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Summary: Paul speaks of 14 different Christians leaders in Romans 16. Phoebe is listed first among these Christians. What was it that made her so special? Every church has its Phoebes. Pastors need to salute the Phoebes in their churches.

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THANKS FOR THE PHOEBES IN OUR CHURCH

Romans 16:1-2

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: EASTER HUMOR

1. Did you hear about the man who was driving down the road and accidentally ran over the Easter Bunny? He swerved to avoid hitting him, but the rabbit jumped right in front of his car.

2. His basket of eggs went flying all over the place. The driver felt guilty. A woman stopped to help.

3. ‘‘I feel terrible,’’ he explained, ‘‘I hit the Easter Bunny and there may not be an Easter because me. What should I do?”

4. The woman told the man not to worry. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the dead Bunny and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.

5. Miraculously, the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and waved as it hopped on down the road.

6. The man was astonished. He said to the woman, ‘‘What in heaven’s name is in your spray can?’’

7. The woman turned the can around so he could read the label. It said: ‘‘Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave.’’

B. TEXT

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.

C. VARIOUS WORKERS CONTRASTED

1. 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.

2. SOME WHO HAD PROBLEMS:

a. In Philippians 4:2 Paul mentions Euodias and Syntyche who couldn't get along with each other.

b. In 3 John 9, John mentions Diotrephes. He wanted to be the "big cheese" and dominate the church!

c. In 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul mentions Demas who loved the world too much to serve the Lord.

3. Now, Paul also speaks of 14 other Christians here in Romans 16. (Obviously they were very good Christian people!)

4. For some reason, Phoebe is listed first among these Christians. Why was Paul able to praise her? What was it that made her different?

5. Romans 16:1-2 gives three suggestions why. The title of this message is “Thanks For All the Phoebes in Our Church.”

I. PHOEBE WAS A TRUE CHRISTIAN

A. TEXT

“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea….” Rom. 16:1.

B. HE CALLS HER “SISTER”

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

C. PHOEBE KNEW GOD

1. Phoebe was worthy of praise, first of all, because she knew the Lord.

2. Do you know Him? Have you been "born again"?

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

3. You folks call me Brother John. That's good! If you've been "born again" then we are sisters and brothers!

II. PHOEBE WAS A TRUE SERVANT

A. TEXT

“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea….” Rom. 16:1.

B. SHE WAS A DEACONESS

1. Notice Paul calls Phoebe"...a servant of the church at Cenchrea." Cenchrea was located east of the city of Corinth.

2. 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)

3. 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)

C. HER PURPOSE WAS TO ‘MINISTER’

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

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

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

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

d. She did not just sit in church every Sunday.

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