Salutations Rom 16:1-16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Paul’s salutations at the end of Romans, he mentions several people by name and commends them for something special they did. In his comments about them he also clarifies certain doctrines which have been taught falsely. Today we will discuss these salutations and doctrines.
Paul greets some of the saints in Rome by name and remembers them for their good works. These folks were:
Servants – Phebe, Rom 16:1 – she served the church in Cenchrea [a city near Corinth]. She is the one who sent Paul’s letter to the Romans [see the postscript to this letter]. She evidently had “business” [Rom 16:2] to attend to in Rome and Paul encouraged the church to assist her.
Succourers – Phebe, Rom 16:2 – a succourer is a person who gives assistance to others in time of need or distress. They help, aid and relieve. Phebe was a succourer who helped Paul [Phil 4:3] and many others, just like the women who ministered to Jesus [Matt 27:55].
Helpers – Priscilla and Aquila, Rom 16:3; Urbane, Rom 16:9 – notice “my” helpers and “our” helper. Sometimes the help is personal and sometimes corporate [like Epaphroditus in Phil 2:25-30]. Their personal help to Paul was thankworthy among all the Gentile churches [Rom 16:4]. Preachers need help. When you help the preacher, you help the church. Their help went beyond just lending a hand. Priscilla and Aquila laid down their own necks for Paul [Rom 16:4].
Church planters – Priscilla and Aquila, Rom 16:5 – they had a church in their house. The church in Beeville started in homes. Many churches in foreign countries, particularly those that are closed, are meeting in house churches.
Beloved – Epaenetus, Rom 16:5; Amplias, Rom 16:8; Stachys, Rom 16:9; Persis, Rom 16:12 – Paul truly loved the folks to whom he ministered and who labored with him. Epaenetus would be the first person in the house of Stephanas who trusted Christ in Achaia [1 Cor 16:15]. And notice that they addicted themselves to the ministry. Theirs was real fruit that remained.
Labourers – Mary, Rom 16:6; Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis, Rom 16:12 – we are to be a peculiar people zealous of good works [Titus 2:14]. And, indeed, there is much work to be done.
Kinsmen – Andronicus and Junia, Rom 16:7; Herodion, Rom 16:11 – evidently Jewish converts [Rom 9:3]. Particularly true of Andronicus and Junia since they were noted among the apostles.
Fellowprisoners – Andronicus and Junia, Rom 16:7 – evidently they had been jailed like Paul had been and for the same reason.
Approved and chosen – Apelles, Rom 16:10; Rufus, Rom 16:13 – our approval comes from the Lord and God does the choosing. Rufus may be Simon the Cyrenian’s son, Mk 15:21. His mother and mine… when you forsake all you get some relatives, like mothers, a hundredfold [Mk 10:28-30].
Brethren and saints – Rom 16:14-15 – there are many who are not noted for some specific labor but who are so faithful as to be recognized among those who labor.
Start of the body of Christ – Rom 16:7 – the “body” did not start with Paul because Andronicus and Junia were “in” Christ before Paul.
Saints – Rom 16:15 – these are not dead people recognized by the church, posthumously, for their great works. These are living children of God [Eph 1:1].
Churches of Christ – Rom 16:16 – this phrase was falsely applied by Alexander Campbell in the start of the Church of Christ. These are “churches” of Christ. Furthermore, the church of Christ is not “the” name given for the church. Notice 1 Cor 1:2 says the church of God.