Thursday, June 9, 2016

A time to say Thank You

Read Romans 16.

This letter was written from Corinth.  Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul dictated the words to Tertius (v.22), and it was delivered by Phoebe (vv.1-2) to the believers in Rome.  Quite a number of Paul's friends had moved there, increasing the reach of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In concluding this hallmark book, Paul began thanking and acknowledging 26 people by name and others in a general manner.

The ministry of introducing people to a saving faith in Jesus and then teaching them the word of God requires much more than sound theology.  Building and maintaining healthy relationships is vital to the process.  Here is a great example of how personal Paul's ministry was.  More than merely mentioning those whom he knew by name, he commended many for a specific reason.

Phoebe was a servant (Greek=deacon) in her local church and generously supported Paul and others.
Prisca and Aquila, mentioned before in Acts, had risked their lives for Paul.
Epaenetus was the first convert in Asia.
Mary was a hard worker in the church.
Andronicus and Junia were well-known believers and had been in prison with Paul.
Ampliatus.  Paul loved this man as a brother in Christ.
Urbanus also worked in the ministry.
Stachys, like Ampliatus, was a dear personal friend.
Apelles had endured a time of testing and come through strong in faith.
Aristobulus may have been the grandson of Herod the Great.
Herodion, not necessarily a family member but more likely of the tribe of Benjamin as Paul.
Narcissus' family was greeted, if they knew the Lord; evidently, not all did.
Tryphosa and Persis were women who also worked hard for the Lord.
Rufus showed he obviously belonged to the Lord and his mother had shown special care for Paul.

A couple of insights:
We need to thank those who serve in our local church, by name and with specificity for what they do for the Lord.

If Paul had written this to our local church, what could he have said about us?

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