Summary: Here's a sermon that will show your appreciation for the good Christian women in your congregation.

Thanks For The Phoebes In Our Church

Romans 16:1-2

1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,

2that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

The Apostle Paul really appreciated this woman named Phoebe.

Paul also mentioned several other people in his letters to churches,

but what he wrote about some was not good.

In Philippians 4:2 Paul mentions Euodias and Syntyche

who couldn't get along with each other.

In 3 John 9 he mentions Diotrephes.

He wanted to be the "big cheese" and dominate the church!

In 2 Timothy 4:10, he mentions Demas

who loved the world too much to serve the Lord.

However, Phoebe was a good Christian woman.

She was not like Euodias, Syntyche, Diotrephes, and Demas.

Now, Paul also speaks of 14 other Christians here in Romans 16.

Obviously they were very good Christian people!

For some reason, Phoebe is listed first among these Christians.

Why was Paul able to praise her?

What was it that made her different

than so many other church members?

Romans 16:1-2 gives some hints.

Point #1. Phoebe was a true Christian.

1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,

Notice that Paul refers to her as "our sister."

When a person gets saved,

he or she becomes a part of the family of God.

We become part of God's family when we are born-again.

That is what Bible salvation is called.

We are born from above, from God.

All people are created by God, but not all are His family.

Jesus says in John 3:7, Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Why MUST we be "born again"?

Because you MUST be born again to go to Heaven.

Phoebe was worthy of praise, first of all,

because she knew the Lord.

Do you know Him?

Have you been "born again"?

I have no problem referring to you ladies as Sister _____.

You folks call me Brother Dave.

That's good!

If you've been "born again" then we are sisters and brothers!

Point #2. Phoebe was a true servant.

1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,

Notice Paul calls Phoebe"...a servant of the church at Cenchrea,"

Cenchrea was located east of the city of Corinth.

The word "servant" is translated from the same Greek word

that is also sometimes translated to deacons.

"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." (1 Timothy 3:12)

It is also the same word that describes the ministry of Jesus.

"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

Phoebe was a real servant.

It says that she was a servant of the church at Cenchrea.

She was busy doing the work of the Lord in a church.

She was not waiting for someone to ask her to do something.

She was using her abilities for the work of the Lord.

She did not just sit in church every Sunday.

She knew she was saved to serve!

Paul understood this very well.

He saw himself as a slave of the Lord.

In Romans 1:1, Paul calls himself as a servant of the Lord.

He was willing to serve and chose to do so, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God."

Why do people go to a church?

Some look for what it can do for them.

People like Phoebe look for what they can do for it!

I've heard some people say, "I quit going to that church because I wasn't being fed."

That's the wrong attitude!

We should attend and belong to a church...

not just for what we can get out of it...

but for what we can contribute to that church!

Some Christians are unsure what they should be doing.

They don't know what the Lord wants them to do.

Several months ago, I gave all of you a Spiritual Gifts test.

That test should reveal to you what Jesus wants you to be doing!

So volunteer!

The Lord will use you if you are willing.

Servants don't just look for areas to serve

where they want to serve.

They just serve wherever and whenever needed!

They get busy doing what needs to be done!

Point #3. Phoebe was a true helper.

2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

The word "helper" means more than you might think.

The King James Bible uses the word "succourer"

"Helper" or ""succourer" is translated

from the Greek word Prostatis.

This is the only place in the New Testament...

where this Greek word is used.

It is a special word of high regard meaning, "a female guardian, protectress, patroness, caring for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources."

Phoebe was a protector of the saints.

She spent her time protecting many, including the Apostle Paul.

She made sure that other's needs were met.

She helped Paul is his ministry work.

As a helper or succourer:

She guarded against slander and gossip.

She did not allow it.

She guarded against criticism of Paul!

Now, Paul was a fine Christian man...

but he had people who criticized his work.

Jesus never pleased everybody and neither did Paul.

Likewise, there are people who criticize me.

Some people think I don't do certain things like I should.

Phoebe stood up for Paul!

She overlooked his weaknesses and supported his ministry.

I really appreciate people like Phoebe in this church!

Phoebe guarded against all who would hurt God's work

with a sharp tongue.

Jesus could use more succourers in the church today!

Unfortunately, many churches today...

are loaded with Euodias and Syntyches

who can't get along with others.

There are far too many Diotrephes

who love to dominate what goes on in the church.

There are also many Demases

who love the world too much to serve the Lord.

It is far easier to be a Demas or a Diotrephes,

or an Euodias or a Syntyche,

than it is to be a Phoebe!

Closing:

Phoebe, unlike others in the church,

was a commendable Christian.

Everything we know about her was commendable.

Ask yourself this question:

"Who are the Phoebes in our church?"

Would that include you?

I'm thankful for the many women in Gospel Chapel

Who are just like Phoebe!

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