Summary: This is the 27th sermon in the series "The Cure". Individuals matter to God.
Series: The Cure [#27]
On this 4th of July holiday weekend, I want each of us to understand that individual people matter to God. It took individuals that followed God to form and shape this Nation. If we are going to continue to prosper as a Nation, this Nation’s people are going to have to turn to God and follow Him. As we conclude this series, we find Paul recognizing individuals and giving the people some last important reminders.
Romans 16:1-15; 21-24 (NIV)
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives. I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city's director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.”
1. People make up the Church.
It’s easy to forget that the Church is not a building. It’s people. Christians all over the World make up 1 Church. This local congregation that we call Bel Aire Baptist Church is made up of people, not a building.
2. People need recognition.
Notice that Paul recognizes the work of these people. He lets them know that their hard work is appreciated. We need to remember to recognize people for their hard work.
Romans 16:16 (NIV)
“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.”
3. People need to be greeted.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you greet one another with a kiss- That may not go over very well. But, we need to learn to greet people. Sometimes when you stop someone and say “Hi”; you build them up be simply greeting them.
Romans 16:17-19 (NIV)
“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.”
4. People who cause trouble should be avoided.
This is something we try to teach our children; but as adults, we don’t think that it is necessary. You need to keep away from people who cause trouble.
Romans 16:20 (NIV)
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
5. People are God’s tools for victory.
Notice that it says, “Will soon crush Satan under your feet.” God will use His children to be victorious over Satan. God doesn’t need our help; but He uses us for His purpose if we allow Him to do so.
Romans 16:25-27 (NIV)
“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-- to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”