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Romans 16:1-2

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 16:1
  • Romans 16:2

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.


Paul ends his letter to the believers in Rome with greetings and blessings. He mentions 26 believers that he either sends his greetings to or that he sends greetings from. Paul reminds the believers in Rome that although they are being obedient to God, they should not stop watching out for false teachers like the competing Jewish “authorities.”


Phoebe was a servant of the church in Cenchrea, a seaport of Corinth. Paul admonishes the believers in Rome to receive her in the Lord. She may have been the original bearer of this letter.

 

Paul introduces our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea to the believers in Rome, praises her, and requests that they receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. It is generally assumed that Phoebe was the carrier of this letter. She was a servant of the church at Cenchrea, which was the eastern seaport of Corinth.

 

In the Christian faith, men and women have an equal standing in Christ because of the gospel. Some scholars estimate that 70% of believers in the early church were women. The dominant philosophy at this time was paganism and in the Greek culture, women were not regarded as highly as men. Christianity started to spread, claiming that women are made in the image of God, just like men, which was an entirely new idea for the culture at this time.

 

Phoebe was likely entrusted by Paul to deliver this essential letter to the Roman believers. Paul says that Phoebe herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. He requests that the believers receive her (Phoebe) in a manner worthy of the saints. This is a great example of Christians caring for one another. Paul consistently asks believers to care for one another in his letters, he says in his letter to the Galatians, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (6:10).

Biblical Text

1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.

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