Putting God's Word into Practice…

Romans 16:1-16 Reputation; Romans 16:17-27 Final Words

on September 4, 2012

Romans 16:1-16:  In Paul’s letter conclusion, he commended a long list of disciples and their families to the church in Rome.  They were worthy saints, fellow-workers for the gospel, servants of the Lord, faithful, prisoners for the gospel, life-riskers for the advancement of the gospel, beloved and chosen in the Lord for hard work.  It made me think that if someone from out of town was sending a friend to our church, would they list me as someone to greet as a faithful, hard-working, life-sacrificing member of the body?  Am I a worthy servant?  Am I giving my life away for the cause of Christ?

Romans 16:17-27:  Paul told the church in Rome to be on guard for fakers who cause division, who serve themselves (directly opposite of the people he just commended), who flatter and deceive.  He desired for them to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.  So many people today think that if we want to “relate to our culture” we need to be exposed to evil so we are familiar with the battle!  That is unwise and often an excuse to justify tampering with evil.  It opens a door for Satan to devour.  If we want to be wise about what is good, we need to look to the only wise God who is always good!  When we are close with Him, evil is more blatant and our desire to cling to good and flee from evil is stronger.  Someday this will all be over, there will be no evil, and Satan will be crushed; but for now we need strength–strength to live a discerning and obedient life.  God is able!  Verse 25 starts out by saying, “Now to Him who is able to strengthen you!”  Isn’t that a great promise!  He strengthens us by the gospel of Jesus.  As believers, we need the gospel every day.  It is our source of strength, a constant reminder that Jesus is sufficient and His grace is all we need.  That we are never alone in the battle!  That good wins!

Paul opened and closed his letter with the same theme–his desire for grace and God’s peace to overshadow his readers.  He also reminded them again (1:5, 16:26) that the purpose of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was so ALL nations would receive grace and peace and it would bring about obedience of faith for His–the only wise God’s–great name and glory!

Am I living my life in such a way as to display the grace, peace and glory of God to all people?  Is my desire to obey God undergirded with gratitude for the gospel and covered by His grace?


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