Romans 16:1-2 A Biblical Commendation

Romans 16:1-2 (KJV)
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

Paul speaks of His not needing a letter of commendation to give the church at Corinth but that such letters were used, even at this early period in church history, is obvious by this sixteenth chapter of Romans.

I note today merely the outline of this commendation:

  1. Name
    Phoebe
  1. Testimony of faith
    Our sister
  1. Title
    Servant of the church
  1. Address
    At Cenchrea
  1. Request
  2. That she be received
  3. That she be assisted

6.Credentials
She had succoured many, including Paul.
The first hand witness of her credentials, I see as key. This was not a casual, “I’ve heard good things.” commendation but one born of personal witness and experience.

Might this be a wise pattern for commendation of missionaries, evangelists and other itinerant ministries?

 

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Romans 16:1-2 A Biblical Commendation

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Romans 15:5-7 Keys for Church Unity

Romans 15:5-7 (KJV)
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

There is little as important as unity in a local church. I did not say in Christianity, but in a local church. Diversity must exist within the realm of Christendom because we are not robots. We have minds and reason and the responsibility to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

There must be diversity within Christendom, but there must be unity within the local church. This is the place a band of believers of like faith and practice gather for mutual support and cooperative effort in the Great Commission.

We have certain keys for this unity expressed in verse five:

  • Patience and
  • Consolation

God provides these to the members of the local church through prayer.

Nothing in the realm of the spiritual can be properly accomplished in the flesh. Though a fair show can be made for a time, the flesh will fall through. Only the Spirit of God can generate true patience and true consolation for He is patience and consolation. These may only be attained through prayer.

The good news is that God freely gives them to those who ask Him.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 15:5-7 Keys for Church Unity

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Romans 15:12 He Will Rise To Reign

Romans 15:12 (KJV)
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

He shall rise to reign….

Jesus had already come to Israel (the Circumcision of vs 8). They had crucified Him. He came unto His own and His own received Him not.[1]

But death was not the end of Jesus’ ministry.

  • He rose again
  • He ascended into heaven and, according to our text
  • He will rise once more

The last time He rose from death. The next time He will rise from obscurity, being little respected and even less worshipped in this world, to reign. His new rule will not over Israel (at least not only over Israel) but over the Gentiles:

  • Nations that have not known Him
  • Nations that worship false gods
  • Nations that deny and reject Him

He shall rise to reign. And when He does, those He reigns will trust in Him.

[1] John 1:11

 

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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 15:12 He Will Rise To Reign

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Romans 11:1-5 Break Free of Prejudice

Romans 11:1-5 (KJV)
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

The coming of the New Testament gospel changed but didn’t end the relationship of God with the Jews. The advancement of the Gospel opened with the Jews…

  • They were the first to be offered entrance into this new grace
  • They were the first to be called (elected) to preach this grace

Those that refused did so on grounds of race. They rejected a new, real and living relationship with the Lord. They were frozen in their past. Old wounds remained fresh generation after generation. They refused to allow them to heal. They perpetrated them upon their children and children’s children.

  • Their hatred for those not of their race
  • Their rehearsal of wrongs done years and year before
  • Their pride of being members of the afflicted race

hardened their hearts and stopped their ears from any message of: grace, mercy, forgiveness and unity.

There were, of course, Jews who broke free of this prejudice. The same can be true of anyone today. There is grace available in the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a place reserved in the local church for souls of any race or background who trust that gospel. There is a mansion prepared for any who will let go of their grievances and in humility call upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 11:1-5 Break Free of Prejudice

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Romans 10:12 The Confidence of the Soul Winner

Romans 10:12 (KJV)
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Here is the confidence, even the faith of the soul winner; God is – more than able, more than willing. God is rich unto all that call upon Him.

  • Jew or Greek, (from other Scriptures we can include)
  • Male or female
  • Bond or free

there is no difference. There is no one less welcome to call upon him. There is no one that would receive less from Him.

God is:

  • Rich
  • Generous
  • Gracious and
  • Abundant

to anyone and everyone who will call upon Him.

The soul winner knows this and is therefore confident to encourage anyone who will listen to call upon the Lord.

 

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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 10:12 The Confidence of the Soul Winner

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Romans 9:1 Don’t Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

Romans 9:1 (KJV)
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

The book of Romans is a doctrinal statement concerning salvation. That context should be forever in the forefront as interpretations and applications are drawn from it. There is, however, a secondary lesson I see in this verse.

I just listened to a talk by a medical doctor. He told of meeting with a heavyset female patient with diabetes in his early days as a doctor. His first time meeting her was to tell her that he was going to have to amputate her foot. She was obviously upset and, in his youth, considered telling her that it was her own fault. “Everybody knows,” he thought to himself, “what causes diabetes. If she had eaten less and exercised more she wouldn’t be where she was.” He wisely chose not to say those words out loud. As he aged, even though he watched what he ate and exercised, he began to gain weight and developed insulin resistance. He now knows that the conventional wisdom of ten years ago isn’t as true as he thought it was back then. Eating less and exercising more doesn’t always prevent type 2 diabetes. It was good he didn’t tell her the “truth”.

People wrestle with appropriate times to tell the truth and when a “white lie” might be the more merciful thing to say.

  • Is there ever a time when speaking the truth is not appropriate?
  • Is it necessary to thoughtlessly blurt out what you think is the truth “For their own good”?

I see three principles in this verse concerning telling the truth:

  • Speak only the truth
  • Never tell a lie but
  • Always let your conscience be guided by the Holy Spirit as to when and what to speak.

(The guidance of the Holy Spirit is important because a person’s conscience is not always be right. It’s not our conscience that should guide us but the Spirit of God illuminating the Word of God upon our conscience.)

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 9:1 Don’t Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

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Romans 8:1 Saved and Changed

Romans 8:1 (KJV)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:9 (KJV)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I included all these verses to demonstrate that we can’t claim verses 38-39 unless we claim verse 1. Further, we can’t claim verse 1 unless we claim the whole of it. The verse is defined by verse 9.

  • Those who are in Christ Jesus walk after the flesh but after the Spirit
  • If we have not that Spirit we are not His
  • Only those who are His are not condemned and nothing can separate them.

The better portion of the chapter describes what it is to walk in the Spirit versus to walk in the flesh.

We are not saved by works but the saved are changed. They are not sinless, but they are changed. They will sometimes wonder how God could hold them guiltless but they are changed.

Be sure to quote all of verse one when you quote verse one,
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 8:1 Saved and Changed

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Romans 7:1 They Ought to Know Better

Romans 7:1 (KJV)
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Romans 7:4 (KJV)
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Those who know ought to know. When a person has been made privy to a thing they ought to be able, by that knowledge, to know how to apply that knowledge.

In the case of the Jews, they know the law and they know that death liberates one from the law. The woman whose husband has died, for instance, is free to marry again. Death has liberated her from her promise to her husband.

Now for the application; a Jew who has professed Christ as Saviour, ought to know that such a profession has freed them from the constraints of Judaism. They have died with Christ and have risen again by faith in Christ. They have a new law.

Today’s Messianic Judaism, practiced by both Jews and Gentiles in the flesh, is a violation of this New Testament principle.

They ought to know better.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 7:1 They Ought to Know Better

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Romans 6:1-2 Don’t Take Grace For Granted

Romans 6:1-2 (KJV)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Thank God for grace that overwhelms and overcomes our sin. We would be in such a desperate place were it not for grace. We fall so short of the glory of God. We fail Him and tread upon mercy more frequently than we walk worthy. We grow in grace and, if we are not careful, sin in believing we have somehow attained unto a form of righteousness even Paul confessed he had missed.

Thank God for grace. Thank God that He looks at Christ in us and we in Christ. He sees, not our sin but Christ’s righteousness. He forgives and has already forgotten our sins: past, present and future because they have all been judged in the cross.

But does this grace free us to continue in sin? Absolutely not! The honest Christian is thankful for that grace that overcomes the consequences of sins he cannot change but he is quick to repent and turn from those sins he can change.

Grace is always grace and God is always gracious to His own. But His own ought not take that grace for granted.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 6:1-2 Don’t Take Grace For Granted

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Romans 5:2 This Grace By Faith

Romans 5:2 (KJV)
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The Word of God calls it “this grace.” There is grace for more than one aspect of our relationship with God. This is the grace that provides peace with God. We are already justified in verse one and peace is created. But not all who have been justified experience peace.

This grace is likened to a building. Jesus Christ is the door into this grace and faith is the key that unlocks and provides the access.

I have known souls who have called upon Christ for salvation but have little peace with God. They are constantly questioning whether they are truly saved. They worry whether they have:

  • Prayed right or
  • Repented enough or
  • Maybe the soul winner wasn’t right

Peace is accessed by faith.

It only comes through trusting the promises of the Word of God. That can only come through personal study of the Word of God. We have to get our own oil for our lamps through personal study of the Word of God. We have to access this grace through the exercise of our own faith.

No one else can do that for us.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 5:2 This Grace By Faith

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.