Romans 16:17-27

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Text: Romans 16:17-27

PAUL'S GREETINGS

TO THE ROMAN BELIEVERS

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 15:12 Paul completes the body of his epistle to the Romans, and in Romans 15:13 he begins his conclusion.

As part of this conclusion in chapter 16, Paul commends Phebe to the Roman believers (16:1-2) and sends greetings to various people (16:3-16) before making some closing comments (16:17-27).

In 16:17-27, we come to Paul's closing comments.

We have already seen -

I. A COMMENDATION FOR PHEBE - 16:1-2

We have also already seen -

II. GREETINGS TO VARIOUS PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH AT ROME - 16:3-16

We come to Paul's -

III. CLOSING COMMENTS - 16:17-27

1. Look out for those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned - 16:17

Romans 16:17 a - Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. . . .

Now introduces a slightly different direction the Apostle Paul is going to take.

I beseech you is I am appealing to you, I am urging you, I am exhorting you, or I am encouraging you.

He is addressing them as brethren, i.e. as Christian brothers or fellow believers.

Mark = look out for, notice, keep your eyes on. It does not permit looking the other way, pretending it is not happening, or intentionally staying ignorant when you know that something wrong is going on. This is something the Roman believers are going to have to do because some will come along and teach unscriptural things and also because there will be those who will seek to destroy a church from the inside.

These things happened in the churches of Galatia.

Galatians 1:6-9 - 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Paul warned the elders of the church in Ephesus that something similar would happen in their church.

Acts 20:28-30 - 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

You can expect it to happen in Central Baptist Church also. The believers in the church are expected to guard their local church against false teaching. How can they do this if they are ignorant of what is taught in the Bible? They must be well taught in their church, and they must study their Bibles on their own so that they recognize false doctrine when it comes. They also need to be willing to stand and fight for what is right. A church is only as strong as its pastor until he leaves. Then it is only as strong as the people who comprise the membership.

Them which cause is the ones who make, the ones who bring about, the ones who create, or the ones who cause

Divisions = dissensions

Offences = temptations or enticements to sin, to apostasy, or to false belief

Contrary to the doctrine ye have learned is against the teaching (or instruction) ye have learned. They must have correct doctrine, teaching, or instruction; and their practice must be consistent with their doctrine.

2. Avoid them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned - 16:17b

Romans 16:17 . . . And avoid them.

Avoid them = turn aside from those who cause divisions and offences contrary to Bible truth. This is a command and obedience is not optional. Although one should love the sinner and hate the sin, he is still commanded to avoid the ones causing the troubles within the church. We must remember that whenever there is false teaching, someone is teaching it. Those causing these divisions and offences must be avoided, no matter how nice or sincere they may seem to be.

3. The reasons they should mark and avoid those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine they have learned - 16:18

Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

They that are such = such ones, such persons, such ones as these, ones such as these

Serve not our Lord Jesus Christ is are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ or are not obeying our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is not their real master.

But indicates a strong contrast and implies but (i.e. rather or instead) are serving.

Their own belly = their real god is their belly. They are out for themselves and are not seeking to please the Lord.

And by good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple

By is by means of.

Good words means smooth, plausible speech.

And fair speeches suggests and fine speaking, and well chosen words, and false eloquence, or and flattery.

Deceive = cheat

The hearts of the simple = the hearts of the innocent, the hearts of the guileless, the hearts of the unsuspecting

4. The Roman believers have a good testimony before others and Paul is glad - 16:19a

Romans 16:19 a - For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.

For indicates that a slightly different thing is now being discussed. It is perhaps best understood in the sense of now.

Your obedience is the Roman believers' obedience in believing the gospel message.

Is come abroad unto all men suggests is come abroad unto all persons and means has reached unto all persons. Their testimony regarding their salvation has spread.

5. Be wise concerning good - 16:19b

Romans 16:19 b - . . . I am glad therefore on your behalf; but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good. . . .

I am glad is I rejoice.

Therefore is inferential and suggests then, accordingly, consequently, or so.

On your behalf is for you or concerning you.

But yet indicates a mild contrast.

I would have you wise unto that which is good is I wish that you be wise with respect to what is good or I wish that you be wise with reference to what is right.

6. Be simple concerning evil - 16:19c

When someone understands too much about immorality or other sins, it is not good. Stay ignorant of sin.

Romans 16:19 c - . . . I would have you . . . simple concerning evil.

Simple is literally unmixed and is used in the sense of poor or innocent.

Concerning evil is I wish that you be innocent with respect to what is evil or I wish you to be simple with regard to what is bad. In other words believers ought to be well acquainted with good and unacquainted with evil.

7. God will take care of Satan - 16:20a

Romans 16:20 a - And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. . . .

The God of peace is the God Who produces peace or the God Who gives peace.

Shall bruise = will crush, will smash, or will shatter. When used of persons, it means will mistreat, will beat someone severely, will wear out, or will bruise. When used of enemies, it means will annihilate or will crush. It is reminiscent of the statement in Genesis 3:15 , where Satan would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman, but the seed of the woman would bruise, i.e. utterly crush, the head of the serpent.

Under your feet suggests that it is the feet of the believers that God is going to use to bruise Satan.

Shortly is with speed, with quickness, with swiftness, or with haste, and suggests all of a sudden.

8. Paul wishes the grace of Christ to be with the Roman believers - 16:20b

Romans 16:20 b - . . . The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you is a wish.

Grace was operative in bringing about our salvation, but it is also provided in abundance for Christian living.

Amen means truly or so be it.

9. Timothy, Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater send greetings - 16:21

Romans 16:21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.

Timotheus is Timothy.

My workfellow is my helper or my fellow worker. The same word is translated helpers in verse 3 and helper in verse 9.

Kinsmen is fellow countrymen

Timothy was with Paul at the time of the writing of Romans. So were Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater who are described as my kinsmen or my fellow countrymen, which means that they were Jews. We are not certain who any of these three men were, but God knows them all.

Salute you is greet you.

10. Tertius identifies himself as Paul's amanuensis and sends greetings - 16:22

Romans 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.

In verse 22 the man who actually wrote down the words of this epistle names himself. Paul apparently dictated it to him.

Tertius is unknown except for this reference to him.

Who wrote this epistle indicates that he was the scribe or the amanuensis, the secretary, who penned the words. Paul, however, is the author.

I . . . salute you is I greet you.

In the Lord suggests as a believer.

11. Gaius sends greetings - 16:23a

Romans 16:23 a - Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you.

Gaius is mentioned as one baptized by Paul in I Corinthians 1:14 . Paul was apparently living with him at the time he wrote this letter to the Romans. This also indicates that Romans came from Corinth and was written while Paul was living in Corinth.

Mine (i.e. my) host indicates that he was the head of the home in which Paul was living while in Corinth and writing Romans.

And of the whole church suggests that the church at Corinth was meeting in Gaius' home.

Saluteth you is greets you.

12. Erastus sends greetings - 16:23b

Romans 16:23 b - . . . Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you. . . .

Erastus also sends greetings. It means that he was also with Paul in Corinth.

Erastus is the name of a companion of Paul in Acts 19:22 and II Timothy 4:20 , but this is not necessarily the same Erastus who was found in Corinth.

Acts 19:22 - So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia (i.e. in Ephesus) for a season.

II Timothy 4:20 - Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

The chamberlain suggests the manager or the treasurer

Of the city means of Corinth

13. Quartus sends greetings - 16:23c

Romans 16:23 c - . . . And Quartus a brother (saluteth you).

Quartus is described only as a brother. He was also with Paul in Corinth when II Corinthians was written; and he, too, sends greetings. Nothing else is known of Quartus.

14. Paul wishes that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of the Roman believers - 16:24

Romans 16:24 (24) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Verse 24 is a wish expressed by Paul to the Roman believers. May needs to be supplied by the reader before grace.

The grace is the unmerited favor or the undeserved favor. However, the readers were already saved people. Hence, Paul is wishing that these people receive grace from God which will enable them to live victorious Christian lives.

James 4:6 - But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Hebrews 4:14-16 - (14) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Of our Lord Jesus Christ implies that this grace is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen is truly or so be it.

15. The Benediction - 16:25-27

Romans 16:25-27 - (25) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (27) To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Verses 25-27 provide a benediction for the epistle, and it is given in the form of a wish.

To him be glory (verse 27). The idea or main thought is that the sum total of all the glory that exists belongs to God the Father.

Now continues the thought but takes it in a slightly different direction.

To him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel refers to God the Father.

That is of power is that is able.

To stablish you is literally to set you up, to fix you firmly, to establish you, or to support you. When used figuratively as here, it means to confirm you, to establish you, or to strengthen you.

According to my gospel means in accordance with my gospel. It is as Paul had proclaimed it in his gospel.

It is also according to the preaching of Jesus Christ.

The preaching is the proclamation. It is proclaiming Jesus Christ. It is through Christ's being proclaimed that God is able to establish the believers who are in Rome.

It suggests that the preaching of Christ is equivalent to preaching the whole counsel of God rather than only preaching the simple salvation message such as found in John 3:16 .

According to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began is in accordance with the revelation of the mystery or in respect to the revelation of the mystery.

The revelation is the disclosure. What has been disclosed or revealed is the mystery, i.e. the teaching which is secret. It is described as which was kept secret since the world began.

Kept secret is concealed. God knew it, but it was not revealed to men.

Since the world began suggests since the creation of the world.

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.

But now is made manifest continues a description of this mystery mentioned in verse 25. Although this mystery was kept secret in the past, it is now no longer secret in the New Testament era.

Is made manifest as a passive means to has become visible, has become known, or has been revealed.

By the scriptures of the prophets = by means of the Scriptures of the prophets or by means of the writings of the prophets. It is by the Scriptures of the prophets that God establishes believers.

According to the commandment of the everlasting God is in accordance with the command, order, or injunction of the eternal God.

Made known to all nations describes the mystery. It was made known to all nations, i.e. to the Gentiles. It was not only made known to the Jews.

For the obedience of faith - for the purpose of the obedience of faith, i.e. in order that people might believe the gospel.

Romans 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

In verse 27 Paul makes it clear that he is referring to God the Father.

To God only wise indicates that God the Father alone is wise. No other is wise as God the Father is.

Be glory through Jesus Christ forever indicates that it is to God the Father that the sum total of all the glory which exists belongs, and this glory is going to come through Jesus Christ's person and work. This glory is to be given to God the Father forever.

Amen concludes the epistle. It means truly or so be it.

CONCLUSION:

Thus, Paul concludes his epistle to the Romans.