This uncommon man, Ampliatus, was a common slave. Paul himself knew what it was like to be common and what it was like to be uncommon. In the book of Philippians he expounds on how

Romans 16:7: Greet Andronicus and Junia, My Kinsmen and Fellow Prisoners.

Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. (ESV) We all experience hardship. Some experience more hardship than others. The truth is, hardship cannot be avoided. Our Savior promised that those who would follow him would be hated like he was hated (John 15:18). That does not necessarily make us feel good. The comfort for us is that we do not go through any suffering alone. Our wonderful Savior is with us in all of our troubles. In the Apostle Paul's case, his life was defined by hardship. As he writes this letter to Rome he mentions two people named Andronicus and Junia. These are not common names for us to hear. You have likely never heard a sermon about them. Why are they significant to Paul? For one reason, they were his fellow prisoners. Paul did not suffer alone. These godly people were with him. When you go through a great trial in life with someone at your side you grow in

Romans 16:6: Greet Mary, Who Has Worked Hard For You.

Romans 16:6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. (ESV) Paul sends greetings to a woman named Mary. When we think of that name in Scripture we immediately think of the mother of Jesus. This was a different Mary. We may think of Mary Magdalene. But that also is a different Mary. Imagine how the woman mentioned by Paul was overshadowed by these other significant Mary's. The fact that she is mentioned by Paul, however, proves that she is a very important lady. Paul says that Mary worked hard. This description of hard work in the text is intense. It is like saying she worked to the point of exhaustion. Mary was a key member of the church at Rome. She was key because of her willingness to work hard. Those churches that do great things for the kingdom of God must have members who are willing to labor. There is no question that Mary was a worker who labored for the King of Kings. All of us who labor in the church do everything as unto the Lord. However, the Apostle Paul brings out this

Romans 16:5: Greet Also The Church In Their House. Greet My Beloved Epaenetus, Who Was the First Convert To Christ In Asia.

Romans 16:5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. (ESV) Paul continues to send these special greetings to his various friends. Ministry is a lonely business. Believe it or not, those who give their lives to preaching the Gospel do not always have lots of friends. According to statistics garnered by Standing Stone Ministries, "70 percent of pastors do not have a close friend." We do not know how many friends Paul had, but we can see that he treasured the ones that he did have. The first group of friends whom he mentions is the church that meets in the home of Priscilla and Aquila. These dear friends who had labored side by side with him for many years had a church meeting in their home. The common bond that his friends, and those in their church, shared was a love for Jesus Christ. However, they also shared a bond in friendship with Paul. This was very special to him. Epaenetus is mentioned as the first c

Romans 16:4: Who Risked Their Necks For My Life . . .

Romans 16:4 Who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. (ESV) We all have acquaintances in life. Few of us have friends. Of the friends that we do have, how many of them would risk their neck for your life? Paul had some amazing friends. Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for the Apostle Paul. Scripture does not tell us specifically how they risked their lives. I suppose that in heaven we can get all the stories of their heroics for Paul. We know that the Bible talks about us being willing to lay our lives down for the Gospel. Many of the first disciples were willing to do that. Peter was crucified upside down. The Apostle James was put to death with the sword. The Apostle Paul was beheaded. Other people throughout history were burned at the stake, like John Hus and Polycarp. Paul says that Priscilla and Aquila risked their necks for his life. The reality is, they were risking their lives for Jesus Ch

Romans 16:3: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, My Fellow Workers In Christ Jesus

Romans 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, (ESV) When you have gone through hard times with good friends by your side you never forget them. The Apostle had such friends. Priscilla and Aquila were discovered by Paul in Corinth. In AD 49 Claudius commanded all Jews to leave Rome. This couple went to Corinth where they began to work with Paul in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We find in Acts 18 that in addition to sharing in the work of the Gospel Paul also shared with his new friends the same line of employment. They all made tents together. We know that Paul's primary focus was on sharing the Word of God with a sinful world. In order to support this wonderful work of ministry there was a need to make enough money to live and eat! There are some church boards who feel that it is their job to keep the Pastor humble. They feel that keeping him poor is the way to do it. And they reason that even the Apostle Paul had to work an outside job. He made t

Romans 16:2: That You May Welcome Her in the Lord In a Way Worthy of the Saints

Romans 16:2 That you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. (ESV) It is common in our current day to hear people level accusations against Christianity of women being treated as inferior. While the Bible does make clear distinction between the two genders it never treats women with less dignity than men. Paul himself is here commending Phoebe, who is delivering this letter to the church at Rome, traveling over 600 miles from Corinth. Paul wants to make sure that the church in Rome welcomes her properly. They are to help in her in any way, just as she has helped others in many ways at Corinth. Paul himself was the recipient of Phoebe's generous serving. Paul does not attempt to describe Phoebe as being in any way inferior to himself, but rather he identifies with her as they are both servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting to hear Phoebe described

Romans 16:1: I Commend To You Our Sister Phoebe, A Servant Of The Church At Cenchreae

Romans 16:1 [1] I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, (ESV) Have you ever known someone who was all about having a title? There are people who want to be the leader of an organization, a board, or a committee. It becomes evident fairly quickly that their motivation is not to be a blessing to others, but rather, they desire to "be in charge." If you forget that they are in charge they will be sure to remind you of their new authority. Paul is commending this woman, Phoebe, to the church at Rome. Notice that he describes her as a servant. Not much of a title. Or is it? Paul himself was an apostle. He was called by God in a very special way. He was used to write much of the New Testament. He healed the sick. He performed other miracles. In the beginning of this letter to the Romans he says, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus." Interesting. Getting back to Phoebe, the word that describes her is "servant." The word for servant