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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Romans

Chapter 16

Personal Greetings . . . Romans 16:1-15

This chapter is on a personal note. Paul wanted to say hello to all his friends.

Commendation Of Phebe . . . Romans 16:1-2

Romans 16:1-2 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: [2] That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. (KJV)

It seems that Phoebe was a very prominent woman in the church, a woman of great ability. It seems that women occupied a very prominent place in the church. She was “a servant of the church” meaning she probably was a deconess. Paul sent the letter to Rome in the hands of this woman. Paul asked them to receive her in the Lord, for she was worthy. They were to help her in every way they could, for she had helped many in their needs, including Paul.

Christians In Rome Greeted . . . Romans 16:3-15

Romans 16:3-4 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: [4] Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. (KJV)

Priscilla and Aquila had been co-workers in Paul’s ministry for Christ Jesus. In fact, they risked their lives for him. He was not the only one who is thankful to them; so were all the Gentile churches. They were a married couple who had become Paul’s close friends. They, with all other Jews, had been expelled from Rome by the emperor (Acts 18:2-3) and had moved to Corinth. They met Paul and invited him to live with them. They probably told him much about the Roman church. Like Paul, Priscilla and Aquila were missionaries. They helped believers in Ephesus (Acts 18:18-28), in Rome when they were allowed to return, and again at Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:19).

Romans 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. (KJV)

Paul wrote to please give his greetings to the church that meets in the home of Epaenetus, and to greet his dear friend. He was the very first person to become a Christian in Asia. Though Paul had not been to Rome, he had met these people in other places on his journeys.

Romans 16:6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. (KJV)

Mary (Jewish name) worked to the point of exhaustion in the church. Paul mentions a woman called Mary. We know nothing about this particular woman except her hard work. Her works, though hidden from man, are known completely by God; and her name is recorded with honor in this book of life.

Romans 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (KJV)

Paul also asked them to greet Andronicus and Junia, his relatives, who were in prison with him. They are respected among the apostles and became Christians before he did.

Romans 16:8-9 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. [9] Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. (KJV)

Amplias was a common slave name. ‘Ampliatus’ was a common name for a slave. But there is a splendid grave in the Christian catacombs (ancient underground graves) in Rome. It has the name Ampliatus on it. So he was probably a Christian whom people thought well of in the church.

Urbane means city bred, meaning he may have been brought up in the city rather than the country. Stachys and the others were loved by Paul.

Romans 16:10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. (KJV)

Give my greetings to Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my best regards to the members of the household of Aristobulus. Aristobulus was a grandson of Herod the Great. He lived privately in Rome and he was a friend of the Emperor Claudius. When Aristobulus died, his servants and slaves became the property of the Emperor. People would know them as the ‘household of Aristobulus’.

Romans 16:11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. (KJV)

Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet the Christians in the household of Narcissus. Herodion may have had some relationship with the Herod family. ‘Relative’ may mean a Jew, like Paul, rather than a relative by birth. Narcissus was a secretary to the Emperor Claudius. Narcissus had made a large sum of money from people who wanted him to give their letters to the Emperor. When Nero became Emperor, Narcissus had to die. When he died, his slaves became Nero’s property. They would be called the ‘household of Narcissus’. So there were Christian slaves in the Emperor’s household (Phil.4:22).

Romans 16:12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. (KJV)

He wanted to say hello to these women. Tryphena and Tryphosa were sisters, and may have been born at the same time. Their names meant that they were attractive and delicate. But they worked hard for the Lord. Persis may have come from Persia. She too worked hard for the Christian faith.

Romans 16:13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. (KJV)

Rufus means red. We know nothing about Paul’s mother or father. But the mother of Rufus was like a mother to him. She must have taken Paul into her house and treated him like a son. Rufus meant ‘red’, so he probably had red hair. Simon from Cyrene (in Africa) had to carry Jesus’ cross (Mat.27:32). He may have become a Christian because of this experience. His sons, Alexander and Rufus, seem to be well-known as Christians, because Mark mentions them by name (Mark 15:21). Simon from Cyrene may be the same as Simeon Niger (which means Simon who was black). Simeon Niger was an important Christian in the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1). And that was the same church where Paul first worked as a leader. So, it may have been in Antioch that the mother of Rufus acted like a mother to Paul. (Acts 13:1.)

Romans 16:14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. (KJV)

More names of people he held dear. Maybe Paul had led these people to Christ.

Romans 16:15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. (KJV)

Some more people in the church at Rome. Tradition associates Nereus with Domitilla, a Christian lady from a royal family. Nereus may have been an important official for Domitilla and her husband Flavius Clemens.

Conduct Toward Other Christians . . . Romans 16:16-20

Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. (KJV)

Paul told them to greet each other in Christian love. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings. We too should greet each other in Christian love (the love of God).

Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. [18] For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (KJV)

Paul urges his friends at the Roman church: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people’s faith and go against the teaching you have been taught. Stay away from them! For anyone who does such things are not serving Christ our Lord, but their own appetites. Their fine words and flattering speech deceives innocent people. There are many well known preachers today who should be feared. They preach only to fill their pockets. They are greedy, money hungry deceivers. Please BEWARE of greedy, modern day false teachers: . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults_rich_preachers.1.htm

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (KJV)

Paul knew the church at Rome was obedient to the Lord. This made him very happy. He wanted them to see clearly what was right and to stay innocent of any wrong doing. Paul was concerned about people’s souls, as we should be.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (KJV)

Here is that beautiful title for God again! And again I say, He truly is a God of peace, not hate and violence. And He certainly shall “bruise Satan shortly.” Many will say “This was written many years ago, and He still hasn’t done it.” But, my friend, God’s clock and our clock are two entirely different clocks!
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [KJV] . . . God works on His time clock.

Christians With Paul Send Greetings . . . Romans 16:21-24

Rom.16:21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. (KJV)

All these were companions of Paul and sent their greetings as well. Timothy came from Lystra. There, Paul decided to make Timothy a companion for his journeys (Acts 16:1-3). He served Paul for many years. Paul wrote that their work together was ‘like a son with his father’ (Phil. 2:19-22). Timothy was with Paul when he was ready to go to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). (See Romans 15:25.)

Romans 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. (KJV)

Paul had a secretary write his letters for him. The letter to the Galatians was the exception. It is possible that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was bad eyesight (Gal.4:13-15; 6:11). Tertius is the only secretary of Paul whose name we know. He sends his own greetings here.

Romans 16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. (KJV)

Paul was staying in the home of Gaius, and Gaius wanted to send his greeting as well. Gaius was one of the only two people whom Paul baptized in Corinth (1 Cor.1:14). If his full name was Gaius Titius Justus, he lived next to the synagogue in Corinth. When Paul left the synagogue, he moved into Gaius’s home to continue his work. ‘The whole church’ (in other words, all the church members) met in Gaius’s house (Acts 18:7-8). Clearly, Gaius had a very large house.

Erastus was the Director of Public Works in Corinth. So he was a very important man in that city. His name is on a pavement (stones which cover a street or path) that people discovered in 1929. The Latin words say that he paid for the pavement himself. He appreciated the honour that the city had given to him.

Our ‘brother’ Quartus probably means that he was a Christian. The word ‘brother’ may of course also mean a family relationship.

Romans 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (KJV)

I dearly love this brief, beautiful prayer. Paul prayed that the amazing grace of our Lord be with them all.

Rom.16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (KJV)

Mystery” means something not revealed in the Old Testament. It refers to the present age when God takes both Jews and Gentiles and forms them into one body (the church). God is well able to establish you, just as the Good News says.

Benediction . . . Romans 16:25-27

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (KJV)

Just as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this Message is made known to ALL Gentiles everywhere, so that they might believe and obey Christ. In this verse we see the obedience of faith. When you truly trust Christ, you will obey Him! You cannot have faith without obedience. Faith and obedience are tied and bound together in the same package! Trust and obey, for there’s no other way! Beautiful hymn, and so, so true!

Romans 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. (KJV)

Only God alone is wise. Man’s wisdom is as a drop in the ocean! To God be the glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Book of Romans

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6 . Ch.7 . Ch.8 . Ch.9 . Ch.10 . Ch.11 . Ch.12 . Ch.13 . Ch.14 . Ch.15 . Ch.16

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