READ: Romans 16
BACKGROUND: This final chapter in Romans concludes what has been called the most influential letter ever written. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul brilliantly explains the human problem: our sin has enslaved us, bound us to death, but God has provided a solution in his son, Jesus. Think back over some of the most amazing things we’ve read in this book:
Chapter 1: Never be ashamed of the gospel! It is the power of salvation for all who believe!
Chapter 3: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Chapter 5: God loves us so much that even though we are sinners, Jesus died for us.
Chapter 6: Because of our sin, we will all die, but we can have eternal life in Jesus!
Chapter 10 : If we confess our sin and believe that Jesus died and rose again to pay the penalty for our sin, we will be given eternal life through the blood of Jesus!
Chapter 16: Paul writes a long list of people he especially wants to thank, and to commend, and to greet. He finishes the letter by urgently reminding and warning us to stay true to Jesus! The world is extremely attractive and, so often, extremely dangerous.
THINK: What an awesome assortment of believers made up this church in the city of Rome. Believers included Jews, Greeks, nobility, slaves, men, women, African, Asian, Roman, military, civilian…and all worshipped and learned together! In fact, Paul’s letter would have been read aloud in front of this audience. Imagine how exciting it must have been to suddenly hear your own name. Just yesterday my daughter and I were reminiscing about her high school days. She is getting married in just one week and many of her friends will be there. During homecoming week of her senior year, as she sat in calculus class, an announcement came on calling several girls to the office. Everyone knew what this meant: the Homecoming Queen Candidates had been selected. Kelsey quietly got up from her seat and walked out the door – but once clear of the classroom, she shrieked with excitement! She’d been chosen! I think maybe a few of those named in Paul’s letter may have felt that rush. He remembered me! He thanked me! He thought of me! He appreciated me! If you’ve stuck with Throughin2 for a while now, you may remember lots of lists of names in lots of bible chapters and, while they seem to go on and on, always remember the significance of these lists of names: By God’s grace, we are not just nameless, faceless blobs of humanity. God knows us. God remembers us. God is keeping a list of our good works. And someday God will call out our names.
ASK: What if a leader from your church were writing a letter. Would they mention your name as a faithful servant, as a volunteer, as a prayer warrior, as an encourager? Would they mention your willingness to invite others, to share the good news, to open your home?
By: Deb Howard