Summary: Every church is made up of people - and every one of those people is vital and needed in the church.
Not Ashamed of God’s Family! Romans 16
1. Every church is made up of people - and every one of those people is vital and needed in the church.
2. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…
I’m not ashamed of Grace, because we are all sinners.
I’m not ashamed of Assurance, because Jesus cleanses us.
I’m not ashamed of Transformation, conforming to the Jesus life
I’m not ashamed of Family, God has called us all together
3. In the closing chapter of Romans Paul names and appreciates several people. Some familiar, some unknown to us, all important to the Roman church.
I visualize this chapter as walking in through the open door at the church at Rome, wandering down the aisle and meeting the various members … people whose lives have been totally transformed by the Gospel of Christ. People who were serving the Lord with all their heart. People with real struggles and hurting hearts.
There are thirty-six people referred to specifically in this chapter and many others referred to indirectly. They all had something to do with the expanding of the Kingdom of God. They were important to Paul because they were important to God. As he ends his letter, Paul celebrates the diverse Family of God at Rome and by doing so he expresses a Divine Truth: every person is incredibly important to God and so should be important to us.
YOU NEED THE CHURCH AND THE CHURCH NEEDS YOU! God help us to believe it!
1. EVERY CHURCH NEEDS SERVANTS
Phoebe - a servant of the church. (1-2 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. 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 likely a businesswoman from Cenchrea, a port city about 9 miles east of the city. She was the bearer of the letter to the Roman church and a worker in the church; a "servant" in the church, which is the same word translated "deacon" elsewhere in NT. Whether she held a title or not, we do not know. She served many, including Paul. She was highly regarded for her work. Others were named as being hard workers in the church such as Mary (vs 6), Urbanus (vs 9), and Persus (vs 12).
No church can survive without the spirit of a servant. Every Christian should be watching for ways to serve. Every Christian can serve in some way or another.
Matthew 20:28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
2. EVERY CHURCH NEEDS TEACHERS
Priscilla and Aquila, fellow workers in Christ Jesus. (3-5 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. 4 In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. 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. )
They risked their lives for Paul. The church meets at their house. The first we hear of Priscilla and Aquila is in Acts 18:2. Luke tells us that they were tentmakers by trade. They once lived in Rome and had been driven out by the decree of Emperor Claudius in 52 AD. They moved to Corinth and there met Paul. When Paul moved on to Ephesus they went with him. There they met the great preacher Apollos who was preaching incomplete gospel - "One was coming." P & A shared with him the full gospel of Jesus Christ the Messiah, Who had come.
One of the greatest joys we can experience is sharing the gospel with someone. Also sharing what we have learned from Scripture with another person. God bless our teachers! I believe they are shaping the future of the Kingdom! To be a teacher we need to study, to be committed, and to have a message to share. Whether to the saved who need to know more, or the lost who need to know Jesus … every church needs teachers.
3. EVERY CHURCH NEEDS PEOPLE
Paul names a number of people here that are unknown to us - but not unknown to God! (8-12 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.10 Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet the Lord’s people from the household of Narcissus. 12 Give my greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the Lord’s workers, and to dear Persis, who has worked so hard for the Lord.)