Summary: This Wednesday Evening messages looks at Pauls closing greetings to the Roman Church as well as his final instruction regarding dealing with falsehood
“ATTABOYS” and WHISTLE-BLOWERS
INTRODUCTION: We have reached the end of the book of Romans. Paul here takes this last written opportunity to encourage and elevate those who have been faithful in service, and to blow the whistle on spiritual wolves. In these verses it is possible for us to reap some rich principles related to our deportment and characteristics as believers. It is also possible to gain valuable information that will help us to identify and deal with those who seek to hurt the community of believers.
I PAUL’S CLOSING GREETINGS
A Phoebe, A Servant
1 The word servant is the word we have for deacon
2 Context would determine that this is a word to be used in the feminine
3 Greater context also defines the use for the word
a Easy to get caught up in just one meaning for the word
b Yet Scripture gives TWO possible meaning of the word
1) The word is used as a noun – meaning the office of Deacon
2) The word is used as a verb – meaning one who “deacs”/serves
4 Church at Rome is encouraged to give her any help she would need because she has been a help to many people, including Paul
a We are addressing her activity, not her office
b Phoebe’s reception by the church in Rome has nothing to do with her office (of deaconess); she is to be received “in a manner worthy of the saints
c Paul’s description of Phoebe’s ministry in verses 1 and 2 is not that of deacon-like duties but that of faithful service
d Ministry in the New Testament is not rewarded by bestowing an office or a title on someone
5 What Paul was ACTUALLY doing
a First, Paul was honoring faithfulness in service.
b Second, he was honoring the service of a woman.
c Third, Paul was endorsing this woman and urging the church to come to her assistance, in whatever form that might need to take.
CHARACTERISTICS WE LEARN FROM PHOEBE:
§ Saints SHOULD receive other saints well
§ Saints should meet the needs (stand by) other saints
B Priscilla And Aquila
1 Once again we see the prominence of the woman – she is named first
2 Came in contact with Paul in Corinth
a Edict in Rome would have forced them out of the city
Acts 18:2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,
Acts 18:18-19 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
1 Cor. 16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
b Risked their lives for the apostle – probably in Ephesus
c Moved back to Rome and then later returned to Ephesus
Tim. 4:19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.
CHARACTERISTICS WE LEARN FROM PRISCILLA AND AQUILA
§ Believers should have open homes
§ Believers should work with each other
§ Believers should be humble
C Those To Good Not To Mention
1 Epehetus – The first convert in Asia from the ministry of Paul
2 Andronicus and Junias – notable among the apostles, early converts (believers 25 years)
a Possibly converted under the ministry of Peter
3 Apelles – The tried Christian – A noble title
4 The household of Aristobulus
a Probably the grandson of Herod the Great
b Slave in his house were believers, if not he himself
a Interesting mention – refered to as chosen (choice or precious one)
Mark 15:21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
b The son of the Simon the man who carried the cross for Christ
II WHISTLE BLOWING ON FALSEHOOD
A The First Fruits Of Falsehood
a Specifically in regard to teachers
1 Tim. 6:3-5 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.