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Romans 16 – A New Beginning 羅馬書 16 – 新的開始

Romans 16 – A New Beginning 羅馬書 16 – 新的開始

Friday, 23rd June 2023

Sister Emily Huang

Section One V1-16 Remember By Name 按著名來紀念

V1-2 ‘I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that 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.’

God remembers everything we have done for Him and He remembers us by name. We should also remember those who have helped us to walk this path of faith, to know that we are not alone and we are not by ourselves. And we can also repay our appreciation by helping them back. On the other hand, do not think that no one knows our offering, God knows everything, and people will also know our heart when we help them wholeheartedly. This is the eternal glory we must seek, the titles in the Kingdom of God, not in the world.

V3-7 ‘Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ. Greet Mary, who laboured much for us. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.’

We all know that Priscilla and Aquila were faithful servants of God, they not only helped in the church, but also went into people’s house to preach to them and to teach them one by one. They had great passion in sharing the Gospel, even to the extent that put their lives in danger. We are very blessed to be in a place, where the Gospel can be preached freely, so what are our excuses not to serve God and share the testimonies of God?

V8-11 ‘Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.’

Many people during Paul’s time were working in the world at the same time preaching the Word of God. We may not all be called to serve God full time, we may still have a lot of responsibilities in our workplace and at home, but God has given us the strength to be who He created us to be, to serve others, to pray for others, to love God, despite of all the other things we need to do every day. When we have this heart, God will help us, support us, and not put us to shame.

V12-16 ‘Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have laboured in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who laboured much in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.’

It was a multi-cultural group of people, by the names Paul mentioned we can see that they were from different cultural backgrounds, but had the same heart to preach the Lord. Paul knew their hard work, he knew what they did, and he remembered their names. When we see others offer, do not take it for granted, everyone has their own life responsibilities, but by the calling of God, we are willing to offer our time and resources, and we should also remember one another in prayer.

Section Two V17-20 Be Wise in the Good Be Simple Concerning Evil要在善上聰明在惡上愚拙

V17-20 ‘Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.’

It’s ok not understanding everything, it’s ok not to be perfect in everything, because we should be here to please God, to do what God wants us to do, and to simply follow. When we think that we are better than others, when we think that we are better than our authority, we thought we are victors, we thought we can do everything with our own hands, we are actually standing on the site of the evil. We must be careful of what we think.

Section Three V21-27 Serve in Unity Glory to God 合一服事榮耀歸主

V21-24 ‘Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you. I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord. Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.’

Paul was a well-known and high-status leader, but he was humble, he always called himself a servant of God, and he also upheld his team. Paul knew he was not by himself, he knew he could not do everything by himself, and he always remembered those who worked with him. God also remembers us when we serve in unity with one heart.

V25-27 ‘Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.’

God can strengthen our hearts, when we see the world, when we see ourselves, we will have fear and disappointment, but when we look upon God, we can see our strength is in Him. When we are willing to be made righteous by faith, then we can enter His eternal blessings. This mystery was revealed to us, and gives us hope to continue. When we see what Paul and the early churches had done to widespread the Gospel until today, then we know God is real, and we know everything we do for God today will not be in vain. Let our eyesight be in eternity, to see what God sees, because what God will do through us is far more than what we can every imagine!